My rye-ginity is no more.
WT Rye 101 is a heck of a first jump into straight rye whiskey. Neat and on the rocks, I really enjoyed a balanced heat and the subtle peppery-ness. In both cases, I did find myself reaching for a splash of water to tame the beast as this seems young and is quite strong at 101. Still, I'm glad I went with the WT over the Old Overholt because I like controlling the alcohol content myself.
I'm currently sipping the last drops of my first rye Manhattan and it's fairly raw.
I used 3/4 ounce of Martini&Rossi Sweet Vermouth and 2 oz of the WT plus a three shakes of Angostura Bitters and a shake of Fee Orange. I shook rather than stirred (as I do with bourbon Manhattans) and poured into an old fashioned glass with three frozen cherries serving as ice. (Try it- you'll think me.)
Even with shaking, the rye and vermouth have not come fully together- I get waves of the spice and the sweet. Is is enjoyable, but not as polished as I'd like. I'm sure I can get there with a few more attempts and some tinkering. Suggestions from any mixologists out there are more than welcome.
I don't know that I will ever prefer rye over bourbon, but this is a nice change of pace.