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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Question for rye fans

    At a local store, I recently saw a bottle of Rittenhouse 21 yr. rye. I was wondering what rye afficiandos thought of this bottling, and more importantly, is it worth the $140 the store wanted for it?

    -Kevin

  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2007
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    Dallas
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    Re: Question for rye fans

    I like rye whiskey, but I could never justify that much for a bottle.

  3. #3
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    Re: Question for rye fans

    I'm a big rye fan and I'm happy to see the recent proliferation of ryes (I've been reviewing some recently on my site http://recenteats.blogspot.com/search/label/Whiskey), but it would have to be pretty mind-blowingly good for me too spend that much Rittenhouse 21 yo.

    I think Rittenhouse is trying to push the envelope of the whole rye revival and see how much capcity there is in the market. Personally, I don't think there is a huge market for the triple-digit rye, but I'm concerned that they will push up the prices of other ryes like the Sazerac 18. Of course, to be fair, many great scotches and a few bourbons regularly sell for over $100.

  4. #4
    Guru
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    Re: Question for rye fans

    From my experience of just a few years in this game I offer the following observation.

    High price usually means proportionately great rarity.

    However, from the standpoint of one's enjoyment of the whiskey, the law of diminishing returns sets in somewhere around the $25 to $50 range (speaking of American whiskey here).

    I'd bet that given a choice of one bottle of Blanton's to last one month or two bottles of Buffalo Trace, the split among members here would be close to 50/50.

    However, make that 10 bottles of Rittenhouse BIB vs. one bottle of the 21 y/o (which I've never tasted, BTW) to last five months, I predict very few would chose the expensive product.

    Aside from the economic concept involved (is there such a thing as marginal propensity to enjoy?), many posters here have noted that at some point additional age detracts from one's enjoyment of the whiskey.

    That point varies by person and by product. However, there's general agreement that increasing the age from, say, 10 years to 20 years is not as likely to produce a more enjoyable drink as is an increase from four years to eight years.

    I have on my shelf four bottles aged 18 years or greater. I'm glad I had the opportunity to taste them, but now my intent is to make them last a very long time. I will replace at most one of them.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    Re: Question for rye fans

    I'm with Dave. Nothing in that price range can be justified by its quality. Rittenhouse BIB is $13 a bottle here. Is the 21-year-old eleven times better than the BIB? Of course not. But it does have a unique flavor, one you won't taste in any other product at any price. What's that worth? I would say that if you have ever paid $140 for a bottle of whiskey (hell, a bottle of anything), this is as much "worth it" as that was.

    I do think HH may have overreached with the Rittenhouse 21, which is still sitting on store shelves more than a year after its release. That is not what you want from a super premium limited release. You want them to sell out and leave the people clamouring for more. But, this is how you learn. Heaven Hill is debutting a new limited edition bourbon soon. We'll see how they handle that.

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
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    Jul 2004
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    Oklahoma is OK
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    Re: Question for rye fans

    I had my first taste of Rittenhouse 21 about an hour ago. It is very very good. I now have a glass of Elmer T Lee in my hand, and it is very very good. In that context the $140 is not worth it, considering the $25 I paid for the ETL, but how would I know how good it is if I didn't try it. So far there has not been a bottle of Bourbon that I have chosen not to buy solely because of its price. As a result I have gotten to taste some wonderful expressions of the art. You only live once and you can't take it with you. Enjoy the good stuff.

  7. #7
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Houston, TX
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    Re: Question for rye fans

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Rittenhouse BIB is $13 a bottle here.
    Chuck - If you can still buy it for $13, I would suggest stashing a few. I was down in CA a few weeks back at they seem to be bumping the price up closer to $20 there.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
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    Jun 2007
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    377

    Re: Question for rye fans

    I just paid 10.99 today for a bottle Rittenhouse BIB. Last bottle on the shelf though so I might be in for a surpise next time. Haven't seen the 21 year move at all I cannot remember what the going rate was on that one but it was just crazy.
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough". Mark Twain

  9. #9

    Re: Question for rye fans

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I'm with Dave. Nothing in that price range can be justified by its quality. Rittenhouse BIB is $13 a bottle here. Is the 21-year-old eleven times better than the BIB? Of course not. But it does have a unique flavor, one you won't taste in any other product at any price. What's that worth? I would say that if you have ever paid $140 for a bottle of whiskey (hell, a bottle of anything), this is as much "worth it" as that was.

    I do think HH may have overreached with the Rittenhouse 21, which is still sitting on store shelves more than a year after its release. That is not what you want from a super premium limited release. You want them to sell out and leave the people clamouring for more. But, this is how you learn. Heaven Hill is debutting a new limited edition bourbon soon. We'll see how they handle that.
    I'm with Chuck -- and Dave. That said, I wish they had left it a barrel-proof for that price. That one-time experience IS worth the money!

    "...clamouring...", Chuck? You drinkin' Scotch?!
    Last edited by TNbourbon; 08-07-2007 at 21:53.
    Tim

  10. #10
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    Re: Question for rye fans

    Quote Originally Posted by wadewood View Post
    Chuck - If you can still buy it for $13, I would suggest stashing a few. I was down in CA a few weeks back at they seem to be bumping the price up closer to $20 there.
    Yes. Price in the LA area is around $20, which I still consider a good price.

 

 

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