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(ri)1 - The Right Price


StraightBoston
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When you take young juice, I think Rye One is four and a half years old, that's by all accounts so so, put it in a fancy bottle with the words "ultra-premium" on the label, and give it an ultra-premium price point, you are selling an image. If you're selling a rough and tumble image. (I'm a bad-ass cuz I drink Jack Daniel's) it works a lot better. But if the image is "ultra-premium"..."I'm a discerning consumer" the juice in the bottle, while it can fall a bit short in the eyes of discerning enthusiasts, has to be good enough to pull it off with the wider buying public. Think Maker's Mark.

Plus, once the whiskey is out of the bottle and in your glass, the jig is up, and the bottle starts looking more pretentious than handsome. The blunt claim of "ultra-premium" as opposed to some indirect verbiage about "handmade" this or "small batch" that, just makes it look all the more so.

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When you take young juice, I think Rye One is four and a half years old, that's by all accounts so so, put it in a fancy bottle with the words "ultra-premium" on the label, and give it an ultra-premium price point, you are selling an image. If you're selling a rough and tumble image. (I'm a bad-ass cuz I drink Jack Daniel's) it works a lot better. But if the image is "ultra-premium"..."I'm a discerning consumer" the juice in the bottle, while it can fall a bit short in the eyes of discerning enthusiasts, has to be good enough to pull it off with the wider buying public. Think Maker's Mark.

Plus, once the whiskey is out of the bottle and in your glass, the jig is up, and the bottle starts looking more pretentious than handsome. The blunt claim of "ultra-premium" as opposed to some indirect verbiage about "handmade" this or "small batch" that, just makes it look all the more so.

I agree, Brad. But since this approach has worked so well for all the "premium" vodkas (i.e, bulk GNS in a fancy bottle); I'm not surprised that Beam gave it a try.

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  • 2 weeks later...
RamblinWreck007

Bought a bottle of this for my brother's Christmas present. Thankfully, he gave me a glass when he opened it. Really enjoyed it, but the $44 I paid for it in Michigan kinda limits me on future supplies.

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I'll admit that I like this stuff, although the label is a bit pretentious and, I think, marketed towards a group of people not likely to drink it like most of us would. They seem to me to be marketing this for its ability to make a good cocktail, which it somewhat succeeds at. But, in doing some heads up Manhattan comparisons, I found that the difference between this and WT and Michters was not that great. However, I can see someone in a city bar ordering a (ri)1 Manhattan as opposed to a WT one if he was trying to impress his hipster friends who don't know the first thing about whisky.

Is it worth 40 plus bucks a bottle though? hell no. The only bottle I bought was because I got it at a liquor store that had it marked at $15 since they got it for free when they purchased a case of something else. When I want a bit or rye flavor and spice, it fits the bill, but isn't 20 bucks better than WT Michter's rye.

Frankly, I expect that it will stick around for a few more years till stocks run dry, but wouldn't be surprised if they pulled the plug on this one soon.

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I don't think Beam has given up on it yet, but it doesn't seem to be catching on. The timing may have been bad, vis a vis the economy. The target, I think, is people who are caught up in the cocktail thing and decide they need a rye, even though they've never had one before, and they buy this because it seems to fit with the vodkas, rums, tequilas, vermouths, liqueurs and other spirits they own for their cocktailing adventures. The problem is, cocktailers start out in bars and bars aren't using it. They're using Rittenhouse BIB, Wild Turkey Rye, Jim Beam Rye, and Sazerac Rye (Saz Jr). If it doesn't catch on in the hot cocktail bars, people won't buy bottles for at home.

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RamblinWreck007
I don't think Beam has given up on it yet, but it doesn't seem to be catching on. The timing may have been bad, vis a vis the economy. The target, I think, is people who are caught up in the cocktail thing and decide they need a rye, even though they've never had one before, and they buy this because it seems to fit with the vodkas, rums, tequilas, vermouths, liqueurs and other spirits they own for their cocktailing adventures. The problem is, cocktailers start out in bars and bars aren't using it. They're using Rittenhouse BIB, Wild Turkey Rye, Jim Beam Rye, and Sazerac Rye (Saz Jr). If it doesn't catch on in the hot cocktail bars, people won't buy bottles for at home.

Do you know if (ri)1 is the same "juice" as the regular Jim Beam Rye, just at a different age/profile? I don't recall an age statement on the bottle of (ri) that I bought as a Christmas present and that's the only time I've laid eyes on a bottle of the stuff. That, and the review over at LiquorSnob.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You build a profile, for which you have reference samples, then going forward you compare all barrel selections to those samples. This brand is NAS, so they don't have to limit themselves to barrels over a certain age, but if that's what you had for the original profile (e.g., whiskey at least six years old) then that's probably where you are going to start.

It begins when they are in the process of selecting for the lesser brands. Barrels that show potential may be held out and marked for additional aging because they have the potential to become fodder for the better brand.

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  • 2 weeks later...
loose proton

This topic piqued my curiosity, so though I’m not a high rye fan, I compared (ri)1 to JB Rye. I tried them separate then compared them side by side on my deck while watching my stupid old cat explore the forest, oblivious to hawk, owl, snake, and coyote.

Perhaps I need to educate my palate. Color the same. (ri)1 had slightly better nose. (ri)1 was somewhat more rounded. Neither spoke much of age. Perhaps if (ri)1 were aged like Rittenhouse it would be a fine product. Between the two, (ri)1 and JB Rye, I’d choose OGD 114.

I am glad Beam is exploring variety and offering a number of different products.

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fishnbowljoe

Saw some on sale for $29.99. Well, kinda. :skep: The shelf space where it had been, was empty, so they must have sold it all. :shocked: Joe

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  • 3 weeks later...
CorvallisCracker

The OLCC price list for May (posted earlier today) has it marked down, from $51.95 to $39.95.

I still haven't tried it.

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scratchline

Had a buddy in Tennessee pick up a couple of bottles for me. 28 bucks each. 31 with tax.

-Mike

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I'ved tried it and found it a little young. Probably a little expensive, but a nice bottle. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...
tommyboy38

Last weekend, I was surprissed to see it for $20 a bottle and autographed by someone to boot (couldn't read the signature) so I brought home my first bottle.

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I had my first pour of this, this week it was poured down the sink. The nastiest tasting rye I have ever had and I like Rye whiskey.

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A local liquor store now has these marked down to $19.99. It looks like they are just trying to get rid of them and clear the shelf space.

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tommyboy38

I opened mine up and rather enjoyed it. Maybe it's not the finest rye around but it was good whiskey.

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  • 2 months later...

ri(1) is on sale here in Houston at Specs for $19.99 (after $5 off with Spec's keycard). I bought my first bottle. Rittenhouse Rye BIB is now up to $22.

There were only 2 bottles on the shelf at Spec's downtown. Could they be clearing this out?

On price front, also noticed Ridgemont Reserve is now priced under $20. Maybe I was just not paying attention, but I'm pretty sure this used be $25-$27.50 here in Houston.

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I'd buy it for $19.99 I would have bought all they had at $19.99.

I would have made a mistake that stuff is awful.

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My impression is that it is the Makers Mark of ryes. It's a bit dull, not a lot going on, very easy to drink. (pre apologies to the Makers drinkers & Dale).

That said, on the rocks with a 5-6 dashes of bitters, makes a good drink. For $20 a pretty good buy.

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StraightBoston

Wade, that's a really good comparison to Maker's Mark! I found the ri(1) to be smooth and tasty but unobtrusive, and ultimately overpriced (a description that applies equally to the standard MM red wax.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

averages about $45 here, I found it for $30 and was happy with that, but for 20 bucks? They may not have known what they had their hands on. I woulda jumped all over that as well.

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