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LDI Rye Running Out.


cowdery
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Four Roses is good about communication. If they were making rye, even for someone else, they'd tell us. There's also been bad blood between Kirin and Diageo over Bulleit Bourbon, so I don't see Kirin doing any new business with Diageo.

Whoever said 4R has stocks of LDI Rye is almost surely mistaken. LDI probably has more warehouse capacity than Cox's Creek and less use for it. LDI also has bottling and probably more bottling capacity than Cox's Creek. So there is no reason to ship any LDI-made rye to 4R.

Where this may have come from is that Jim Rutledge is believed to have assisted some of the Potemkin micro-distilleries in obtaining LDI rye for their products. He continues to do business with them because 4R still gets its corn from the silo near Lawrenceburg that Seagrams also used to own.

If the 95% rye is accurate, a qualification you need to attach to anything from Diageo, it's almost surely LDI. We know Diageo is doing business with LDI because of Mountain Moon Vodka. I don't know for sure but I assume LDI still makes Seagram's Seven Crown for Diageo.

However, Diageo has in recent years been buying new make bourbon from Brown-Forman, Jim Beam and Tom Moore (when it was Barton) and aging it at Stitzel-Weller. All of those distilleries also make rye.

What could be happening is this. Bulk spirits producers do business two ways, via contract and on a "spot" basis. Contacts have first priority. Large, long-term contract customers are also always going to be favored over smaller, spot-only customers for spot sales. It could be that the demands of a big customer like Diageo are making it increasingly difficult for LDI to accommodate small customers and prospective customers.

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Thank you everyone for responding. From my Diageo contacts it is definitely 95% Rye some I also assumed that it was going to be LDI Rye. Hopefully a sample comes my way soon.

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Very cool info, thanks for this.

By the way my take initially on why the LDI rye content was so high is that the higher the rye content, the more flavourful the whiskey, and you would want more flavour if the whiskey was used in blending (as presumably the LDI rye was intended for). You would want that because the rye would go further in the blend and therefore be cheaper than if, say, 70% of the mash was from rye. I am assuming of course the blends were meant to have a fixed or minimum amount of the total mashes from rye grains.

However, the ryes that have come out apparently from this source that are unblended are not particularly strong-tasting. Templeton's rye isn't, for example. WhistlePig rye, also from a high rye spec (not from LDI but from Alberta Distillers I believe) also is not an unusually assertive dram.

Therefore, there must be another reason why a very high-rye spec was chosen for rye used for blending whereas for straight rye sold uncut, it was all 51% rye or not much more.

Why would this be? Or is in fact no pattern really discernible?

Gary

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Good morning Gary, I would "guess" that the higher rye grain % is done to create a specific taste profile rather than a "stronger concentrate". Take into consideration the mash temps, yeast, etc and a variety of other distillers "tools' and one can steer a profile to what works best for the end product.

When I look at the Four Roses high rye versus low rye recipes I find them of similar flavor concentration... just different flavors. Just an opinion....

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Just to reaffirm I also heard straight from Jim Rutledge that FR has no interest at this time to make rye whiskey.

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Just to reaffirm I also heard straight from Jim Rutledge that FR has no interest at this time to make rye whiskey.

That's too bad. Given their resources, it would be a pleasure to follow.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know if LDI rye is running out, but a whole lot of people seem very interested in telling me how great it is. Maybe, a little "too" interested. All of a sudden a so-so bulk rye, has become this great, undiscovered, uber-tasty rye. I'm starting to get a "Soylent Green" feeling going. Me thinks there's a fair amount of folks who see this as their gravy train, and are looking to pull as many aboard as possible...:skep:

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I don't know if LDI rye is running out, but a whole lot of people seem very interested in telling me how great it is. Maybe, a little "too" interested. All of a sudden a so-so bulk rye, has become this great, undiscovered, uber-tasty rye. I'm starting to get a "Soylent Green" feeling going. Me thinks there's a fair amount of folks who see this as their gravy train, and are looking to pull as many aboard as possible...:skep:

You're getting paranoid in your old age Joe. ;)

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I don't know if LDI rye is running out, but a whole lot of people seem very interested in telling me how great it is. Maybe, a little "too" interested. All of a sudden a so-so bulk rye, has become this great, undiscovered, uber-tasty rye. I'm starting to get a "Soylent Green" feeling going. Me thinks there's a fair amount of folks who see this as their gravy train, and are looking to pull as many aboard as possible...:skep:

well, at least you don't really like rye, Joe . . . take comfort in that.

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well, at least you don't really like rye, Joe . . . take comfort in that.

Why would you say I don't like rye, Andy?

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Just to reaffirm I also heard straight from Jim Rutledge that FR has no interest at this time to make rye whiskey.

I talked with Jim Rutledge in early February. Actually I got the impression he'd love to make a rye. In the video in the link below he states as much about half way in. However, Jim said that they are are still just a small guy in comparison to the big boys of bourbon and American Whiskey. Focusing on their core is where they are at and fear looking beyond that right now. I genuinely felt he was concerned that taking that on at this stage would be very tough to do, but the interest/desire is there.

Video 3: (the rye): http://sourmashmanifesto.com/2011/02/20/jim-rutledge-part-3/

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4R could make a great rye whiskey.

I would suggest that they use their OBSK recipe and kick up the rye from 35% to 60%.

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4R could make a great rye whiskey.

I would suggest that they use their OBSK recipe and kick up the rye from 35% to 60%.

Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Nice call.

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4R could make a great rye whiskey.

I would suggest that they use their OBSK recipe and kick up the rye from 35% to 60%.

Agreed, I think the "k" yeast would absolutely be the one to roll with. I also agree that just going to 51% isn't enough. 60-65 would be ideal. Then they could do limited release ryes with the other yeasts and rotate them annually or just whatever is tasting best. Man I think they are missing the boat to put out a great product, but they are a heck of a lot smarter than me. I suppose I understand the need/desire to really make sure they don't do too much at this time.

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4R could make a great rye whiskey.

I would suggest that they use their OBSK recipe and kick up the rye from 35% to 60%.

I third that emotion.

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Jim is in great shape and loves what he does but he's not a young man and reflects from time to time about just how long he can keep doing this. By rights, and he has said this many times, he should be retired by now. I think one consideration about taking on a rye would be that he is hesitant about starting something he may not be able to finish. And, as noted above, he still feels there is a lot to do yet to bring Four Roses where it needs to be in the U.S. market.

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It sounds like a good experimental project for any potential heirs to the throne.

I know BT does quite a bit of experimenting, maybe I just don't appreciate the cost of allocating some barrels / warehouse space to such a project.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I drove by LDI yesterday, but I was with my parents, so I didn't stop. I really should have stopped to take a picture of the big "SEAGRAMS" still painted on the side.

There was no "FOR SALE" sign out front.

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  • 6 years later...

This was a great read about what LDI had and knowing now what came out of LDI/MGP. Great read, glad SB.com leaves this history in the archives. Its neat to read old predictions. If your a geek about this stuff you will enjoy.  

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