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Wild turkey Russells reserve rye vs WT rye 101


trumpstylz
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Is that the only bottle of WT101Rye that you've ever had a taste from?

Yes.

With 2/3 of a bottle left, I'm not looking to purchase another just to quality check the original acquisition.

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  • 5 months later...

After reading through this thread, I realized that it has been a long time since I have tasted the rye that brought me to try rye in the first place: WT 101 Rye. A few months back when it disappeared from the shelves, I was afraid the new owners of WT had decided not to distriburte it any more. At that point I got a case and started to sit on it. I haven't had any since!

Then all these new ryes started to come out like Templeton, High West, Redemption, and Bulleit, diverting attention away from my original favorite reasonably priced rye (I still love the Saz 18). This thread has convinced me to go back home to the WT rye and try it after drinking all that Bulleit Rye and High West Rendezvous. I also want to compare the WT 101 Rye to the Russell's Reserve Rye to see if I like it any better than I used to.

Results to follow....

Ray in Atlanta

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Just picked up a bottle of RR rye Friday and found it very enjoyable. While I really like the flavor and extra proof of the 101 rye, I found the RR rye to be smoother and a nice mellow pour. I think I'll drink the RR rye when I want something to sip on and relax and the 101 rye for evenings when I want a stronger, more commanding drink. My favorite ryes (from best to least)?

1. Rittenhouse BIB

2. WT 101 rye

3. Pikesville

4. RR rye

5. Old Overholt

6. Michter's rye

7. "Baby" Sazerac

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Just picked up a bottle of RR rye Friday and found it very enjoyable. While I really like the flavor and extra proof of the 101 rye, I found the RR rye to be smoother and a nice mellow pour. I think I'll drink the RR rye when I want something to sip on and relax and the 101 rye for evenings when I want a stronger, more commanding drink. My favorite ryes (from best to least)?

1. Rittenhouse BIB

2. WT 101 rye

3. Pikesville

4. RR rye

5. Old Overholt

6. Michter's rye

7. "Baby" Sazerac

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I'm interested to see Bulleit near the top of several lists here. Haven't tried it, but have been meaning to pick up a bottle of that as well as a WT 101 Rye.

The only ryes that I've had have been VWFRR and Baby Saz - the VWFRR is one of my favorite whiskies on the planet. The Baby Saz was rather mild and somewhat disappointing. On the other hand, it fit perfectly into a sazerac cocktail (made with Vieux Carre absinthe) so I was none-to-upset to polish off the bottle.

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Ray- Yes, the Michter's I have is the basic stuff, not the 10yo stuff. It is a bit thin for the price. I wasn't real happy with it to be honest.

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After many months of playing around with all these new ryes that we seem to have suddenly on the market (never mind that most of them are from two distilleries: LDI and Alberta), I decided to go back to the rye that brought me to the party, so to speak. Tonight I went back to Wild Turkey 101 rye and Russell's Reserve rye. The WT 101 was like getting back in touch with an old friend. I like it as much as I always did before and I must say that I think it is still the best value available in whiskey. Yes, I said whiskey including bourbon, because for around $20 (here in Atlanta) I challenge anyone to find a better whiskey. I tried the Russell's Reserve rye after the WT 101 rye and while it is much smoother, until they up the proof to 101 (where all WT should be) I don't think it compares to the WT 101 rye especially considering the price difference. The bottom line is that while I like many of the new ryes on the market, especially the Bulleit rye, I will always be sure to have a bottle of WT 101 rye open and at the ready!

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Ray- Yes, the Michter's I have is the basic stuff, not the 10yo stuff. It is a bit thin for the price. I wasn't real happy with it to be honest.

Ethan,

After my WT 101 rye vs RR rye, I revisited my dusty bottle of the Michter's US*1 rye. I immediately remembered what turned me off about it with the first sip: it has that burnt cocoa taste that I find in so many Canadian whiskies. I don't know why it is there but I taste it. After letting it sit in the glass for a while this cocoa taste recedes but I am left with a rather thin tasting whiskey without much rye flavor. Someday I'll try the 10 year Straight Rye but until then I don't think I'll go for another Michter's US*1 rye.

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Back to the subject at hand, do we know when Wild Turkey started distilling at the new plant? When will the new rye be in the bottle? Since the WT 101 Rye is presumed to be about 4 years old, it should be pretty soon that we will have the new output for that. The Russell's Reserve Rye will be a little later.

I wonder if we will notice a difference in taste from the new distillery.

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Back to the subject at hand, do we know when Wild Turkey started distilling at the new plant? When will the new rye be in the bottle? Since the WT 101 Rye is presumed to be about 4 years old, it should be pretty soon that we will have the new output for that. The Russell's Reserve Rye will be a little later.

I wonder if we will notice a difference in taste from the new distillery.

The new distillery was officially unveiled on June 21, 2011 but started operations a little before that. The official press release indicates product from the new stills will be available in 2016. Production capacity can be more than doubled from the expansion.

Back in April I was talking with Jimmy Russell while holding a bottle of 101 Rye in my hand and he commented that he expects a shortage of the product in the near future. I didn't press him for details but you can take that for whatever its worth.

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The new distillery was officially unveiled on June 21, 2011 but started operations a little before that. The official press release indicates product from the new stills will be available in 2016. Production capacity can be more than doubled from the expansion.

Back in April I was talking with Jimmy Russell while holding a bottle of 101 Rye in my hand and he commented that he expects a shortage of the product in the near future. I didn't press him for details but you can take that for whatever its worth.

I think it's too bad that they are tearing down the old plant but I guess that's progress....

When Jimmy Russell referred to a shortage do you think he was only referring to the rye or the bourbon as well? Interestingly, I was at a Heaven Hill tasting a while back at Prohibition (a faux speakeasy here in Atlanta) and while we were talking about how difficult it is to find Rittenhouse BIB, the guy doing the tasting mentioned that he "had heard" that Wild Turkey was going to stop making rye. I thought this was ridiculous with rye growing in popularity and I pressed him about it. I went out and bought two cases just in case he was right. Sure enough a few weeks later all the WT rye here in Atlanta ran out! For a couple of months we were all out but it eventually came back and now there is plenty. Coincidently we never ran out of the Russell's Reserve rye during all that time.

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When Jimmy Russell referred to a shortage do you think he was only referring to the rye or the bourbon as well? ...

He was specifically just referring to the rye and I can't imagine any reason at all why they would stop distilling rye which they only spend 3 to 4 days doing anyway. Chuck Cowdery wrote a good blog piece on the mirage of the rye revival last year too http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/06/rye-ality.html

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  • 2 months later...
bad_scientist

Finally killed my bottle of RR Rye. My feelings were much in line with several that were voiced on this thread, though I hadn't read it before tonight - namely, that's it's just too low in proof.

I loved the dryness of the rye flavors, which I usually find in much older ryes. It also had a honey sweetness at the beginning that made the dryness more of a pleasant surprise, though I wouldn't mind if it were less sweet. It just tasted like I added too much water to a great whiskey, i.e. MY WORST NIGHTMARE. Also, it had a sour note that I have had in other ryes, but which was more pronounced in this one. Not a repeat purchase.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I also prefer WT Rye 101 to the RR Rye. To my taste, the RR Rye almost tastes just like a high-rye bourbon but not as good as WT 101 bourbon. The WT Rye has this wonderful creamy, smooth, vanilla and spice character.

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I also prefer WT Rye 101 to the RR Rye. To my taste, the RR Rye almost tastes just like a high-rye bourbon but not as good as WT 101 bourbon. The WT Rye has this wonderful creamy, smooth, vanilla and spice character.
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Rittenhouse 100 is hard to find at times in the Houston area as well. Not very common. I like it OK, but it's style does not suit me as well as other ryes.

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StraightBoston
According to an interview with Jimmy Russell a few years back the Turkey Rye 101 is aged 4 years. Curious that it was 4 yrs even back when the stated age on the Bourbon 101 was 8 yrs.
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boneuphtoner

This week, I tried both of these for the first time. I like both of them alot! But, for my palate, Ritt BIB and Baby Saz are slightly more interesting pours. The RR was a great sipper for sure...one of the easiest sipping ryes I've ever tried, but I think I could be bored with it. The WT 101 rye was a bit more brash and rough around the edges compared to the RR, but I still liked it. I agree with others that a RR BIB proof would be nice to try.

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StraightBoston
This week, I tried both of these for the first time. I like both of them alot! But, for my palate, Ritt BIB and Baby Saz are slightly more interesting pours. The RR was a great sipper for sure...one of the easiest sipping ryes I've ever tried, but I think I could be bored with it. The WT 101 rye was a bit more brash and rough around the edges compared to the RR, but I still liked it. I agree with others that a RR BIB proof would be nice to try.

Noticing your location: when talking about the WT rye, Jimmy kept saying that in his day nobody would drink a rye from Kentucky -- rye had to come from Pennsylvania or Maryland (as it stands, they get their grain from Germany!)

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Jimmy and Eddie talked about this at a tasting at Julio's in MA last night. They both felt that rye peaks earlier than bourbon -- hence 6yo RR rye vs. 10yo RR bourbon.
So I guess they also think that the RR bourbon tastes better at 90 proof than 101. :shocked:
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Noticing your location: when talking about the WT rye, Jimmy kept saying that in his day nobody would drink a rye from Kentucky -- rye had to come from Pennsylvania or Maryland (as it stands, they get their grain from Germany!)

Do I understand that you're saying that Jimmy Russell and Wild Turkey sources its rye grain from Germany? Why wouldn't they use domestic grain - and is this common with other domestic whiskey distillers?

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  • 2 weeks later...
So I guess they also think that the RR bourbon tastes better at 90 proof than 101. :shocked:

I understand the sarcasm here and would certainly prefer to see RR at 101 proof, but I believe they are correct about rye. That Willett 4 year rye is mighty good stuff.

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Jimmy and Eddie talked about this at a tasting at Julio's in MA last night. They both felt that rye peaks earlier than bourbon -- hence 6yo RR rye vs. 10yo RR bourbon.

The new WT81 rye will have older juice than 4 years.

It may peak earlier at a younger age, but when it comes to the ultra-age category, I can't get enough years on Rye.

For my general preferences:

Rye-recipe Bourbon: 8 to 12 years.

Wheaters: 10 to 20 years.

Rye: 18 to who knows how long. I have a Hirsch 25yr that's amazing!

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It may peak earlier at a younger age, but when it comes to the ultra-age category, I can't get enough years on Rye.

For my general preferences:

Rye-recipe Bourbon: 8 to 12 years.

Wheaters: 10 to 20 years.

Rye: 18 to who knows how long. I have a Hirsch 25yr that's amazing!

I think something that really differentiates rye from most bourbons is that it presents itself well even young (under 4 years old) and it wears extra aging very well. Bourbons, by and large, seem to do will in the middle of the age gamut.

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