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Old Label Rittenhouse Rye question


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In my travels this week I came across some Rittenhouse Rye but the label was different from the current one. It has 90 on the bottom of the bottle. I didn't get any but know where it is and plan on going back. Has anyone had 1990 RR? How does it compare to the stuff today. Was it made by the same distillery?

When did heaven Hill acquire rittenhouse?

Thanks,

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Here is a picture I found on the internet except the background was black instead of pinkish.

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This one is circa 1990. This is the BIB, which was the principal expression even then. I assume the lighter background one, above, is for the 80 proof.

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This one is circa 1990. This is the BIB, which was the principal expression even then. I assume the lighter background one, above, is for the 80 proof.

The lighter background is the 80, as I found one myself about a month ago. Mine has a 93 on the bottom of the bottle.

Chuck, should I assume that it was distilled at Old Heaven Hill? Or did they contract their Rye back then, as well?

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Anything older than about 1996 was probably made at Medley. When that 1990 photograph was taken, it was a Glenmore product, made at Medley. Until it got Rittenhouse from Diageo, HH's main rye was Pikesville.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went back and got a bottle of 1993 Ritt Rye and quite enjoy it. It is truly a different beast from the current Ritt Rye. Sweeter and mellower than the current. Also says Owensboro on the label. FYI

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Rittenhouse was made at Barton between its stints at Medley and Heaven Hill.

There's some discussion of the three distinct whiskies in this thread, posts 51-60

I loved the Barton version of Rittenhouse.

Roger

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Virus_Of_Life
Rittenhouse was made at Barton between its stints at Medley and Heaven Hill.

Roger

Wasn't it also distilled in Pennsylvania - Continental perhaps? - at one point too Roger?

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Yes, starting up in the 1930's, although the name Rittenhouse for rye predates Prohibition.

Continental stopped making rye sometime in the 1970's, whence the other arrangements Roger mentioned.

Interesting that they would ascribe lightness to a whiskey of that age.

Gary

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Wasn't it also distilled in Pennsylvania - Continental perhaps? - at one point too Roger?

I wonder if that bottle was made my Michters. I have a bottle of 20 year old rye from Michters given to me by Dick Stoll. He said they had quite a bit of 20 year old rye they sold off at one time. It is light for 20 years old.

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Maybe..... According to Dave Ziegler, Rittenhouse was an exclusive Continental product that was made largely at the Linfield site and not "downtown" at Publicker. However, after the late 50's, distilling at Linfield shut down. By 1980, Continental exited the drinkable alcohols business. So if they ran out of Rittenhouse before 1980, they may have had to go elsewhere for rye- and Michter's would be a great candidate! So who knows the source of it during that period of time. If the bottle says "Distilled in Pennsylvania" it was most likely Continental, but could be Michter's. Regardless of where it was or wasn't distilled, any Continental or Michter's product will be a wonderful whiskey.

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Anything older than about 1996 was probably made at Medley. When that 1990 photograph was taken, it was a Glenmore product, made at Medley. Until it got Rittenhouse from Diageo, HH's main rye was Pikesville.
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Virus_Of_Life
I think the older stuff is medley.

No, it is not Medley, from what I recall it was distilled at Bernheim.

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All of the Rittenhouse 20+ was from a single batch made at Heaven Hill in Bardstown, DSP-31. It was made for a customer, probably Continental, that never claimed it. Heaven Hill eventually bought it back and released it.

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  • 10 months later...
No, it is not Medley, from what I recall it was distilled at Bernheim.

I came across this thread when I was looking for the history of how Heaven Hill seems to have acquired the Rittenhouse label, and saw many posts. Some may be a little wrong & most seem to be largely accurate based upon what I know. But my info is still sketchy and I am still not sure of all the historical paths & would appreciate any info. Not sure if Dave Zeigler would know.

The name Rittenhouse did not come from the Hotel. It came from the Rittenhouse family from Germany who settled in Germantown, PA outside Phila around 1688. Others followed to Phila itself around 1789, including one Rittenhouse who was reported to be an escaped felon.

I wanted to know the Heaven Hill-Rittenhouse connection because I’m a member of the Heaven Hill Society & keep trying to find out when Heaven Hill acquired the Rittenhouse label and whether they also obtained any of the other Continental Distilling brands, such as Inver House, Philadelphia, Kinsey and especially Old Hickory. Continental made a 20 yr old Barrel Proof Old Hickory that was incredible. They shut down in the late 1970s, I think. My family is/was related to Harry Publicker who owned Publicker Industries & Continental Distilling. We owned a trucking company and supplied bottles to Continental at their South Phila (Jackson St) warehouses. But most of the distilling of Rittenhouse was in Linfield, Pa. I’m pretty sure Old Hickory bourbon was made in South Phila. though, because I could smell the Mash whenever I went to the plant there or to the offices downtown.

Rittenhouse Whiskey was always a reliable Bonded brand when I used to get it in the years it was made in Phila.

I sent an inquiry to Heaven Hill, but I've done that several times & never get a response.

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YES! Contact Dave. He's THE authority on Continental. I can tell you that Philadelphia Blended and Haller's Blended were picked up by Heaven Hill, in the 80's I believe. Old Hickory went to Medley and is now in the portfolio of some other company, but not active. Banker's Club is now a Laird's product. Inver House is owned by someone else, but is still in production and available in the green label here in the states. Many other brands Continental had are long gone- Kinsey Whisky, Lolita liquors, Cobb's Creek, etc... I don't know if Heaven Hill acquired any of its brands directly from Continental or they were secondhand through other sources. Dave can most likely clear it up.

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YES! Contact Dave. He's THE authority on Continental. I can tell you that Philadelphia Blended and Haller's Blended were picked up by Heaven Hill, in the 80's I believe. Old Hickory went to Medley and is now in the portfolio of some other company, but not active. Banker's Club is now a Laird's product. Inver House is owned by someone else, but is still in production and available in the green label here in the states. Many other brands Continental had are long gone- Kinsey Whisky, Lolita liquors, Cobb's Creek, etc... I don't know if Heaven Hill acquired any of its brands directly from Continental or they were secondhand through other sources. Dave can most likely clear it up.

Cafe Lolita is still around. Not sure who owns it.

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  • 9 months later...

Does anyone know if HH changed the label from the diamond to the current soon after acquiring Rittenhouse or did they continue to use the diamond for awhile?

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ethangsmith

A good question! I've wondered the same thing. I think it was shortly after acquisition of the brand as diamond label HH bottles seem to be VERY rare. As a second thought- the diamond label was about 1000 times better than the mid-90's Windows Paint looking label they have now. Heaven Hill has so many wonderful labels. Why do they have such an awful, crude label on the Rittenhouse???

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