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Josh

WT Rye 81 proof?!

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Josh

I'm not going to disagree with my esteemed collagues about the present state of WT's Bourbon and Rye, but I think it is worth remembering that WT has just completed a big expanision of its distilleryand is in the process of expanding its warehouse capacity as well. So maybe a few years down the line, the age of what is going into their bottles will get back up to what it once was.

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CorvallisCracker

By the way, thanks for the response, Scott and Kevin, on the syrup. Once my basement bar is up and running I need to start experimenting with cocktails again and I prefer syrup to cubes generally.

I had to move up from 1:1 because of the way I make Mojitos, which is with 2oz rum rather than 1.25. If you use the normal 1 tbs of sugar (the amount of sugar in 1 fluid oz of 1:1 syrup) then they come out too dry.

I tried going to 2:1 with the syrup but because the ambient temp in our house is usually below 70 degrees, sugar precipitates out.

Another thing I do when making syrup destined for Mojitos is to toss in a handful of crushed mint leaves after stirring in the sugar and killing the heat. I let them steep for 20-30 minutes.

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Brisko
I'm not going to disagree with my esteemed collagues about the present state of WT's Bourbon and Rye, but I think it is worth remembering that WT has just completed a big expanision of its distilleryand is in the process of expanding its warehouse capacity as well. So maybe a few years down the line, the age of what is going into their bottles will get back up to what it once was.

Let's hope so. But it sure seems like they're going about it all wrong. It's not like there haven't been plenty of industry examples in recent history that they could look to. For instance, the Knob Creek "shortage" a couple years ago. Beam could have gone NAS, or to 80 proof, or even allocated it, but instead they decided to just wait till the next batch was ready, and to boot, create an ad campaign around it. Seems like the KC brand is doing okay.:rolleyes: On the other side of the coin I think a lot of us are still pissed off about Eagle Rare, and more recently the younger Wellers. Now I realize that the enthusiast segment doesn't drive the market as a whole, but consider this: scarcity has never hurt a brand in the long run.

Let that sink in again. Scarcity whether through shortage or allocation, doesn't hurt a brand's image. If managed properly, it does the opposite. Think of all the brands that we go nuts over on these boards. How many of them are limited editions or hard to find? And it's not just the Staggs and Van Winkles. Look at Maker's, they're the textbook example of how to build a brand with limited production.

The most apt example is Rittenhouse. The supply is extremely limited, and like WT, Heaven Hill has just ramped up production back in-house. But rather than replace the BiB completely, they managed through the shortages, even making the 80 proof version 3 years old. I don't think that hurt them much because the BiB was always their flagship rye. And scarcity certainly hasn't hurt it's popularity. I think I can probably find a 3 or 4 editions of the Parker's Heritage easier than I can find Ritt BiB.

That's what's so baffling about what WT is doing here. They have a chance to build up the brand through scarcity and instead they're diluting it (literally).

But good luck to them. I hope they do better with the cocktail crowd than Beam did.:grin:

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clingman71

I'm not the biggest rye fan, but VWFRR & Vintage 21 rye have begun to sway me. I bought a bottle of Ritt BIB for my son after reading all of the glowing reviews. We had a pour on his birthday and I have to say, I'm not a big fan. After reading this thread, I found myself looking at the WT today at my local store. Two bottles of WT rye 101 on the shelf for $17. I took a chance and bought both. I have to say that I enjoy this rye immensely. To me, there is no comparison to the Ritt. Going to have to find some more now!

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c2walker
I'm not the biggest rye fan, but VWFRR & Vintage 21 rye have begun to sway me. I bought a bottle of Ritt BIB for my son after reading all of the glowing reviews. We had a pour on his birthday and I have to say, I'm not a big fan. After reading this thread, I found myself looking at the WT today at my local store. Two bottles of WT rye 101 on the shelf for $17. I took a chance and bought both. I have to say that I enjoy this rye immensely. To me, there is no comparison to the Ritt. Going to have to find some more now!

My thoughts exactly. Love Vintage 21, VWFRR, (and Saz 18). Like WT 101. Not so fond of my bottle of Ritt BIB. I have learned that the Ritt can be variable though (like most whiskey I suppose, but this was drastically different). I tried a slightly older (in terms of production date) bottle of Ritt at a friends place that was very, very good. What I'm asking myself now is do I like WT 101 rye enough to go buy a case....Probably not...

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Josh

Tonight I talked to my pal Sandy who is the owner of a local cocktail bar called The Oakland. I asked him if he was enraged that the 101 had been replaced with an 81, at least in Michigan. He said yes. The extra punch it has at 101 makes it great for cocktails, in his opinion.

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bad_scientist
My thoughts exactly. Love Vintage 21, VWFRR, (and Saz 18). Like WT 101. Not so fond of my bottle of Ritt BIB. I have learned that the Ritt can be variable though (like most whiskey I suppose, but this was drastically different). I tried a slightly older (in terms of production date) bottle of Ritt at a friends place that was very, very good. What I'm asking myself now is do I like WT 101 rye enough to go buy a case....Probably not...

I thought I liked the Ritt a lot because it tasted great when I sneaked swigs from the bottle while making Manhattans for the wife. On its own, though, in a glass, I was not a fan. Musty corn, not enough spice... That said, I also have noticed a lot of variability.

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ethangsmith

Bought 3 more bottles last night. I'm up to 18 in the bunker now.....

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bad_scientist

Did you guys see the press release posted on bourbonblog? Here's an excerpt:

The smooth taste and warm smokiness of Wild Turkey 81 Rye is born from its natural aging process in American oak barrels with the deepest number 4 or “alligator” char. The final product is a kick in the pants mingling of whiskies aged 4 and 5 years — more than other major Rye whiskies in the same category.

Hah! They kept promising that the 81 is from older stock, for a deeper flavor. So now we know that the "aged" stock is exactly 1 year older, and even then this supremely old, dignified 5 year is just mixed in with the same young stock we get now. Go WT!

edit: Sorry, meant to say "Screw WT!"

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ethangsmith

Aren't Rittenhouse BIB and baby Saz (Who WT is trying to compete with) both at least 6 years old???? Only Pikesville and the Beam ryes are 3 and 4 years old. Idiots. Why has everything American whiskey become all about marketing and "the younger crowd"?

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jburlowski
Aren't Rittenhouse BIB and baby Saz (Who WT is trying to compete with) both at least 6 years old???? Only Pikesville and the Beam ryes are 3 and 4 years old. Idiots. Why has everything American whiskey become all about marketing and "the younger crowd"?

Rit BiB is 4 yo.

There have been differing claims about Baby Saz but nothing definite from BT. I don't drink a lot of the Saz but my impression is that it has been trending younger.

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ethangsmith

Interesting. I have always been under the impression that Rittenhouse was 5-6yo rye. Hence the DSP-354 stuff still being around eventhough Bernheim started distilling the Rittenhouse several years ago. It also tastes like a 5-6yo rye. Again, all my assumptions though. Kudos for Heaven Hill making a 4 year rye taste so AWESOME. As for the Sazerac, I had seen somewhere where they listed it as 6 years old. This did confuse me as it did seem a bit younger and grainier than 6 years old. Not that it was bad, but it had less barrel flavors than I would expect from something of that age. I will buy a bottle of the 81 proof junk just for comparisons sake, but after doing a bit of comparisons from the 80, 81 and 101 bourbons versus the 101 rye, I've got a good idea of what this weasel pee is going to taste like. It will be too wet and uncomfortably bitter, not like the dry heat and strong cocoa flavors of the 101.

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Josh
I've got a good idea of what this weasel pee is going to taste like.

How do you know what weasel pee tastes like?:skep: :lol:

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White Dog
Aren't Rittenhouse BIB and baby Saz (Who WT is trying to compete with) both at least 6 years old???? Only Pikesville and the Beam ryes are 3 and 4 years old. Idiots. Why has everything American whiskey become all about marketing and "the younger crowd"?

Every young, hipster mixologist I know cherishes HIGHER proof whiskeys because they work better in cocktails. This spin coming from Turkey about younger drinkers and "mixing" makes no sense. It's purely an economic move to stretch the supply and charge the same amount, IMHO.

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Josh
Every young, hipster mixologist I know cherishes HIGHER proof whiskeys because they work better in cocktails. This spin coming from Turkey about younger drinkers and "mixing" makes no sense. It's purely an economic move to stretch the supply and charge the same amount, IMHO.

Sandy would agree! They have used WTR 101 in several of their weekend punches and in several of their regular cocktails.

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Rughi
Rit BiB is 4 yo...

I'm not sure that's the case. Maybe that's all they're legally required to put in the bottle, but conventional wisdom is that it's designed to be bottled at about 6 years old. Do you mean a particular blip in time, like when about 3 years ago some bottles suddenly got lighter in color and sharper to the taste?

Roger

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ethangsmith
How do you know what weasel pee tastes like?:skep: :lol:

At a previous job, my boss would always pour a cup of coffee from the company coffee maker and complain about how it tastes like weasel pee. I had a cup out of curiosity, and it in fact did taste REALLY bad. So THAT is how I know what weasel pee tastes like (Totally scientific, I know!). I also did do plumbing for a while between jobs so I can also tell you what human byproduct tastes like as well, and the "weasel pee" coffee wasn't too far off.

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White Dog
I'm not sure that's the case. Maybe that's all they're legally required to put in the bottle, but conventional wisdom is that it's designed to be bottled at about 6 years old. Do you mean a particular blip in time, like when about 3 years ago some bottles suddenly got lighter in color and sharper to the taste?

Roger

It may have been "designed" to be 6yrs old, but it would seem that Kentucky has really been caught with their pants down in regards to Rye demand. Current RittBIB, while I like it, does not taste 6 years to me.

As for the Baby Saz 6yr age, I keep seeing the same quotes on this site. "I read somewhere..." This is purely a guess, but let me put forth the theory that Baby Saz has not been 6yr for some time. Having tasted Baby Saz releases over the last few years, I think we should put this urban legend to rest.

Baby Saz is 4 years and a day, just like all the other majors' main Ryes. Supply is simply too low. And if you believe that Diageo's Bulleit is 5 to 6 years, I've got a great bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.:grin:

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CorvallisCracker
And if you believe that Diageo's Bulleit is 5 to 6 years, I've got a great bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.:grin:

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cowdery
It may have been "designed" to be 6yrs old, but it would seem that Kentucky has really been caught with their pants down in regards to Rye demand. Current RittBIB, while I like it, does not taste 6 years to me.

As for the Baby Saz 6yr age, I keep seeing the same quotes on this site. "I read somewhere..." This is purely a guess, but let me put forth the theory that Baby Saz has not been 6yr for some time. Having tasted Baby Saz releases over the last few years, I think we should put this urban legend to rest.

Baby Saz is 4 years and a day, just like all the other majors' main Ryes. Supply is simply too low. And if you believe that Diageo's Bulleit is 5 to 6 years, I've got a great bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.:grin:

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Brisko

As for the Baby Saz 6yr age, I keep seeing the same quotes on this site. "I read somewhere..." This is purely a guess, but let me put forth the theory that Baby Saz has not been 6yr for some time. Having tasted Baby Saz releases over the last few years, I think we should put this urban legend to rest.

Baby Saz is 4 years and a day, just like all the other majors' main Ryes. Supply is simply too low. And if you believe that Diageo's Bulleit is 5 to 6 years, I've got a great bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.:grin:

Shoot, Josh even started a thread to this effect a while back:grin:. I actually (sort of) disagree on Baby Saz based on the newest bottle I have. It seems more mature than I remember, and more mature than the competition. Of course, any student of the art of Gillmanization realizes that it doesn't take a huge amount of older whiskey to balance out a base of younger stock.

Of course Rittenhouse can't do that because it's BiB... it doesn't taste 6 y/o to me but then again I am no expert.

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cowdery

Here is Eddie Russell's clarification:

"I meant that there is no 101pf rye in current production or scheduled for the next months, as there is a shortage of rye.

We have 81pf rye out there and allocated what we have available of 101 rye. As the shortage improves, 101 rye will be back, but probably not for 2012."

So stock up for a year, not for forever.

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Virus_Of_Life
Here is Eddie Russell's clarification:

"I meant that there is no 101pf rye in current production or scheduled for the next months, as there is a shortage of rye.

We have 81pf rye out there and allocated what we have available of 101 rye. As the shortage improves, 101 rye will be back, but probably not for 2012."

So stock up for a year, not for forever.

I'll hold my breath.

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jburlowski
Here is Eddie Russell's clarification:

"I meant that there is no 101pf rye in current production or scheduled for the next months, as there is a shortage of rye.

We have 81pf rye out there and allocated what we have available of 101 rye. As the shortage improves, 101 rye will be back, but probably not for 2012."

So stock up for a year, not for forever.

So could that be the reason there is a TTB COLA (with the new WT logo) for the 81 rye but not for a 101 rye.

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clingman71
Here is Eddie Russell's clarification:

"I meant that there is no 101pf rye in current production or scheduled for the next months, as there is a shortage of rye.

We have 81pf rye out there and allocated what we have available of 101 rye. As the shortage improves, 101 rye will be back, but probably not for 2012."

So stock up for a year, not for forever.

If this remains the case then it is most certainly good news. But, there is an SBer who's posts state "it'll never be cheaper than it is today" or something like that. I can't imagine it would return in 2013 for less than it is now, and will probably increase in $$$. I believe I'll stock enough for somewhere between a year and forever.

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