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What rye are you enjoying Spring 2012?


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After a full day working outside -beautiful weather- filling dog holes, cutting grass (I think my first March grass cutting day ever), running back and forth to Home Depot 3x etc. I cooked out - my first this year - burgers and sausages with beer and then a Thomas Handy Rye this evening...very nice stuff. I cut it a bit with water and let it rest ala Ralfy's advice, and really enjoyed the pour. Interesting stars tonight..the Venus and Jupiter show continues with the moon joining in for a unique alignment of light...a reverse L.

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Sounds delicious! Here in the Boston area, it's cooled down a bit again after a beautiful week last week.

I just had Bulleit Rye for the first time this weekend, and wasn't impressed. Though it was decent in a Sazerac and Manhattan.

Also, I've had some more of my beloved Ryan & Wood rye (from nearby Gloucester, MA) from barrel #2 which has now been open since August, I think. It's been open so long because I've been saving it. And now the spicy complexity has receded, leaving behind a very smooth chocolatey flavor. Though it's not bad, I'm a little disappointed, as I'm not so much a "smooth whiskey" drinker, especially when it comes to rye.

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boneuphtoner

As a confirmed rye-addict, I'm enjoying the following ryes right now: Thomas Handy, Baby Saz, Rittenhouse BIB, Russell's Reserve, Jim Beam, and Pikesville.

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I'm currently drinking some 24 YO Willett Rye that was bottled for BevMo a few years ago. It's... challenging. For starters, there is a lot of sediment swirling around in the bottle -- much more than in BTAC whiskies. After pouring some into a glass, the nose doesn't give up a lot of information. Taken neat, the woodiness stomps all over the other flavors. Some added water brings out more familiar rye tastes like spearmint and nutmeg, along with some grassiness. It's much more enjoyable with water. Overall, a very interesting bottle, although nothing I could drink every day. It's just a bit too oaky for me.

I had a bottle of BMH 23 Rye a couple of years ago. The Willett reminds me a bit of the BMH (at least, as I remember it), but with the wood intensity cranked up to 11. I'd really like to taste the Willett alongside some other older ryes, like a Saz 18, a Rittenhouse 21/23/25, and the Vintage 21 and 23. It'd be interesting to see how much woodier the Willett is than other bottlings in a similar age bracket.

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I've been going back and forth between the WT 101 Rye and the Bulleit Rye. While I consider the WT to be the better of the 2, I am finding the Bulleit interesting in that it's so much different than the rest of the rye's I've had. There's just something about it that I'm enjoying.

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Speaking of High West, I just cracked open a bottle of Rendezvous a few days ago.

Very distinctive flavor profile, with lavender on the nose following through with Thrills Gum/Chowers Scented Gum on the palate and finish.

Some have noted that Bulleit Rye has a green label, hinting at it's spearmint-y contents. I think Rendezvous ought to have a purple label.

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LikeItWasSodaPop

It's my day off, so I'm doing a triple play right now: small pours of BMH 23, VWFRR and Saz 18 before I run off to do some wedding registry BS (not my cup 'o tea, go figure!) with my wonderful fiancee. I do adore the Saz 18, but it just is nowhere near the VWFRR's league. The nose is where the Saz 18 shines, and by itself it's wonderful stuff, it just always comes off as stale to me. My last bottle hid in the back of the cabinet for a few months and it was literally deflated, utterly just gone. No there there. I've never had a whiskey do this to me in so short a time. I'm a lover of old ryes, so I will continute to snap up the Saz 18 when I can, but this experience has given me a wonderfully perverse incentive: drink that Saz 18 fast. Has anyone else had this experience? After about 3 mo the Saz 18 was limp, flaccid, just totally meh, blah, thppt. I know bottles degrade, yeah yeah yeah, but this was the quickest I've experienced so far.

The BMH 23 is dense and leathery and tobacco-y and makes me want to say if overoaking is wrong, I don't want to be right. (Of course, overoaking usually is wrong!) Had some Rittenhouse distilled in PA at Joe's not-really-going-away going away party, and the BMH 23 reminds me a lot of that. Or I should say, the initial taste of the PA Ritt really, really reminded me of the BMH 23, but now the BMH 23 reminds me of the Rittenhouse. Yeah, basically what I'm saying is that BMH 23 is the "Kafka and His Precursors" of rye whiskey. If you're not a Borges fan, just ignore the reference. Sorry to go literary on y'all.

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My last bottle hid in the back of the cabinet for a few months and it was literally deflated, utterly just gone.

Has anyone else had this experience? After about 3 mo the Saz 18 was limp, flaccid, just totally meh, blah, thppt. I know bottles degrade, yeah yeah yeah, but this was the quickest I've experienced so far.

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I have noticed the same thing re saz 18. After a few minutes in the glass it does seem to gain a little bit of weight and nose back but not as much as when it was first opened. I also find that the Glencairn really helps the saz 18 where you might lose some stuff if consumed in a standard tumbler.

Having the VWFRR open right next to it isnt helping its case either. I opened a fresh bottle from the 2011 release last week and now its almost half gone! :bigeyes:

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A simple Willett 4 year today. I love this stuff; the high proof makes it so much more interesting than Bulliet Rye. A rich, thick spice bomb.

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I had a nice rye surprise last night. We went to a dumpy local karaoke bar that I've been to at least 30 times before, but this time I noticed a bottle of Hirsch 13 Year Old Rye among the bourbons. It was shaped like a PVW/VWFRR bottle with a white label, red "Hirsch" script and a black wax top. Happily, the whiskey tasted very much like older bottlings of VWFRR. The bottle was 1/3 full when we got there, and empty when we left.

The best part was that after tasting the Hirsch, my wife canceled her order for a glass of white wine and asked me to get her a pour of the rye. We sat at the bar drinking it neat, serenaded by some of the worst drunken karaoke I've ever heard. A good night.

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stiffchainey

Just bought Overholt for the first time, and I really, really like it!:cool:

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I had a nice rye surprise last night. We went to a dumpy local karaoke bar that I've been to at least 30 times before, but this time I noticed a bottle of Hirsch 13 Year Old Rye among the bourbons. It was shaped like a PVW/VWFRR bottle with a white label, red "Hirsch" script and a black wax top. Happily, the whiskey tasted very much like older bottlings of VWFRR. The bottle was 1/3 full when we got there, and empty when we left.

The best part was that after tasting the Hirsch, my wife canceled her order for a glass of white wine and asked me to get her a pour of the rye. We sat at the bar drinking it neat, serenaded by some of the worst drunken karaoke I've ever heard. A good night.

Amazing find!!!!

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yountvillewjs
I wish Costco would get some new bottles. I already bunkered the 3 year that they have. I want cheap 4 and 5!
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spinningrecords
I'm currently drinking some 24 YO Willett Rye that was bottled for BevMo a few years ago. It's... challenging. For starters, there is a lot of sediment swirling around in the bottle -- much more than in BTAC whiskies. After pouring some into a glass, the nose doesn't give up a lot of information. Taken neat, the woodiness stomps all over the other flavors. Some added water brings out more familiar rye tastes like spearmint and nutmeg, along with some grassiness. It's much more enjoyable with water. Overall, a very interesting bottle, although nothing I could drink every day. It's just a bit too oaky for me.

I had a bottle of BMH 23 Rye a couple of years ago. The Willett reminds me a bit of the BMH (at least, as I remember it), but with the wood intensity cranked up to 11. I'd really like to taste the Willett alongside some other older ryes, like a Saz 18, a Rittenhouse 21/23/25, and the Vintage 21 and 23. It'd be interesting to see how much woodier the Willett is than other bottlings in a similar age bracket.

Thanks the tasting notes. I'm starting on a BMH 23-year rye and I've got the Willett 24-year sediment-soaked rye waiting in the wings.

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spinningrecords
I had a nice rye surprise last night. We went to a dumpy local karaoke bar that I've been to at least 30 times before, but this time I noticed a bottle of Hirsch 13 Year Old Rye among the bourbons. It was shaped like a PVW/VWFRR bottle with a white label, red "Hirsch" script and a black wax top. Happily, the whiskey tasted very much like older bottlings of VWFRR. The bottle was 1/3 full when we got there, and empty when we left.

The best part was that after tasting the Hirsch, my wife canceled her order for a glass of white wine and asked me to get her a pour of the rye. We sat at the bar drinking it neat, serenaded by some of the worst drunken karaoke I've ever heard. A good night.

I've never seen that Hirsch label. However, I can relate to emptying rare finds at restaurants and bars. Drained a VWFRR with some friends in Frankfort last fall.

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spinningrecords
Sipping on 'the anchorman' AKA Ritt21 - it's kind of a big deal.

I bought one tonight. Barrel #21.

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Found this good old thread about the Hirsch 13 yo rye. Looks like you founda gem. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6830

Redbear, thanks very much for unearthing that old thread about Hirsch 13 rye. And yes, I think it was a gem. Sipping it really reminded me of my first taste of VWFRR. The VWFRR and Hirsch 13 are rich and very spicy, yet retain some bourbon-y sweetness that sets them apart from any other rye I've had the opportunity to taste. There is minimal alcohol burn after swallowing, too. The smoothness and complexity of the VWFRR and Hirsch 13 really floor me, and it's some of my favorite whiskey. A shame it's so hard to find.

The bar in which I found the Hirsch 13 is a little, uh, freewheeling, so I asked the bartender if he had any more bottles of the rye stashed in the basement that he might want to part with. No dice. But he did turn up a half-full bottle of BHC Old Charter Proprietor's Reserve. It was pretty tasteless, maybe because it'd been open for so long, maybe because I was drinking it right after that gorgeous Hirsch 13.

It was a good reminder that tasty bottles lurk in the least likely of places.

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Thanks the tasting notes. I'm starting on a BMH 23-year rye and I've got the Willett 24-year sediment-soaked rye waiting in the wings.

SpinningRecords, if you have a chance, let us know what you think of these ryes.

LikeItWasSodaPop, thanks very much for your tasting notes on the BMH 23. My memory is that the BMH 23 was pretty darned woody, but still an extremely enjoyable whiskey. Is yours topped with silver wax?

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