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Suggestions for a rye different from Rittenhouse BIB


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spence21989

Hi all,

I recently bought Rittenhouse BIB as my first rye a couple of weeks ago. I really like it up front (I get a nice hit of spicyness), but towards the finish I always feel like I just rinsed with mouthwash.

I opened the bottle a couple weeks ago and tried it and have since let it aerate a little and have tried to reserve my judgement. Maybe it needs to be open a little longer before I taste an improvement?

Anyhow, has anyone else had a similar experience with this rye and if so have you found a different rye that doesn't give you this mouthwash taste?

Spencer

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Well, in my opinion, the minty-like taste akin to mouthwash is a typical rye flavor. Not all ryes have it, sometimes the taste is more a spicy one than a minty one, or grassy-like, but it is a common taste in rye.

Two suggestions: seek out Sazerac Rye, which has more the "rye grass" side of the palate than the mint, or try to find any aged rye (10 years +). Aging tends to round out young rye tastes and turns them into something quite different, usually.

Gary

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spence21989

Hi Gary, is this true for Baby Saz as well? (I am assuming yes).

Thanks for the suggestions

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Indeed and I really meant Baby Saz in fact. Saz 18 has pronounced aged notes (sort of fruity rhubarb, had to describe old rye) that are appreciated by most but it strays from any pronounced young rye flavor due to the maturity.

I should suggest as well Russell's Reserve Rye, that is a milder rye of the younger kind that avoids heavy mint or musky vegetal notes (which I always get from the Beam-made ryes).

Gary

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Spence,

I'd like to echo Gary's suggestion that you try the Baby Sazerac and an older rye like the Van Winke Family Reserve. Another option might be the Leopold Bros. Maryland Style Rye, which is among the least-minty ryes I can think of, particularly considering its relative youth. It's not the easiest to find, so shoot me a PM if you can't turn any up. I've not had Old Overholt or Jim Beam rye for a while, but as Gary said, I remember them having more peanut/grass flavors than mint.

On the other hand, I find a lot of mint in the LDI ryes I've tasted, like the Willett 3/4 and Bulleit. I'd never suggest that someone avoid a whiskey because of another person's tasting notes, but to me, they're minty. Still, you may find a lot to love about them and they're reasonably priced.

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spence21989

Thanks Paul. I actually live outside of Denver so there is an abundance of Leopold's around. I have had their american whiskey and I am a fan. In fact, I have enjoyed everything I have tasted from them, especially the gin and whiskey. I have had my eye on the Maryland style rye from them but was hesitant, but I think I will pick up a bottle now. :grin:

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Trey Manthey

I'll throw in a recommendation for the High West Rendezvous Rye. It cost me about twice as much as what I pay for Ritt BIB or Baby Saz, but I generally regard those as mixing whiskeys for nice cocktails rather than for sipping.

The Rendezvous has a light, grassy nose. There is a mint note on the palate that seems to have a cooling effect that I find really pleasant. I don't know if that's what you meant by "mouthwash", but it's understated when I taste. I'll do an comparison with Ritt tonight.

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  • 2 weeks later...
trumpstylz

I'm surprised no one mentioned wild turkey rye (only the 101 proof- if you can still find it).

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I'll throw in a recommendation for the High West Rendezvous Rye. It cost me about twice as much as what I pay for Ritt BIB or Baby Saz, but I generally regard those as mixing whiskeys for nice cocktails rather than for sipping.

The Rendezvous has a light, grassy nose. There is a mint note on the palate that seems to have a cooling effect that I find really pleasant. I don't know if that's what you meant by "mouthwash", but it's understated when I taste. I'll do an comparison with Ritt tonight.

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trumpstylz

Also hearing good things about the willett single barrel rye at barrel proof. I think the current ones are 5 or 6 years old.

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Also hearing good things about the willett single barrel rye at barrel proof. I think the current ones are 5 or 6 years old.

Yeah, but he didn't like Rittenhouse because of the mouthwash finish. Compared to Rittenhouse those LDI Willetts are like barrel aged Scope. :bigeyes: That's not to say I don't like them, because I do.

Hesitantly, I would suggest Beam. It's not minty. Plenty of fruity, yeasty funk, but not minty.

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Yeah, but he didn't like Rittenhouse because of the mouthwash finish. Compared to Rittenhouse those LDI Willetts are like barrel aged Scope. :bigeyes: That's not to say I don't like them, because I do.

Hesitantly, I would suggest Beam. It's not minty. Plenty of fruity, yeasty funk, but not minty.

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I'm surprised no one mentioned wild turkey rye (only the 101 proof- if you can still find it).

I would second this if you can still find it. I was REALLY excited to try Ritt and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't anything special in my book (I admit I may suffer from unrealistic high expectations in this instance).

Now the Wild Turkey Rye 101, that is great stuff.

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Ritt BIB is one of the more corny/bourbony ryes out there... If you are getting *too much* mint on that one, then I'm not sure where to go.

As noted the LDI Ryes are going to be like gargling mouthwash. FWIW: I find the Russel's Reserve Rye to be quite minty/piney as well.

As suggested Wild Turkey 101 is a good bet, as is the Baby Saz - but fundamentally the very nature of Rye means it will have a fruity/spicy character to it - so what you pick up as mint is supposed to be there in some amount - the higher the rye, the mintier it might be - unless well aged.

I get almost no mint on Vintage 21 & VWFRR 13 - more juicy fruit and Christmas spices, but Saz 18 has a fair amount of mint.

The Thomas Handy Rye is also not minty - it's an explosion of flavor.

But for the price point of a Ritt, none of those are close, and most are terribly hard to find at any price.

Baby Saz

Wild Turkey 101 (if you can still find it...)

Beam or Old Overholt (which I don't like)

Those are the only "barely legals" out there in that under $30 price point that won't be mint-bombs. *I* would also include Ritt BIB on that list, but obviously our pallets don't agree! :grin:

FWIW: My brother despises mint, but Baby Saz is his favorite whiskey... so, go figure.

As noted above... you may want to stick with Bourbon.

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spence21989

Thanks for all the input guys. I'm going to hunt for WT101 (haven't seen it yet) and will try some of the longer aged ryes at a bar before getting a whole bottle. I'm not going to give up on rye just yet b/c I wouldn't advise someone give up on bourbon after trying only one expression. Maybe the 'minty' flavor will grow on me?:skep:

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Hi all,

... and if so have you found a different rye that doesn't give you this mouthwash taste?

Spencer

Try Pikesville Rye, a 3 year old in the Maryland Rye tradition. It's not easy to find - only sold in ~3 states and on a couple of internet sites, but a good value.

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Ritt BIB is one of the more corny/bourbony ryes out there... If you are getting *too much* mint on that one, then I'm not sure where to go.

As noted the LDI Ryes are going to be like gargling mouthwash. FWIW: I find the Russel's Reserve Rye to be quite minty/piney as well.

As suggested Wild Turkey 101 is a good bet, as is the Baby Saz - but fundamentally the very nature of Rye means it will have a fruity/spicy character to it - so what you pick up as mint is supposed to be there in some amount - the higher the rye, the mintier it might be - unless well aged.

I get almost no mint on Vintage 21 & VWFRR 13 - more juicy fruit and Christmas spices, but Saz 18 has a fair amount of mint.

The Thomas Handy Rye is also not minty - it's an explosion of flavor.

But for the price point of a Ritt, none of those are close, and most are terribly hard to find at any price.

Baby Saz

Wild Turkey 101 (if you can still find it...)

Beam or Old Overholt (which I don't like)

Those are the only "barely legals" out there in that under $30 price point that won't be mint-bombs. *I* would also include Ritt BIB on that list, but obviously our pallets don't agree! :grin:

FWIW: My brother despises mint, but Baby Saz is his favorite whiskey... so, go figure.

As noted above... you may want to stick with Bourbon.

That about sums it up. Couldn't have said it better myself. Go with the WT Rye and/or Baby Saz and give them time. You'll either 1) have a different experience, 2) acquire the taste for rye or 3) learn that rye is just not for you. I suspect that option #2 may be the case.

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ethangsmith

May I suggest the new Knob Creek rye- 100 proof and about the same age. very tasty!

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spence21989
May I suggest the new Knob Creek rye- 100 proof and about the same age. very tasty!

Once I see it I will probably get it or wait for it to go on sale depending on price. I do like KC and KCSB, so I have my hopes up for this.

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ethangsmith

I was honestly taken off guard by the Knob Creek rye. With no age statement, I was afraid it would be 100 proof yellow label. This is certainly not the case. When I drink it, it reminds me an awful lot of Wild Turkey 101 rye, but with about 2 more years worth of age. Dry, slightly grassy, but yet sweet. Just the way I like my rye!

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I was honestly taken off guard by the Knob Creek rye. With no age statement, I was afraid it would be 100 proof yellow label. This is certainly not the case. When I drink it, it reminds me an awful lot of Wild Turkey 101 rye, but with about 2 more years worth of age. Dry, slightly grassy, but yet sweet. Just the way I like my rye!

I hope they send some to Massachusetts, as the WTR101 seems to have all but disappeared from the shelves... Can't wait to taste it...

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  • 5 months later...

Well, we have a winner!

I kept revisiting the Rittenhouse, it slight grew on my but I never got past one pour and gave many pours to company. I had been eyeing the KC rye but haven't pulled the trigger.

Went into my local store to grab some beer and who was there? Scott Leopold. Talked to him about how much I liked his spirits (the gin and the american whiskey specifically) and he talked me into the maryland style rye since it would be less spicy and more fruity and just hit selves within the past couple days.

Simply put, this bottle is going to go quick and I think I'm going to need to grab more before they all disappear.

Now I want to try pikesville, anyone know if I can get it online?

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... I had been eyeing the KC rye but haven't pulled the trigger. ...

Now I want to try pikesville, anyone know if I can get it online?

Pikesville Rye is sold largely in Maryland, however MD retail stores are not allowed to sell via mail order.

Schneider’s of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC has it and they do sell via mail order nationally. They are great people, very knowledgeable, and the prices are very competitive. Their web site (cellar.com) shows Pikesville Rye at $21.99 for a 1.75 L. I'm a fan of Pikesville and the MD style of rye that it represents. And, it's a great value.

I picked up the Knob Creek Rye about a month ago, and it is very good (I give it 8.8 on a 10 point scale). However, I do think that it's too pricey. I have the Jefferson's Rye (the 100% rye sourced from Canada) which is excellent (9 points out of 10), and the price is ~25% less (here in MI).

Shell

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  • 2 weeks later...

UUuuhhhhh......dude, don't get your hopes up too high for Pikesville. If you don't like Ritt, you won't like Pikesville, it's the exact same product, only younger age (3 years) and lower proof (80.) I've found Pikesville periodically by chance in LA, it's super cheap like $12/bottle if you find it, but it will not fundamentally change your opinion of ryes. If you don't like Ritt, Pikes is just Ritt Jr....you won't dig it.

If you want rye to love, adore and cherish, go drink either Rendezvous Rye or Baby Saz :)

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