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Crowes

What Should I Try Next?

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Crowes

So during my first trip to to Bourbon Trail last week I bought my first bottle of Rye, Willet 4 yr to be exact. The only other Rye I had tasted before this Rittenhouse and I really enjoyed it. However, this Willet is another beast all together and I absolutely love it. So, for a Rye rookie what should I try/buy next?

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squire

Crowes rye whiskys fall into two broad categories, those made by the distillery on the label and those sourced from LDI/MGPI. Willet is sourced as are a number of other (most?) rye brands on the market so if you like the Willet you may like the others as well and find them at a lower cost than Willet. That's not to say they all taste the same, they don't, but they are consistent within the family. Producers may treat the sourced rye differently, barrel proof, single barrel, vatting a number of barrels together, simply bottling it as it comes in bulk or in the case of Dickel running it through a deep vat of charcoal.

There are distillerys who make their own, Heaven Hill makes Rittenhouse and Pikesville, Beam has several, Wild Turkey's 101 (growing scarce on the shelves, I would buy that one first) and micros such as Finger Lakes Distilling. There're really a lot of choices from the Micros.

If you like ryes you may also consider a Bourbon using a high rye formula such as Old Grand Dad.

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Crowes
Crowes rye whiskys fall into two broad categories, those made by the distillery on the label and those sourced from LDI/MGPI. Willet is sourced as are a number of other (most?) rye brands on the market so if you like the Willet you may like the others as well and find them at a lower cost than Willet. That's not to say they all taste the same, they don't, but they are consistent within the family. Producers may treat the sourced rye differently, barrel proof, single barrel, vatting a number of barrels together, simply bottling it as it comes in bulk or in the case of Dickel running it through a deep vat of charcoal.

There are distillerys who make their own, Heaven Hill makes Rittenhouse and Pikesville, Beam has several, Wild Turkey's 101 (growing scarce on the shelves, I would buy that one first) and micros such as Finger Lakes Distilling. There're really a lot of choices from the Micros.

If you like ryes you may also consider a Bourbon using a high rye formula such as Old Grand Dad.

Thanks for the info Squire, that's very helpful. This particular Willet is a single barrel. I knew through some research here that they probably source from LDI/MGPI, but obviously not well versed enough in different brands that may source from them as well, if there are going to be similarities in flavor profiles. For instance, I thought I had read that Bulleit Rye would be similar since it's sourced from LDI as well. Only one way to find out lol.

I actually lean towards bourbons that are lower rye, or wheated usually. I've had several bottles of OGD, and while I like it well enough, the flavor profiles are no where near what this Willet is bringing to the table. Not that I am expecting or hoping to find other brands that taste just like the Willet mind you, it just happens to be where my starting point is. Exploring is all the fun, so off I go.

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luther.r
Thanks for the info Squire, that's very helpful. This particular Willet is a single barrel. I knew through some research here that they probably source from LDI/MGPI, but obviously not well versed enough in different brands that may source from them as well, if there are going to be similarities in flavor profiles. For instance, I thought I had read that Bulleit Rye would be similar since it's sourced from LDI as well. Only one way to find out lol.

The Willett bottles that are sourced from LDI/MGPI should say distilled in Indiana on the back. I bought a couple Willett 6-yr ryes at the KBD gift shop last summer that say distilled in KY, so they're obviously sourcing from others as well.

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Smithford
... I had read that Bulleit Rye would be similar since it's sourced from LDI as well. Only one way to find out lol.

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Crowes
You may be surprised by how different they are. Bulleit is watered down to 90 proof and chill-filtered. To me, it tastes quite different from any of the Willett Ryes I've tried. Bulleit is still very tasty, but (perhaps obviously) much thinner, with more of a herbal/minty/lavender character and less of the rich sweetness of Willett.

For me, the Rye flavor spectrum has the LDI ryes at one end and Rittenhouse at the opposite end. I find Ritt very bourbony, with perhaps even less Rye character than some high-rye bourbons.

Sazerac sits right in the middle, with a nice balance of sweetness and Rye spice. You might consider that for your next purchase.

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amftx

Getting any pickle/dill or mint in the Willett?

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squire

I think you have to join a Board like this to realize, by joining in the experience of others, the World of Bourbon and rye whiskys is very diverse in the different styles and taste profiles. Something for all and everybody's choice is correct.

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Crowes
Getting any pickle/dill or mint in the Willett?

I definitely get some light, fresh mint towards the mid-back end of the palate. Haven't noticed any pickle/dill but I have only had a few tastes and it was so different from what I'm used to with bourbons that I still haven't scratched the surface of all the different flavor profiles I am getting. I also haven't spent a lot of time with it yet during my tastings. The first try was just a quick one, along with four other bottles of various bourbons I brought back from KY with me. The second taste as with a friend after we were already buzzed up from other pours. This weekend I plan to spend some quality time with a generous pour and make some tasting notes.

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MyOldKyDram

I'll throw a vote at HW Rendezvous! but it's costlier than most if not all of the other suggestions. May want to wait a bit on that one.

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silverfish
The only other Rye I had tasted before this Rittenhouse and I really enjoyed it.

If you enjoyed Ritt (DSP KY 354) you might want to grab a few extra bottles to have

on hand before the DSP-1 hits the shelves. Not to say the DSP-1 will be bad but if

something you like is soon to be replaced by an "unknown", why take a chance. At

the very least you have some DSP 354 that you know you like and if DSP-1 is a

winner, that's an added bonus (plus you can do blind side by side tastings to see

which you really prefer.)

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jeffrey r

Now that I know what to look for, there really are an incredible number of ryes on the market right now. Personally, I like rye as an alternative to bourbon, but I only have a few around. I have an unopened 110pf 4yr Willett, Rittenhouse (with a few DSP 354 bunkered), a few Baby Sazerac, and one of the holy grails, VWFRR.

The Rittenhouse is a terrific whiskey, but I find the Sazerac easier drinking. Frankly, the Baby Saz is dangerously easy to drink, and just great imho. Jefferson's, Russell's Reserve, Smooth Ambler and Knob Creek ryes are a few others to consider. Enjoy the journey.

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GaryT

I might try Jefferson's 10 yr Rye. I'm also a fan of the younger Willett ryes myself, and really liked the Jeffersons.

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Crowes
I might try Jefferson's 10 yr Rye. I'm also a fan of the younger Willett ryes myself, and really liked the Jeffersons.

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squire

Jefferson would be a change of pace as it's rye whisky is sourced from Canada and made from a different mashbill than MGPI.

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WAINWRIGHT

I would agree with the Jeffersons and if you can find it go for the UCF'd bottling some of those still floating around.I did a side by side not long ago really adds to the total package IMHO,the finish the feel all of it.I figured you wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference with a 100% rye of this sort and really you can.

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Crowes
I would agree with the Jeffersons and if you can find it go for the UCF'd bottling some of those still floating around.I did a side by side not long ago really adds to the total package IMHO,the finish the feel all of it.I figured you wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference with a 100% rye of this sort and really you can.

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brettckeen

The Jeff is Canadian enzymatic distillate. (100% rye) I tend to stear away from things aged in Canada aswell as enzymatic distillate, you need the malted barley even at the meager 5% to be the chaperones to the yeasty dance.

Willets LDI/ MGPI 95 /5 tastes awesome because its 110 proof, and the flora and fauna of aging whiskey at willet makes beverages taste better IMHO.

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squire

Flora and Fauna sounds like elves and wood sprites.

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WAINWRIGHT
Ok, I have to claim rookie ignorance here... UCF'd?
Unchillfiltered,they will have a small black label on the bottle denoting this.

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squire

I prefer the term non chill filtered though the terms seem to be used interchangeably.

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LostBottle

Unfortunately, there are not as many ryes on the market as one might assume on first glance; a lot of the stuff is similar MGP and Alberta in different packaging.

I agree with Squire and would suggest picking up some Wild Turkey Rye 101 before it disappears. Also grab some current Rittenhouse before the DSP-1 hits the market. Then track down a Buffalo Trace offering in Sazerac, this one will really be a contrast to the Willett mash bill.

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Crowes
Unfortunately, there are not as many ryes on the market as one might assume on first glance; a lot of the stuff is similar MGP and Alberta in different packaging.

I agree with Squire and would suggest picking up some Wild Turkey Rye 101 before it disappears. Also grab some current Rittenhouse before the DSP-1 hits the market. Then track down a Buffalo Trace offering in Sazerac, this one will really be a contrast to the Willett mash bill.

Yeah, Rittenhouse is tricky to find in Michigan. I found a place by my office today that has three bottles. I asked the manager if he had heard anything about them becoming more scarce and he said they only ever get in an allocation of 6 bottles at a time. Think I'll go back tomorrow and grab all three just in case. Actually, that whole purchasing plan of Ritt, WT, and Sazerac seems to be a perfect start. Thank you all for the great insight.

Funny, last minute I decided to take a road trip KY for the first time to visit the trail last week. Didn't realize I missed the sampler by a few weeks. Hopefully next time.

Edited by Crowes

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smokinjoe
The Jeff is Canadian enzymatic distillate. (100% rye) I tend to stear away from things aged in Canada aswell as enzymatic distillate, you need the malted barley even at the meager 5% to be the chaperones to the yeasty dance.

Willets LDI/ MGPI 95 /5 tastes awesome because its 110 proof, and the flora and fauna of aging whiskey at willet makes beverages taste better IMHO.

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LostBottle
Actually, that whole purchasing plan of Ritt, WT, and Sazerac seems to be a perfect start. Thank you all for the great insight.

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