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What Rye Are You Drinking? Summer 2013


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Same here. Two pours of THH 2011. Great stuff and still available in these parts.

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Went to my favorite Hirsch 25 rye then open up a HW21rye.

These two all two completely opposite of aged rye while they are both very smooth.

For HW21, the nose is not as deep and alluring but is nice and pleasant. My first taste left me wondering what's the hype. But as I continue to sip and letting it open up, sip after sip, it tastes better and with my last sip of my first pour I can say I like it a lot.

This is excellent but very different. The affect of the used cooperage is very pronounce. You get the well balance taste of the rye but much less wood. It's like a well balance and young or fresh aged rye. It's not burden with the excess wood. (I'm one who love the old wood rye too.)

I'm going for a second pour now!

What's the deal with the cork, it's kind of coming apart.

Cheers

Hugh

Edited by tigerlam92
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devillighter
Same here. Two pours of THH 2011. Great stuff and still available in these parts.

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whiskeyagonzo

Jefferson's Rye. Fantastic pour. Just wish it was a little higher proof.

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Reaching for my favorite rye tonight in post celebration of the Chicago Blackhawks winning of Lord Stanley's Cup. Nice pour of Abraham Bowman Rye 136.4 prf. Delicious and decadent.

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whiskeyobsessive

Some Very Olde St. Nick (Japan import) that I think is 93 proof LDI (reasonably pleasant, but not worth seeking out) and some Rittenhouse 21. The latter has one of the best noses I've encountered on a rye, but the palate is a bit thin. I reviewed it on my blog, but I'd say that while I am happy drinking it all day, I'm not sure I'd pay the money again. Also just opened some CEHT rye that was gifted to me- so far so good but I'll need a few more pours to really know what I think.

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Some Very Olde St. Nick (Japan import) that I think is 93 proof LDI (reasonably pleasant, but not worth seeking out) and some Rittenhouse 21. The latter has one of the best noses I've encountered on a rye, but the palate is a bit thin. I reviewed it on my blog, but I'd say that while I am happy drinking it all day, I'm not sure I'd pay the money again. Also just opened some CEHT rye that was gifted to me- so far so good but I'll need a few more pours to really know what I think.

Are you referring to the winter rye (I believe the summer rye is lower proof) or one of the many age stated bottlings?

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A couple of nights ago I decided to sit down with a bunch of old ryes and see if I could get a bead on their differences/similarities. Thanks to samples from a couple of very gracious SBers (LB and LR you know who you are) and a couple entries from my own stash I put these 5 ryes head to head: HW16, Rittenhouse 25, Rathskellar, Vintage 21 and Hirsch 21.

My brother and father were also present and nosed and sipped each dram as well. They both were most impressed with the nose on the Hirsch 21 and the palate on the HW16. They don't really know what a finish is, we're working on that, they're too busy choking on the alcohol - teetotalers. I thought their observations were interesting, as many have noted how beguiling the nose is on the Hirsch. I thought it funny that even beginners would also pick up on that. Also I believe that the reason that they chose the HW16 is because they both aren't fans of dominating oak tones in their whiskey, but I wasn't when I started out either, it's an acquired taste, but it comes with the territory when you're exploring older ryes. Done right it sings.

The HW16 had a bit of a closed off nose, but reminded a bit of an eau de vie, had only been open for a couple of days. It is really lively and fruity on the palate IMO, very dangerously drinkable, green apples, pear, sweetness in balance with a malty character that kicks around with a very gentle lasting finish, mild barrel influence appearing in a sort of toasty, nutty sort of way, but it's faint. It sounds crazy to say but it is the most refreshing older rye I've tasted, and definitely won the day for being better than the rest for the hot summer months.

The Rittenhouse 25 is on its last legs, been open for a while, but this particular barrel/bottle really hit me right. The nose is very balanced, hints of caramel, char, tobacco and candied apple come across in an elegant if somewhat restrained way, and most of these notes carry into the palate and then transform into the finish with peppermint and smoky oak leaving a hearty, tingling finish for awhile. I've really enjoyed this bottle, but on this night, it seemed a little flat beside the others. I guess I got too familiar with it and took it for granted because of all the new belles at the ball. Story of my life I guess, but I digress...

The Hirsch 21, crazy nice nose, sandalwood, pipe tobacco, church pews, rose hips and the right amount of je ne sais quoi to make me actually prefer nosing it to tasting it. Seriously. IMO this is the same juice as the Hirsch 22 and 25, just based on the singular nose. My brother, who has a ridiculously good sense of smell, has had the Hirsch 22 a few times, and he immediately, without my prompting, identified the glass as Hirsch rye. I for one got notes of pencil shavings on the nose and cumin on the palate, which I didn't get the first time I visited the sample a while back. Think it might have degraded slightly from oxidation, but it was still wonderfully deep and complex on the palate, spicy on entry, but quickly blooming with layers of complex sweetness, honey, demerara sugar and a note that tasted curiously like grilled sugar coated cider donuts (try it at the end of a BBQ if you haven't, makes for a great dessert). Then the wood comes into play on an incredibly long finish, balancing well with the sweetness and kicking around for a solid minute. If I've used some ridiculous descriptors here, it's because the Hirsch rye often makes me strain for words.

Now for the Vintage 21. Um, what? You can't be serious. This is absurdly good. My notes go haywire here. I actually wrote down expletives five different places. The epitome of balance, transformative on the palate, transformative FOR my palate, ginger snaps, green melon, beeswax, salted caramel, sugar plums, I wish I could trade my whole bunker for 6 cases of just this. Hyperbole much? Honestly this stuff is a stunner. Wow.

Last but not least, the Rathskellar rye. My palate was pretty tired by the time I got to this one, and I took no notes because halfway through the Vintage 21 I put my pen and pad down and said screw it, I need to be enjoying this as much as possible. Rathskellar tastes quite a bit like cask strength BMH23 or maybe Vintage 21, but who the hell knows? It is large and lovely, meat on the bones and plenty of marrow too, succulent and savory. And I still have a tiny bit left.

As for the origins of all these KBD sourced ryes, clearly your guess is as good or better than mine, but I think that between the potential sources of Medley and Cream of Kentucky and forgotten rye experiments at Barton and older Heaven Hill product as well, not to mention the skills of Drew Kulsveen in blending, there is just no way we're ever going to guess right. At one point I had convinced myself Vintage 21 was a vatting of Ritt 21 and Medley, but who really knows. Drew. And until he tells, it just adds another layer of happy mystery to my enjoyment of his spectacular ryes.

Sipped a Baby Saz while typing up this mammoth post. Cheers!

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Thx WryGuy - my senses have been opened to the beauty of these old ryes thanks to some generous SBr's and your experience is what I see in the near future for me.

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Thanks guys! It was indeed a great night, especially sharing time and drinks with my brother and father. Cheers!

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Yes sir, that is damn fine work. Thanks for sharing the adventure.

:toast:

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Please don't listen. Old rye f*cking sucks and is not worth buying. You're better off leaving the bottle on the shelf and buying/drinking/flipping bourbon or Canadian. Leave the wino swill where you found it, it all tastes like burn.

Edited by LostBottle
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Finishing the last 2oz of the first (and only!) VWFRR I've ever found in the wild. It's a bittersweet moment, for sure.

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michaelturtle1

Decided Thursday night would be a good night to go on a rye tear.. Ritt 23, Ritt 25, HW 16, V21, and a bit of Hirsch 21... I have positively fallen for the Ritt 23, for 23 years it tastes very young and vibrant the complete opposite of the Ritt 25 which is syrupy and dark

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Decided Thursday night would be a good night to go on a rye tear.. Ritt 23, Ritt 25, HW 16, V21, and a bit of Hirsch 21... I have positively fallen for the Ritt 23, for 23 years it tastes very young and vibrant the complete opposite of the Ritt 25 which is syrupy and dark
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I might have to finally try this rye whiskey stuff, it sounds like it might be decent. Is Wild Turkey 81 a good one?

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michaelturtle1

The Ritt 23 has a pronounced spicyness to it where the Ritt 25 has a ton of barrel influence which makes it sweet and syrupy to me. I can only handle small half pours of the 25 before it overwhelms my palate. The Hirsch 21 is still my favorite, i find the HW 16 and V21 too woody for my tastes

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