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(ri) 1 Anyone?


Merrymash Monk
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Merrymash Monk

Anybody tried this pour? Tried about eight different ryes over the last several months. So far I like the younger ones, like Bulleit and Baby Saz. But looking for one that might have a bigger mouth feel with enough wood influence to add some depth and a touch of sweetness without getting in the way of the classic rye flavors.

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I'd grab an EH Taylor straight rye. It's pricey, but will hit all of the aforementioned characteristics, and it shouldn't be too hard to find if you dip down across the border to MA. I'm guessing it isn't in NH, but if it is then it'll be a good price, as I'm sure you're already aware.

I think (ri) 1 is pretty young, uninteresting and overpriced.

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Horrid nasty stuff IMHO. The only reason my bottle is gone is because my wife mixed it with coke and she can't tell the difference.

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Merrymash Monk

Thanks for the tip Wryguy. I do go down to MA now and then and EH Taylor may be worth the price. You are quite right that we don't have it here in NH. We've got good prices but not always the greatest selection. Rye seems to be particularly limited.

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Merrymash Monk

Well oke&coke: Please tell me what you really think, and don't hold back:grin:. Thanks for the candid opinion. This doesn't cost as much as Whistle Pig, but its not cheap either, so I think you helped save me some wasted bucks. I haven't read a lot of glowing reviews of this rye but your post really drives it home.

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Agree with the consensus - save your dough. If you haven't tried it, I'd recommend Jeffersons 10 yr Rye (half the price of Whistlepig, and IMHO not that big of a departure).

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Well oke&coke: Please tell me what you really think, and don't hold back:grin:. Thanks for the candid opinion. This doesn't cost as much as Whistle Pig, but its not cheap either, so I think you helped save me some wasted bucks. I haven't read a lot of glowing reviews of this rye but your post really drives it home.

I will expand on it and say find a place to taste it before you buy a whole bottle. A few guys have reported liking it so you may be one of the few. Bu don't lay down the coin for this one unless your sure about it. I tried it on several ocassions and the most favorable response I gave was sticking my tongue out, shaking my head and saying blech.

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If you want a Beam rye, Knob Creek Rye is a better choice than ri1, but ri1 is okay if you like fancy bottles.

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I had a pour of this in a bar after a couple of sips gave it back to the barmaid and said pour it down the drain. It was a $15 or $20 pour.

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Merrymash Monk

Darylld, Not a bad suggestion. I've tried the Jefferson's and it didn't go to waste But for me the oak overpowered the other flavor notes. It was a little too woody and had a slightly bitter saw dust note that hurt the finish. That being said, I may try another bottle some time, as there can be variations. It had some great menthol, cinnamon, ginger and bready notes; some floral and nice touch of char. I found myself thinking if only this were a couple years younger, the wood might be toned down a bit and it could be a great whiskey.

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Merrymash Monk

Hey Cowdery, I'm glad you brought Knob Creek Rye up. I've tried that one and it seems a bit of a mystery, and not in a real good way, either. But I must say it makes a great Manhattan and Nor'Easter, if you've ever had that cocktail. Let me tell you what I mean by this whiskey being mysterious.

Starting with the label and presentation, which in this case I think is pretty significant: Beam calls their Knob Creek line super premium, so I think we should have reasonably high expectations. If you look at the label, not only is there no age statement, but there is also no indication of what the rye % is in the recipe. Fair enough. Not every distiller gives us that info on the label, though they should. So how about help from the web site? The only thing it says there is that Beam uses quality rye- again, no age statement or % of rye. But what's worse is that if you look carefully at the label, it does not specify "straight" rye. As you probably know, that is an important designation that is used for good American whiskey. Among other things, it means there can't be any color or flavoring added to the product. Its interesting that Beam specifies the "Straight Rye" designation on its entry level Jim Beam and Old Overholt labels, but not on the rye it considers to be in its "premium" line. I wish distillers would realize that consumers appreciate transparency if they want us to plunk down a good chunk of change for a bottle of spirits.

I tried Knob Creek Rye because it was recommended by a couple of folks that I often agree with on whiskey choices. Won't go into the details on notes, but lets just say that the mystery continues, or maybe Knob Creek Rye has a kind of identity crisis. To me it just tastes like a big Beam bourbon- a high rye bourbon, but bourbon nonetheless. Nothing wrong with that except that its supposed to be a bottle of rye. So how much rye? Well, all we can say is that by law it has to be at least 51%. It does have that distinctive Jim Beam note to it- probably from their particular yeast and barrels- that is so distinct, and which I happen to like. But I just don't see what this one has to offer over and above Knob Creek Bourbon, or even my favorite standard "house" pour: Jim Beam Black, at a much lower price.

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The Beam rye mash bill is 51% rye, the legal minimum for a straight rye. So are all of the other major distillery (Heaven Hill, Wild Turkey, BT) ryes, the exception being the straight ryes from MGP Indiana (95%) and Canada (100%). Most micro-distillery ryes are more than 51% as well. Why the 'barely legal' 51%? Three reasons. One, rye is so flavorful that most distillers think 51% is all the rye flavor you need. Second, as you can taste in something like Bulleit Rye, rye is flavorful but thin. Corn gives it much needed body. Three, rye costs about twice as much as corn.

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The Beam rye mash bill is 51% rye, the legal minimum for a straight rye. So are all of the other major distillery (Heaven Hill, Wild Turkey, BT) ryes, the exception being the straight ryes from MGP Indiana (95%) and Canada (100%). Most micro-distillery ryes are more than 51% as well. Why the 'barely legal' 51%? Three reasons. One, rye is so flavorful that most distillers think 51% is all the rye flavor you need. Second, as you can taste in something like Bulleit Rye, rye is flavorful but thin. Corn gives it much needed body. Three, rye costs about twice as much as corn.

An exception being the CEHT Rye from BT which may have been a one off. Still see it on a lot of shelves. Would probably move better at closer to $40 than $70. At least it would at my house!

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Merrymash Monk

Yes, I must say the lower % ryes have a more satisfying mouth feel with the higher % of corn in the mash. Even the basic JB yellow label is pretty good in this respect. Would like to try try the Wild Turkey or Russell's Reserve Rye. Not available in New Hampshire Liquor stores right now but next time I'm out of state plan to pick up a bottle of each of them.

In any case, you bring up a good point about the contradiction of rye: lots of flavor but thin mouth feel. I've approached it from distillers having the right amount of age and oak to add some body, but the corn content surely helps too. Rye seems a much more finicky whiskey to get right than bourbon is. Another thing I've noticed about it is that once the bottle is open, rye seems to be more affected by "air time" than bourbon is. Sometimes this is good as it can "open up', the flavor a bit, and other times it seems to loose a bit.

Edited by Merrymash Monk
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Trey Manthey

I'm thinking about giving the ri1 a try. I've noticed the price dropped down to $26 locally, which makes it a little more than Baby Saz, but cheaper than Jefferson's rye.

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Restaurant man
I'm thinking about giving the ri1 a try. I've noticed the price dropped down to $26 locally, which makes it a little more than Baby Saz, but cheaper than Jefferson's rye.

Please don't do it. It'll only break your heart.

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The Col E. H. Taylor rye is going to be an annual release, so they're making it at least once a year. It's not a one-off like the CEHT sour mash was. How much they're making and whether or not it might show up as something else is unknown, but with BT anything is possible. The mash bill is just rye and malt, like MGP Indiana, but they're not saying what the proportions are. 95/5? 90/10? 85/15? No way to know for sure unless they tell us. Like the age, they're not saying.

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The Col E. H. Taylor rye is going to be an annual release, so they're making it at least once a year. It's not a one-off like the CEHT sour mash was. How much they're making and whether or not it might show up as something else is unknown, but with BT anything is possible. The mash bill is just rye and malt, like MGP Indiana, but they're not saying what the proportions are. 95/5? 90/10? 85/15? No way to know for sure unless they tell us. Like the age, they're not saying.

I had my first drink of it the other day, and I noted complexity without too heavy a mouthfeel or too heavy a woody influence. I was a big fan, enough that I might go and pick up my own bottle soon. Glad to hear it will be an annual release. Funny we are now discussing its mashbill and whether it is a one off, all of which I wasn't aware of when I recommended the CEHT rye to MM in the second post of this thread. Just goes to show, leave it to the experts.

Edited by Wryguy
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I popped into this thread to chime in with some good-natured ri bashing, and now I'm seriously contemplating picking up a bottle of CEHT. Not a bad turn of events.

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boneuphtoner

Count me in the minority who likes the Ri1. I have a sentimental attachment to it as it was the first rye I ever tried (and loved). Although I do agree that the Knob Creek rye is a better whiskey, and oddly enough, around here, it is cheaper than Ri1.

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Merrymash Monk

boneuphtoner,

nice to hear a different perspective. I'm just curious if you can describe your smell and taste experience and what you like about the ri 1.

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boneuphtoner
boneuphtoner,

nice to hear a different perspective. I'm just curious if you can describe your smell and taste experience and what you like about the ri 1.

Hi, even though I've been a bourbon/rye enthusiast for a couple of years now, I've never been that good at pulling out specific flavors for any whiskey, etc. What I can say for my palate is that it has a very nice viscous mouth feel, and it has a great balance of rye spice and corny sweetness. Overall, a very well integrated whiskey. I do think that the Knob Creek rye is slightly better in all aspects however, and the odd thing is, around here it is actually cheaper..that is why there are probably a few comments about bang for your buck, etc. And I can understand that, but I still think the Ri1 is a very good whiskey in its own right.

Baby Saz seems a little lighter in body than both of these, but also has its own unique balance of flavors. Unlike the Beam ryes, which taste similar to very rye heavy bourbons, the Sazerac has a very grassy, gin botanical flavor that I find pleasing as well.

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