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risenc

What's the Most Typical Rye You Can Think of?

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risenc

A few folks asked me to recommend the most typical rye I could think of, for a tasting. I thought, oh, sure, that's easy, it's ... What? It's kind of hard to pick just one, so in the interest of maybe also generating a fun afternoon conversation here, I thought I'd throw it out to the crowd. What do y'all think? Price is sort of an object -- needs to be under $45 or so. And if it matters, it's going to be paired with 4R Small Batch, Larceny, and Dickel Single Barrel. Have at it -- and I appreciate it.

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Paddy

If you had posed this question a year ago, I would have said WT 101. Since it's not very typical now, as no one can find it with all the 81 proof posers out there, the question is a little more difficult to answer.

One thing for sure is that Lawrenceburg rye is everywhere and in everything. So, yeah, it's pretty typical. Now to pick one of them....hmm....I'd say Dickel Rye. The price is right, it's easy to find and it is a true expession of a typical rye.

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amg

Maybe Knob Creek Rye? That way you get another major producer in there too.

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White Dog

Great question. Given the fact that Indiana is often easier to find than Ritt and Baby Saz, and Turkey has lost their mind, do we dare say that LDI Rye has become the more prevalent style? Therefore, is it now the standard? Bulleit is everywhere.

For me, I would say that Ritt is too soft and round, Baby Saz is too medicinal, Beam/OO simply sucks, so WT101 was my old standard. Sadly, we all know what happened with that.

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White Dog

Damn, Paddy. I was still typing when you posted.:grin:

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TunnelTiger

Under $40, RITT, Baby Zaz, and Dickel

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BonVivant84

First choice would be Baby Saz, but for most typical (and available) i'd say Bulleit.

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petrel800

The Willett 4 year (sourced version w/ wax) is pretty good representation of the LDI style and typically at 110 proof. The James E Pepper NAS is also LDI at 100 proof. Both are decent options if you want something with a little higher proof. Both should be under $40. The Dickel vs Bulliet would be fun to compare due to the "Charcol Mellowing" in the Dickel stuff.

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squire

Is MGP the most typical or simply the most prevalent? If that's the choice just pick your color, I vote Dickel.

Historically speaking of the Ryes currently available, I would choose Rittenhouse as being typical of the traditional style and I believe it would complement the other brands in the tasting as well.

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tanstaafl2
The Willett 4 year (sourced version w/ wax) is pretty good representation of the LDI style and typically at 110 proof. The James E Pepper NAS is also LDI at 100 proof. Both are decent options if you want something with a little higher proof. Both should be under $40. The Dickel vs Bulliet would be fun to compare due to the "Charcol Mellowing" in the Dickel stuff.

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BootsOnTheGround

Old Overholt

You can find $12.68 cant ya? ;)

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Paddy
Damn, Paddy. I was still typing when you posted.:grin:

Great minds think alike! :bowdown:

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risenc

Thanks, guys. I think I'll recommend the Ritt, fwiw.

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Richnimrod

Not a Rye connoisseur by anybody's standard; but I'll weigh in with the two I like the best; and that seem the most 'typical' if there is such a thing....

Willet 4-yr... very nice spice and body, plus at 110, it represents well.

Rittenhouse BIB... rather different than W-4, mellower, rounder; but still a nice pour of an enjoyable rye.

If a third is called for; Baby Saz is pretty good; but I'd pick either of the others before the Baby.

All this is from a pretty uneducated palate as far as Straight Ryes, just my own humble opinion.

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mbroo5880i

Depends on your price range.

I find Ritt BIB pretty representative of the "typical" rye. However, if you want to go the next step, then WFE 4 year.

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PaulO

I would say go for Dickel Rye and or Ritt BIB. At this time one may be able to find both DSP 354, and DSP 1 versions of Ritt on shelves. I find the DSP 1 to be more rye tasting, DSP 354 more close to a high rye bourbon. Both are good. Of the different ryes from IN, Dickel is probably least expensive and easiest to find. Willett is not always easy to find, and may end up costing more than $45 nowadays. James Pepper 1776 is a younger rye at 100 proof. Bulliet Rye is another possibility. Sazerac is made by BT, and like several of their brands has become hard to find. I just wouldn't pay the price some stores have started asking. I don't really care for any of the Beam ryes: Jim Beam Rye, Overholt, Knob Rye.

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flahute

I'm surprised that so many here are gong with Ritt BIB as "most typical". It's not that I think I know better.....I still have the "I'm a noob" sticker on my forehead.....it's just that Ritt BIB drinks so much like a bourbon to me whereas some of the others mentioned are unmistakably "rye" tasting. To me, the rye in Ritt BIB is subtle, whereas in the others, it's in your face forward. Am I just a special case? (Would't be the first time I've heard that:))

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squire

Sometimes being called special is a complement.

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ramblinman

Tough call, I feel like Ritt is my personal standard for rye, but it drinks really different than the others with its "barely-legal" mashbill and the HH house style.

LDI, unless its high proof is rarely memorable.

Old WT101 was and still is the most rye-like rye to me and what I mentally compare every other one to. Sadly.

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squire

Of course back in the good old days Rye mashbills were not necessarily much higher in rye grain as what we call 'barely legal' rye mashbills today. George Washington's recipe (developed by his Scottish born distiller) was 60% rye/30% corn/10% barley malt, which in more modern post Civil War times was essentially the same as what Old Overholt used in it's pre-Beam days.

Samuel M'Harry's book 'The Practical Distiller' published in 1809 (about the same time Abraham Overholdt got started) gives the perfect mashbill as being equal amounts of corn and rye (50/50) with enough barley malt added to effect a full conversion of the grain starches into fermentable sugars. This is not to say whisky was not or could not be made from rye/malted rye alone, just that distillers didn't do that as a rule when they had choices and of course customer preferences played a large part in the products made at the time. The high rye (95%) used by MGP today was developed in the 1950s as a blending, not a drinking whisky.

So, historically speaking the Rittenhouse mash bill is considerably closer to what was used in the past than are these fairly modern extremely high rye percentage mash bills.

Edited by squire

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ramblinman
Of course back in the good old days Rye mashbills were not necessarily much higher in rye grain as what we call 'barely legal' rye mashbills today. George Washington's recipe (developed by his Scottish born distiller) was 60% rye/30% corn/10% barley malt, which in more modern post Civil War times was essentially the same as what Old Overholt used in it's pre-Beam days.

Samuel M'Harry's book 'The Practical Distiller' published in 1809 (about the same time Abraham Overholdt got started) gives the perfect mashbill as being equal amounts of corn and rye (50/50) with enough barley malt added to effect a full conversion of the grain starches into fermentable sugars. This is not to say whisky was not or could not be made from rye/malted rye alone, just that distillers didn't do that as a rule when they had choices and of course customer preferences played a large part in the products made at the time. The high rye (95%) used by MGP today was developed in the 1950s as a blending, not a drinking whisky.

So, historically speaking the Rittenhouse mash bill is considerably closer to what was used in the past than are these fairly modern extremely high rye percentage mash bills.

As always I appreciate the history lesson squire. Do you happen to know them mashbill for WTR?

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flahute
Of course back in the good old days Rye mashbills were not necessarily much higher in rye grain as what we call 'barely legal' rye mashbills today. George Washington's recipe (developed by his Scottish born distiller) was 60% rye/30% corn/10% barley malt, which in more modern post Civil War times was essentially the same as what Old Overholt used in it's pre-Beam days.

Samuel M'Harry's book 'The Practical Distiller' published in 1809 (about the same time Abraham Overholdt got started) gives the perfect mashbill as being equal amounts of corn and rye (50/50) with enough barley malt added to effect a full conversion of the grain starches into fermentable sugars. This is not to say whisky was not or could not be made from rye/malted rye alone, just that distillers didn't do that as a rule when they had choices and of course customer preferences played a large part in the products made at the time. The high rye (95%) used by MGP today was developed in the 1950s as a blending, not a drinking whisky.

So, historically speaking the Rittenhouse mash bill is considerably closer to what was used in the past than are these fairly modern extremely high rye percentage mash bills.

Thanks squire. That's the information I was looking for. Very informative.

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tanstaafl2
Of course back in the good old days Rye mashbills were not necessarily much higher in rye grain as what we call 'barely legal' rye mashbills today. George Washington's recipe (developed by his Scottish born distiller) was 60% rye/30% corn/10% barley malt, which in more modern post Civil War times was essentially the same as what Old Overholt used in it's pre-Beam days.

Samuel M'Harry's book 'The Practical Distiller' published in 1809 (about the same time Abraham Overholdt got started) gives the perfect mashbill as being equal amounts of corn and rye (50/50) with enough barley malt added to effect a full conversion of the grain starches into fermentable sugars. This is not to say whisky was not or could not be made from rye/malted rye alone, just that distillers didn't do that as a rule when they had choices and of course customer preferences played a large part in the products made at the time. The high rye (95%) used by MGP today was developed in the 1950s as a blending, not a drinking whisky.

So, historically speaking the Rittenhouse mash bill is considerably closer to what was used in the past than are these fairly modern extremely high rye percentage mash bills.

The blend of mashbills now being put out by Willett may well be as close as anything in current production to older Eastern style ryes although the production methods are not the same of course.

David Wondrich, cocktail and spirits historian extraordinaire, has an interesting article that touches on this particular subject for those interested in a little more detail. A piece or two of it about wooden stills, used for many of the Eastern style ryes back in the day, shows up in Chuck Cowdery's blog. But the full article is in the Summer 2014 edition of Whisky Advocate. Well worth a read if you have access to it.

I am also a fan of the Leopold Maryland Style Rye Chuck discusses in another recent post but I would sure like to try that true Maryland style rye that Wondrich talks about in the WA article and Chuck quotes in this article!

"In other words," writes Wondrich, "these were huge whiskeys, dark, rich, and chewy, and these are what Prohibition killed." (Emphasis his.)

I seem to remember a similar but slightly different mashbill in the WA article for the George Washington rye but I don't have the article in front of me so I could be wrong. Not that it matters that much!

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TunnelTiger

I think I like rye and high ryerbons because it's in my genes. When I was young my parents and their friends all dran rye. After re-locating the family south of the Mason-Dixon line in the late 50's they took up scotch because rye was not available and they didn't care for JD.

Anywho that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

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squire

Washington's original mashbill varies a bit depending on the source but all of them seem to be in close range, 60-65% rye, 30-35% corn and 5-10% barley malt. What I do find exciting though is micros today can replicate some of these traditional rye styles and so cater to a market too small to interest the majors.

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