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Looking for advice on a Straight Rye Whiskey


johnnyflake45
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johnnyflake45

After this past weekend, my last bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye is down to about 2" remaining. Dam, that's good stuff!

I need to decide on a good Straight Rye Whiskey, to replace it. I know that VW is basically none existent and I accept that. I sure would appreciate suggestions on a good, quality Rye, that can be found and will not break the bank.

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CorvallisCracker

I'm sure that if you check the rye subforum forum here, you'll find lots of good guidance.

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Lots of choices but little assurance you can find them locally. By all means visit the Rye forum.

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Value MGP ryes (that are normally pretty easy to find around here) include Dickel and Bulleit. Willett (anything over 2 years of age) and Smooth Ambler also source from MGP, but may be more difficult to find (as well as more costly).

Baby Saz and Ritt are two other value standards. Ritt (HH) is usually available, whereas baby Saz is now a semi-limited release from BT. I'd also recommend WT 101, WTRR and the Beam rye's (particularly Knob Creek) if available in your area.

Those mentioned above won't stack up evenly against what you've been drinking, and there are plenty of other suspects out there if you are sliding up the price scale (CEHT I am thinking of you).

I'm just recommending some value pours that I've found to be pretty well available as well as worthy of keeping around, as I usually don't go the route of the NDP's (with the exception of the aforementioned MGP sourced ryes and WP). Hope this helps a little, and good luck. P

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The forum you want is American Rye Whiskey. This thread should probably be moved there.

If you think that a thread is in the incorrect forum, hit the report thread button and let the mods know or hang tight and one of us will be along at some point to move it when we notice that it's not in the right place.

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Hmmm. I can get baby Saz, but I've never seen Rittenhouse, here.

The two I've tried are baby Saz and Bulleit. The Saz tastes more like what I expect, but I think I enjoyed the Bulleit a little more. I still need to try the Dickel, and look around the shelves to see what else might be available.

Tim

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Despite the price I have to say the CEHT rye has really grown on me. Admittedly it would grow a lot faster under $50. Otherwise Paddy gave a pretty good summary.

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ethangsmith

There are still few ryes on the market that won't break the bank and are a common sight on the shelf. Here's a quick run down of my suggestions:

1. Rittenhouse Rye. 100 proof, about 4 years old and a very bourbony rye. About $25.

2. Wild Turkey Rye 81 proof, but can be found in 101 proof- more ryeish but young tasting. The 81 is simple and pleasant. $20 for the 81, $40 for the 101.

3. Bulleit Rye, 90 proof and VERY ryeish. Some don't care for this as it's not sweet and is very herbal tasting. $30.

4. Jim Beam Rye. Was 80 proof, but just moved up to 90. The 90 proof is a very affordable, bourbony rye. Pleasant but still certainly a rye. $18.

5. Knob Creek Rye- 100 proof Beam rye. Tasty. Like the 90 with more body and flavor. $35.

6. Old Overholt- the old 80 proof standby. 3 years old, so it's grainy and young. Yet cheap and easy enough to sip. $15.

7. Sazerac Rye. 90 proof. Nice rye profile. More toasty and herbal, but not unpleasantly so. The rarest of the bunch and sometimes very hard to find. $30.

That covers the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

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After this past weekend, my last bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye is down to about 2" remaining. Dam, that's good stuff!

I need to decide on a good Straight Rye Whiskey, to replace it. I know that VW is basically none existent and I accept that. I sure would appreciate suggestions on a good, quality Rye, that can be found and will not break the bank.

If you are drinking Van Winkle Rye, you are used to spending good money on rye, and don't want to completely sacrifice quality for the lowest cost/best bargain rye. Consider the High West ryes, which have pretty good national distribution and given your proximity to Utah, perhaps easy to find in Nevada. The High West Double Rye at $35-45 and Rendezvous $45-55 are excellent ryes in this slightly higher price range, and have a unique old rye/new rye mashbill. If you take the time to google this ryes and read their on-line reviews, you will see almost universal praise.

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johnnyflake45
If you are drinking Van Winkle Rye, you are used to spending good money on rye, and don't want to completely sacrifice quality for the lowest cost/best bargain rye. Consider the High West Ryes, which have pretty good national distribution and given your proximity to Utah, perhaps easy to find in Nevada. The High West Double Rye at $35-45 and Rendezvous $45-55 are excellent ryes in this slightly higher price range, and have a unique old rye/new rye mashbill. If you take the time to google this ryes and read their on-line reviews, you will see almost universal praise.[/Q]

Now days, for me, not breaking the bank, is something that can be had in the $75 range or less. Thanks for the heads-up on the High West Ryes. I was actually looking at them, a couple of days ago, at my local Total Wine Store, but I knew nothing about them. I don't recall the pricing but I'll check it out again.

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If you are drinking Van Winkle Rye, you are used to spending good money on rye, and don't want to completely sacrifice quality for the lowest cost/best bargain rye.

I don't believe I'm sacrificing quality with Rittenhouse, Knob Creek, Wild Turkey or Sazerac Ryes even though they may be considered bargains compared to NDP stuff in high priced bottles. MGP 95% rye is good but not great and charging more doesn't make it any better.

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Now days, for me, not breaking the bank, is something that can be had in the $75 range or less. Thanks for the heads-up on the High West Ryes. I was actually looking at them, a couple of days ago, at my local Total Wine Store, but I knew nothing about them. I don't recall the pricing but I'll check it out again.

For under $75, nothing comes anywhere close to the Smooth Ambler Old Scout barrel proof offerings, IMO. Loads of spice, pepper, candied fruit, and caramel.

The rest of the field is pretty close together. Saz and Bulliet swap for second place depending on my mood, followed by High West Rendezvous, KC (somewhat drier but still satisfying), with Rittenhouse and WT 101 bringing up the rear.

Edited by ken_mays
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4. Jim Beam Rye. Was 80 proof, but just moved up to 90. The 90 proof is a very affordable, bourbony rye. Pleasant but still certainly a rye. $18.

Beam yellow upped in proof? When did this happen? I can't say I'm that excited though. The KC rye was a huge disappointment, so the yellow has to be inferior in all aspects. I used to like the yellow label, even at 80 proof--when it had the plastic cap. Either my taste improved over the years or its quality diminished, because the last metal cap I bought wasn't even worth the $18 price tag.

Edited by jinenjo
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I'd recommend the barrel proof Smooth Ambler Old Scout as well. The 99 proof 7 year is really good too, but the 8 year barrel proof is even better. I'm not generally a huge fan of MGP ryes, but the older and higher proof bottles are really good and SAOS are reasonably priced.

I'd also echo many of the other recommendations as well — especially Rittenhouse, which is an insanely good deal and easy to find. It's also a nice contrast to the 95% rye in SAOS.

Not an American rye, but I'd also recommend Lot 40, which has maybe the best nose on any rye I've had. There's been a lot written about that in the Foreign Whiskey subforum

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Harry in WashDC
Beam yellow upped in proof? When did this happen? I can't say I'm that excited though. The KC rye was a huge disappointment, so the yellow has to be inferior in all aspects. I used to like the yellow label, even at 80 proof--when it had the plastic cap. Either my taste improved over the years or its quality diminished, because the last metal cap I bought wasn't even worth the $18 price tag.

JB yellow label rye is still 80 proof. A new release (just showed up in Virginia ABC stores on sale @ $22, regular $24) is JB GREEN label rye @ 90. I tried it and now have no idear what to do with the half-full JBYL and full OO sitting on my shelf. It's not Ritt but it means I'm not going to buy the yellow, OO, or Ri(1) anymore (not that I was going to, anyway).

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BonVivant84
I'll third the Old Scout BP Ryes; I got a 7 year for a wedding present that's amazing.

and I'll 4th the Old Scout BP Rye. Just grabbed two 8 years myself. $54.99 its hard to beat IMO.

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and I'll 4th the Old Scout BP Rye. Just grabbed two 8 years myself. $54.99 its hard to beat IMO.

It was even harder to beat when it was under $35, but I guess that's the world we live in now.

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steelersfan1

I will also throw a vote in for Rittenhouse. For $25 I think it has a great taste. If you like em a bit on the spicey side it might just be what you are looking for.

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TunnelTiger

For under $30 I'd recommend RITTBIB and GD. For under $35 I would recommend WT101, SAOS, Baby Saz, and JEP.

Haven't run into the new JB 90 proof but if it's as good as their new BIB I'll be a buyer.

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I don't believe I'm sacrificing quality with Rittenhouse, Knob Creek, Wild Turkey or Sazerac Ryes even though they may be considered bargains compared to NDP stuff in high priced bottles. MGP 95% rye is good but not great and charging more doesn't make it any better.
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Yes, I remember Murray saying that. I believe it always contained some malted barley though, the original mashbill was 80% unmalted rye and 20% malted barley. Production considerations for bulk blending whisky (make it faster and cheaper) eventually whittled the barley down to 5% but it's competently made and nobody does it better at that scale. In this Country anyway.

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if you want to try something a touch different, pick up a bottle of the corsair ryemaggedon. $60.

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