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Best rye whiskey in these selections?


Rantavahti
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Hi everyone,

 

I'm still a novice with rye whiskey, but just absolutely loving this type of dram. Whiskysite.nl (Master of Malt occasionally) is my place to order when buying from webshops.

 

Any suggestions, which rye whiskeys are the best ones from Whiskysite's selection:

http://www.whiskysite.nl/nl/search/rye/

 

Feel free to tip rye from MoM or some other nice webshop. Bottle of Old Potrero surely would be nice to find somewhere...

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Though I hesitate to call any of these "best" because we all have different tastes, I can tell you which ones I like that have relatively decent prices in comparison with others on this website. (Note, there are some non rye's on this website that are good, but that I didn't consider because you specifically asked about ry).

The Bulleit Rye is a good but not great rye distilled by MGPI in Indiana (who do a lot of great things). Compared to others, the Bulleit seems to have the best value here.

The Knob Creek rye is really good and stands out here at the price.

The Smooth Ambler rye is also good (and also from MGPI) but represents less of a value at the price. Given your limited options though, it's worth putting on your radar.

Michter's Barrel Strength Rye is very good in my opinion. It's the only one in the higher price range I'd recommend.

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My security doesn't like that web-site (says it is "high risk", malicious), but looking at MoM's selection of rye where they offer samples, I would order samples of the following to see what you like (not sure what you've tried/not tried).

 

Bulleit Rye
1776 James E Pepper Straight Rye
George Dickel Rye
Whistlepig 10yr old

 

I sorted by price, and these were all on the first page (a bit more expensive, although the WP 10yr was quite reasonable compared to prices here in the US).  In terms of value, the Bulleit is probably the best (the cheapest of these, and one I personally prefer over the next two listed above).  The 1776 is a nice young rye with a lot of spunk.  The Dickel is unique as it goes through the same mellowing process as other TN whiskey, so it is a bit softer/rounder.  The WP 10yr is one I typically think of as nice, but overpriced (although by comparison, it is reasonable).  

 

What have you tried and liked?  Or tried and not liked?

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5 hours ago, flahute said:

Michter's Barrel Strength Rye is very good in my opinion. It's the only one in the higher price range I'd recommend.

 

I agree with Steve's perspective and the ryes he identified. I think the Michter's in that list may be the regular single barrel though and not barrel strength, which knocks it down a peg. I've not had either but responding purely on a value basis.

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1 hour ago, Charlutz said:

 

I agree with Steve's perspective and the ryes he identified. I think the Michter's in that list may be the regular single barrel though and not barrel strength, which knocks it down a peg. I've not had either but responding purely on a value basis.

The Barrel Strength is a little further down the list on the second page.

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Thanks for all the input so far.

I forgot to mention that Bulleit, Koval, Rittenhouse and Willett were the only brands, I was familiar with, rye-wise.

 

Too bad that Whiskysite has so limited offering and high prices. Usually they offer best prices but somehow rye whiskies don't get reasonable price tags. Bulleit probably being the only exception...the site should be safe to visit, I shop there regularly.

 

Apparently the High West ryes aren't worth a try, at least in that price range?

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My most favorite rye recently has been the 110 proof 6 year old Pikesville.  It's the premium version of Rittenhouse (that's good too).  Those tend to be quite bourbon like.

MGPI is a big distillery in Indiana.  I like their rye too.  They don't bottle rye themselves, but sell to a lot of popular brands.

Willett only recently started to bottle anything they made themselves.  Anything from them that's more than a couple years old was sourced from somewhere else.

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The High West Rendezvous is good, I just don't like it as much as the others and at that price it's not one I'd get.

If you've never had it, than by all means give it a shot.

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Given those options and those prices, I'd go with the Old Scout 7 year rye. Much more refined than the Bulleit and probably the best example of the MGPI "high rye" mash bill that they have listed.

 

I enjoyed the Michter's Barrel Strength rye but didn't think it was worth the price.

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BottledInBond

Keep in mind that many of the bottles discussed here are from the same Indiana distillery:

 

Bulleit 

Dickel

James Pepper

Willett (besides the recent 2/3 yr stuff)

High West (at least part of most of their offerings, as they are mostly blends, including the Rendezvous)

Smooth Ambler Old Scout

 

That isn't a bad thing but you don't necessarily get the best exploration of rye by trying a bunch of different stuff from the same source. Of the MGPI bottles, I personally think I get the best quality/value ratio with Smooth Ambler, and they are also among the most transparent about the fact that they are bottling sourced juice. Many others do their very best to try to trick consumers into assuming they actually distilled their products (see: Michter's et al).

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I'd recommend one of the MGP's (I'd go with Dickel or Bulleit) and the Knob Creek based on their overall value where you're located.  I enjoy each of the above, and also find them to be fair representations of the style.

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One of my favorites available on that site is a non American rye called Millstone 100 from the Zuidam (which is probably better known for vodka and genever) in the Netherlands. A little different from the typical American ryes but I think it is very good.

 

The Smooth Ambler and the Knob Creek offer a good contrast from the 95% high rye mashbill of MGP to a more typical American 51% or so barely rye mashbill.  As already pointed out the Smooth Ambler is likely a little older than Bulleit and closer in age to the Knob Creek which is not age stated but I think is also close to 6 or 7 years old and seems to be a bit more enjoyable than the younger Beam ryes to me.

 

WhistlePig is a 10yo 100% rye but tastes a bit differ to me from either of those. But even though it is a 10yo it is also aged in a cooler climate in Canada. Not quite as cold as Finland I would guess but cooler than Kentucky!

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On 28.8.2016 at 7:50 PM, PaulO said:

My most favorite rye recently has been the 110 proof 6 year old Pikesville.  It's the premium version of Rittenhouse (that's good too).  Those tend to be quite bourbon like.

MGPI is a big distillery in Indiana.  I like their rye too.  They don't bottle rye themselves, but sell to a lot of popular brands.

Willett only recently started to bottle anything they made themselves.  Anything from them that's more than a couple years old was sourced from somewhere else.

Well that sounds tempting, I really liked Rittenhouse 100 proof. Rittenhouse 100 proof I can still get with reasonable price from tax free ferries going from Sweden or Estonia to Finland. I actually ordered one from a friend of mine who is going on a boat trip.

Thanks again for all the input so far.

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Any news on Anchor Distlling Company's Old Potrero 18th Century Style malted rye? I'm eager to get that stuff but apparently it's very small batch stuff and hard to get? 

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1 hour ago, Rantavahti said:

Any news on Anchor Distlling Company's Old Potrero 18th Century Style malted rye? I'm eager to get that stuff but apparently it's very small batch stuff and hard to get? 

I've seen it at one store and the price turned me off as it was quite expensive for what is said to be a young rye.  That is a problem we are having in the States right now.  We have craft distillers putting out young whiskey at high prices.

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2 hours ago, meadeweber said:

I've seen it at one store and the price turned me off as it was quite expensive for what is said to be a young rye.  That is a problem we are having in the States right now.  We have craft distillers putting out young whiskey at high prices.

 

Old Potrero and most everything else from Anchor has never been cheap to be sure! But they have been doing it for over 20 years now and I suppose are one of the original distillers of the "craft" distilling movement. They probably make the most of the straight rye aged in charred new barrels for about 3-4 years. The 18th Century Potrero is less common and aged in toasted new and used barrels for less time, maybe 2 to 3 years I think. Of the two I tend to prefer the straight malted rye over the 18th Century.

 

Then of course there is one of my many white whales, the Old Potrero Single Malt Hotalings (still rye, not barley), that is aged for multiple years (now up to about 18 years or more) in used, charred barrels. Have never even seen one, much less tried it.

 

The straight rye is around but the 18th Century I don't see as often. Many years ago the 18th Century was released at about 125 proof. Might have even been the inaugural release. That might have been interesting. Don't know if they ever did that again.

 

I don't know if Potrero has ever been shipped overseas. Possible I suppose.

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A side note about Rittenhouse - they changed distilleries and redesigned the label not too long ago.  It was made under contract at DSP 354 for years.  Then it switched to DSP 1.  Then the label changed.  I still come accross all three variations.  It's getting to be all new label DSP 1 in stores.

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1 hour ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

Old Potrero and most everything else from Anchor has never been cheap to be sure! But they have been doing it for over 20 years now and I suppose are one of the original distillers of the "craft" distilling movement. They probably make the most of the straight rye aged in charred new barrels for about 3-4 years. The 18th Century Potrero is less common and aged in toasted new and used barrels for less time, maybe 2 to 3 years I think. Of the two I tend to prefer the straight malted rye over the 18th Century.

 

Didn't know that about Anchor.  Thanks for the info.

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I knew that they had been around a while but learned a good bit more about them this past May when I happened to be in SF for a few days as they just started doing tours. Well, tastings really more than a tour. You never get to see the stills themselves.

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11 minutes ago, meadeweber said:

Didn't know that about Anchor.  Thanks for the info.

I, and the rest of GBS, have come to grips that there is much we don't know, but Bruce does...

 

It's actually quite nice during our..."meetings".  Instead of a table of buffoons drunkenly trying to Google an answer on our phones, we just look at Bruce... :lol:

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I, and the rest of GBS, have come to grips that there is much we don't know, but Bruce does...

 

It's actually quite nice during our..."meetings".  Instead of a table of buffoons drunkenly trying to Google an answer on our phones, we just look at Bruce... :lol:

Hmm....this "meeting" you speak of seems like it might be a good idea.

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1 hour ago, BigRich said:

Hmm....this "meeting" you speak of seems like it might be a good idea.

 

And I knew that...

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