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WT 101 Straight Rye vs WT 101 Straight Bourbon


hawkeye62
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In an attempt to do some more exploring of barely legal ryes, I went to the local store and bought a bottle of WT 101 Straight BOURBON rather than WT 101 Straight Rye. I corrected my mistake today (red faced) by getting the rye. Well, maybe a learning mistake. Both are straight, 101, No. 4 char and no age statement, so both are probably 4 yrs old. What better way to test my taster? Anyway, I tried both tonight. The bourbon has that good, not great, bourbon flavor, ( my favorite bourbon is Eagle Rare 10 yr) but with noticeable alcohol tingle on a short finish. The rye definitely had the rye pepper on a longer finish and little or no alcohol tingle. I guess the rye spice overpowered the alcohol?  I now have more faith in my taster, I could easily tell the difference between the rye and the bourbon, and I prefer the rye.

 

Regards, Jim            

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4 hours ago, hawkeye62 said:

In an attempt to do some more exploring of barely legal ryes, I went to the local store and bought a bottle of WT 101 Straight BOURBON rather than WT 101 Straight Rye. I corrected my mistake today (red faced) by getting the rye. Well, maybe a learning mistake. Both are straight, 101, No. 4 char and no age statement, so both are probably 4 yrs old. What better way to test my taster? Anyway, I tried both tonight. The bourbon has that good, not great, bourbon flavor, ( my favorite bourbon is Eagle Rare 10 yr) but with noticeable alcohol tingle on a short finish. The rye definitely had the rye pepper on a longer finish and little or no alcohol tingle. I guess the rye spice overpowered the alcohol?  I now have more faith in my taster, I could easily tell the difference between the rye and the bourbon, and I prefer the rye.

 

Regards, Jim            

They are older than 4 years. They tend to be in the 6-7 year age range.

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12 hours ago, hawkeye62 said:

In an attempt to do some more exploring of barely legal ryes, I went to the local store and bought a bottle of WT 101 Straight BOURBON rather than WT 101 Straight Rye. I corrected my mistake today (red faced) by getting the rye. Well, maybe a learning mistake. Both are straight, 101, No. 4 char and no age statement, so both are probably 4 yrs old. What better way to test my taster? Anyway, I tried both tonight. The bourbon has that good, not great, bourbon flavor, ( my favorite bourbon is Eagle Rare 10 yr) but with noticeable alcohol tingle on a short finish. The rye definitely had the rye pepper on a longer finish and little or no alcohol tingle. I guess the rye spice overpowered the alcohol?  I now have more faith in my taster, I could easily tell the difference between the rye and the bourbon, and I prefer the rye.

 

Regards, Jim            

 

Try them blind (if you didn't already) and see if you can still tell. Blind tasting often proves educational!

 

There are several distilleries you can easily do this with. Beam, HH, BT all do a bourbon and relatively low percentage rye. Brown-Foreman too I suppose if you count the newer Woodford Rye. Probably taste it against Old Forester rather than Woodford bourbon (not sure if the rye is all Brown Foreman distillate or if they blend it with Woodford distillate as is the case with Woodford bourbon but I would guess it is all B-F distillate).

 

Or you can mix and match amongst distilleries!

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On 2/27/2017 at 9:43 PM, hawkeye62 said:

In an attempt to do some more exploring of barely legal ryes, I went to the local store and bought a bottle of WT 101 Straight BOURBON rather than WT 101 Straight Rye. I corrected my mistake today (red faced) by getting the rye. Well, maybe a learning mistake. Both are straight, 101, No. 4 char and no age statement, so both are probably 4 yrs old. What better way to test my taster? Anyway, I tried both tonight. The bourbon has that good, not great, bourbon flavor, ( my favorite bourbon is Eagle Rare 10 yr) but with noticeable alcohol tingle on a short finish. The rye definitely had the rye pepper on a longer finish and little or no alcohol tingle. I guess the rye spice overpowered the alcohol?  I now have more faith in my taster, I could easily tell the difference between the rye and the bourbon, and I prefer the rye.

 

Regards, Jim            

I love both but prefer the rye.  Can't get the 101 rye these days though, not available in my area.  Awash in 81 though, but am boycotting that one.

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OK, blind taste test of the two WTs. I had absolutely no problem identifying the rye. The first taste was the bourbon which I was 99% certain was the bourbon. Then the taste of the rye made it 100%certain. I am a little surprised that a barely legal rye is so different from a bourbon. 

 

Regards, Jim  

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16 minutes ago, hawkeye62 said:

I am a little surprised that a barely legal rye is so different from a bourbon. 

 

Regards, Jim  

 

I think folks get thrown off by the somewhat pejorative term "barely legal".  It's a poor descriptor, IMO.  The truth is, the rye grain packs a lot of punch per mashbill percentage, and yeast, wood interaction, barrel management and a host of other factors have a great influence on rye whiskey profiles.  And remember, WT rye has 4X the rye grain as WT bourbon in their respective mashbills.  And more rye means less corn, thus minimizing the sweet influences of the latter grain.  I also think the ubiquitousness of the 95% ryes from MGPI over the last decade has skewed the idea of what a rye should be, and many have pegged it as what a rye is.  The high percentage of those ryes is more an anomaly than a benchmark.  

 

Regardless, it's fun stuff diving into tasting comparisons and discoveries, ain't it?   :)

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4 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

 

I think folks get thrown off by the somewhat pejorative term "barely legal".  It's a poor descriptor, IMO.  The truth is, the rye grain packs a lot of punch per mashbill percentage, and yeast, wood interaction, barrel management and a host of other factors have a great influence on rye whiskey profiles.  And remember, WT rye has 4X the rye grain as WT bourbon in their respective mashbills.  And more rye means less corn, thus minimizing the sweet influences of the latter grain.  I also think the ubiquitousness of the 95% ryes from MGPI over the last decade has skewed the idea of what a rye should be, and many have pegged it as what a rye is.  The high percentage of those ryes is more an anomaly than a benchmark.  

 

Regardless, it's fun stuff diving into tasting comparisons and discoveries, ain't it?   :)

This right here.

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Whiskey Dick
9 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

 

I also think the ubiquitousness of the 95% ryes from MGPI over the last decade has skewed the idea of what a rye should be, and many have pegged it as what a rye is.  The high percentage of those ryes is more an anomaly than a benchmark.  

 

 

 

 

yip.

 

I'm one of those that thinks the 95% MGP ryes set the standard of how I judge other ryes these days. Not tried a 101WT rye yet though, as all I ever see is the 81

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