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Are ryes getting better?


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That bottle was supposed to have made a circuitous trip to the gazebo, did I miss it somehow?

No. Larry said, he would save that bottle for us...but not the Sampler. It's for the tasting during the Festival.

Bettye Jo

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Bobby,

I don't think that Larry was going to bring that rye to the sampler. I hope he brings it to The Festival (or my house).

The discussion of Heaven Hill's Rye stash came up at The Sampler and someone suggested that they made rye for Pikesville after the closure of their distilley, but while they were still selling product. When the product was discontinued, HH was left with a considerable amount of stock that is now approaching 25 years in age. I'd like to get some of those really old ryes and see what they're like. Then I'd like to blend them, ala Dr. Ryestein and see what happens. woohoo.gif

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When we (me, Dane, John and Linda Lipman) were shown the warehouse during the HH visitor tour a barrel was pointed out as containing whiskey 30 years old. I would think such whiskey must be used for mingling although I don't know for sure. HH may itself be becoming a kind of specialty house for well-aged bourbon since as John Lipman pointed out many of the bottles of Elijah Craig 18 year old are older than that, approaching in some cases 24 years of age. Maybe HH's 23 year old whiskey contains, in fact, 30 year old whiskey from barrels such as we saw, I don't know. The Craig 18's we tasted in the tasting room were very good, I hadn't had it in a while and was favorably impressed.

Gary

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I saw the same barrel a few weeks ago while in Bardstown. Our guide said that a wealthy tourist wanted to purchase it, but passed when told the price (our guide wasn't privy to the negotiations, only the eventual outcome.) Really though, at 30yo it would only be good for blending with other barrels and would thus reduce it's concieved value. It's probably more valuable to HH as a fixture.

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bourbonmed

This is very interesting. In the 80s (and again early 90s) HH produced a limited release 28-year old bourbon. To the best of my knowledge, it is the longest-aged bourbon ever bottled. It wouldn't be out of the question HH would again choose to bottle something in the 28-30 year range upon request.

Omar

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SFBourbonDrinker

I would have to say the recent Old Potrero Rye is the most flavorful. Reminds me of drinking a piece of black rye bread. This would be the 19th century, 90 proof version.

I have not found another rye that matches Old Potrero's flavor intensity.

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I was lucky enough to taste the HH 28 yo when in Japan a few years ago. While very good I thought it was getting a bit woody, perhaps a few too many years sleeping. That said, if I had the chance to try a 30 yo bourbon and liked it I can see paying over $250 for one. I have a good half dozen bottles of scotch that are double that and a bunch in that area. Sadly, if they do bottle a 30 yo it would be export only at this point in time.

This is very interesting. In the 80s (and again early 90s) HH produced a limited release 28-year old bourbon. To the best of my knowledge, it is the longest-aged bourbon ever bottled. It wouldn't be out of the question HH would again choose to bottle something in the 28-30 year range upon request.

Omar

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During the recent Sampler weekend, our tour of Heaven Hill's rickhouse concluded with the guide showing us a barrel of 37 year old bourbon. Her story was that someone asked her if it was for sale and she referred him to the front office to see. The point was that the barrel was still there. I just wonder how much is actually left in that barrel at this point.... searching.gif

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Have you tried the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13yr? It is really intense in flavor and quite complex for a rye. This is probably my all time favorite rye. If you haven't had it, I highly recommend it. Oh, and it's less than half the price of the Potrero.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Jake_Parrott

Just mixed some Pikesville into a proper (decent amount of verm, well-bittered) Manhattan garnished with a Turkish jarred sour cherry. Beautiful, with a sandalwood thing coming out and a firm kick of rye, just softened and delineated by its partners (come to think of it, just like a good Sazerac). Guess I know what I'm drinking next!

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Jake_Parrott

Gotta say, it performed better in a Manhattan than a Sazerac. Not to say the Saz is bad, of course :-).

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The Sazerac needs a more nuanced whiskey than a Manhattan. The combination of a Gothic-flavored drink like Pikesville marries perfectly with the no less monolithic herbal sweetness of red vermouth - each is the foil of the other. The Sazerac, on the other hand, with its delicate backdrop of absinthe/faint sugar/bitters, needs a softer whiskey to cozy up to. Old Grandad would work well with its rye edge -so would Bulleit and - especially - Four Roses Single Barrel.

Gary

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Jake_Parrott

I happen to think Overholt works very well also (especially price/value). Turkey rye is good as well.

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