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Rittenhouse Rye 21-year-old


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Many of us at Bourbon Fest 2005 tasted a 21-year-old rye at Heaven Hill. That whiskey is now being prepared for market release as Rittenhouse Very Rare 21 Year Old Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey. Although it will be reduced to 100 proof (50% abv), it will not be chill-filtered.

The first release will consist of just 3,000 bottles (750 ml size) that will retail for between $125 and $150. It will be released in the United States (exact market list TBD), the UK and France.

It's important to note that this is not a one-time-only thing. Apparently they have a pipeline that will allow them to come out with new releases of the product annually.

This straight rye whiskey was made by Heaven Hill at their distillery in Bardstown that burned down in 1996. Heaven Hill continued to make rye at a time when there wasn't much demand for it, one of only a handful of distilleries that did.

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First Hirsch Rye at >$100, now Rittenhouse at >$100

C'mon. Give me a break!!!!

Rye just ain't that good!!!

I better get a Part Time Job

(Come to think of it, I have to get a Full Time Job)

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Barrel_Proof

This is very good news indeed. The straight rye to which Chuck refers was very fine indeed. Sampling it was one of the highlights of the 2005 Festival.

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BarItemsPlus1
It will be released in the United States (exact market list TBD), the UK and France

Disappointed Oz doesn't get a look in!!:hot:

AGAIN...!

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Have to admit I'm very excited to see a new rye. Have to admit this $120-$140-$150-$200 thing is getting old quick. While I like having choices, I hate seeing the top end getting driven up, while so much more could be done with the lower and especially the mid-priced selections (expanding them).

Saz 18 yo at $55 is a very good value. Pappy 20 (I realize Pappy isn't a rye) at $80 is a luxury, but obtainable and to me well thought out in determining the price. A 21 yo offering of rye Hirsch or HH for $110 to $150 is saying to me, let's see how much we can get for this, it's easier to come down on price, than it is to raise it.

I guess I don't understand if you're going to shoot for the moon with your 21 yo, why you wouldn't try to compete at the mid-range too, say a 17 to 18 yo for about $50 to $55, or a 19 to 20 yo for $80 to $90 (still high but sounds a lot less than $100 plus).

What Julian did with his Pappy's was a well thought out way to offer and market bourbons to everybody. A 15yo at $40, a 20yo at $80 and a 23yo at $180. Something for nearly everybody.

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Chuck - I know you have stated in the past that you don't typically like overaged bourbon and most bourbons aged this long are overaged. I agree with you from my tasting experience; I prefer Pappy 15 vs. Pappy20, BMH 14 is better than the 16 or 21, I like Hirsch 16 more than Hirsch 20, and Elijah Craig is a totally different bourbon than the EC 18.

However, the extra aged Ryes I have tasted have been very good. This includes the Classic Cask 21 YO and the Hirsch Selection 22 YO.

So, what did you think of this Rye and older Ryes in general?

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doubleblank

I also tasted this pre release. I thought it excellent.....and different from other releases out there. But north of $120. That puts it in the company of many great spirits....and I for one don't know if it will stand up over time.

Randy

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I would not be planning to buy this if I hadn't tasted it, but I DID taste it, and it was really something special. I don't pay triple digits for whiskey lightly, but this one is unique and good enough to justify it (in the weird alternate dimension we inhabit, where anyone would actually pay a hundred bucks for any bottle of whiskey!).

If they make it a regular annual release, great! Maybe there won't be quite the feeding frenzy that a one-off release would cause.

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Straight rye does seem to take a long time in wood better than bourbon. Also, this whiskey was in a slow-aging location and was monitored throughout its life. It was when the folks at HH decided it wouldn't benefit from additional aging that they offered to buy it back from the company that contracted for it originally.

As for younger ryes, their Rittenhouse BIB is a treasure and a great value. They barely have enough stock to keep that supplied, with rye's newfound popularity, so it may be a long time before they're in a position to offer something a little older, like 8 or 10 years.

I have a pre-release sample of the Rittenhouse 21, so I'll let you know what I think after I try it again. I certainly remember liking it last September and it didn't seem too woody.

Also, as I said in the Grail post, some older bourbons, such as the Van Winkles, are very good, but many others are from leftover or lost barrels that aren't really very good, but people buy them and even fall in love with them strictly because of the high number on the label.

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CrispyCritter

Hmm... north of $100 nixes it for me. Oh well - at least the young Rittenhouse BIB is seriously good stuff.

I ought to do some age vs. price graphs of various whiskies. I get the feeling that most of them would resemble exponential curves. :(

The one snag, though, is that most are not available in a wide range of ages. The only ones I can think of offhand are Van Winkle (10, 12, 15, 20, 23), Laphroaig (QC [6], 10, 10 CS, 15, 30, 40), Highland Park (12, 15, 18, 25), Ardbeg (10, 17, vintages like 1977 and 1974, and the NAS Uigeadail), and Glenrothes (vintages).

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Add Balveie at 10, 12, 15, 17, 21, 25, & 30+, Macallan 10, 12, 15, 17, 21, 25, 30 and a bunch at 30+ for astronomical prices too. Also, the Glenfiddich line at 12, 15, 18, 21, 30 and 40; Aberlour has 10, 15, 21 and 30 and Bowmore covers a wide range up to 40 too plus there a number more I haven't mentioned.

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elkdoggydog

I'm not sure if it's been posted elsewhere, but here's the blurb about Rittenhouse 21 from the recent Bardsotwn Bourbon Society newsletter. If nothing else, it's a beautiful bottle.

post-1299-14489812416037_thumb.jpg

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...the recent Bardsotwn Bourbon Society newsletter...

Wish they'd update the website so we could register for the Bernheim tours, like it advises us.

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BarItemsPlus1

Tim said...

Wish they'd update the website

Just checked on their website too...

GETTING MORE FRUSTRATED!!!

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I seem to remember the rye sample offered during last year's Festival as barrel proof (around 120) and very good. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? I thought HH might try to go the barrel proof route with this rye.

schlep

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  • 1 month later...

We bottled the new Rittenhouse Rye, 21 year last night (first run) ...

Here's a few pictures...

post-20-14489812507764_thumb.jpg

post-20-14489812508201_thumb.jpg

post-20-14489812508616_thumb.jpg

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Barrel_Proof
We bottled the new Rittenhouse Rye, 21 year last night (first run) ...

I beautiful sight to behold, indeed!

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I beautiful sight to behold, indeed!

I need to "fill in the blanks" here...A sort of "the rest of the story" kinda thing.

The story goes like this:

We toured Heaven Hill, last year during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. We were given the opportunity to taste several different bottlings and a few "rare" one's ta boot. The rarest was straight from the barrel Rye...

Everyone loved it. They loved it so much that our group wanted to "buy" a barrel. We checked on it and after a bit of investigation...Larry, told me that they only had 33 barrels of that particular year. They would work out something and try to make it available. Next thing I hear is Larry telling me they were going to produce a Rittenhouse Rye Single Barrel, with those 33 barrels....

And...Here they are. In my opinion, I believe that this bottling is a "direct" result from our tour that September night :grin: :grin:

:cool: :cool: Kinda Cool :cool: :cool:

Bettye Jo

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We bottled the new Rittenhouse Rye, 21 year last night (first run) ...

Here's a few pictures...

Bettye Jo,

I’m sure the content are delicious but I miss the nice plastic screw cap from the other Rittenhouse versions.

Leif

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Virus_Of_Life
And...Here they are. In my opinion, I believe that this bottling is a "direct" result from our tour that September night :grin: :grin:

:cool: :cool: Kinda Cool :cool: :cool:

Bettye Jo

Not just kinda cool, very cool!! That is what in my opinion it's all about; being able to influence outcomes like that, the American way! I wasn't there, but I sincerely thank everyone that was for helping to make something like this come to fruition....

:skep: Now I just wonder; will I even see it out in SoCal and if so am I going to be able to afford it?

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CrispyCritter

It's incredibly tempting - but (as stated in the beginning of the thread) the price is probably going to be north of $100. I just might have to break my rule about not buying a bottle that expensive, though. :eek:

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