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Old Overholt


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What's the consensus on this stuff? This is the first rye whiskey I have ever tried and I really like it. A bit warm on the finish, perhaps, but the spice of the rye really comes through. At $11.99/fifth, I'm surprised that it isn't more popular.

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Personally, coming from Western PA with coal miner blood, I find OO to be a little too creamy and smooth - I think the problem is the low proof. A 100 proof version with a bit more oak from aging would be an impressive whiskey, for sure. Rye can be very complex, and I find it retains "flavor layers" and gives itself up in a time sequence more than a corn-heavy bourbon does. Try the Van Winkle and Sazerac ryes to discover this, or the "Classic Cask" rye - all old and expensive. Jim Beam rye gives more of the raw rye hit than OO, but still lacks strength. Just for fun, compare Old Grandad BIB to all of them - it holds its rye note very well. Finally, if you ever come across a bottle of Sam Thompson rye, call me IMMEDIATELY. It is dangerous for you to drink, and should be sent to me at once for safekeeping.

Ralph Wilps

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Speedy_John

I second Ralph's recommendation of the Sazerac. At about $40 a bottle, it's worth every penny. It's one of the few whisk(e)ys I buy without hesitation any time I see it on a store shelf, not just because it's a rare find, but also because it's so damn good. Does anyone know if Buffalo Trace will be releasing a new batch?

SJ

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Old Overholt (aka Old Overcoat) was the "last man standing" of the classic ryes. Today it is made by Jim Beam and may simply be the Jim Beam Rye with a little more age on it.

Another rye in the popular price segment is Wild Turkey Rye, which has the advantage of being 101 proof, allowing more of the flavor to come through. Heaven Hill makes some inexpensive ryes too, under the Rittenhouse name and others.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

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To muddy the rather limited "consensus" or opinions, I find Old Overholt to be a good product. Of course it is not the same as VanWinkle which I like or Sazerac which I've not tried but it is a very drinkable whiskey. I am glad that there is still an 'affordable' entry in the rye category.

Greg

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I have a bottle of the old overholt I have been working on some time. The fact I have had it some time says how I like it. In my humble opinion it seems to be lacking in alcohol and is a bit weak in the knees. I much pefer the Wild Turkey and have polished off one and started another bottle. I have tried the the Van Winkles and give them high marks. The Jim Beam is only worth buying once. I am presently applying for a loan so that I can try the Sazerac. Anyway it is all worth trying and I am having fun and that is all that matters. Enjoy,enjoy enjoy!

The Man from Missouri

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Amen Ray! The Old Overholt I've tried is okay, but I much prefer Wild Turkey. The Jim Beam .... well it's typical Jim Beam, enough said.

Are you coming to the Bourbon Festival? If so, I'll bring some Sazerac for you to try. It is very good, but I still think the Van Winkle ryes come very close for a fraction of the price.

Bill

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://home.kc.rr.com/mashbill/>http://home.kc.rr.com/mashbill/</A>

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  • 2 weeks later...

In response to your question about a new batch of 18 year old Sazerac Rye, I can say that we will be producing another 300 cases in mid to late September. The price will stay the same, between $34.99 and $39.99 at retail. Since demand outstips supply, some retailers may take advantage and increase the price.

Last year's vintage is completely sold out, however, for those attending the Buffalo Trace gathering during Bourbon Festival will get to sample from my private stash.

Ken

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Thanks for the info, Ken. It's great to know we haven't seen the last of this outstanding whisky. I only wish you didn't produce it in such limited quantities--you can't have too much of such a good thing ;-)

How many of those 300 cases are earmarked for Pennsylvania?

Thanks,

SJ

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SJ,

I hate to admit it, but PA has been allocated 4 cases of Sazerac 18, however, since you know the brand manager, I am sure he can help you to procure some.

Ken

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  • 11 months later...
bluesbassdad

Greg,

How do you drink this stuff? Wait... That didn't come out right. grin.gif

What I mean to say is, what manner of drinking shows it in its best light? Do you prefer it neat, on the rocks, or mixed in a cocktail?

I have a bottle that will last a very long time if I drink it only neat.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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  • 1 month later...

It is my perception that the current Overholt's is not as rich-tasting as five to ten years ago. Maybe it was longer aged then.

Still a classic straight whiskey - and good value.

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I think it's a pretty good rye, especially for the price. I've also tried Wild Turkey and Jim Beam Ryes, which I think are also pretty good, and they are also inexpensive.

Bob

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

OK VatWood, Jay hasn't been around since last summer. To me Old Overholt is a standard straight rye whiskey. Not bad, but not too good either. It tends to reinforce the notion that rye is; thin, hot, and harsh. I like Wild Turkey rye at the lower price point, and 'The Saz' 18 year old at the upper end of things. Grab a bottle of Julian's rye if you can find it and avoid Fritz Maytag's 'Old Potato' like the plague => It's $100 rot gut. Old Overholt at $11 a bottle is a far better rye. wink.gif

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Well, on the higher end, I like Old Tyme Rye of Van Winkle. A very fine drink, although more "Bourbon-like" than rye- like.

Haven't had the 13 year old Reserve yet.

Also, when it was available, I liked the Hirsch 13 year old, which was pretty darn good.

People were asking about the "rye bread" taste of rye whiskey before the Second War. That Hirsch had it; the Overholt might too if aged to 8-12 years.

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Ah-Ha cypress! I see you know more than you've let on. I've not had the Hirsch rye, but 'The Saz' has a hint of the rye bread flavor although it is very subtile. Will we be seeing you at the Bourbon Festival this week?

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Not Linn but allow me to interject. Saz is Sazerac which is one of 3 or 4 high end whiskies introduced by Buffalo Trace a year or so ago. 18 YO and about 39.99 in Kentucky. also they included a 19 YO

W L Weller and 17 YO Eagle Rare, since then they have came out with a single barrel Eagle Rare , These are all bottled in very tall slender bottles that resemble wine bottles all the Info is painted on each bottle very distinctive and classy. Hopefully the new George T Stagg will share the same bottle , they would look impressive to anyone all lined up in a row. For now at least one really has to tip their hat to Buffalo Trace , With their new association with J VanWinkle and the new products they are developing, they are at the forefront in Bourbon . At least in my eye at the present time. I believe the Saz isn't too plentiful because I saw referrence that Ken Weber might Use some of his own stash for thee tour Thursday. Might want to grab a bottle if possible. If you come to Bourbon Fest not a problem . You may consider Mail order.

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Linn: What version of Old Potrero have you tried? I have a bottle of the Single Malt Straight Rye bottled last year. It had aged about 4 years, 10 months in cask. Bottled at about 62%. I thought it was very, very good, even at such a "young" age. Spicy, moouth-filling flavors, surprisingly full-bodied for a youngster with a lingering, delicious finish. I don't have the bottle here, so I can't give you the "essay number." Yes, $100 is a lot for a bottle. But, it is rare (only 500 bottles or so were made), unique (name another single malt straight rye on the market) and quite good (IMHO). I can't wait to taste what Maytag bottles in another five or six years.

SpeedyJohn

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

Speedy I only got a single taste of this stuff at a party last year. All I know is that it was extreamly young; hot and harsh with the nastiest finish I have ever run across. I had to gargle with Wild Turkey in order to get the taste out of my mouth! Why don't you bring your bottle with you to the bourbon festival and I'll give it another try.

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Remember, guys, Maytag put out two versions of his rye - a more mainstream version in charred oak barrels and a "George Washington replica" version in "toasted oak" barrels. These barrels were only lightly steamed to aid in stave-bending and were basically raw wood, supposedly duplicating early rye products. I tasted them both, and as far as I'm concerned, the toasted oak version tasted like something you'd use with a lit rag in the barrel neck to stop a tank in a street fight. Maybe poor Fritz happened on an old Whiskey Rebellion Molotov recipe (or receipt, as they used to spell it).

Ralph Wilps

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Spot on, Ralph.

Linn--Do you remember the color of the Old Potrero you tried? The version I have is very dark. If what you had was light in color, then it WAS rot gut. The older OP gets, the better it gets. Trust me. wink.gif I would love to have you sample the version of OP I have, but, unfortunately, I will not be at the festival. Work and family matters prevent me from coming frown.gif All I would ask is that if you get a chance to try the Single Malt Rye charred oak bottling from 2001, don't pass it up.

SJ

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

You are most likely correct, Ralph, that what I got a taste of was 'tank burner #2'. I've tasted some unaged straight rye whiskey made by some of our better local 'family distillers' that tasted much much better than the 'Old PoleCat' that Fritz has the nerve to put out on the market and charge a King's ransome for. Don't buy it. It sucks. frown.gif

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Guest **DONOTDELETE**

OK Speedy I'll take your word for it. Bring a bottle to next years Bourbon Festival, and I'll give her a go. If I don't like it you have to buy me a bottle of Van Winkel rye! grin.gif

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