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Rittenhouse Rye


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I have raved all over this board about Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond, so when I went to Binny's last week to stock up, I was disappointed that they were out. But, lo and behold, they did have Rittenhouse Rye 80 proof, which I had never seen or, at least, had not seen for many years.

At $9.99 it certainly was worth a try so I bought a bottle, and I'm very glad that I did.

While I still prefer the BIB, the 80 is terrific too, and a very different whiskey; light, spicy, peppery. Comparing it to the BIB, the BIB tastes more like a bourbon, the 80 more like a straight rye.

The 80's color is much lighter, which would figure since it has more water in it, but I suspect it's also younger.

Curiously, the back label says "distilled by D.S.P. KY 31." The preposition is significant. It says "by" not "at." D.S.P. KY 31 is the Heaven Hill plant that burned down in 1996. I certainly doubt this is 10-year-old whiskey. I guess HH can "use" the 31 even if the whiskey actually was distilled at D.S.P. KY 1, which is Bernheim in Louisville.

Maybe our authority on all things Heaven Hill can explain this anomaly.

Anyway, very good whiskey and a great value, highly recommended. Them Heaven Hill folks sure do make them some good straight rye whiskey. Yum yum.

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Curiously, the back label says "distilled by D.S.P. KY 31."...

Chuck,

This was also discussed in posts 50-55 of this thread . It finishes with a reply by Larry Kass.

I'm told they've changed the label so that it no longer calls out DSP KY 31, but I haven't seen one.

Roger

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Thanks. That explains it. It also explains...sort of...why the bottle of Rittenhouse BIB that I got at Sam's doesn't have a back label. I'm also surprised Binny's has such old stock. They had rather a lot of it too.

I do like it though, the 80 proof. I'm drinking it right now.

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Well, to add to the confusion, I just picked up 6 bottles of Rittenhouse BIB (that were special order not regularly carried by OLCC so I assume they ordered it directly from HH) that say "Distilled by D.S.P. KY 354...." Isn't this the Early Times distillery in Shively?

Chuck, I haven't tried the 80, but I've fallen hard for the BIB since first trying it a few months ago. I'm a little hesitant to try the 80 (given that I think both Old Overholt and Beam Rye would be better at a higher proof), but your positive comments might sway me.

I'm trying to stock up a bit on the BIB, because I can't help but think that the combination of recent great press and accolades for the BIB PLUS the release of a superpremium rye under the Rittenhouse label will almost certainly mean higher prices and higher demand in the near future.

Jeff

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Good catch, first appearance of evidence where some of the whiskey was made between the fire ('96) and the deployment of Bernheim some years later.

The BIB is 6 years old and the 80 proof 4 years old (Bettye Jo confirmed this a couple of months ago).

The extra quality of the BIB is therefore down not just to proof but also to age.

Still, the 80 proofer is very nice and if I saw any I'd buy it. I'd find many uses for it: neat sampling, in cocktails and for blending.

Gary

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I have a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof BIB.

It has no back label, and it does not have the U.S.Govenment warning about the ill effects of alcohol. But it does have the Universal Price Code bar and number.

It states that it was, "Bottled by Continental Distilling Co., Bardstown, KY"

Followed by, in small print, RW16679.

Is this an old bottle not bottled by Heaven Hill?

Was it intened for export? Hence no Govt. warning?

I got it at Sam's Wines in Chicago this past winter.

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I have a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof BIB.

It has no back label, and it does not have the U.S.Govenment warning about the ill effects of alcohol. But it does have the Universal Price Code bar and number.

It states that it was, "Bottled by Continental Distilling Co., Bardstown, KY"

Followed by, in small print, RW16679.

Is this an old bottle not bottled by Heaven Hill?

Was it intened for export? Hence no Govt. warning?

I got it at Sam's Wines in Chicago this past winter.

That's exactly what I have. Heaven Hill suspects the labels fell off. At any rate, the label was supposed to be there, though it's not something someone will go to jail for.

A bond has to have a DSP number on the label, so its absense is an error. Ditto the warning.

I'm glad to see Heaven Hill is sticking with "bottled in bond" and the requirements inherent in that designation, even when it means disclosing that some of their whiskey was made at a competitor's distillery.

I can tell you, however, that Parker and Craig Beam supervised the production at Shively, using their yeast and other specifications.

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  • 1 month later...

Just ordered two bottles of the BIB from Binnys the other day. I have never tired it but I'm really looking forward to it. I didn't really care for Old Overholt too much and my Sazerac Jr. is about to run out. I'm hoping this will be a fantastic replacement.

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Why doesn't Beam do a 100, or barrel, proof Overholt? In comparison to the other companies Beam seems less willing to try "new things" like this. I mean, just do it.

Gary

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The 100 proof is what made me enjoy WT Rye. I'd try a Beam Rye at 100 proof for sure.

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I think Beam is still too preoccupied with integration of its Allied acquisitions to be bothered with small potatoes like Old Overholt, or rye whiskey in general, but I suspect they will get around to it. If someone like Diageo or Brown-Forman makes a move into a straight rye, they will react, otherwise they may not. They don't pay much attention to the Heaven Hills and Buffalo Traces of the world.

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I don't think though they should assume what is small potatoes. Acquisition is all very well, but it does not substitute for product development and creation of line extensions. Companies have the ability to break through the wall on stuff like this. I am not saying Overholt is the answer (although who knows) but more attention to the brand would show me they care about the brand and where it came from, heritage in a word but also that they have their eye on the future.

All brands have a natural life. What will replace, ultimately, Beam white label?

In my opinion, Overholt should have been included in the small batch series. As now constituted, it is too repetitive. And to do that, the perfect way would have been to include a barrel-proof Overholt (or Jim Beam rye).

I think they should be looking at what the other companies are doing.

Gary

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I strongly agree with Gary. Old Overholt, in particular, is MUCH better than it was even a few years ago, and I admit to having a soft spot in my heart (aka bias) for it since it was my first rye. I would jump at a barrel proof or BIB OO. Rittenhouse BIB is not available here, or even the 80 proof, BTW, which is very annoying given the accolades heaped on the BIB. Pikesville Supreme, at 80 proof, is available with some difficulty, but nothing to write home about. Not bad, but not blog-inspiring. WT Rye is about $23 per bottle, IF it can be found, and that is way more than the $12.49/liter for OO, and definitely not worth it, IMHO. Personally, I wouldn't care if Wild Turkey distillery bit the dust, so to speak, for many reasons, but it would be great to try Rittenhouse BIB and the OO, as a barrel proof or BIB, could be amazing. My open ryes right now are Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye E 2076, Sazerac 18 2004, and OO, and next up is one of my Saz 2001s.

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Personally, I wouldn't care if Wild Turkey distillery bit the dust, so to speak, for many reasons

Now thems fightin words. :hot:

Joe :usflag:

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Why would anyone say such a thing? I love that Turkey! I'm actually taking my last final exam Friday night to finish my long overdue Bachelor's Degree. If I stay in I'm going to celebrate with WT 12, WT 15, and then the big boy himself..GTS.

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Is there anywhere in Bardstown or Louisville where you can buy any form of Rittenhouse rye whiskey?

Gary

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Last time I checked the was one place in Louisville that carried the 80 proof: Old Town Wine and Spirits

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Only place in KY I have ever seen it is at The Party Source in Newport, which is located just across the river from Cincinnati.

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And I how thought it should be a peas of cake to get Rittenhouse bib anywhere in Kentucky

Leif

Leif,

While you'll surely find a greater selection than to which you are accustomed, there are some labels that are hard-to-find or simply not available in KY.

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Thanks Jeff. Leif, Rittenhouse had its original market in Pennsylvania and other parts of the North and was not a local (to Kentucky) brand. It came to HH through label purchases as was explained recently on the board. Pikesville rye is a similar story. Even though made in Kentucky now, they are still sent to their original market areas where the demand is. Due however to publicity given to such brands on fora such as this one, the products are increasingly being made available nearer to home base.

Gary

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Thanks Jeff. Leif, Rittenhouse had its original market in Pennsylvania and other parts of the North and was not a local (to Kentucky) brand. It came to HH through label purchases as was explained recently on the board. Pikesville rye is a similar story. Even though made in Kentucky now, they are still sent to their original market areas where the demand is. Due however to publicity given to such brands on fora such as this one, the products are increasingly being made available nearer to home base.

Gary

For those of ya in search...of Rye...We don't produce a incredible amount of Rye, when ya compare it to bourbon production. Most of the Rittenhouse label goes north. Only a "few" cases will stay in Kentucky.

As mentioned in these posts---in reference to the 80 proof stuff....Pikesville, would be a good choice. Another bottling at 80 proof that's "overlooked" and folks don't realize to "buy" it...is the "Stephen Foster Rye"...

Bettye Jo

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