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Old Portrero Rye


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http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=81835&postcount=1

Also, I've just finished my bottle of the barrel-strength single malt, and have sampled the Hotalings (never would have guessed its age -- seemed like 'rey dog', to me).

But, the straight rye at barrel proof is the best of the lot, I think.

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I don't know whether they are still making the Hoatling's or not. I haven't seen it on the shelf for at least a year.

From Old Potrero, I've tried their regular NAS, which they no longer seem to make, the 18th century and the Hoatlings. I've really liked them all, though I think Hoatling's may have been the best. They have a huge, spicy rye flavor, very different taste from straight rye.

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  • 2 months later...

I recently purchased a bottle of Old Potrero Rye Whiskey.

It was pretty confusing to me at first because it reminded me of something but I could not remember what it was. It's got a very smooth taste and I got a nice flavor of creme soda then the finish is very rye.

Nothing like any current American Rye I've tasted and that's what confused me.

Then I figured out what taste this reminded me of and it was Bushmills 16.

Greg

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The connection is probably the pot still in both. Also, Potrero rye is quite young and the charred barrel doesn't seem to have a big impact, if it was released at say 4-6 years old I think the resemblance to Irish would not be as strong and Potrero rye would resemble more other American straight ryes.

The recent release of a genever-type gin by Anchor, using a low-distilled rye mash as a base, is very interesting and I look forward to trying it at Gazebo upcoming since a Sb-er stated he would bring it there. For years I have noted that true genever gin used a mash which is essentially like an American rye whiskey mash and the distillation proof was low enough to retain grain flavors, as for rye and bourbon. The differences are that American rye is aged in new charred wood and genever gin is not necessarily aged and when it is, re-used wood has been the norm for a long time.

Gary

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The connection is probably the pot still in both. Also, Potrero rye is quite young and the charred barrel doesn't seem to have a big impact, if it was released at say 4-6 years old I think the resemblance to Irish would not be as strong and Potrero rye would resemble more other American straight ryes.

The recent release of a genever-type gin by Anchor, using a low-distilled rye mash as a base, is very interesting and I look forward to trying it at Gazebo upcoming since a Sb-er stated he would bring it there. For years I have noted that true genever gin used a mash which is essentially like an American rye whiskey mash and the distillation proof was low enough to retain grain flavors, as for rye and bourbon. The differences are that American rye is aged in new charred wood and genever gin is not necessarily aged and when it is, re-used wood has been the norm for a long time.

Gary

ahh interesting about the pot still. I'll have to find some other pot still whiskeys and see if that flavor carries though.

I believe that the bottle said that it was a mingling of whiskeys from 3 to 11 years old (this is the 90 proof version). I'll double check the text tonight. I could be wrong.

I've been keeping my eye out for some of their other offerings so I'll add the genever gin to my mental list.

Greg

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Please indicate that label info, perhaps the current version of Potrero straight rye contains more aged whiskey than it used to. For many years it was not more than 2-3 years old. Still, it sounds like it retains enough young whiskey so its pot still origins are still forward. Generally, a combination of pot stilling and use of unmalted grains produces vigorous flavors. Take WR for example. Irish pure pot still is an analogue. Bushmills, however, is an all-malt drink (I am excluding the blended versions which aren't material in this context). Yet, Bushmills' malts do taste somewhat like a pure pot still (Dublin-style) Irish. There is a lot of discussion why, and I am not sure of the reason.

Gary

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I believe that the bottle said that it was a mingling of whiskeys from 3 to 11 years old (this is the 90 proof version). I'll double check the text tonight. I could be wrong.

Let us know, indeed. This sounds very interesting. I'm a fan of Old Potrero and am always eager to see what they come out with next. If this is new, I'll have to try some.

This is a very informative discussion about pot still qualities (thanks Gary and Greg). I've only just begun some exploration of Irish whisky, which I've been enjoying quite a bit.

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Ok, just to clarify what I have been tasting:

Old Potrero Single Malt Rye Whiskey 19th Century Style.

http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us/oldpotrero.htm

It is 90 proof. I assumed it's been out a while but from re-reading some posts about Old Potrero Rye it looks like they did some younger barrel proof bottlings.

I re-read the back label and it does state that the whiskey in this bottle is a mingling of whiskeys from 3 to 11 years old. The color is dark and would indicate to me that the whiskey is over 6 years old at least.

Originally I was very confused by this whiskey because I was prejudiced to thinking it was going to taste like American Ryes so it really threw me off the first taste.

After Gary's comments about the pot still, I went back and had another taste. It certainly made more "sense" to me and I could pick up more flavors that reminded me of some single malts.

This Whiskey is smooth. Has a bit of spice up front with that distinct pot still flavor then I get a very long middle of creme soda then some spice comes back over the sweetness to the finish. It has a "thick" sweetness. Very well balanced.

I paid $53 and I am going to purchase this whiskey again.

Greg

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Very interesting. The increased age of this whiskey is something new to me, I would be interested now to try it again. I found the profile based on 2 years of age or so not appealing, this sounds much better.

Gary

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I too would be interested in trying this again, though I quite liked the original barrel proof youngster. I had thought the new version was also young, but lower in proof...the blend of ages could really bring something to the table...not sure about that 90 proof statement though...

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Timothy, when the 90 proofer came out some years ago it was still not much more than 2 years old as I recall; it did not contain the statement mentioned about incorporating whiskey up to 11 years old, again to my best recollection.

Gary

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Ok, just to clarify what I have been tasting:

Old Potrero Single Malt Rye Whiskey 19th Century Style.

I paid $53 and I am going to purchase this whiskey again.

I believe this one (as opposed to the Straight Rye) or at least part of it is aged in toasted barrels, not charred. And I think the 11 year old spirit in this blending, I'm guessing taken from the Hoatalings batches, was in used barrels--a la Scotch style.

Unorthodox methods--although Fritz Maytag claims he's trying to get closer to our forefather's style, like aged young whiskey. Either way, I greatly admire what the man is doing. :bowdown:

BTW, Greg, where did you get this newer release?

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I believe this one (as opposed to the Straight Rye) or at least part of it is aged in toasted barrels, not charred. And I think the 11 year old spirit in this blending, I'm guessing taken from the Hoatalings batches, was in used barrels--a la Scotch style.

Unorthodox methods--although Fritz Maytag claims he's trying to get closer to our forefather's style, like aged young whiskey. Either way, I greatly admire what the man is doing. :bowdown:

BTW, Greg, where did you get this newer release?

Actually I left out "straight" in the descriptor. The whole *whew* name is:

OLD POTRERO® SINGLE MALT STRAIGHT RYE WHISKEY

I don't think he mingled any of the 18th century or hotalings because in order to call it "rye whiskey" it has to be aged in new charred oak barrels. The 18th century whiskey uses toasted barrels and the hotalings uses once used charred oak whiskey barrels.

I purchased it at a local liquor store, the only one on the shelf. I'll be checking around a few places to see if I can find any more.

Greg

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Please indicate that label info, perhaps the current version of Potrero straight rye contains more aged whiskey than it used to. For many years it was not more than 2-3 years old. Still, it sounds like it retains enough young whiskey so its pot still origins are still forward. Generally, a combination of pot stilling and use of unmalted grains produces vigorous flavors. Take WR for example. Irish pure pot still is an analogue. Bushmills, however, is an all-malt drink (I am excluding the blended versions which aren't material in this context). Yet, Bushmills' malts do taste somewhat like a pure pot still (Dublin-style) Irish. There is a lot of discussion why, and I am not sure of the reason.

Gary

Gary there is an interesting 10 minute video on the Anchor site where Fritz discusses their pot still and whiskeys.

http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us/anchordistilling_video.htm

He states that their rye whiskey products use a 100% malted rye recipe.

Greg

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I'll check this, thanks. However you have clarified that you are talking about the straight rye as I initially understood, i.e., aged in all-new charred wood as you said. That originally was not a mingling of whiskeys up to 11 years old as far as I recall, so what you have is new or relatively.

It is single malt because all from malted rye, which is fine; as long as at least 51% is and it is aged in new charred oak for at least two years it can be called straight rye.

He must have stocks aged both in toasted (like Hotalings) and charred new wood.

Gary

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Does the "single malt" definition mean that all the grain in the product has to be of one grain and that all that grain is malted?

I am trying to understand the difference between this 100% malted rye Old Potrero and the present day American rye whiskeys.

The American Rye Whiskeys we are all familiar with are over 51% to be called rye whiskey.

What percentage of rye is typical?

how much of that rye is malted?

what other grains are used and in what general percentages?

what other malts are used and in what general percentages?

Thanks!

Greg

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Does the "single malt" definition mean that all the grain in the product has to be of one grain and that all that grain is malted?

My technical understanding is that it is all malted grain and from one distillery. It may require all the malted grain to be the same grain, but I'd have to check that, though there is a specific category for "Malted Rye" IIRC, so that's what's making me think it just has to be all malted grain, but not one specific grain.

I am trying to understand the difference between this 100% malted rye Old Potrero and the present day American rye whiskeys.

The American Rye Whiskeys we are all familiar with are over 51% to be called rye whiskey.

What percentage of rye is typical?

From what I understand, pretty close to that 51% mark...rye is pretty pricey compared to corn, so the few people who distill it are trying to keep costs down. I mean, look at the prices on most distillery released rye, you've got Jim Beam/Old Overholt and Rittenhouse/Pikesville/Etc and Fleischmann's all low cost bottlings, then you have Wild Turkey and Sazerac, both about $20-25ish...they don't have much excess income to spend on pricey grains.
how much of that rye is malted?

None.

what other grains are used and in what general percentages?

Corn and Barley Malt. Probably 10-12% barley malt with the rest corn

what other malts are used and in what general percentages?

See above.

I'm sure Chuck will correct anything I have wrong, but I think this is fairly accurate.

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Okay looked it up:

"Bourbon whisky", "rye whisky", "wheat whisky", "malt whisky", or "rye

malt whisky" is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a

fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley,

or malted rye grain, respectively,

The thing to note here is "respectively"..so Malt Whisky is specifically Malted Barley. What we are dealing with is "Rye Malt Whisky".

I think they need to rewrite this regulation...it could be read

"...fermented mash of not less than 51%: corn, rye, wheat..."

as opposed to:

"...fermented mash of: not less than 51% corn, rye, wheat..."

In the first it would allow for 51% malted barley to be considered a single malt whisky, in the second it clarifies that only the first on the list is allowed the 51%...

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Timothy, thank you for the knowledge. Interesting to know that most are staying close to that 51% mark for rye.

Now i'm realizing the big difference between the typical american ryes and this Potrero rye in regards to the mash bill.

Greg

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Hello,

Do you know weather Old Potero miniature bottles are produced now?

Regards

Lukasz

Not sure. There were some 50ml bottles done once for a tasting (Whiskyfest Chicago 2002, when Fritz was giving a lecture) but they were label-less with only about 10-20ml in the 50ml bottles...can't remember the specifics for sure....seems like it was a 1yo and a 4yo...with a matching bottle of water. I lost my notes on what the set contained...but I've got all three still.

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  • 1 month later...
Dramiel McHinson

Great discussion. The regulatory process that leads to a specific descriptor on the bottle can be pretty misleading when you want to know what your whiskey is made out of.

The Scots call a whisky, single malt, if it comes from a single distillery. That's important in that most distilleries send their whisky to the blending houses and the single malt loses its identity. They use malted barley for their scotch whisky so it's pretty easy to figure out what the mash bill is on a single malt scotch whisky.

I'd love to get a rye whiskey that is 100% rye. I'm assuming rye needs malting in order to prepare the grain for fermentation and to get the best yield of alcohol. If it were toasted to stop the sprout then that might add an even better taste.

Our family malts and roasts barley and rice to make a grain tea that is very good and good for you. I may have to try some rye just to see what it may taste like. Unfortunately, our tea has zero alcohol. I guess that's why I visit the liquor store so often.

Anybody know of a 100% rye whiskey out there?

Cheers!

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