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Rye Whiskey Suggestions

wallaje

Contributor
Getting into Rye and I need some suggestions. I've recently picked up Bulleit Rye.
 
Bulleit's good stuff.

I picked up some Templeton, and while it's good, it's not worth 50% more than Bulleit.
 
forgive my ignorance, but learning is what this forum is all about! I have been a pretty avid Jack drinker for a long time; can someone describe the major differences between rye and bourbon? I am used to scotch as well, just not rye.
 
forgive my ignorance, but learning is what this forum is all about! I have been a pretty avid Jack drinker for a long time; can someone describe the major differences between rye and bourbon? I am used to scotch as well, just not rye.
I don't have a real discriminating taster, but to me the rye grain takes away some of the "sweety" taste of bourbon that I don't like. I like rye whiskey so much better than bourbon, and almost as much as scotch. It's got a bit of spice and pepperiness, like rye bread. Now, I can't tell too much difference between the ryes I have tried - Rittenhouse, Bulleit, and Dickel. The Rittenhouse BIB is 100 proof, where the others are 90, so you can tell a difference there. If I had to choose, I think I would take the Dickel but I would be happy with any of these. I believe they all come from the same distillery in Indiana, with the Dickel going through the Lincoln County charcoal process like JD does. Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong here. I've heard the affordable Old Overholt is pretty good, but I've never tried this. There are also some more expensive ryes, but they are out of my comfort zone.

red - I think you might like rye. I think it's a great mixer (I love me a ginger ale and rye), but these three are also good with just a cube or two of ice. I'm not a bourbon drinker, but I like rye as an alternative to scotch. YMMV, of course.
 
The LDI distillery in Indiana does indeed make both Bulleit and Dickel Rye, with the later going throug the Lincoln County process after aging. LDI also makes a number of ryes for other private bottlers like Willett. Buffalo Trace also makes Sazerac rye. Heaven Hill makes Rittenhouse.

To me the LDI ryes like Bulleit have this spearminty, oregano kind of kick that I dislike. Dickel Rye though, presumably because of the LC process, tastes different but less flavorful. I can tell right away though when I have an LDI rye. The best I had was an older bottle of Rittenhouse which unfortunately differs tremendously from batch to batch. The first bottle I had was outstanding with this complex layering of a nougat, nutty like flavor, the latter two mediocre. My review is here: http://www.connosr.com/reviews/ritt...ht-rye-100-proof/the-rye-to-catch-if-you-can/

Beam also makes Beam Rye. I presume they are handpicking the best barrels for the Knob Creek Rye which I have not tried yet.
 
I haven't seen it mentioned yet, so I'll put in a plug for Redemption Rye. When I say that it tastes like sweet sawdust I'm actually paying it a very high complement.
 
I don't have a real discriminating taster, but to me the rye grain takes away some of the "sweety" taste of bourbon that I don't like. I like rye whiskey so much better than bourbon, and almost as much as scotch. It's got a bit of spice and pepperiness, like rye bread. Now, I can't tell too much difference between the ryes I have tried - Rittenhouse, Bulleit, and Dickel. The Rittenhouse BIB is 100 proof, where the others are 90, so you can tell a difference there. If I had to choose, I think I would take the Dickel but I would be happy with any of these. I believe they all come from the same distillery in Indiana, with the Dickel going through the Lincoln County charcoal process like JD does. Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong here. I've heard the affordable Old Overholt is pretty good, but I've never tried this. There are also some more expensive ryes, but they are out of my comfort zone.

red - I think you might like rye. I think it's a great mixer (I love me a ginger ale and rye), but these three are also good with just a cube or two of ice. I'm not a bourbon drinker, but I like rye as an alternative to scotch. YMMV, of course.

For the money Overholt is very good--excellent value, IMO. I'm not sure if it changed, or my taste refined a bit more over the years, but I don't think it is quite as good as when it was made in Pennsylvania.
 

wallaje

Contributor
Thanks for info. I do like the bulleit, but I will seek out a couple of these others for comparison. I will follow up with a review of some of these if I can find them. Thanks.
 
My advice is to pick up a few 50ml miniatures. You can usually get some decent bourbon that way (I've seen Knob Creek, Gentleman Jack,etc) and even some decent Scotch too (Macallan 12 and 18, and other 12 y.o. bottles as well)
 
Another vote for Old Overholt. I also love Crown Royal (As basically many Canadian Whiskeys are in fact Rye)

Crown Royal, and most other Canadian whiskies are blends, not straight rye. Most Canadians refer to them as "rye" but it is a misnomer.

I should make it a bit more clear. Canadian whiskeys tend to have a bit of rye in the mix, but are a mix of grains, corn usually being the predominant grain from what I understand. Bourbon is made from corn (at least 51% I believe) and other grains. For most bourbons rye is the second grain used. Some bourbons (Maker's Mark, Weller, Van Winkle) use wheat as the second grain--and often referred to as "wheated bourbons" by bourbon drinkers.

When we discuss true rye these days, we are referring to whiskey made predominantly (or totally) from rye. Straight rye is not a blend, rather one particular whiskey.
 
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It's a bit off topic but.. I tried a bottle of Samuel Adams' "Little White Rye" the other night. Its a rye-based beer with a touch of orange and caraway. Good stuff. Might be just the ticket for an all-Rye boilermaker.
 
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