100 Proof Straight Rye Whisky
Someone once said, “if a bar doesn’t have either Rittenhouse or Old Overholt Rye as their house rye, they shouldn’t call themselves a bar.” I can’t remember who said it, probably me, but either way I agree.
Rittenhouse Rye is a product from liquor giants Heaven Hill Distilleries and is one of two ryes they produce, the other being Pikesville Rye. With rye having such a popular resurgence, I’m surprised they haven’t been expanding their portfolio, but I guess they figured hey we have the most affordable, solid rye on the market, probably should just stick with that.
I need you to have a seat because I’m gonna say something crazy right now. I think I like rye better than bourbon. WHWHTATAAATTTTT!!! Ok, I will take that statement back and make a less INSANE statement–I like the way Rye SMELLS better than bourbon. Can we all live with that? Ok. I just love the nose of a good, good rye. Rittenhouse pleases from the get-go with notes of bittersweet dark chocolate, vanilla, and molasses, followed by rye (duh), mint, and tobacco. So basically pair this with cookies and cream ice cream and a pack of Newports, and you’re good to go. Just kidding, but that would be something! Nose-wise it’s great, not as mind blowing as the nose on say the Jefferson Rye, but still really good. First sip you notice the spicy rye pretty upfront, but it is quickly balanced out with a perfect sweetness. I’m getting honey, burnt sugar cookie, vanilla, and the bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, and molasses of the nose are definitely there, along with a nuttiness I didn’t get in the nose, plus some light oak to remind you where it came from. Fairly light bodied, medium finish with some tongue-rattling spice. This is a bottled-in-bond whiskey, so I expect and welcome the slight aggressiveness. I wouldn’t say it isn’t smooth, but it lets you know it’s there, and you’re like, “hey, stay a while buddy. I want you to burn my face off.”
Rittenhouse Rye makes a killer Manhattan component, or for any mixed drink calling for rye, but I personally love it on its own, neat. Also good news: I read here that the bottle design is getting a makeover, but I have yet to see this new design in stores. While I don’t absolutely love the new proposed design, I will say I like it more than the current one, so a nice upgrade.
Rating: 8.9 / 10
Bought at Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, GA for $22