Whisky Connosr
Shop Join

Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Proof

The Rye to Catch (if you can)

0 488

@JeffCReview by @JeffC

16th Mar 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 proof is described as a Pennsylvania style rye whisky. My bottle is also tagged with the designation "Bottled in Bond" which means the production of the whisky underwent certain supervision by the U.S. Federal government.

My understanding is that this whisky is difficult to locate on the West Coast of the United States and availability on the East Coast is also spotty. I am not sure if it is widely available elsewhere. Given that I live in Virginia which is only one state away from the main production center of U.S. whisky (Kentucky) I would expect availability to be better in Virginia but in the state run liquor stores this product is not sold. It is widely available in Maryland and Washington, D.C. though, fortunately just a few miles away from my home in Virginia.

I have tried several ryes a few times and currently also have bottles of two other reasonably priced (around $US 20) ryes: Sazerac 6 year old and Pikesville. The Rittenhouse is by far and away my favorite. Jim Murray ranks this very highly as well.

I am sometimes over eager to try something after pouring. This whisky definitely benefits from sitting in the glass for a few minutes although I did not find that it benefits from water. The taste and nose literally evolve over 10 minutes or so. After sitting for a few minutes the nose has light nutty (pistachio) nougat, chocolate, and light fruit aromas. At times I also detected a meaty smell but I think this may be that I have eaten so many rye sandwiches that I instinctively associate rye smell with lunch meat.

Taste wise there is also a slight nutty taste, a definite pepper kick together with some chocolate and oaky notes. The finish is medium.

This big rye warms you from the inside out and I highly recommend it. Even though there are lots more ryes I also want to try, I think this will always have a spot in my cabinet.

Related Rittenhouse reviews


Victor commented

Prior to Prohibition, Rittenhouse was originally a Pennsylvania rye whiskey, the branding rights for which were bought by Heaven Hill and its distillation thereafter moved to Kentucky and resumed. Similarly Pikesville was originally a Maryland rye which after Prohibition also became a Heaven Hill product. The 80 proof version of the Rittenhouse Rye has the off white/light yellow label pictured. The 100 proof Bottled in Bond version reviewed has a black label. JeffC, I appreciate your comments about letting the Rittenhouse BIB breathe for 10 minutes before tasting. I don't usually tend to be that patient. I look forward to giving it a try.

11 years ago 0

Victor commented

A correction and additional comment about Pikesville Rye: Pikesville did indeed survive until after Prohibition in Maryland. It was not until the 1970s that Heaven Hill acquired the Pikesville brand.

11 years ago 0

AboutChoice commented

@JeffC, that was an informative review. Since you prefer this over Saz 6, I may have to try it ... and especially at that price. But alas not to be found in OH or MI ... makes you wonder what's up with MD and DC :)?

11 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

@AboutChoice...this one is now in Ontario at the LCBO for CAN$35 if you're still looking for it. A quick check of the (sometimes inaccurate) daily LCBO inventory however, shows that the closest store for you would be in Kitchener (about 2 1/2 hours east along the 402/401 from the Port Huron/Sarnia crossing, depending on what your definition of the 'flow of traffic' is). I'm keeping an eye out for it in London (only an hour or so from the same border crossing) and will let you know if I find it. Otherwise, a trip west to the Chicago area will find you paying $20 at Binny's.

11 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in