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Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Proof

How Sweet It Is!

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@RantavahtiReview by @Rantavahti

5th Aug 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Proof, Bottled in Bond, it said in the bottle. And "How sweet it is to be loved by you", it almost made me sing.

Rittenhouse 100 Proof BIB is like the 1968 movie How Sweet It Its! Produced with tradition. And sweet it is in every way. I noticed, that only little bit of water addition is enough, even though this has 50% ABV level.

Nose: Sweet maple syrup right at the start. Sweetness continues with caramel and tropical fruit notes and with some sweet rye.

Taste: Dark and sugared rye make you want the taste last forever. Smooth and sweet, a bit crispy with mint. Notes of caramel and oak.

Finish: Nice length but a bit light with oak and spices and bitter notes.

Balance: Great rye whisky, without the light finish probably a 90 point dram for me.

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Rigmorole commented

I can get these bottles for under $20. Can you believe it? Nice review. I've been drinking this one for many years. The quality is going down, like most bourbons, as world demand increases. It used to be way better, IMO

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Rantavahti, thanks for a nice review. It's been years since I've had a sip of Rittenhouse BIB, though I did recently finally finish off my one bottle of Rittenhouse 40% rye. I've been sitting on an unopened bottle of the BIB for about 4 years now, having consumed one or two bottles of it prior to that.

Rittenhouse BIB is a go to choice among US bartenders. Ten years ago Rittenhouse was one of only about half a dozen US ryes which were ever present, usually one or two at a time, at US liquor stores. Nowadays there are probably 20 or 30 new rye distilleries opening in the USA every 6 to 12 months. There's going to be rye whiskey made 10 clicks away from my house in Montgomery County, Maryland, soon. I hope we get to keep half of these new producers through the next economic "contraction".

8 years ago 0

Rantavahti commented

Wow, under 20 dollars @rigmorole? I paid 35 euros (around 46 bucks) for my bottle on a cruise boat across Sweden and Finland. In a tax free shop. And it felt like a bargain. Even the fact that I can get some other American, than Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam in these latitudes, feels amazing. Buffalo Trace and Maker's Mark are at the moment, marked as "novelty" in Finnish liquor stores. I actually thanked the cruise ships "in charge of the alcohol" guy, while selecting my bottle.

Thanks @Victor for the info, rye is certainly rising its head, even in Finland. Saw this marketing text by Rittenhouse: "Produced in the tradition of the classic Pennsylvania or Monongahela rye whiskies". Keen to know, what that "Monongahela" means? Even bumped into it on Boardwalk Empire: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9253027/…

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I checked the pricing. Last year, I picked up a bottle for $19. This year, it's recently jumped up to $25 from $22 a few months ago. The actual bourbon tasted better a few years ago, as I've said. It's not as interesting now, at least to me. I've been enjoying Big Bottom bourbons. They are made locally near me and they are quite good. I also like Old Weller 12 Year.

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Rantavahti, as you say, rye grain is big in Finland. With any luck you'll have a few more Finnish rye whisky distilleries within the next several years. I have very much enjoyed the rye whisky which @maltster gave me from Austria. There is lots of good European rye out there, and hopefully a lot more to come.

The Monongahela is a river in Southwestern Pennsylvania and north-central West Virginia. Before US Prohibition (1920-1933) almost all of the US rye whiskey was made in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The area on the Monongahela was the site of many of those distilleries. By the end of Prohibition most of the rye distilleries had been financially wiped out. Most of the major brands were bought out by Jim Beam (e.g. Old Overholt) and Heaven Hill (e.g. Rittenhouse and Pikesville--a Baltimore, Maryland rye), and subsequently produced in Kentucky. Gibson's was a Western Pennsylvania rye distiller which fled to Canada to avoid Prohibition. Their 18 yo is currently one of the best Canadian whiskies. Rye whiskey production is only recently coming back to this region in the form of microdistilleries. Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, Virginia, maybe 60 km from where we live, is literally a "mom and pop" distillery which has been making 100% rye whiskey for a few years now. They are growing and thriving financially with a "think global, drink local" motto, and a very hands on, personal touch. I think that Catoctin Creek is a model for the financially successful contemporary US microdistillery-- they are all about community involvement. They successfully invite their community to see them as the best of neighbors, whom others will want to support.

8 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@Rantavahti, on the lighter side, your question, "what that "Monongahela" means?" is a classic school-yard riddle that has been asked millions of times in a different form.

Three Rivers Stadium was home to Pittsburgh's Major League Baseball team, the Pirates and the National Football League franchise, the Steelers, from 1970 - 2000.

QUESTION: which three rivers have their confluence nearby THREE RIVERS STADIUM?

ANSWER: Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio....even the Canadian baseball fans love this brain-teaser.

8 years ago 0

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