Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – 50%ABV – 750ml bottle – $20 | £25 | €30
Today I am reviewing one of the more surprising American whiskeys I’ve had to date. I am normally of the mind set that “if it costs more and is harder to get, the better it is”. This one breaks the mold for sure (thankfully).
I’ve got here a $20 bottle of kick-ass, high proof, American Straight Rye whisky – Rittenhouse Rye 100 Proof. Not only is it inexpensive but it’s quite ubiquitous. You can’t go into a spirit shop (or shoppe) without finding a bottle of this stuff. And, to me, this is a good thing.
On the nose — Initial few whiffs are very deceiving offering up softer notes of buttered crumpets and dark chocolate.
After nosing is for a bit longer, however, the bite starts to kick in and great vanilla and blueberry notes (yay rye whiskey!) pop as do gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.
A great nose though very stinging (I like that – it lets me know I’m still alive and kicking).
If the ABV weren’t so high I could continue to nose the shit out of this one.
On the mouth — The entry here is soft (yes, even at 50% ABV) and the fluid feels, not tastes, feels like thick Kool-aid drink – take a Kool-Aid packet and add about 10% less water and that’s the feel you get.
Starts off like over-cooked butter then gets earthy. Fresh soil and crystalized ginger – Oh, this is getting stronger, and stronger – alcohol infused flan – Oh, this is good.
Finish — Long and longer. Strong and stronger.
In sum — I seriously can not believe that this is only a $20 bottle and was amazed to know that it was named “North American Whiskey of the Year” at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and won a World Whisky Award for Best American Whiskey in 2010 — awesome and well deserved. Another great whiskey from the Heaven Hill family of whiskeys.