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Rye and Bourbon

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Rye and Bourbon

Postby bamber » Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:56 am

Have really been getting into Bourbon lately - either I really enjoyed that Buffallo Trace and Elijah Craig 12YO or those whiskies have an unfeasibly low specific latent heat of vapourisation :)

Anyway thought I would give Rye a try and have just bought a bottle of Jim Beam Rye and Sazerac 18YO.

Tried the Jim Beam last night and really really liked it. Thought JM's tasting notes were spot on in this case (don't have book or my notes to hand so from memory):

n - lemon zest, lavender fruity
t - oily, fruity, minty good sweet, sharp sour balance
f - hot and delicious.

It also helped me understand the rye component taste in some of my favourite Bourbons.

Sazerac 18YO on Friday. Bottle is on my desk - keep looking at it. Looks soooo good.
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Postby Laphroaig » Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:45 pm

Old Sazerac Rye 18 is a great pickup. Last couple of vintages have been noteworthy.
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Postby BourbonBorderline » Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:46 pm

I've been hesitant in trying the Beam Rye as their white bottle bourbon in 4 YO and rough, IMHO. I guess their rye is 4 YO also.

I've been trying to find Wild Turkey Rye. 8 YO should help make it smoother. [I like WT 101 much better than JB].
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Rye and Bourbon

Postby Rudolph Hucker » Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:29 pm

I have an (unopened) bottle of Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey.

According to the label, this 4 yo was distilled and bottled in Kentucky.

However, in the Whiskies of the World section of this website, which shows exactly the same bottle, this is identified as a Canadian Rye Whisky, and Michael Jackson mentions that Old Overholt used to be distilled in Pennsylvania!

Anyone know which side of the border it really comes from?

Cheers

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Postby Laphroaig » Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:57 pm

Much of the American whisky trade was in Pennsylvania and Virgina. The whole Kentucky Bourbon thing was basically a revolt against taxes or fees. Land was ungoverned in Kentucky so a lot of farmers left for the westcoast, (Kentucky back then).

As for Canadian claims I don't know, maybe that was a reference to Canadian whisky often being Rye based? I dunno. But Henry Overholt I'm pretty sure did infact set up shop in Pennsylvania (originally).
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Jim Bram White and Rye

Postby bamber » Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:03 pm

Have to say that I've never thought of Jim Beam, white label as rough - just a little uninspiring maybe.

The Rye is far more interesting though (IMHO).

2 hour countdown till Sazerac time :D
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Postby Laphroaig » Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:54 pm

bamber,

Let me know what you think of the Sazerac. At 18 years of age, it proves interesting and somewhat unique imho.

Also if you have the recollection, I´m curious which vintage you have. I have a couple of bottles of the 2003 which I don't believe I have tried yet. I´m still working an 01 bottle these days.
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Postby bamber » Fri Apr 30, 2004 4:30 pm

Hi Laphroaig,

The bottle I'm lucky enough to have was distilled in spring 1983, and bottled fall 2001.

I have a glass of it here right now and have to say it is worth every penny - I guess you know that as you have your own bottle.

Really, really love the intense spicy flavours that the rye provides and despite having a cupboard full of expensive scotch, right now this is probably my favourite whisky (whiskey) - although it does have the advantage of sitting here right now ;)

Perfectly balanced and so complex, it really is a drink to ponder, whilst admiring the bottle.
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Postby Laphroaig » Fri Apr 30, 2004 6:50 pm

Ahh the 2001 bottling. Now I'll tell you something that I'll probably be slapped silly for saying. I got my bottle in the fall of 2001 and opened it shortly after. Drank maybe 4 or 5 shots... Moved (bought a house) and the bottle moved with me. Kind of got burried behind the other bottles... But I swear if there is such a thing as development in the bottle this particular bottle has that...

Originally, there was a pretty nifty and weighted mint expression in the 2001 bottle I have. I just recently went back to visiting the bottle and I must say it has moved from some of the heavier rye influences it once had to taste a lot more like traditional rye based bourbon.

Another thing isn't shocking is that you mentioned this in the same breath with single malt. Apparently the Sazerac did fairly well when offered to single malt drinkers during tastings. I tend to agree although I'm simply a whisk(e)y drinker and don't discriminate by settings.
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Postby Admiral » Sat May 01, 2004 1:23 am

I don't mean to sound pedantic ( :) trust me!), but how can you have a
traditional rye based bourbon
, when bourbon - by definition - is corn based?

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Rye and Bourbon

Postby bamber » Sat May 01, 2004 8:54 am

Shared some Sazerac last night, with an old school friend, it was supported by (to avoid excessive Sazerac damage):

Highland Park 18YO
Wild Turkey 80 proof
Jim Beam White Label
Jim Beam Black label

Oh dear should not have had the Sazerac first.

Tried some of the Jim Beam white label next (which I have not drunk for years) and to be honest I thought it was fake (as my parents got it from a holiday resort in Spain and it was very cheap).

Bought *another* :cry: bottle of white label to compare it to and it was identical.

Take back what I said that stuff (JB WL) is rough.

The other two bourbons were OK (ish) but ...

The Highland Park and Sazerac, got on famously - two great whiskies slugging it out, with one clear winner:

Me :)

BTW if JB white label has put you off trying JB rye, it shouldn't. The rye is infinitely better than the black and white label (IMHO).

As for Sazerac - best Whisky(ey) I've ever tasted (it also seems to produce a different type of intoxication - very relaxing).
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Postby Laphroaig » Mon May 03, 2004 9:01 pm

Admiral, sheer numberwise you are correct. It was a terminology thing. Rye based or Rye formula in terms of bourbon (to me) means the strong malt is Rye (as opposed to Wheat). For example, George T. Stagg and A H Hirsch to name a couple are Rye formula bourbons. Obviously all bourbon is CORN based if you want to talk percentage, but ask yourself what distinguishes the various brands and vintages AFTER the corn factor?

Would Rye recipe be a better term to use?

:D
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Postby Admiral » Tue May 04, 2004 4:20 am

Laphroiag,

Aah...now I understand.

Perhaps a good term to use would be rye-flavoured bourbon?

Cheers,
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Postby Laphroaig » Tue May 04, 2004 4:14 pm

I might add that the term Rye based / formula or Wheat based / formula are not things I made up myself off the top of my head. These terms exist with in the industry's circle. Take a look at the following quote from an article in Cocktail Times:

http://www.cocktailtimes.com/distillery ... dex.shtml#

Julian Van Winkle, Independent Bottler of Old Rip Vin Winkle Bourbon, told Cocktail Times, "My grandfather always used wheat instead of rye in his Bourbon formula. This makes for a smoother and mellower flavor that most other Bourbons. The wheat also ages more gracefully than rye based Bourbon."

Did you catch the last three words of the quote? :wink:
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