Over last weekend's business trip to Apalach, four of us sat down over sixteen glasses to try four ryes. The contenders:
The results: everybody liked Knob Creek the best. Not surprising, Knob Creek always puts out a top-knotch whisky.
Dad's Hat Vermouth Finish was an odd one. While I enjoyed it immensely, opinions varied substantially. Nobody actually spit, but I could tell one of our merry band was getting close. Me, I could chuck a cube of ice and an olive in it, serve it in a Martini glass, call it the best of all worlds and call it a day.
Bulleit is very good. At 60% the price of Knob Creek, it delivers the flavor Ford F-150 style: solidly and in full measure, but there's some good taste lurking in the background too. It's my #2 choice of this bunch.
In this high-dollar company, $14-a-fifth Old Overholt held its own. Two of the tasters declared this to be their second-favorite of the bunch. Being 40%+ corn whisky, this doesn't have all the complexity of the other three, but boy does it pack an up-front flavor. I've been saying it for years: it's good enough to sip and cheap enough to mix. Evidently, the folks at theKitchn agree (it's an informative article, go read).
Well, there were two missing persons in this line-up, High West Double Rye and (RI)1 (pronounced "Rye One"). I'll have to do a head-to-head test with these at some later date, but working from memory the (RI)1 is awfully like Knob Creek, perhaps just a bit less full-flavored, while the High West Double is all about the spice, sort of a "more of what you came here for" proposition.
Testing will continue. Stay tuned.