Thursday, February 13, 2014

Battle of the Four Ryes

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.

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