Straight Rye Whiskey
Distilled & Bottled by Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc
Louisville, KY DSP KY 1; Bardstown, KY DSP KY 31
Rittenhouse Rye is said to get its name from Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. It is an older brand, which eventually was acquired by Heaven Hill. Rye was once America’s spirit. There were two main styles of rye – Maryland Rye, which had a relatively low rye content (but at least 51%), with the rest of mash bill being made up generally of corn and malted barley. Pennsylvania (or Monongahela) Rye had a very high rye content, more similar to the 95% rye, 5% malted barley mash bill that has become synonymous with MGP rye today.
Since Philadelphia is closer to Maryland than to the Monongahela Valley, it is not clear exactly which style this rye was originally. However, today, its mash bill is closer to a Maryland rye, which is similar to Kentucky rye: 51% rye, 37% corn, 12% malted barley.
Most people have heard of Bottled in Bond Bourbons, but what about a Bottled in Bond rye? Rye can’t be Bottled in Bond you might be thinking. “Rye” not??😁 Of course it can, if it follows the exact same Bottled in Bond rules. Any spirit can be bottled in bond, but of course unaged spirits (Bottled in Bond spirits have to be aged at least 4 years) or spirits with any additives (additives are not allowed in Bottled in Bond) wouldn’t qualify.
Let’s taste it:
🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Heaven Hill Distillery 85th Anniversary glass
👉🏻Nose: Baking spices, some citrus, a hint of anise, sweet caramel, a touch of leather and more alcohol than I would have expected
👉🏻Taste: Baking spices, honey sweetness, some barrel char; medium bodied and crisp
👉🏻Finish: The char and dryness gradually rise to the forefront, but some honey sweetness and light rye spices remain. Moderately long with a light burn.
Rittenhouse Rye is a very pleasant rye, and honestly one that I more frequently use in cocktails than I drink neat. That, as I understand it, may be Heaven Hill’s intent. Have you had this rye? What do you think of it? Cheers!🥃
Want to read about another rye from Heaven Hill Distillery? Check out our review of Pikesville Rye!