Rittenhouse Rye Bottled-In-Bond is the bottle that every beginner and experienced whiskey drinker would enjoy. The price point alone of $20-$25 should have you excited enough to give this a try. Coming from Heaven Hill Distillery, this rye has a great history. Pre-Heaven Hill Fire of 1996 Rittenhouse received high accolades and was one of the few rye whiskeys during the 70s and 80s that was still being produced.
While Rittenhouse may be a bit different these days due to being made at a different distillery, Brown Forman, it's still quite a catch nonetheless.
The important information to take into consideration, which is what truly sets this apart from many others ryes is that it is one of the few ryes on the market that is a bottled-in-bond. Bottled-In-Bond means that the whiskey has a few stipulations:
- Must be the product of one distillation season.
- Must be the product of one distiller at a single distillery.
- Must be aged in a federally bonded warehouse.
- Must be aged for at least FOUR years.
- Must be bottled at exactly 100 proof.
Bottled-In-Bond is usually a safe bet for both ryes and bourbons to ensure that you'll be getting solid juice, so keep your eye out. The consistency of the juice is usually pretty high as well due to all the stipulations.
Age: Non-Age Stated
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Mashbill: 51% Rye, 37% Corn, 12% Malted Barley
A pleasant nose to start with; leading to an immediate combination of fruits and grains. Hard to pin-point the exact flavors off the bat, as a bit of alcohol hits the nose here and there. After a few minutes of letting it sit, the nose begins to open up more, leading to the fruit smell of bananas and stone fruit. While I appreciate this Rye, I do wish that more complexity was present.
The aroma started off setting me up for decent expectations for this whiskey and the first sip definitely doesn't let me down. I'm thrown off guard a bit upon the first taste, I was initially expecting a bunch of spice as commonly noted with many ryes. I'd assume this change would be due to the lower rye profile, 51%. The bigger kick from the spice is what typically will drive a lot of people away from enjoying the branch of whiskey. Making this whiskey a perfect introduction into Ryes, giving you just enough to get the feel, but not tossing you off the deep end.
The taste adds in just a little bit of heat, definitely nothing that would have me reaching for ice cubes, but definitely brings a well balanced addition to the party. I feel if the proof was any higher, the heat would ruin what seems to be a very well-balanced rye. I'd love to see a little more mouth feel, but it provides itself with a nice bit of character.
For a rye, this has a very pleasant finish. At times, I'm overpowered with heat and spice, that I don't get to quite enjoy the changes to the finish. With the fruity aspect, low heat and low-medium spice, I'm able to truly enjoy this rye until it finally leaves the remainder from my tongue. On a scale of 1-10 for length of finish, I'd give it a 5. It's not the shortest finish, but leaves room for more. The last bit of the finish gives hints of pepper, which leads you to want to try a bit more, which is always a plus.
For $25, I honestly find a lot of value in this beauty. I'm hard pressed at this price point to find many ryes that are able to hold their weight. It ranks itself well enough to be able to justify it being a daily sipper, but I also have no issues wanting to use this in a mix drink recipe. Definitely would recommend for this to be in everyone's shelves. If you're hesitant of diving into ryes, this would be a great starter.
Final Score: 89/100