Rittenhouse Rye 100 (bottled in bond) is among the best whiskeys you can buy in the $20 – $25 range. It’s just plain magnificent. The nose may be a tad weak, but the flavor, finish and balance completely save the day.
Rich in flavor and full of complex notes that run the gamut from sweet to savory to spicy and back again it’s everything you want in a good quality whiskey and a strong and fearless bannerman for the rye category. For years I considered Sazerac rye (baby saz) THE quintessential rye by which all others are judged, but I’m beginning to sway and have recently been leaning a bit more towards sliding Rittenhouse into that category.
Overall this rye is about as balanced, flexible and versatile as they come. Delicious neat? Check. Holds up on the rocks? Check. Amazing in cocktails? Double check. It’s just not possible to go wrong with this rye and when it comes to value for money the Rittenhouse Rye 100 is incredibly hard to beat. If you’ve never had it you need to do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle this weekend. You can thank me later.
Feel free to add your own thoughts or notes on the Rittenhouse 100 below.
Rittenhouse Rye 100 Review
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Dark rich caramel with hints of copper.
Light on the nose, the rye spice floats out first followed by a modest caramel and vanilla. Pepper, leather and fresh tobacco mix with rye spice, a dusty oak and tiny bit of iodine to make for a light, but pleasant, sniffing experience.
What the nose lacks the taste more than makes up for. Big bold rye spice floods the palate along with honey, red pepper, cinnamon and caramel syrup (like Torani, not the ice cream topping). There is a bit of fruit like those apple pear hybrids and some leather hanging out in the back. Subtle, but definitely making themselves known. A splash of water kicks up the vanilla, ice seems to bring out more of the rye and in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned it makes one hell of a statement.
A bit hotter compared to similar whiskeys bottled in bond like Old Grand-Dad. It’s a tad rough, but it’s such a well balanced whiskey that the burn just becomes part of the experience; in no way detracting from the whiskey as a whole.
The finish is long and delicious with the rye fading to some oak with a hint of caramel, corn and barley.