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K&L Best of 2010 Awards: Rye



So I ran out of Whistle Pig and Rittenhouse Rye and I couldn't take a fancy picture on my new camera, so the professional images from the fancy K&L webpage will have to do.  In any case, our prestigious year end award for rye goes to:

David D picks: Whistle Pig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey - Dave Pickerell, the former master distiller for Maker's mark, decided to open a distillery in Vermont.  The situation he was presented with was not unlike High West's David Perkins - sell gin and vodka, or go out and find some aged whiskey to sell in the meantime.  Pickerell went to Canada and located some pretty outstanding rye. Big, rich, mouthfilling rye that seemed to impress just about everyone who tasted it.  We're selling a case every two days right now, which should be an indication about how much people like this stuff.  This is fantastic whiskey that bourbon lovers will appreciate as well.

David OG picks: Rittenhouse 25 Year Old Rye - Truly the grandaddy of American rye whiskies.  This ancient beast from Heaven Hill is so rich and complex that it goes beyond any other aged option out there on the market.  Sazerac 18 is comparable, but really doesn't hit the level that the extra 7 years adds to this bottle.  This baby starts lingering into coffee, toffee, and nougat flavors all while keeping that classic rye spice.  Very much the Holy Grail of rye whiskey for the time being.

-David Driscoll

Reader Comments (3)

I have a feeling we'll soon be seeing Old World Spirits' future Rye on this list. I tasted the bit Davorin was working on a while back, and it is going to be a dandy. I hope he has the opportunity to age some for close to 10 years to see how it turns out.

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZachary Taylor

10 years would be amazing. I got the chance to taste his 6 month accelerated with wood chips and it was great!

December 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid D

David and David - two excellent whiskeys. Unfortunately I've not had the Rittenhouse 25 but I've always enjoyed their offerings. Whistlepig to me is "whiskey of the year" worthy for sure in the Rye category. As a bourbon lover I really appreciated the sweetness and richness it has in spite of being 100% rye and 10 years old. Rich as hell but perfectly balanced and nice oak integration. I tasted another rye from High West, a 12 year old 95% straight rye that's a distillery only offering that knocked Whistlepig off the top mark for the year for me. But it was darn close.

I really enjoy your site - you do great work and a fantastic job of educating. Cheers.


December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason Pyle

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