Rittenhouse Rye is produced in the tradition of the classic Pennsylvania or “Monongahela” rye whiskeys, which are believed to have had a spicier and fruitier flavor profile. This style is said to be a high rye mash bill consisting of 80-100% rye grain. Ironically Rittenhouse is low rye (51%) which is typical of the modern Kentucky rye mash bill.
Rye Whiskey in American refers to whiskey where the mash profile contains at least 51% Rye. Usually, this spirit will also include corn and malted barley in the mash bill also. This spirit must be distilled to no more than 80% ABV and then casked in new fill American oak for two years. These whiskeys tend to be spicer and fruitier than your average bourbon.
Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond. This whiskey is a straight Rye, which means it hasn’t been blended with other whiskeys and is bottled at 100% Proof or 50% ABV.
Similar to Woodford Reserve Rye, which is another rye that has a nontypical flavor profile and low rye in the mash bill, some might be surprised by what they find during their first sip. This is especially true if one bought this rye expecting to find a more typical spicier and hotter rye flavor profile found in many modern-day ryes. That being said while Woodford Reserve Rye leans more towards a typical bourbon flavor profile, Rittenhouse Rye still grounds itself as rye, just one that’s very fruit-forward. As a result, this might be appealing to bourbon drinkers looking to begin an exploration into ryes, as it does not have the intense spice many other modern-day ryes offer.
What some of our whisky enthusiast friends have said about Rittenhouse Rye
Quote 1 “Tried to climb on the Bourbon bandwagon, only to learn that I don’t care for it much. So, tried ryes, instead: Old Overholdt (ok), Canadian Club 100% Rye (dreck), Bulleit Rye (ok, again). I despaired that I’d again find out that another whiskey was not to my to-be-honest limited palate’s liking…then I bought this. This gem, this nectar, this inexpensive workhorse of a libation! It’s not flashy or trendy, but it stands up incredibly well neat, or with water, or on (light) rocks or in cocktails. Simply a fantastic bottle of yum.”
Quote 2 “There is nothing trendy about this whiskey. The bottle doesn’t “do” anything cool. You can’t put ten labels together and make a treasure map. It doesn’t come to the liquor store strapped to the leg of a large bird of prey. The still used to make this whiskey does not employ the use of a Flux Capacitor either. What it does do is perform as an outstanding Rye and has been doing so for years…every bottle, every glass. It’s not the most widely used Rye by bartenders for no reason my friends….”
Quote 3 “This is one of the best rye whiskies I had ever, definitely comparable to bottles 3 to 4 times as much. Stock up when you find it.”