Rye Whiskey - (rī¹)
Fielding and Jones, Deerfield, Illinois
INGREDIANTS: Grain - Rye (at least 51%) Corn, Malted Barley
PROOF: 92 (46%)
AGE: 4½ years minimum - bottled to profile
TYPE: Straight Rye, Kentucky Style, Small Batch Bottling (?)
PRICE: $ 55.99 - 750 ML
Notes: "(rī¹)" pronounced "rye one." This is a new release from Jim Beam as a premium rye. This is not a single barrel (see above) but a small batch from the mixing of a very small group of barrels.
Appearance: A deep patinated bronze in the bottle - yellow red almost golden winter wheat in the glass, flawless purity. Nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling with scattered rivulets rather than legs developing - seems like a rye characteristic to have larger legs.
First Impression: A bit spirity when poured , it settles down rapidly. Rye spiciness with oak and pepper notes, dried fruit and leather, dried orange peel, nutmeg dried cherries . Nicely complex bouquet overall.
Taste: Nicely weighty body and mouth feel generating warmth wherever it touches. Dried dark fruits (think fruitcake, but drier) dried orange peel, hints of cherry, vanilla, oak pepper, and cinnamon. Lingering spicy, slightly sweet finish with a notable dryness on the tongue and pleasant heat to it - nothing like the old style gargling-broken-glass feel we remember from some old style ryes.
Drinks: Rye is, of course, the proper whiskey for a Manhattan. Bourbon was later substituted as Rye was on the brink of extinction for a number of years until recently, but Rye was the original ingredient.That being said, most of the Rye in the late 1800s to 1950's was not aged much.This is a very nice expression of a rye for mixing as it still retains its youthful zest and spiciness to stand up well to mixers without being overly assertive. For traditionalists there is also of course the Sazerac Cocktail, the recipe from the Sazerac website is:
The Original Sazerac Cocktail
Take two heavy-bottomed 3 1/2-oz. Bar glasses; fill one with cracked ice and allow it to chill while placing a lump of sugar with just enough water to moisten it. Crush the saturated lump of sugar with a bar spoon. Add a few drops of Peychaud's Bitters, a jigger of rye whisky and several lumps of ice and stir briskly. Empty the first glass of ice, dash in several drops of Herbsaint, twirl the glass rapidly and shake out the absinthe. Enough of it will cling to the glass to impart the desired flavor. Strain into this glass the rye whisky mixture prepared in the other glass. Twist a lemon peel over the glass, but do not put it in the drink.
Cigars: Works well with Joya di Nicaragua or Dunhill - natural or Cameroon wrappers.
Bottle: The Cylindrical clear glass with a heavy decanter type bottom. Squared off shoulder with a very slippery wrap around label at top. Plastic coated paper label with "(rī¹)." A thin, clear glass neck which is a little short in my opnion, with a sharp shoulder to the long cylinder. The spare design shows off the color of the whiskey to good effect and the shape which is much closer to a modern style vodka bottle set it off against the standard bourbon and rye bottles you will find it next to.
Final Thoughts: This rye will change anyone's mind about rye whiskey for the better. Most people who have tried rye in the past 40 years or so would rather drink broken glass than rye because of their experience of the commonly available ryes.Rye and rye drinkers had been written of by major whiskey producers years ago.
This rye signals the renaissance of rye whisky making and a hopeful rebirth of not only the whiskey, but of a new population of rye drinkers. A real step forward for Beam in the rye department. Their yellow label by contrast is a poltergeist by comparison ( a tumultuous spirit with little body).
While I find the price a bit high (you can get a 6 year-old Sazerac for half the money or the 18 year-old Sazerac for not a lot more when it's available), its a decent rye and very approachable for novices (if a bit on the light side for the old school enthusiasts) and easily available unlike many other ryes.
Web site: http://press.ri1whiskey.com/lpa
Not a great deal of information here. Mostly a RSS feed of reviews and Press Kit that has rather skimpy information.