Monday, August 20, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

Since I had some Wild Turkey rye two nights ago, I figure that I might as well make another tour of all my ryes; and what better place for stop #2 than baby Sazerac. The picture to the right is a bit misleading; the flash has made it appear a lot paler than it really is. In reality, it's a deep, copper brown. It's also good rye, and easily identifiable as rye. It's less pungent than the Wild Turkey, but it still is very pungent, as most ryes are. The age gives it a good deal of vanilla and caramel. But we've been over this ground before.

The past few years have been a renewed golden age for rye. It has gone from a nearly-dead genre to a thriving one, with several new bottlings to try. Baby Saz is one of those. Another is the Rittenhouse 21 year old that has come on the market in the past couple of years. This latter is notable for something else: it's price. It's $140 a fifth. That's a lot of money, and a few years ago, it would have been utterly absurd for an American distillery to put that kind of a pricetag on any whiskey and expect to get it. That's no longer the case, although I doubt that I'll be rushing to buy this or other similarly-priced bottlings. What I do want to try is Rittenhouse 21's younger brother: Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond. The BIB, like the 21, is distilled by Heaven Hill, although it's yet another orphan brand that Heaven Hill picked up at some point along the way. It's reputedly an excellent whiskey, and it's slightly more than $20 a fifth. Alas, it's not distributed in Texas. Or, at least, I haven't found it. Hopefully soon.

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