Wednesday, July 22, 2015
The New Rittenhouse 100
Since I reviewed the new Pikesville Rye from Heaven Hill earlier this week, I thought I would check up on Heaven Hill's standard rye offering: Rittenhouse 100.
For many years after a fire demolished the old Bardstown, Kentucky Heaven Hill distillery in 1996, Rittenhouse Rye was made for Heaven Hill by Brown Forman. Within the last year or two, Heaven Hill's own distillate, from the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville which it purchased after the fire, has started to appear in Rittenhouse bottles. I haven't done a formal review since the Brown Forman days so I thought it would be interesting to have a taste.
Rittenhouse 100, Bottled in Bond, 50% abv ($25)
The nose has honey and spice; it smells like the baking aisle in a market. On the palate, the spice is in the forefront followed by the honey and some more perfume type notes. The finish is slightly bitter with a touch of honey sweetness.
This is quite different than my memories of the Rittenhouse distilled at Brown Forman and not in a good way. The sweet honey notes are a bit too prominent for my tastes. The honey gives it a floral/perfume note that hides some of the spice, and I don't generally like a lot of perfume in my whiskey. It's a very disappointing result for a whiskey that used to be an old standby at a great price.