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Looking for Rittenhouse 100

This is one of those things that was below my radar until recently, now suddenly it seems I see it mentioned everywhere - but I can't find any in my usual liquor outlets. Anyone seen it for sale, preferably in Allston or Brookline?

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  1. I am nervously hoarding my last partial bottle. It is tough to find these days - the folks at Cambridge Wine and Spirits at Fresh Pond have been out of stock for weeks and said the distributor doesn't have it - also tried Martignetti and Marty's but neither appears to stock it. Brix on Broad has only the very fancy reserve version at a much higher price and said they can't get it right now, either

    I hope someone knows of a reliable source (or can recommend a different 100 proof rye for making bitters - maybe Wild Turkey, but it's 50% more expensive....not sure Old Overholt or Pikesville would be a good substitute...)

    1. Tough to beat that one for value. I emptied a bottle recently (making 1794s), think I probably got it at Blanchard's or Liquor Land.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      1. Sadly, Rittenhouse 100 is out of stock in the market. A representative of Heaven Hill, the company that owns and manages Rittenhouse, told me that it wouldn't be available until late spring or early summer. That means that any store that has it has had it on the shelves for months and simply not sold it. (I think it went dark in October) So your best bet would be to try places that have no cocktail following and are not in the top tier of stores. Check small mom and pop and out of the way stores. Sorry, I know that is not much help.

        As for a reliable substitute, there's not much like Rittenhouse 100 in the same price range. I've switched to Old Overholt mostly, though it be much lighter and leaner. I don't think the Turkey 100 to be worth the money, and I think Pikesville is would be to mellow for bitter infusions. rlh, have you considered using Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy for your bitters? Absolutely a different flavor but similar body, proof, and mixability. I think you could get some interesting results...

        14 Replies
        1. re: Vin Ordinaire

          Thanks - sad news but at least now I know why I've had no luck.

          1. re: Vin Ordinaire

            Have you actually seen Laird's Bonded in Boston? I've had no luck whatsoever turning it up.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              I've been looking for Laird's Bonded for a while too: I don't think it's distributed in MA. I believe Drink has had it, but they have a lot of things that aren't coming through traditional distribution channels.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                There was a thread on egullet (am I allowed to mention that?) that I saw mentioning that a small obscure distributor had the "rights" to it in MA.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  I've obtained Laird's Bonded at Blanchard's in Allston, and I can't imagine it's a huge mover. Also, Drink definitely has it since I had some there last night!

                  1. re: craigasaurus

                    Unfortunately, ever since the Puppy Stomping Incident we won't shop at the Allston Blanchard's. However, we'll definitely try to remember to stop in at Downtown Wine & Spirits the next time we're in Davis Square.

                    1. re: Allstonian

                      I sure hope that's not a literal description of the incident.

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          Yep. Blanchard's gets none of our money until the Puppy Stomper is gone.

                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            Holy crap - that's about as low as you can get. I'm glad I don't shop there anymore, for convenience reasons, and now for this reason.

                  2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    Downtown Wine & Spirits in Davis Square has had it the last several times I've been. Good news - I searched in several stores in southern NJ last year looking for some and had been slowly savoring it. Nice to get it locally...

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      I have seen the 7 and 1/2 year old apple brandy at Federal Wines - they are trying to get the "standard" bonded apple brandy as well, but have to go through J. Polep.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        Found it at Martin Bros., in Inman. Amazing selection of rums and cachacas (among other things)

                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                          I found the Laird's Bonded at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Davis Square. A great product, and a really good value (~$22).

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      2. I'll reluctantly tell you that they have a few bottles at the Wild Duck in the North End.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: phatchris

                          Bad news: they were out at Wild Duck when I stopped there yesterday (though the place and the manager there are both great!)

                          Good news: there were still two bottles (priced high at $21.99 but still good value IMHO) remaining on the shelf as I happily left Giles Liquors in Medford last night - they also have a store in Woburn that it may be worthing checking with if those two bottles are the last in Medford.

                        2. Not sure it's much help now, but Gary's in W. Roxbury and Federal Wines in Boston had it a few months ago.

                          1. The RH100 shortages are cyclical. I've seen it before and it always reappears in a few months.

                            The best widely available substitute flavorwise would be Sazerac 6 Year. Old Overholt and Pikesville are too smooth (these are the Maryland-style as opposed to the Pennsylvania-style or spicy variety).

                            Perhaps a good substitute for bitters would be Fightingcock Bourbon which has a high rye content and weighs in at 103 proof. Available for about the same price point as Rittenhouse ($17-18 at Downtown Wine & Spirits).

                            http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: yarm

                              FYI, Atlas in Medford had Sazerac (80 proof) for $22 per 750 ml recently - I like it but do think it's sweeter and smoother than Rittenhouse, which is not always a thing. Old Overholt is a totally different flavor profile (and fine for many purposes, just not the same at all).

                              1. re: rlh

                                I swapped some emails with the Heaven Hill people - basically, "hold your horses" is the answer. Demand > Supply.

                            2. I bought a bottle at Giles Market in West Medford last week. It was the last bottle on the shelf at that store, but you could call and see if they have more at another of their locations.

                              1. any recent sightings? I've been increasnigly seeing it in bars but still am only seeing old overcoat & a random smattering of more expensive fare in most of my liquor store forays. Too bad because for the money I think it's really hard to beat

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: jgg13

                                  From the seller, as of this morning...

                                  Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey is still on allocation until more comes of age. If you still cannot find this product, a sizable number of barrels will come of age in the fall and Rittenhouse should be available to you once again by November, 2010. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We at Heaven Hill understand the resurgence of interest in rye whiskey and are doing our utmost to keep up with demand, but our rye needs to age to maintain high quality standards.

                                  1. re: okra

                                    But of course, these are the same people who said last January that it would be available in late spring/early summer (see Vin Ordinaire's post, fourth from the top). I'm not holding my breath.

                                    1. re: BobB

                                      Pssst.

                                      I saw some at Martignetti's on Soldier's Field Road this week. $18.99.

                                      -----
                                      Martignetti Liquors
                                      1650 Soldiers Field Rd, Brighton, MA

                                    2. re: okra

                                      I don't know whether "on allocation" is a term of art that says what I'm about to say, but a friend in the biz tells me it's essentially reserved for restaurants right now--because if a restaurant quits carrying your brand, they don't usually go back. Said friend has a bottle, and I hope to hell I taste the stuff and decide it's not worth all the excitement.

                                  2. Liquor Land over by Newmarket Square has a few bottles. They say, "We get it in, and it immediately disappears", so jump if you're going to jump.

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      Thank God I stocked up for the Rittenocalypse.

                                    2. Resurrecting an earlier question, anyone seen any Rittenhouse 100 recently around town? Thanks!

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: natecsd

                                        I've been looking for months with no success.

                                        1. re: natecsd

                                          I bought some last week at Julio's in Westborough. BTW, their whiskey selection in general is extensive and worth the drive.

                                          1. re: natecsd

                                            Still only in a few bars (most recently Russell House Tavern, Scampo, and Drink) and my basement stockpile is shrinking...really hope the new batch arrives soon.

                                            -----
                                            Scampo
                                            215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

                                            Russell House Tavern
                                            14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                            1. re: rlh

                                              psst.

                                              Martignetti's had ~ a dozen bottles yesterday.

                                              -----
                                              Martignetti Liquors
                                              1650 Soldiers Field Rd, Brighton, MA

                                              1. re: okra

                                                Just picked up a bottle there today. Thanks for the heads-up

                                                1. re: okra

                                                  And...I snagged two of them yesterday! Not that I expect to use it up very quickly but after all this trouble finding it I'm not taking any chances. Thanks again, okra.

                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                    That shelf must have been restocked with more - a full dozen bottles last night. :)

                                                    (It's nearby, what can I say!)

                                                    1. re: okra

                                                      They also have some of the 25 year old Rittenhouse if you have $179.99.

                                            2. Joe at Federal Wines said the UK is gobbling up a lot of the supply - apparently Rittenhouse is quite popular there.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: nsenada

                                                if you have a relationship with a wine store; ask the buyer to purchase some for you from their suppliers. it probably comes in dribs and drabs to Mass, and if your local liquor store knows you and knows what they want; they will probably try to help you.

                                                i like the people at the wine and cheese cask in somerville; call them and see if they can help you. Dan is the owner and a great guy; steve and kim and jim all work in the wine room.

                                                1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                  Joe's been trying, he thinks he may be able to get some soon.

                                                  1. re: nsenada

                                                    The last time there was a Rittenhouse release, Joe said that to me for three weeks straight. Maybe he'll score this time, I'm just sayin.....

                                              2. Blanchards JP had 5 bottles left this afternoon...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: natecsd

                                                  Blanchard's Revere also has a few bottles as of this afternoon.

                                                2. You know there is something quite baffling about the availability of Rittenhouse. My brother lives in RI and never has a problem finding it. Any time I'm running low I ask him to pick me up a bottle and his liquor store always has it, literally he's never seen it out of stock. My only thoughts as to the reason is either there's lower demand in RI or the liquor store has a very good relationship with the supplier.

                                                  1. Martignetti's on Soldier's Field Road had a ton of it on 12/26/10.

                                                    1. North of Boston, Caporale's Liquors on Broadway in Wakefield had a several bottles on the 24th.

                                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/caporales-ii-...

                                                      1. Kappy's on route 1 had it last week.Revere/Saugus/Malden line.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: phatchris

                                                          I think I bought the last bottle yesterday. They had Carpano Antica which was a pleasant surprise.

                                                        2. A friend in the industry says he's heard the company released a bunch lately, and that the word is they cut a few months off the aging time to meet demand. ?