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Rittenhouse 100 Substitutions

I think Rittenhouse 100 is the finest rye dollar-for-dollar when used in a cocktail. Unfortunately, it hasn't been in stock for quite some time. I ran through my stock and while bourbon had been working diligently as a back-up, I'm missing my rye.

Has anyone found a strong, high-proof rye that can stand up to powerful vermouths and amaros in a cocktail while Rittenhouse 100 is missing in action?

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  1. Your best bet for that proof/flavor punch in the same price range would be Wild Turkey 101 Rye. It has more spice characteristics and less subtlety than Rittenhouse, but it should do the trick for you and will definitely stand up to your botanicals.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sku

      I'll give that a run through. Thanks, sku.

      1. re: sku

        I for one am not a Rittenhouse fan. Too sweet, to much going on in general. I FAR prefer Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, or even Old Overholt.

      2. Old Overholt or Jim Beam Rye (Yellow label) Neither is 100 proof, but if you want high proof besides Rittenhouse Bonded you are going to have to get one of the pricey single barrel or barrel strength ones like Van Winkle Family.

        If you get a chance to try the new Whistle Pig rye, and don't mind shelling out $60 a bottle, it is one of the best I have ever tried.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JMF

          WOW! I mean. WOW! That Whistle Pig is awesome.

          I decided to go back Old Overholt instead of looking for a pricier replacement for the Rittenhouse. And of course I had to apply the savings toward something.

          Good rec. It's made me put away the mixing tins for awhile, that's for sure.

          Thanks!

        2. If it doesn't have to be overproof the sazerac rye made by Buffalo Trace would be good 6 years old I think.

          1. It's back on the shelf at my local purveyor. Woohoo!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: ted

              Lucky! Still missing out where I am.

              1. re: cacio e pepe

                Yeah, I picked some up but probably ought to hoard to be safe.

                My store has their annual few bottles of Thomas H. Handy and WL Weller. At $70 a pop, I had to think about it, and apparently waited to long to get the latter. May still get the Handy, even though I'm 1/2 way through the last bottle I bought.

            2. We just picked up a bottle of Redemption Rye but haven't use it yet.

              Of note is that it's a high rye content with 92 proof (more kick than 80 proof, but no 100), a few bucks more than RH100 ($26 instead of $18-20), but not as aged as the bonded stuff (2 years instead of 4). Available in the Northeast right now (I've spotted it in NH & MA).

              http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

              6 Replies
              1. re: yarm

                I've seen the redemption rye around here. I keep meaning to try it, but at that specific price point I end up getting the Sazerac Rye which is aged 6 years and is bottled at 90 proof.

                Let me know how you like the Redemption.

                1. re: cacio e pepe

                  Even the Sazerac 6 is rare around here. We bought the Redemption to fill the role of the quickly draining last bottle of Saz 6 (we still have half a bottle of RH100).

                  I think most distilleries are sending their stock to restaurants for they fear that once they're off the menu (and substituted with a different whiskey) it will be harder to re-enter the menu to move product. The common home drinker is apparently much lower on their list in terms of maintaining loyalty.

                  1. re: yarm

                    I think the huge popularity of rye drinks took the distillers by surprise. Four years ago who'd have predicted it? And, when demand cranks up, it's pretty slow to rachet up supply to keep pace given that the product is 4 or 6 or more years old. My local source tells me that the Rittenhouse rep told him that they sold out of this year's release in the spring. The next release date is expected to be January, but we'll see. My guess is that Saz is in the same boat.

                    So, put yourself in the distiller's rep's place: Who do you make sure gets the limited supply that is available: Local liquor stores that maybe sell a couple cases a year, or the hot bars that are going through cases a month?

                    The sad thing is that it's winter when my taste for rye goes way up. Fortunately, I picked up a few bottles when I found a couple of stores had run out. Found them in a local wine merchant. But they are just about gone as I ration the rye hoping that January will bring some joy.

                    Of course supplies will still be limited and demand will still be high, perhaps still higher. Now, what was it they taught me about that in Dismal Science 100 class I snoozed thorugh?

                    1. re: yarm

                      Seems like a good reason for a road trip at christmas! Restock your cabinet after a computer search for what you are looking for. Find a source in a state or country your wife would like to visit make it look like her idea.

                  2. re: yarm

                    I know the owner of Redemption Rye. He's a friend, but it is still a wee bit too young. They are only bottling it as needed and letting it age as much as possible. It should be really good once it gets some age to it.

                    1. re: yarm

                      I'd second the suggestion of Redemption Rye - I liked it.

                      My local store just got a case of Rittenhouse in and I bought 6 bottles, should be stocked for a bit.

                      I prefer Wild Turkey's Rye to Jim Beam's, and agree it's not bad as a substitute either.

                    2. And now back to our regularly scheduled program . . .

                      It's back in my local bottle shop . . . and incidentally they are now out of Whistle Pig. Can't win 'em all I guess.

                      1. Is anyone else having trouble finding this (again)? It's been a few months since I've seen Rittenhouse locally (Cambridge/Somerville, MA). Granted I haven't looked everywhere, but at a few places I know have carried it in the past, the shelves are bare.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: tomjb27

                          I think the last place I saw it was Blanchard's in Jamaica Plain.

                          As for a replacement, one Boston bartender got tired of the RH100 shortages and has switched over to Willett 110 Rye. It's a great rye but a bit more pricey at $35. A substitute for flavor and punch, but not for price.

                          http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/

                          1. re: yarm

                            Thanks for the recommendation. I suppose Rittenhouse's ongoing intermittent availability is just something I'll have to plan for the next time I see it (i.e., buy a lot).

                          2. re: tomjb27

                            I was having no problem finding it this summer / early fall - I bought a bottle in Myrtle Beach in August for $19, then a friend who travels back and forth to Atlanta saw it for $15 in September so I had him grab me a couple more.

                            1. re: tomjb27

                              I just bought a bottle last weekend at the Kappy's in Medford.
                              Incidentally, I only noticed it because they were out of Old Overholt (which I found rather bizarre). I've become quite accustomed to never seeing RH100 in stock.

                              1. re: tomjb27

                                Found some Rittenhouse 100 at Gary's in West Roxbury tonight. Only a few bottles on the shelf when I was there...

                              2. Not sure if you're still having trouble, but Bulleit makes a terrific rye that I think is actually a better cocktail whiskey than Rittenhouse, which I find a bit too aggressive in cocktails. The Bulleit is about $4 more expensive around DC and is 90 proof. Heck, there's enough rye in regular Bulleit bourbon that it should also work pretty good as a rye substitute.