Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Jan 2, 2013 08:56 PM

james e pepper 1776 rye......

has anyone had this? i just picked it up in the liquor store for about 30 bucks in ohio. i have to say, i am not digging it at all.
opened the bottle, smelled it, smelled good. took a little nip. def. had the familiar burn and a bit of peppery bite that i expect from a good rye. but, i dont know, it tasted like rye flavor vodka? is it just not aged very much, or what?
next, had it in my favorite drink; the manhattan. i always do 2 ounces rye, .5 ounce sweet vermouth, 3-4 dashes bitters. stired for 45 seconds. served up. it tasted like water, some alcohol burn, and vermouth. what?
and i just made an old fashioned with it. sugar cube, 4 dashes bitters, splash of water, 2 ounces rye. again, it tastes like water, sugar, and bitters, with an alcohol burn......... what is going on? have others had this? what are your opinions? 30 bucks is quite alot for me to spend, generally i spend 22 bucks on bulliet rye, bulliet bourbon, or buffalo trace bourbon. sometimes i get old overholt rye, and quite like it. when i have a few extra bucks, i splurge for russels reserve rye. and i LOVE that. am i the only one that thinks this 1776 rye is terrible???

i think i will just relegate this to drinking with coke. ehhhh.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. found a can of dr pepper in the fridge. this whiskey actually ruined dr pepper! haha. i didnt think that was possible.

    1. I have not had it but I've not heard good things about the Pepper line (they sell a few bourbons and ryes). This is a private company that buys whiskey to bottle. The Pepper rye is made by the old Seagram's distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (aka LDI or MGP). This is the same distillery that makes Bulleit Rye. The regular version of Pepper says two to four years old on the label (which probably means closer to two).

      3 Replies
      1. re: sku

        upon closer inspection of the bottle, it turns out it is aged two years.

        1. re: charles_sills

          Yes, it is young whiskeys, around 2 years. And because they are hand picking barrels, there is a major inconsistency. So not every batch is perfect, but I did try some of the earlier releases and they were very good. But it has been a year or three. So I don't know what the latest is like.

          I'm pretty sure that several years ago Drew Kulsveen, Master Distiller of Willet, was picking barrels for them. Drew is both an excellent distiller, and fantastic at picking good barrels. I spent time this fall at his distillery, and friends and I are in the process of having him select a rye and a whiskey to bottle for us as a custom single barrel expression.

          1. re: JMF

            its entirely possible that i got the only bad bottle on earth, but sadly im too cheap to ever try it again.

      2. Four dashes of bitters? No wonder bitters is one of the main flavors in your old fashioned.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JMF

          it isnt the main flavor when i using other whiskeys. and remember, to each there own. i like 3-4 dashes of bitters. you obviously like less.

          1. re: charles_sills

            You are making false assumptions about my likes and dislikes. BUT, that is about double the normal amount used in an Old Fashioned.

            1. re: JMF

              im sorry if i somehow offended you. you stated that that four dashes of bitters is the reason that it tasted of mostly bitters, it sounded like you prefer less bitters in your drink than i do. it was in no way supposed to upset you or insult you, if it did, i sincerely apologize.

              but i usually see most peoples recipes for old fashioneds have 2-3 dashes of bitters. i use 3-4 depending on the day. although 4 is twice as many as two, many people use 3, and 4 is only one more than 3 haha. (i know no one needs a math lesson. if they did, trust me i wouldnt be the one that should give it! haha)

        2. I didn't think it was terrible. I didn't mix it with anything other than ice. However I did think it was strong in clove flavor and aroma. Being 100 proof it has a warming kick that I could see getting weaker if mixed with anything, kinda like turning down Tabasco with tomato juice. I could not bring myself to mix 50 cent ingredients with a $30 liquor and expect it to taste better. Mixes were introduced to take away the taste of the booze. This is tasty stuff, and deserves to be consumed from a snifter.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MandolinPlayer

            Based on earlier comments, I'm wondering about those consistency issues. I got a bottle of this in my Christmas stocking, and it turned out Dad had a bottle open that he squirreled appeared in his liquor cabinet on Christmas day as if it had been there all along (he is a sneaky bugger). I can't say I agree with any of the OP's comments. Since Dad's bottle was already open and mine was going to have to travel, I tried his instead of mine...I haven't actually opened my bottle yet...but I'm assuming they're both from the same (most recent) bottling. Based on my one taste, I found it rich, spicy, warm...the things I like about rye.