Everyone knows of Knob Creek Rye by now- the green-labeled version of the
hugely popular Knob Creek Bourbon. The Knob is produced by Jim Beam and clocks in at 50% alcohol, so it certainly packs a punch. To me that’s the calling card of Knob Creek- you always know that half of what you’re drinking is straight up booze, and that’s a beautiful thing. So let’s figure out how the rye stacks up and if it’s worth keeping in your liquor cabinet.
How to Drink It
There’s no other way to drink this other than straight. It doesn’t make any god damn sense to mix it, and you will drop dead if you start shooting this stuff. Drink it straight and call it a night.
I’ll just come out and say it: this whiskey tastes like what I imagine firing off a rocket feels like. The initial blast off gets the pants tight, and then you know impending doom is soon to come later from the 100 proof. Compared to other ryes it has a much stronger spice flavor, and also finishes quite nicely if you’re drinking it straight. And that’s where the difference comes in: almost every rye I’ve ever tasted is the same. They’re spicy, they’re strong, and they get you drunk. But Knob Creek Rye is actually fairly unique. There’s a certain je ne know what going on inside of it that set it apart from the rest.
Unlike Knob Creek Bourbon, I do not think this needs to be a staple in your liquor cabinet. That has nothing to do with the quality but more to do with the fact that there simply are better ryes out there. That being said, if you find yourself at a dark bar a little bit later than you should be, this is an excellent, excellent sipping whiskey. Knob Creek Rye is best served on nights when you’re not exactly sure what the plan is- let the 100 proof make your decisions for you.
It’s pretty well-documented that we’re all rye whiskey men here at Whiskey on the House, so we wanted to review a stand-by in our liquor cabinets: George Dickel Rye. Once you stop giggling to yourself about the name Dickel and start to actually take a few sips, you’ll see that this is a great value pick for Rye Whiskey.
How to Drink It
I recommend drinking the Dickel (hehe) on the rocks. Full strength is great too, but for some reason this whiskey just tastes better when it’s chilled. It’s also great for Old Fashioneds. The spiciness of the rye and the corn aftertaste blend extremely well with the fruit involved in an Old Fashioned (orange and cherry usually). Overall it’s a pretty versatile whiskey, I just would not recommend taking shots of the Dickel (hehe again).
Much like many American rye whiskies, the Dickel is spicy and the perfect amount of harsh. You can really taste the alcohol, and most of the rye spiciness comes through in the aftertaste. The corn flavor makes you feel like you’re stacking hay in the depths of Vermont in the summertime, so be prepared for some old fashioned hard labor once you start sipping from the Dickel.
First Words: Yippe Kiaaay Motherfucker!
We strongly recommend George Dickel Rye for anyone who has a taste for the dickel/rye whiskey. It’s a great value pick, packs a ton of spice, and provides you the opportunity to be a rugged, whiskey drinking farm boy.
Redemption Rye is a big, 92-proof straight rye whiskey. It’s aged for about 2-3 years, and is bottled by Bardstown Barrel Selections, inc. You’ve seen it in the liquor stores. It has a very distinct bottle design that does a great job of standing out among regular whiskey bottles. Now if you like rye whiskey, you better not be wearing sweatpants: because this bad boy is about 95% rye. So hide that boner, and let’s get down to business, shall we?
How to Drink It
This is a premium drink when it comes to mixing. Aging it 2-3 years really helps it hit that perfect mark where it can shine through in your Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but also not completely take over the drink. Pretty much any Prohibition-style drink is perfect for this bad boy. It’s a great excuse to wear Sherlock Holmes hats and suspenders and get drunk in your bathtub. That’s what they did in the bathtubs after making their moonshine, right? Never mind. Rye was the original ingredient in most Prohibition drinks, and was later substituted for bourbon. So take pride in knowing that you’re drinking a true American original.
Redemption Rye Whiskey also goes well full strempf, and especially if you enjoy the spice notes in your whiskey. We also noticed that drinking this whiskey on the rocks helps add some nice flavor once some of the ice melts. Surprisingly, this whiskey is pretty decent to take shots with if you’re feeling like a 1920-s era superman, but overall we definitely recommend making some badass Prohibition drinks with this stuff.
Right off the bat, you get that rye spiciness. That spiciness lasts throughout the drink, and finishes with a pretty clean aftertaste. Big picture, this whiskey tastes like leather. Like if you’ve ever been in one of those weirdo leather stores, it pretty much tastes like that. Redemption Rye uses about 95% rye in this whiskey, and you can fucking tell. That spicy rye and some hidden balanced sweetness makes for a pretty great whiskey.
We’re about two things here at Whiskey on the House: one is rye whiskey, and the other is not spending a shit load of money to have some good whiskey. This Redemption Rye really hits the mark on both counts. We highly recommend this stuff if you like to make your own drinks, but if you’re looking for strictly a sipping whiskey, this would only satisfy you if you’re a rye enthusiast because of the 95% rye content. Definitely pick up a bottle of this stuff and make it a cornerstone of your home bar. Just don’t throw a Prohibition era party. Nobody likes those, and nobody likes you if you throw one.
$25.00/ 750 mL
I’ll never forget the first time I had Old Overholt. I originally bought it because it was cheap, rye, and had a weird picture of George Washington (I think?) on the label. Little did I know that this whiskey is the dark horse of all dark horses. Absolutely do not be fooled by the $20/liter price tag, because this shit is absolutely legit. Through the years it sticks with you, as I’m finding that it’s carried by more and more packies, it’s a great go-to for parties and more.
How To Drink It
This is an extremely balanced whiskey, meaning it’s good in almost any setting, but I think it really is best for cocktails. Old fashioneds, whiskey sours, manhattans, etc. This whiskey does’t just hold its weight in cocktails, it really amplifies the flavor while still giving you that bite you want out of a rye. Drinking it full strength tastes like a mixed drink itself because there are so many flavors going on, but taking a shot of this may burn your throat off/send you into a Patriotic American coma.
You gotta love the flavor of this whiskey, even without considering the price. It goes down nice and smooth but lets you know it’s a pure American Rye with every sip. It is not at all harsh, but it’s also not a pussy rye drink (looking at you, JP). There’s a hint of corn that comes with the aftertaste, but all in all it makes you feel like George Washington drinking freedom. I know I just said that it’s best for cocktails, but this shit stands on its own when you drink it straight up or on the rocks.
First Words: Spice. City.
Overall Old Overholt is officially my go-to rye whiskey when I can find it in the store. It’s cheap, mixes great, and tastes perfect full strength or over ice. And to top it all off, you get a liter of it so it will last you that much longer (or get you that much more fucked up).
We review a lot of Rye Whiskies here at Whiskey on the House because….well they are
fucktastic. But I have never tried a rye whiskey like High West Double Rye. I got it as a gift for my birthday and my tastebuds and liver were forever changed. High West Blends to completely different rye whiskies (one is only aged 2 years but with 95%rye and 5% barley – the other is aged 16 years with 53% rye and 37% corn) to give your mouth a blast of spicy sweetness
How to Drink it
I don’t think I’ve ever had a whiskey better for cocktails than High West Double Rye. Theres a lot of variety in spice in this whiskey so it can really go well in any mixed drink but the High West Distillery highly recommends Manhattans. This is whiskey is strong and bold enough to drink perfectly on the rocks as well. Taking shots of this bad larry might be a bit harsh, but fuck, I’d do it anyway.
I was going to relate the variety and complexity of flavor in this rye to that “It’s a small world” ride at Disney World…but then I realized – fuck that. I hate that ride. I can’t understand what kind of shitbag would actually like it. It’s the same six words over, and over, and over again. And you go around real slow in some dinky boat and you see all these creepy dolls, of all different races, doing their little mechanical dances. You know they are just robots, but you swear you see one looking at you. It’s the mexican one. And he pulls out a knife and whispers “I’m gona cut you in your sleep ese”. No one else hears it but you. You try to tell your grandma, but she doesn’t listen because your just a little kid. But you saw what you saw and you dread the night paco sneaks up on you and fulfills his robotic promise.
Anyway, the mix of the two different rye whiskies is what gives High West Double Rye its unique flavor. You’re really getting two complete opposite worlds of flavor; With the 2 year 95% rye giving you the harsh extreme spicy flavor, and the 16 year 53% rye 37% corn giving you the smooth sweet flavor. The two ryes flank your tastebuds into spicy sweet surrender.
First words: NOO NOO NOO NOT THE MECHANICAL MEXICAN BOY ROBOT NOOOOO
Despite triggering suppressed childhood memories,High West Double Rye is still the best rye I’ve had as of yet