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Rittenhouse Rye

Rittenhouse Straight
Rye Whiskey


By Robert Plotkin

Prior to Prohibition, rye whiskey was our nation's spirit of choice. George Washington distilled rye at his home in Mount Vernon and it was at the center of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791. Following World War II, Rye whiskeys steadily lost ground to softer blended Scotches, sweeter bourbons and silkier single malts. That trend has fortunately reversed and the bold, exuberant flavors of American rye whiskeys are again attracting a following. So if your whiskey-loving clientele is looking for an unparalleled taste experience, tell them they need look no further than Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey.

Originally launched in 1933 by the Continental Distilling Company of Philadelphia, the brand is now produced by Heaven Hill Distilleries in Bardstown, Kentucky. Rittenhouse is distilled entirely from premium rye in what is referred to as the classic Pennsylvania—or "Monongahela"—style and available at 80-proof or Bottled-In-Bond at 100-proof.

In 2007, master distillers Parker and Craig Beam released 32 barrels of Rittenhouse Very Rare Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey; an exquisite, 21-year old spirit individually selected from Heaven Hill's vast reserves of aging whiskey. Bottled in its natural state, it has a generous, spicy bouquet and a huge initial entry that immediately fills the mouth with an array of delectable fruity, peppery and toasted oak flavors. The extended finish is warm and satisfying.

Much like the landmark first release, the 23-year old version of Rittenhouse Very Rare Single Barrel Straight Rye is lush, rich and full-bodied. The extraordinary whiskey is bottled unfiltered at 100-proof. These must be the whiskeys they drink in heaven.