Can the third time possibly be more charming than the first two? That is the question for American Whiskey enthusiasts as Heaven Hill Distilleries tells BourbonBlog.com that the release of the third and final bottling of Rittenhouse Very Rare Single Barrel Rye will be released this coming winter for the holiday season. Following the release of the 21-year-old bottling in 2006 and the 23-year-old in late 2007, the new 25-year-old expression is drawn from the final barrels of the same lot as the first two Rittenhouse Very Rare Single Barrel releases.
“This whiskey, at 25 years old, pushes the limits of barrel aging like the two releases before it,” observed legendary 6th generation distiller Parker Beam. “But like those earlier releases, these barrels have aged on the very first floor of Rickhouse OO. The more moderate aging conditions on that low level kept the whiskey from getting too woody and tannic. And by releasing this as a non-chill filtered product—also like the first two—all the flavorful esters and taste components really come through.”
The 21-year-old bottling captured a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and was named “Rye Whiskey of the Year” by noted expert Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2007. In November of 2007 the second-edition 23-year-old was released, and it captured the “Best Rye Whiskey” award, and a double gold medal, from the San Francisco Spirits Competition.
With straight rye whiskey enjoying a huge renaissance among both whiskey aficionados and mixologists, the few suppliers that still make and age rye are hard pressed to maintain stocks for their current labels. Heaven Hill’s Rittenhouse Bottled-in Bond rye is on strict allocation and stocks are extremely limited for the second year in a row. The first two editions of Rittenhouse Very Rare Single Barrel Rye were quickly depleted from Heaven Hill’s warehouse, and with the continuing resurgence of rye there is every reason to believe the third and final edition will sell out just as quickly.”
Rittenhouse Very Rare 25-year-old Single Barrel Rye, which will be available in major metro markets throughout the country for the holiday season at an average retail price of $190 for a 750ml bottle, is a very limited release—only one thousand 3-bottle cases, or a total of 3,000 bottles, will be shipped within the US, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
The 100 proof whiskey is very rare for a number of reasons—its single barrel designation, its remarkable age, its pedigree as a Heaven Hill straight rye, its lack of chill filtering. When all combined into one outstanding, impressively dressed package, it will represent a new “holy grail” for American Whiskey and Rye Whiskey lovers.
Heaven Hill Distilleries, the country’s second largest producer of Bourbon, tells BourbonBlog.com that they take great pride in the fact that they are the only one of the nation’s major distillers who make all the recognized styles of American straight whiskey—Bourbon, rye whiskey, corn whiskey, even their Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey. Rye, which was the first straight whiskey produced in the thirteen colonies and was until the late 20th century the preeminent style of American Straight Whiskey, is prized among whiskey lovers for its sharp, fruity taste and spicy finish. Heaven Hill was one of three distilleries that kept the rye category alive during the 1970’s and 1980’s, despite stagnant or declining sales.