Rittenhouse Rye, 25 year old, (Barrel #1), 50%

Price: $190.00 Issue: Winter 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

Surprisingly lively. Very much like the 21 year old release in this regard, but not as spicy on the nose or palate. Instead, the spice is replaced by a layered, satisfying sweetness -- not by wood, like the somewhat lethargic, oak-dominated 23 year old release. Older doesn’t mean that it tastes older. Deep, nutty toffee foundation, with nougat, candied tropical fruit, and shoo-fly pie. The spices (cinnamon, spearmint, vanilla, cocoa powder) emerge mid-palate and linger, warming the finish. Not as vibrant as the 21 year old expression, but more sophisticated. I can’t speak for the other barrels in this lot, but I think this one is a great example of what a 20-plus year old rye whiskey should taste like.