(ri)1, 46%

Price: $47 Issue: Summer 2009 Reviewer: Lew Bryson

Rye whiskey has gone hip. This is a new offering from Beam Global Spirits and Wines, but it is not part of the Jim Beam portfolio. It will be its own new entity. It's crisp and vibrantly spicy, but with a rich, silky sweetness that marries very well with the rye intensity. It is exactly what I think it was designed to be: a mature enough rye whiskey that can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but with plenty of youth and vitality to zing in a cocktail. I tasted it next to a couple of the other ''entry level'' straight rye whiskeys to confirm this isn't all just fancy packaging, and it is indeed a superior product. No, it's not one of those ultra-aged rye whiskeys on the market, but it wasn't meant to be either. A nice whiskey, but pricey for a rye with no age statement.