For those of you who like really old, really expensive whiskey, this is the sort of thing you will like.
Heaven Hill is releasing a 23-year-old, 50% ABV, not chill filtered, single barrel, Kentucky straight rye whiskey, called Rittenhouse Very Rare.
Last year, under the same name, Heaven Hill brought out a 21-year-old.
The 21-year-old went for $150. It sold out (at wholesale, there is still some in stores). The 23-year-old is shooting for $170.
It is shipping now, on allocation to major U.S. metro markets. Also to Eaux-De-Vie in the UK and La Maison du Whisky in France.
The package, a tall gold-printed bottle in a delicate balsa wood box, is almost identical to last year's.
The whiskey is from the same batch of rye, made in October of 1984, as last year's release. When the 21-year-old came out it was just a little shy of its 22nd birthday. They waited a little longer with these, so they're just barely 23.
All of them (both sets) were aged on the lowest floors of rickhouse OO. (That's "Oh! Oh!")
The 21-year-old release was of 32 barrels. The 23-year-old is just 25 barrels. It is single-barrel, so each bottling could be slightly different. It's fun to tell what bottle you have. I have bottle number 70 from barrel number eight.
Like the 21-year-old, the 23-year-old is 50% ABV and not chill-filtered.
They aren't saying if they have any more barrels still aging from that 1984 batch. Will there be a Rittenhouse 25? I have been told there is other old rye in the pipeline. You never know with Heaven Hill. They're a very nimble company that can spot an opportunity and move quickly to take advantage of it.