Saturday, August 1, 2009

How Much Do I Love Rittenhouse Rye BIB?

How much do I love Rittenhouse Rye Bottled-in-Bond? Not, it turns out, as much as I thought.

Rittenhouse Rye is an American Straight Rye Whiskey. It is a Heaven Hill product, made for them by Brown-Forman. There is a standard 80° proof expression but I've always preferred the 100 proof bond. It's a very good rye and until now was one of the best bargains in American straight whiskey. Not anymore.

When I first discovered Rittenhouse Rye BIB it was $11.99. It was still sublime at $12.99, which is how much I paid for it nine months ago. It's now up to $18.99. The bottle was actually in my cart before I started to think about it. Then I noticed 8-year-old Old Charter for $12.99, Elmer T. Lee for $26.99, and Weller 12-year-old for $24.99. The Weller won.

Now, obviously, I know one is a straight rye while the other is a wheated bourbon, but as a pure value proposition, Weller 12 for $25 is a great deal. I'll grant that Rittenhouse BIB is probably worth $19, but it is no longer a value at that price.

In other smart shopping news, I went to pick up some triple sec liqueur. Now when I say triple sec I don't mean Cointreau or Grand Marnier. I'm looking at DeKuyper, Bols, Hiram Walker, that bunch. You probably would have trouble picking one from another in a blind taste test, so I was looking at price, but discovered another differentiating factor: proof. They ranged from 42° up to 60° and the lower proofs were not necessarily cheaper. The best value seemed to be Du Bouchett, at 60° and just $7.99 for the 750 ml.

DuBouchett, as it turns out, is a Heaven Hill product, so they lost me on the Rittenhouse but got me back on the triple sec. And they didn't really lose me on the Rittenhouse, because I will buy it again, just not today.

It pays to read those labels.

1 comment:

Crash said...

Boy, Chuck, you 'ain't kidding about prices.

When I first started selling Rittenhouse BIB, it was $13.99 and the single greatest whiskey bargain in my store. Now, in less than 18 months, the price has risen so that I have to sell it for $20.99! Hey, at that price, it's up against Wild Turkey 101 Rye.

Triple Sec is a complete minefield, too, as you discovered. The proofs are, indeed, all over the place. Even companies like Bols can offer two different proofs of Triple Sec.