All posts by Richard

Founding Apostle

Rittenhouse Rye

Rittenhouse Famous Straight Rye Whisky
40% ABV/80 Proof
$15 to $20
Widely Available

What the Distillery Says:
Produced in the tradition of the classic Pennsylvania or Monongahela rye whiskies, Rittenhouse is a much acclaimed rye now enjoying a renaissance in the major metro markets of the country. Rittenhouse is a tribute to the classic rye whiskies that were once the preeminent American whiskey style, kept alive through the many lean years by Heaven Hill and two other Kentucky distilleries.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Spicy and oily with hints of tobacco hide under the surface.
Palate: Sweeter than expected at first and then the sweetness continues to dance around the edges of the palate. The middle palate is oak with mild spice.
Finish: Smooth. Most likely from the low alcohol content rather than the character of the whiskey. The aftertaste is chewy with kind of a bitterness that isn’t unpleasant. It leaves you rubbing your tongue on the side of your mouth.
Comments: This particular whiskey comes in two expressions, the standard reviewed here and the bottled in bond version. It is almost universally accepted that the BIB version is superior. I don’t disagree but don’t dismiss the standard bottling out right. It’s a solid rye that can go down straight but makes excellent cocktails.
Rating: Average

What Matt Says:
Nose: Cloves, orange zest and pipe tobacco (a rich, sweet blend).
Palate: That pipe tobacco is right there, along with some oak, anise and clove.
Finish: Smooth. The bitterness Richard alludes to reminds me of when pipe tobacco gets too moist and some of the juices back up into the stem (sharp and sweet).  However, what I get most is a minty taste and a menthol-like numbness that I associate with menthol or clove cigarettes.
Comments: Like Richard, I believe this one really shines at 100 proof.  The 80 proof version represented here is quite tasty and a good introduction into the world of rye whiskey, but the extra water really cuts out some of the complexity.  If you are looking for a gateway rye or a great mixer for old time cocktails, look no further.
Rating: Average

Overall Rating: Average

Evan Williams

Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
43% ABV/86 Proof
$10 to $15
Widely Available

This is interesting because it’s the first time we’ve actually been asked by one of our registered user to review a whiskey. “cwilson” in Atlanta wanted our thoughts on Evan Williams. I know Matt doesn’t have a bottle of this handy so I’m taking a moment during my brief dictatorial reign while he’s on sabbatical to post about EW so here goes…

What the Distillery Says:
Evan Williams, the second largest selling brand of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey in the U.S., is named for Kentucky’s first distiller of 1783. As the flagship brand of Heaven Hill’s Bourbon portfolio, Evan Williams’ extra aging gives it a richer, smoother Bourbon taste than the competition.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Charred oak, honey, citrus, and the slightest hints of tobacco.
Palate: Very creamy on the mouth. The palate doesn’t stand up to the promise of the nose. There is a light sweetness and mellow oak without many other pronounced flavors except a hint of licorice. It’s easy to drink but there’s not much there to make you want another.
Finish: The finish starts mildly peppery and then settles into a well worn oak. Not offensive but not stunning.
Comments: First let me give props to Heaven Hill for continuing to bottle EW at 86 proof when so many others like Jack Daniels and Jim Beam have gone to 80 proof. Kudos boys! I was surprised how easy EW was to drink. It’s not all that flavorful but it goes down well.
Rating: Average

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey

10 Days Left!

As a reminder to all our readers, there are only 10 days left to register to win the cocktail/bartending set we’re we’re giving away! Register right over here.

Don’t worry, we don’t give you email addresses out or use them for un-whiskey-related nefarious purposes. Hurry up and register while there’s still time!

Event Notice: Extravaganza Spring Tour 2010

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America announced their spring tour schedule for the 17th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza. If you recall I attended the Atlanta event last year and had a wonderful time. For those in Atlanta, we have so few whisk(e)y related events that this really is something not to miss. Here’s the spring schedule:

Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Intercontinental Hotel
3315 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The Downtown Club at Houston Center
1100 Caroline Street
Houston, TX 77002

Thursday, April 15, 2010
W Dallas Victory
2440 Victory Park Lane
Dallas, TX 75219

Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Brown Palace Hotel
321 17th Street
Denver, CO 80202

New York
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Roosevelt Hotel
Madison At 45th Street
New York, NY 10017

Tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 990-1991, emailing, or online here. Registration begins at 6:30PM and all events are 6:30PM to 9:00PM. The regular ticket price for each event is $135 but the Society is again kind enough to extend their special society member pricing of $120 on the first two ticket purchased by each of our readers. Just mention the special Whisk(e)y Apostle pricing when you call and email or enter “whiskeyapostle” in the promotion code field if you order online. If you order more than two tickets then the additional tickets are still $135 each. You can check out the list of participating brands over here.

I will be at the Atlanta event and Matt will be at the New York event so hopefully we will see you there!

Crown Royal Reserve

As Matt mentioned earlier, he’s taking a few weeks off to move and likely set up his lavish whiskey den. That means that you poor souls are stuck with just me for a while. I’ll be doing solo reviews (which Matt will pile onto when he get’s the chance) and posting my various whiskey related ramblings. First up on my solo sojourn is a review of Crown’s next tier of whisky (which I didn’t hate).

Crown Royal Reserve Blended Canadian Whisky
40% ABV/80 Proof
$40 – $45
Widely Available

What the Distillery Says:
This special gift from our Master Blender is flush with sharp, nutty top-notes of rye and is anchored in the cornerstone of all Crown Royal blends, which have a rich, smooth batch base. Andrew MacKay personally selects each whisky in the blend to create this masterpiece.
Color: Rich, golden amber
Nose: Rich and complex, with a slight apple flavor and floral tones
Body: Full and perfectly balance
Palate: Velvety smooth and mellow, with defined oak tones and rich, spicy flavors of cinnamon and vanilla

What Richard Says:
Nose: The nose is very similar to the standard expression of Crown Royal but with more fruit and less nuttiness. This is more brandied and caramelized than the typical fruit found on the nose of whiskeys.
Palate: This is a much more mellow palate than standard Crown Royal. It’s like Crown’s answer to Gentleman Jack. The palate has less flavor than the entry expression but that’s actually a good thing. It definitely smoothes out the rough edges.
Finish: Again much more mellow. The flavors all quickly fade to oak. It’s a very heavy oak. It’s kind of like licking cords of wood.
Comments: This kind of restored some of my faith in Crown Royal. I’m still probably not going to keep a bottle of this at home but I wouldn’t avoid it either. If you’re a fan of Canadian whisky then definitely give it a try.
Rating: Average

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to review this whisky.