(ri)1 Rye Whiskey Review

(ri)1 Rye Whiskey Review

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ri1 rye whiskey
(ri)1 Rye Whiskey

Looking at the bottle you’d think that (rī)1 (otherwise known as Rye-one or R1 Whiskey) is something off the periodical table of elements (and if you ask a lot of whiskey drinkers they’d say it ought to be).  (rī)1 is a distinctively different packaged rye whiskey that is sleek, hip, modern and simply stunning. It looks like a high end spirit and it carrys a higher end price tag at ~$50 a bottle, a huge price jump from Jim Beam’s regular rye whiskey which is ~$20.

(rī)1 (92 proof $50 per 750ml) has a nice deep, rich, amber color; the nose is very spicy forward with cinnamon and thai pepper-like notes on top of a sweet caramel base. There are some slight notes of wet cardboard on the nose, but from the get-go the nose screams “spice, spice, spice”.

The taste of (rī)1 is cinnamon and caramel with a slight bit of the wet cardboard that’s on the nose. There’s some nice heat on the palate but at 92 proof it’s a lot less hot than you’d expect. (rī)1 has a medium finish that has some nice sour apple notes to it. While it’s not a particularly long finish I really enjoy how it smoothly and evenly finishes out.

In many ways (rī)1 seems to be designed to be consumed in a mixed drink. I threw (rī)1 into an old fashioned and it tasted even better than it does straight.

I also decided to try (rī)1 in its signature drink:

Cin & Spice
2oz (rī)1 Whiskey
1oz fresh tangerine juice
1/2oz cinnamon (bark) syrup (I used Trader Tiki’s Cinnamon Syrup)
1/4oz fresh lemon juice

Shaken and served like a whiskey sour in an old fashioned glass with ice and garnished with a tangerine wheel (or a cinnamon stick).

The result is a fantastic riff on the whiskey sour that is an absolutely perfect after-dinner drink. It brings out the cinnamon notes in the (rī)1 and combines really well with the richness in both the tangerine and the whiskey. The sweet cinnamon syrup really buffers the heat from the whiskey, making this an excellent drink for someone who doesn’t normally drink rye.

One of the things I really like about (rī)1 is that it is positioned very well to attract people to drinking rye whiskey who may have never had it. It’s got the kind of packaging that gets people to ask “what’s that!?!” As a whiskey lover I have to give (rī)1 a lot of points for that. Combine that with the fact that it’s an excellent mixing rye and you’ve got a real winner.

The only problem with (rī)1 is the price. At ~$50 a bottle it makes for a very spendy rye drink. Yes (rī)1 is tastey, yes (rī)1 mixes well, but at twice the price of Jim Beam Rye and Rittenhouse Rye Bonded 100 (both excellent ryes), it’s a tough price tag to swallow.  Were Jim Beam Global to cut the difference and land this at a $35 price tag, it would be an absolute no brainer.

(rī)1 Rye Whiskey Rating:
Recommended – Bold and spicy, this rye is an exceptional mixing rye, especially when you play with its cinnamon notes, but the price tag is a little high.

  • vada

    Can u send me some recipes for Ri Whiskey mixed drinks/

    • http://www.drinkspirits.com Geoff K

      From the (R1) site:

      (RĪ)1 APPLE OF MY RYE

      1 1/2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      1/2 part Lemon Juice
      1/2 part Simple Syrup
      3 parts Hot Spiced Apple Cider (or hot unfiltered apple juice with Holiday spices added)

      In a pint mixing glass, add spirits, juices, and syrup. Give a quick stir with a barspoon, pour into a toddy glass, and top with hot apple cider.

      (RĪ)1 BLACKBERRY SIDECAR

      1 1/2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      5 Muddled Fresh Blackberries
      1/4 part Cointreau
      3/4 part Fresh Lemon Juice
      1/2 part Simple Syrup

      In a mixing tin add fresh blackberries and hand press with muddler. Add spirits, juice, syrup, fill with ice and shake vigorously for at least 6 seconds. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a blackberry on a pick.

      (RĪ)1 BLINKER

      2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      1 1/2 parts Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
      1 each Fresh Raspberries
      1 teaspoon Raspberry Preserves

      In a mixing tin, add spirits, juices and preserve (and if in season add in fresh raspberry) hand press with muddler. Fill tin with ice and shake vigorously for at least 6 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with 3 raspberries on a pick.

      (RĪ)1 BLITZ

      1/2 part (rī)1
      1/2 part lemon juice
      1/2 part orange juice

      Combine all three ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice.

      (RĪ)1 CHIPOTLE PINEAPPLE RICKEY

      1 1/2 parts (rī)1
      1/2 part freshly squeezed lime juice
      2 parts fresh extracted pineapple juice (substitute Dole pineapple juice)
      3/4 part simple syrup
      1/2 tsp. chipotle tincture or Tabasco® chipotle sauce
      1 part club soda

      In a mixing tin, add spirit, juice, syrup and tincture or sauce. Shake vigorously for at least 6 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice and top with club soda. Garnish with pineapple slice and jalapeno chili slices.

      (RĪ)1 CIN & SPICE

      2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey

      1 part fresh tangerine juice
      1/2 part cinnamon bark syrup
      1/4 part fresh lemon juice

      Garnish with 1 tangerine wheel or long cinnamon stick.

      (RĪ)1 CLOVE & OAK

      1 1/2 parts (rī)1
      1/2 part Allspice Dram
      1/2 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
      1 1/2 parts cloudy apple cider
      1/2 part simple syrup

      In a mixing tin, add spirits, juice and syrup. Fill tin with ice and shake vigorously for at least 6 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with apple slices.

      (RĪ)1 COOL HAND COOLER

      1 1/2 parts (rī)1
      1/2 tsp. absinthe
      3/4 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
      3/4 part simple syrup
      2 parts bottled ginger beer

      In a mixing tin, add spirits, juice and syrup. Fill tin with ice and shake vigorously for at least 6 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice and top with ginger beer and club soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel and mint sprig.

      (RĪ)1 GOLD STANDARD

      1 part (rī)1
      1/2 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
      1/2 part house-made clover honey syrup
      2 parts Brut Champagne

      In a mixing tin, add spirit, juice and syrup. Fill tin with ice and shake vigorously for 6 seconds. Strain into a flute and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.

      (RĪ)1 HONEY LOVE

      1 1/2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      1 1/2 parts Fresh Grapefruit Juice
      1/2 part Honey syrup
      Ginger Ale

      Stir ingredients in Collins glass and top with ginger ale. Garnish with candied ginger.

      (RĪ)1 HOT STONE THERAPY

      1 1/2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      3/4 part Eau De Vie or 1 part Apricot Liqueur
      3/4 part House Made Clover Honey Syrup
      1/4 part Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
      1/4 part Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
      Dash of Angostura Bitters
      3 parts Hot Water

      In a pint mixing glass, add spirits, juices, syrup, and bitters. Give a quick stir with a barspoon, pour into a toddy glass, and top with hot water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick pushed through a half an orange wheel.

      (RĪ)1 MANHATTAN

      2 parts (rī)1
      1 part sweet vermouth
      2 dashes Angostura® Bitters
      1 dash orange bitters

      In a pint mixing glass, add spirits and bitters. Fill glass 3/4 full of ice and stir swiftly for 20 seconds (30 second for larger ice cubes). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and cherry.

      (RĪ)1 RYE AND ROSEMARY

      2 ea. Rosemary sprig
      1 1/2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      1/4 part Lemoncello
      1 1/2 parts Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
      1/2 part House Made Clover Honey Syrup

      In a mixing tin, add the leaves of 1 rosemary sprig and hand press with a muddler. Add spirits, juice, and syrup, fill tin with ice, and shake vigorously for 6 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

      (RĪ)1 SPICED RYE PUNCH

      1 3/4 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      1/2 parts Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
      1/2 parts House Made Demerara Syrup
      3 parts Chilled Tea (we recommend Kashmiri Spiced Tea)

      In a mixing glass combine all ingredients and integrate thoroughly with a barspoon.

      Pour mixture into an old fashioned glass over fresh ice and garnish with 2 lemon wheels and freshly grated Nutmeg.

      (RĪ)1 WATERMELON MINT JULEP

      Half pint glass of Muddled Fresh Watermelon
      2 parts (rī)1 Whiskey
      10 Fresh Mint leaves
      1/2 part Simple Syrup

      In a mixing tin add the half pint of fresh watermelon and hand press with muddler. Add spirits, mint, syrup, fill with ice and shake vigorously for at least 6 seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

      (RĪ)1 WHISKEY COBBLER

      1 each fresh lemon and orange wedge
      2 each seasonal fruits and berries
      2 parts (rī)1
      1 part Cointreau® syrup

      In a mixing tin, add orange wedge, lemon wedge, seasonal fruits and berries and hand press with a muddler. Add sprits and syrup, fill tin with ice, and shake vigorously for 6 seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over crushed ice. Garnish with orange wedge and seasonal fruit.

      (RĪ)1 WHISKEY SMASH

      4 each lemon quarters
      Small handful fresh mint leaves
      2 parts (rī)1
      3/4 part simple syrup

      In a mixing tin add lemon quarters and mint and hand press with muddler. Add spirit and simple syrup, fill glass with ice and shake vigorously for 6 seconds. Strain into old fashioned glass over fresh ice. Garnish.

  • Rob Watkins

    I have a customer that would like R1 rye, is it available in MA.

    • http://www.drinkspirits.com Drink Spirits

      Try getting it online like at DrinkUpNY.com

  • Jack

    I guess it didn’t sell well? I saw it for $27 yesterday.

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