Just so I can get it down, officially, the full, official name of this product is (rî)¹. Actually, that’s a cheat, because there’s no symbol for a “long lowercase I” — an i with a horizontal bar instead of a dot — that the web can render, at least not that I know of. So that’s as close as it gets… but for our purposes, (ri)1 will have to do.
Either way, it’s pronounced “rye one.”
Rye whiskeys are a relative rarity in a world of Scotch, bourbon, and Canadian whiskey. It’s said to be hard to make, and demand is relatively low, since it lacks the sweetness of bourbon and is not really ideal when sipped on its own.
But if you’re at all a fan of rye, (ri)1 — a blend of mystery ryes aged at least 4 1/2 years — is definitely one to try. The character of the rye grain really comes through. As much as I enjoy Old Overholt, it’s night and day next to (ri)1, which punches you with a stronger bite, peppery spices cutting right through the 92-proof whiskey. Cinnamon is particularly pronounced as well.
Try it straight, but put it in a classic cocktail like a Rye Manhattan or a Sazerac for even more fun. Go easy, though… it’s pricey for rye.
Oh, and lest you think the chemical/math fun was over, a (ri)2 and (ri)3 are already in the works. And as a side note, if you prefer a sweeter rye that still maintains that spicy rye character, try Russell’s Reserve.
A- / $48