By S.D. Peters
From the Jim Beam family of whiskeys comes this “high-end” entry into the Rye market. Pronounced “Rye One”, (rī)1 promises to be a unique experience. Or is that just a trick of the name?
(rī)1 proved to be a very mellow Rye for it’s 46% ABV (92 Proof). I tasted this as the third of three whiskeys I used to test the NEAT Glass (depicted at left), and of the three it was the only one I hadn’t previously tasted.
The Rye comes in a tall, modernist-chic bottle with a long neck and a cork stopper. The label has the mystery of a white board in an engineer’s office: the name looks a bit mathematical, a touch impressive or a tad alienating, depending on your point of view.
Golden amber in color, with vanilla, pepper and citrus on the nose, as well as an obtuse touch of cumin. The flavor is moderate caramel, vanilla and leather, sprinkled with caraway seed. (The latter earns (rī)1 its “+”.) Some tasters find the finish to be long, but after several tries I still found it coming up short. Light, and fruity – black raspberry moves about a bit – with a dash of spice, it shows promise, but nothing sticks around. A shame, too, since that hint of black raspberry is quite nice.
Overall, not bad, but less impressive than Jim Beam Straight Rye – which, considering that the name-brand Rye is Beam’s MOR entry in the Rye market (not to mentions a tried-and-true stalwart there), really isn’t impressive at all.
Because it’s marketed as higher-end Rye, you can expect to pay up to $47 for a 750 ml bottle. If you’re not a regular Rye drinker, and don’t mind springing for it, it might be light enough for you to enjoy. Regular Rye drinkers will find more satisfaction in a bottle of Jim Beam Straight Rye or Wild Turkey 101 Straight Rye, for a much lower price.