Cheap and rare is an interesting combination. Rittenhouse is $20 a bottle, but the release is limited. Even the local retailer marks it limit 3. And while it's put out by Heaven Hill, it was distilled by Brown-Forman, and soon enough that will be changing to Bernheim. No one knows how that change will effect the whiskey, but the current iteration will be gone. That makes Rittenhouse BiB a candidate for the next hot discontinued whiskey.
The mash for Rittenhouse is 51% rye. In the glass it's a deep bronze. Smelling it I get golden raisin, black pepper, vanilla, and a mustiness that's reminiscent of an old attic. Becca, who doesn't drink whiskey but does like to play "the tasting game", pulls out pineapple that I don't get. The fruit note changes from raisins to orange rind when taking a sip. The pepper and rye spice remains. The 100 proof makes itself known with a bit of burn while vanilla notes round out the flavor. I'd say it's slightly unrefined, but there is big flavor that's not often found in this price bracket. This was a test bottle for me, but I will be grabbing a few next time. It's a good sipper neat when you're feeling spicy and a great base for Manhattans.
Rating: Spicy Meatball!