Rittenhouse Rye Whisky was originally launched upon the repeal of Prohibition by the Continental Distilling Company ofPhiladelphia, and was subsequently acquired by Heaven Hill Distilleries, the nation’s largest independent family-owned spirits producer. Heaven Hill now produce a complete range of very crappy products like Hypnotiq and some non-agave tequila, but because of Rittenhouse I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they care about what they’re doing. They also produce Georgia Moon, a moonshine packaged in a jar (overbite and inbred children sold separately).
Back to Rittenhouse, it comes in three varieties, standard, bottled in bond (left) and the pricey but delightful 23yr old, which is much harder to find but well worth the effort. Rye whiskey is a bit drier (less sweet), stronger tasting and more peppery than bourbon. Cocktailwise, Manhattans and Sazeracs should definitely be experienced with this gem of the American Northeast.
So far I’ve found Rittenhouse at the Victoria Room, the Bayswater Brasserie and at Lotus. I also think I saw a bottle or two on the shelves at Elizabeth Bay Cellars.