(ri)1, or “rye one,” is touted as an ultra premium rye whiskey from Beam-Suntory. From the marketing materials, bottling presentation, and goofy name, I’d guess they’re going after high-end mixed drink market. It seems to hit the mark as it has a mass-market appeal of light, crisp, and refined flavors. Beam was one of a small handful of companies regularly producing rye whiskey before it became trendy again. As a result, it seems reasonable Beam would interesting in branching out their portfolio of products.
(ri)1 is aged a minimum of 4-5 years and that’s about all the info Beam provides.
No Age Statement. Bottled at 46%. Thought to be about 51% rye. Paid $47
Floral. Mint. caramel, cinnamon, charred oak. Spicy, but light.
Evergreen, mint. Caramel and vanilla. Nuttiness what seems Beam yeast. Bubblegum. Nice sweetness. Spicy zip. Chocolate barrel char. Light in flavor. Mild astringency in the finish.
This is a pretty nice tasting rye. To me this seems subtle, but well put together. I could see this being better for sipping than mixing because of the subtleness, but (ri)1 certainly wouldn’t make an offensive cocktail. I’m not sure it would add a lot of character to a mixed cocktail, but it wouldn’t hurt anything. Like most lower percentage straight ryes, this shares some Bourbon character along with a good rye presence.
This is a more expensive rye. I’m not sure it’s worth the price, but among rye whiskies around 51% rye and this price range, I think I favor (ri)1. Overall I’m not really impressed with the rye whiskey near this price in terms of value. Maybe my opinions will change, but I think I’d rather just save a few bucks on a cheaper bottle of rye or spend the same money on a nice high-rye Bourbon. Still, if you dig rye whiskey, you’ll want to check it out.
Buy a Bottle – 3.0/5.0 Rating
(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)
Buying Options and Further Research
Again I look at these as a 51%-range rye whiskey and try to compare it to similar whiskies near this price. Others would be Knob Creek Rye, and Russell’s Reserve Rye. They’re all pretty close to me with each having something I like. It could be a toss up, but I’d put (ri)1 at the top of the list, but certainly the others are worth checking out. I’d also suggest checking bottles in the lower price tier such as Wild Turkey 101 Rye, and Sazarac Rye.