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Heaven Hill Distillery. Bardstown, KY © 2023
Think Wisely. Drink Wisely. ®
Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky has a storied past with a heritage that commemorates Philadelphia's famous Rittenhouse Square. Bottled-in-Bond, today's Rittenhouse carries the distinct, spicy flavor that is long associated with the brand. Rittenhouse is the Rye Whisky of choice for both mixologists and whisky aficionados alike.
Proof: 100 Proof
Age: 4 Years Old
The 130-mile-long Monongahela River is the namesake of Old Monongahela ryes, which are known for their high rye content.
Turn of the 19th Century
While Bourbon is known as America's Native Spirit, there's another category of whiskey whose roots run deep: Rye Whiskey. The history of rye is tied to the decline of rum production. In the early nineteenth century, an embargo on trade with the French and British territories further hurt the already weakened rum market, and American whiskey was there to fill the gap.
Scot-Irish immigrants who had settled around Maryland and Pennsylvania had brought barley and a knowledge of distillation with them. Since rye was the primary grain grown in the region, along with some corn, distillers in this area became the premiere producers of Rye Whiskey.
Over time, two distinct styles developed. While Maryland-style ryes generally have a softer, grassy flavor, Pennsylvania-style ryes—sometimes referred to as Old Monongahela ryes—are known for their spicy, robust flavors. Both styles proliferated prior to Prohibition, with hundreds of distilleries operating in the region.
Originally known as Southwest Square before it was renamed after the astronomer David Rittenhouse, Rittenhouse Square is one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn.
In 1934, after the end of Prohibition, Rittenhouse Square Straight Rye Whisky was introduced by The Continental Distilling Corporation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Named after Philadelphia's historic Rittenhouse Square, this 100 proof, 2-year-old Rye Whisky offered a rich, full-bodied and mellow profile. It quickly gained popularity as a “Choice Pennsylvania Rye.”
In 1948, after years of wartime shortages and production stoppages, The Continental Distilling Corporation dropped “Square” from Rittenhouse’s name and reintroduced it as a 4-year-old Bottled-in-Bond.
While there is no true written record of the Manhattan’s exact origins, we do know this classic cocktail was created in the Manhattan area of New York City and the oldest documented recipes feature Rye Whiskey, Italian vermouth and bitters.
Turn of the 21st Century
In 1999, Heaven Hill Distillery purchased the Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky brand, and kept it alive during a time when the popularity of whiskey was in decline. Then came the 2000s. Starting in New York City, a cocktail Renaissance resurfaced classic recipes to spirits fans. Bartenders looking to keep their beverage programs true to history turned to cocktail books dating back to the mid-1800s. These books featured rye, not Bourbon, and the former surged in popularity.
At the time, Rittenhouse was the only Bottled-in-Bond Rye Whiskey on the market, and at 100 proof, it held up well when mixed in cocktails. It was also well balanced, and the high percentage of corn in the mashbill made it easy to enjoy for those who were new to the category. It quickly became a must-have spirit for many craft cocktail programs.
Further preserving its history, the Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky brand has maintained the traditionally Scottish spelling of “whisky.”
2020s and Beyond
Today, the popularity of Rye Whiskey is still on the upswing, and Rittenhouse Rye continues to gain new fans while maintaining its loyal following that respects its heritage and quality. At Heaven Hill Distillery, we understand the importance of preserving the storied past of this historic brand and keeping the traditions of American Rye Whiskey alive. And we’re proud to be part of the legacy of one of the only original Rye Whiskey brands that remains in existence.
Take one look at Rittenhouse's label and
you're drinking the good
stuff. As a Bottled-in-Bond, it
stamp of quality, consistency
transparency. To learn more about this
tradition and our
bonded lineup, visit the experience.
Rye Whiskey follows the same distillation process as Bourbon, except it must be made from a
mashbill of at least 51% rye, as opposed to Bourbon's requirement of at least 51% corn. Less
corn and more rye produces a spirit with a spicier flavor profile.
Our Bottled-in-Bond portfolio features
Rittenhouse Rye and several other historic
brands acquired and preserved over our
86+ year history. To learn more about our
bonded lineup, visit the experience.
Heaven Hill Distillery's Portfolio Mixologist
Rittenhouse Rye remains a favorite
behind the bar. Here are a few reasons
love this Pennsylvania-
The spice of the rye, the subtle sweetness and texture of the corn, and that bit of toast from the barley. It all works together.
As a Bottled-in-Bond spirit, this 100 proof rye creates a strong flavor foundation that doesn't get lost when mixed.
Bartenders love a good story, and Rittenhouse Rye is a heritage brand steeped in American history and whiskey-making lore.
To try your hand at crafting this spirit
-forward cocktail, reach for Rittenhouse.
The balance between the rye and
the mashbill brings spice and a touch of
sweetness to a Manhattan.
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
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