(rī)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Whiskey sour cocktail on the rocks with lime
Whiskey sour cocktail on the rocks with lime. Getty Images/Michael Marquand

(rī)1 (pronounced rye one) is a Kentucky straight rye whiskey produced by Beam Global Spirits. This rye whiskey is a quite a bit different from the traditional rye in that it is lighter and sweeter but retains that spicy snap. Despite its confusing name (rī)1 is a good whiskey and a nice addition to Beam's portfolio. It does have some great cocktail potential and I can see it being used for its unique profile by bartenders to create some interesting new whiskey cocktails.

Pros and Cons

  • Light and spicy rye whiskey.
  • A versatile whiskey for a variety of cocktails.
  • Not your typical idea of rye whiskey.

All About (rī)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

  • Kentucky Straight rye whiskey
  • Produced by Beam Global Spirits & Wine
  • 46 alc/volume (92 proof)
  • Retails for around $47/750 ml bottle
  • Released in October  2008

(rī)1 is different than most rye whiskeys in the respect that it is considerably lighter in all aspects. When we think of rye we typically look for a robust, rich whiskey with some spice but all of those profiles are softer in (rī)1 with the exception of the spice, which in here is slightly snappier and brighter. Traditional rye fans will probably not enjoy the (rī)1 experience, however for those used to Canadian whiskey or looking for a lighter bourbon-like whiskey that retains the rich grains this is a very nice alternative.

Mixing with (rī)1 is pretty easy. This whiskey fits in almost any whiskey cocktail, especially those with lighter, refreshing profiles.

Those like a ​Whiskey Sour, New York Cocktail and Ward Eight are excellent uses for (rī)1 as sweet and sour mixers accent the whiskey's profile. On the other hand, traditional rye whiskey cocktails like the Waldorf, Vieux Carre, and Colleen Bawn lack some essence compared to other ryes. Overall, (rī)1 is a great addition to the bar and a well-rounded cocktail ingredient.

Tasting Notes

(rī)1 has a very sweet, citrus aroma with ​a grainy background. Has an extremely smooth entry that leads to a dry, sunny sweet and sour palate with spicy notes and a very light rye. The finish is long and continuously sweet with very light spice throughout.