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A righteous rye

    Hpim0104_6 People have scoffed at the claim that rye whiskey is coming back. But check this out: Rittenhouse, one of the grand old names in rye, was unknown in Southern California just a year ago, but now it has three versions on the market here. They are an 80-proof, a 100-proof and a 21-year-old cask-strength rarity retailing for $130 a bottle and up.

The 100-proof bottling might just be the greatest bargain in whiskey today. It's a mouth-filling whiskey with a long, rich finish and a big rye nose of spice and dried fruit. Despite its assertive rye flavor, it has a smooth finish (for a rye -- there's still some steel in its spine). This is rye really strutting its stuff.

Rittenhouse Rye, 100 proof, $17 to $23. At Beverages and More (see website for locations); Wine and Liquor Depot in Van Nuys, (818) 996-1414; Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822; Wally's Wines and Spirits in Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606; Mission Liquor & Wines in Pasadena, (626) 797-0500; and Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463.

-- Charles Perry

Photo by Charles Perry

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