Whiskey lovers are scrambling to find Booker’s Rye, paying up to $100 for a shot of it. Here’s where to find it in Seattle and Bellevue.
Every year or so, a whiskey comes along and wins the heart of just about every ink-stained critic and drink blogger. Right now, that booze is Booker’s Rye.
Whiskey aficionados, even casual drinkers want it. They call bars inquiring as if it’s the must-have toy for Christmas. This limited-edition release has become the new Pappy, the cult whiskey that everyone chases.
Radiator Whiskey at Pike Place Market already went through one bottle ($80 a shot) and had to scramble to find another bottle to satisfy the masses. It’s one of the lucky bars to get a second bottle. Many others sold out, despite selling it for up to $100 a shot.
That it became a hot item caught many bars off-guard.
Most Read Stories
- Snohomish County man has the United States’ first known case of Wuhan coronavirus
- 5 of the Seattle area's most changed neighborhoods: We crunched the data on population, income, jobs
- 'We were before our time': Remembering the fight to change King County's namesake from a slave owner to a civil-rights leader VIEW
- Did the Seahawks make a mistake by letting Richard Sherman go?
- How white families with young children can work to undo racism
Booker’s Rye was readily available around Capitol Hill watering holes and fancy cocktail dens when it was first released in mid-May. But in recent weeks, it became in demand because Booker’s Rye swept most of the usual end-of-the-year awards including being anointed “World Whiskey of the Year” from Jim Murray, one of the most influential spirits critics.
The race was then on to get a shot before it’s gone.
Booker’s, more synonymous with bourbon in Kentucky, made this limited-edition rye under the legendary distiller Booker Noe, who passed away before it was bottled.
How is it? It’s well-structured, rich and oily, oaky from being aged for 13 years and spicy with licorice and dark fruit. It’s a long finish, though it doesn’t burn like you would expect from a136-proof rye. Works well neat.
If you want to sample it, the best deal I’ve seen is in Bellevue at Lot No. 3, where a shot goes for about $32 during Whiskey Wednesday when it’s half-off.
In Seattle, the lowest price I’ve seen is $55 for a shot at Rob Roy in Belltown and at The Diller Room downtown.
(To answer the trolls out there, yes, you can get good rye cheap around town. Two priced under $10: Rittenhouse, the best value rye, and High West’s Double Rye, which is what the cool kids are drinking around Capitol Hill. Russell’s Reserve Six Year rye is a good whiskey in the $12-$14 range.)
But if it’s the Booker’s Rye you must try, below are other places that have it, with the going rate $75-$95.