Friday, June 17, 2022

Where Is Rye Whiskey Made

A History Of Rye Whiskey

Getting a Taste of Rye Whiskey That’s Made in Bucks County, PA | NBC10 Philadelphia

American Rye Whiskey was first distilled sometime in the late 1700s. It became popular very quickly, particularly in Pennsylvania and Maryland, where it was the most common whiskey consumed.

In the early years of rye whiskey production, most distilleries were located in Pennsylvania. Historians claim that Pennsylvania farmers were selling one half barrel of rye whiskey for each person in the country by 1808. By the late 19th century, Pennsylvania was producing 10s of thousands of barrels each year.

However, the popularity of rye whiskey declined after the prohibition-era as drinkers turned to softer spirits that were easier to drink, like bourbon, vodka, rum, and gin. Many of the original rye whiskey distillers disappeared, although some older brands like Old Overholt managed to survive.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a renewed interest in rye whiskey. As a result, it is now much easier to find rye whiskey and there are many brands selling popular rye whiskey products.

They include:

  • Bulleit Rye
  • Thomas H. Handy

Several American distilleries have also been experimenting with rye whiskey in recent years, creating un-aged and lightly aged products. A handful of smaller distilleries have even created distilleries that produce rye whiskey using the same processes as distilleries in the 1700s.

Canadian whisky is often labeled rye whisky because historically virtually all whiskeys were produced using a mash containing some rye.

Whiskey Scotch Bourbon And Rye

Lots to unpack here. The basics, according to Encyclopedia Britannica:

Whiskey can be any of a variety of distilled liquors that are made from a fermented mash of cereal grains and aged in wooden containers, which are usually constructed of oak. Commonly used grains are corn, barley malt, rye, and wheat.

The difference between whiskey and whisky is where the stuff is made: in the United States and Ireland, its spelled whiskey in Scotland, Canada, and Japan, its whisky.

Now, for the differences between Scotch, bourbon, and rye. Back to Encyclopedia Britannica:

Scotch is a whisky that gets its distinctive smoky flavor from the process in which it is made: the grain, primarily barley, is malted and then heated over a peat fire. A whisky cannot be called Scotch unless it is entirely produced and bottled in Scotland.

Bourbon, a whiskey that was first produced in Kentucky, U.S., uses at least 51 percent mash from corn in its production. It also uses a sour mash process that is, the mash is fermented with yeast and includes a portion from a mash that has already been fermented. U.S. regulations specify that in order for a whiskey to be called bourbon, it must be made in the United States.

And rye whiskey? Its a whiskey that uses a rye mash or a rye and malt mash. In the United States, regulations stipulate that the mash must be at least 51 percent rye in order for it to be called rye whiskey. In Canada, regulations do not specify a minimum percentage of rye.


Thomas H Handy Sazerac

Average Price:$550

The Whiskey:

This is the youngest bottle in 2021s BTAC. The whiskey was distilled in the spring of 2015 and bottled in the fall of 2021. The mash is mainly Minnesota rye with Kentucky corn and North Dakota barley. The juice matured in warehouses I, K, L, and O on the fifth through seventh floors. Over that time, 31 percent of the juice was lost to the angels.

Tasting Notes:

The nose opens with a rush of botanicals, leaning into star anise, clove, black licorice, and dried-up cinnamon sticks shoved into an old leather tobacco pouch. The palate holds onto that woody cinnamon as touches of green peppercorns pop in the background with a slight hint of rose water, almonds, and bitter citrus pith that leads towards a mid-palate that veers green towards fresh mint stems. That mint mellows out as a creamy nature arrives on the finish with dark cocoa powder thats just touched by that mint, creating an almost chewy/dusty mint-chocolate-chip quality.

Bottom Line:

I lot of people love this. Its not exactly for me but I fully appreciate the beauty of this whiskey. All of that being said, this is an incredibly easy whiskey to drink and would probably be a go-to Sazerac mixer if not for the insane secondary market price.

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What Is The Difference Between Jack Daniels And Jack Daniels Rye

The difference lies in Jack Daniels rye whiskey, instead of an 80% corn and 8% rye blend, which is replaced by a 70% rye and 18% corn blend. Old No. 1 does, however, trade the corn-heavy mash for one that has little corn in it. For much of the rye, it is still filtered through maple charcoal to provide even more smoothness.

Best For Sazeracs: Sazerac

WhistlePig 11 Years Old

Region: Kentucky | ABV: 45% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, citrus, candied spice

As its name suggests, this rye whiskey is the best pick for Sazeracs. Packed with notes of baking spices, orange and lemon zest, and a hint of vanilla, it’s bright and vibrant. This rye harmonizes beautifully with the classic New Orleans cocktails Peychauds bitters and absinthe, plus it can handle a little dilution from some ice. When using it to make a Sazerac, dont forget the lemon zest garnish. The rye brings out even more of the candied citrus notes in the whiskey, marrying everything together.

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What Bourbons Are High Rye

  • It has a spicy flavor. Basil Haydens Bourbon.
  • There are 4 high rye bourbons in Redemption High Rye.
  • Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon three times.
  • I will be drinking the Deadwood Tumblin Dice 3 Year Straight Bourbon.
  • We are going to start with Woodford Reserve Bourbon.
  • This Kentucky Straight Bourbon contains 100 proof. It weighs a little over a pound
  • 114-year-old bourbon, imprint of old Grand-Dad.
  • Several Buckleit Bourbons are available.
  • Old Forester Single Barrel Rye

    Average Price:$300

    The Whisky:

    This new release from Old Forester is their signature rye in a single barrel format. Its bottled without any filtration or cutting with water.

    Tasting Note:

    The lemon really shines on the nose to the point that it turns into a pudding with hints of burnt sugar and salted caramel backing it up. The palate takes a bunch of cinnamon sticks and soaks them in apple, cherry, and plum juice then dries them out while hazelnut builds to an almost Nutella level and that dried dill just sneaks in. The mid-palate really leans into the cinnamon and hazelnut until bold cinnamon attaches to a dry cedar box for very dry and peppery tobacco thats just touched with mint.

    Bottom Line:

    The top ten ryes are all going to be great. Lets just get that out of the way. This one really leans into the beauty of Old Foresters vibe while still bringing some deeply unique flavors forward.

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    Is Bourbon A Rye Whiskey

    Originally produced in Kentucky, U.S., bourbon has been around for centuries. One in five pounds of its product is made from corn mash. The rye mash or rye and malt mash is used in making this whiskey. Rye whiskey can only be called rye whiskey if it is at least 51 percent rye.

    What Is A Good Canadian Rye Whiskey

    Whisky a gone gone: Canadian-made rye getting harder to find
  • The Pendleton 1910 12 Year Rye Whiskey.
  • The 21 Year Old Rye of Collingwood..
  • This is a 100% Rye beer from Canadian Club.
  • A 10 Year Old Mastersons Straight Rye Whiskey
  • This is a dark batch of Alberta Rye Whisky.
  • A Spirit of Northern Harvest Rye from Crown Royal Brewing Company
  • A 10-year straight rye whiskey from Whistlepig.
  • A Spirits of the Old West Straight Rye Whiskey from Hochstadters.
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    Aging Your Rye Whiskey

    Now at this stage in making your own rye whiskey, you have a choice to make. Whether to age your whiskey or not. If you do decide to simply skip the aging process and bottle up the distillate, you have technically made a moonshine or white whiskey. However, since the goal of this guide is to make a true golden rye/corn whiskey, were going to cover a bit on the aging process as well.

    The aging process will drastically affect the overall flavor profile of your rye whiskey. By aging your whiskey in a charred oak barrel or using oak chips for a given period of time, it will give the whiskey its golden coloring and it will absorb the oaky flavors. A chemical process called adsorption also takes place during aging. This process is when the molecules that make a young whiskey harsher are drawn out to the barrels wall, and result in a smoother overall spirit. Many distillers will use barrels which have been used to age other spirits such as rum or brandy to give their whiskey a distinct flavor profile.

    A Brief Storied History Of Rye Whiskey

    Rye Whiskey in the US is now seeing a resurgence from the heights it had experienced pre prohibition.

    To understand Rye Whiskey let’s take a Bill and Ted phone booth ride back to the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, where we landed in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This is where a large concentration of Scots/Irish immigrants have settled – and for obvious reasons, want to bring their native spirits with them. The barley they used to making scotch and Irish whiskey with is having a hard time adapting to the growing conditions in their new homeland. Most folks during this time frame kept the source of their grains pretty close to their distilleries as travel was costly and time consuming for large bulk items. These distillers and farmers quickly realized that rye flourished and soon became a replacement for barely heavy recipes. This led to the practice we still hold to today of American Rye Whiskeys needing to be at least 51% rye grain, distilled no higher than 160 proof, barrel aged no higher than 125 proof, and much like bourbon aged in new charred oak barrels.

    We are now seeing a 21st century resurgence of Rye Whiskey in the US, kicked off by Jack Daniels and the rebuilding of George Washington’s original Distillery in Mt. Vernon, that at one point produced 100,000 gallons of rye whiskey.

    We hope you have enjoyed the ride through Rye Whiskey history as much as we enjoy being a part of it!

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    Hudson Whiskey Ny The Xseries: Cider Cask Rye

    Average Price:Distillery Only

    The Whiskey:

    This new entry in the xSeries from Hudson takes their standard rye and finishes it with some apple. The juice is loaded into apple-cider-cured barrels for a final maturation before batching, proofing, and bottling.

    Tasting Notes:

    This opens with a lovely and almost warm cinnamon-spiked apple cider next to apple blossoms, apple core, and then a rush of rye grains, rich caramel, fresh apricot, and hints of vanilla. The palate really delivers on the cinnamon sticks soaked in apple cider as the florals drive the taste towards a hint of clove, wet cedar, and chewy apple tobacco. The apricot sweetness pops in on the back end as the apple tobacco marries the hot cinnamon sticks on the almost dry and long finish.

    Bottom Line:

    It always amazes me how well apple and rye go together and that theres not more of it . I wish there was more of this rye but its already gone for the year. We can only hope that Hudson brings it back next year because its delicious.

    What Rye Whiskey Is Made From

    WhistlePig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey 50%

    Post-prohibition, rye came to be known as that bastard whiskey. This name was earned due to the spicy kick and tingly burn provided by the main ingredient: rye grain.

    On top of the rye, rye whiskeys are often filled out by corn, malted barley, or wheat. Rye whiskeys are aged in charred new oak barrels, giving the spirit its trademark amber color and contributing to the bold flavors rye whiskeys are known for.

    Historically, rye whiskeys were 100% rye. This was known as Monongahela style. We can feel the gun-metal grey whiskers growing on our upper lips just thinking about drinking a 100% rye whiskey.

    But after prohibition, the strong flavor of rye whiskey fell out of vogue in favor of more mellow vodkas, bourbons, and other whiskeys. Modern rye whiskeys still have a lot of rye grain in the mix, but these days its often balanced with corn.

    Note: While rye whiskeys have no aging minimum, straight rye whiskeys must be aged at least 2 years. If theres no age statement on a straight rye whiskey label, buyer beware.

    In addition, straight rye whiskey can never be color corrected. And there are a few other terms to get straight before getting into straight rye whiskey:

    • Barrel proof means your rye whiskey isnt watered down to the typical 40% ABV.
    • Single barrel means your whiskey has been bottled from one barrel, never blended, presenting all the unique characteristics of the particular barrel it called home in its younger years.

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    Best Canadian: Lot 40

    Region: Canada | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, oak, spice

    When it was briefly discontinued in the early 2000s, Lot 40 became a precious collectible, prized by fans of the 100-percent rye whisky . Thankfully, it made a comeback in 2012 when the rye was relaunched by Pernod-Ricard. Dry and powerful with notes of fresh-baked bread and lots of zesty spice, its great in a Maple Old Fashioned , but also tasty just poured over an ice cube. A touch of chill and dilution brings out more of the whiskys fruitier notes while tempering its bold, big-bodied heft.

    Best For Sipping: Russells Reserve Single Barrel

    Region: Kentucky | ABV: 52% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, nutmeg, oak

    I love that Eddie Russell created this despite the fact that his father, Jimmy, whos been distilling and blending Wild Turkey for 60-plus years, hates rye, says Ellenwood. On behalf of all rye drinkers out there, we thank Eddie for rebelling against his father and creating this fine, single barrel rye. At 104 proof, it definitely packs some heat, but thats the essence of rye. Pour it straight and youll get the intensity of the vanilla from its time spent in oak barrels, along with earthy, smoky flavors and a nice, dry finish. Of course, you can also take advantage of the rye’s power by stirring it into a Boulevardier.

    Region: Kentucky | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, baking spice, citrus

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    What Is American Rye

    Whiskey made in the United States. A rye whiskey must be made with at least 51 percent rye, according to US law. (Corn and malted barley are also normally included in the mash. 160 U is the maximum amount that can be distilled. The whiskey is 80 proof and aged in new oak barrels that have been charred.

    Two Types Of Rye Whiskey

    Whiskey Review: Kentucky Peerless Rye Whiskey

    There is often some confusion about what constitutes a rye whiskey. Thats because there are two different, yet related, types of rye whiskeys available American rye whiskey and Canadian whisky.

    American rye whiskey refers to any American whiskey that is distilled from a fermented mash containing at least 51% rye. The other ingredients in the mash usually being corn, malted barley, and malted rye.

    American rye whiskey must be distilled to no higher than 160 U.S. proof and aged in charred, new oak barrels for at least two years.

    Canadian whisky is often labeled as being rye whiskey for historical reasons. However, many of the Canadian whiskeys labeled as rye whiskey are produced from a fermented mash that did not contain any rye.

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    Best Value: Whistlepig Piggyback

    Region: Canada, Vermont | ABV: 48.28% | Tasting Notes: Cocoa, cardamom, leather

    WhistlePig is known for releasing some expensive rye whiskeys, but a few years ago the distillery launched this lower-priced, six-year-old whiskey sourced from Canada. Its a good value bottle that provides ample flavor and a higher ABV which works well in cocktails. The 100 percent rye mash bill whiskey is aged to a minimum of six years, says Joshua Lopez of American Social in Florida. It has a bit of heat, but nothing that hangs around too long. Prominent flavors I get are cardamom, baking spices with hints of citrus, and primarily grapefruit and orange. My preferred way to drink PiggyBack is on a large ice cube, or neat with a few drops of water. It also makes a great Boulevardier with the citrus in the whiskey pairing perfectly with the Campari.

    Best Under $2: Old Overholt

    Region: Kentucky | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, orange, cinnamon

    A favorite of bartenders and budget-conscious whiskey drinkers, Old Overholt has stood the test of time. Case in point: the brand boasts that it was the most popular spirit in the country after Prohibition was lifted. This rye starts with a cereal sweetness and a touch of vanilla, then finishes with a bracing hit of white pepper. And while youll often see it as the stiffer half of a Boilermaker, this rye can also be stirred into a fine Manhattan or a spicy Old Fashioned.

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    Whistlepig Beyond Bonded Farmstock Rye

    Average Price:$125

    The Whiskey:

    The vast majority of WhistlePig is/was Alberta and Indiana rye until the distillery actually began to age its own juice. Now, those sourced juices still make up the main lines of the brand but their own juice is starting to make and appearance in the Farmstock line. This expression is made with 100 percent Remington Rye grown on-site at WhistlePig. Its then aged for around four-plus years before blending and bottling.

    Tasting Notes:

    This rye leans into dry wood, lemon zest, and plenty of cinnamon thats a little sweet and buttery, like a cinnamon toast. The woodiness leans towards dry cedar bark with black tea next to peach, more lemon zest, and a holiday cake spice matrix. The finish starts to dry out with those spices as hints of burnt orange peel and marshmallow lead towards a note of a fresh dollar bill pulled from a new stack.

    Bottom Line:

    I like this rye. Theres no wow factor but it plays well in cocktails. That said, it is a little on the pricier side, which is the point of WhistlePigs branding.

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