While bourbon is considered America’s native spirit, rye was actually the favored whiskey among her earliest colonists and continued to be popular well into the 1800s, especially in northeastern states like Maryland and Pennsylvania. George Washington even famously distilled rye at his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. By U.S. law, rye whiskey must be made from a mash of at least 51% rye (with corn and malted barley typically rounding out the remainder of the mashbill). Rye must adhere to the same production standards as bourbon: aged in new, charred oak containers, distilled to no more than 160 proof, entered into barrel at no more than 125 proof, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof. A straight rye whiskey must be aged for at least two years. Rye whiskey production largely ceased in the U.S. after Prohibition, despite its popularity with America’s nascent cocktail culture at the time — although rye has always been popular in Canada, and rye remains a major component in many Canadian whiskeys today. The resurgence of American whiskey in the late 1990s and an explosion in the popularity of craft cocktails around the same time has launched a revival in rye whiskey production — and consumption — in America.

Top Rye Whiskey Posts:

Knob Creek Rye
WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey 10 Years Old
Woodford Reserve Rye

Blue Run Emerald Rye bottle and Blue Run glassware

Review: Blue Run Emerald Rye

By Frank Dobbins | November 30, 2022 |

Blue Run has been on quite a streak this year. After releasing batch 2 of their Golden Rye along with Reflection I, a High Rye Bourbon, and their impressive Flight Series, the brand is back again with their latest expression: Blue Run Emerald Rye. Though this is only the third rye, and only the second…

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Review: WhistlePig “The Boss Hog IX: Siren’s Song” Rye Whiskey 2022

By Christopher Null | November 28, 2022 |

Just when you think WhistlePig’s “Boss Hog” releases can’t get any weirder, they raise the bar again. Or at least they move it to entirely different building. For 2022, the Greek muse-inspired “Siren’s Song” starts as a standard WhistlePig rye which goes from its standard bourbon barrels into two types of finishing barrels: Greek fig…

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Drinkhacker’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2022 |

When they said Covid was over, we didn’t think we’d be summarily dropped into a new financial crisis to replace the one we just got out of. The good news is that the holidays have arrived just in time to provide a welcome (if brief) break from yet another year of chaos. At Drinkhacker, we…

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Review: Redwood Empire Grizzly Beast and Rocket Top Bottled in Bond Batch #2

By Christopher Null | November 21, 2022 |

Redwood Empire’s bonded bourbon and ryes — Grizzly Beast and Rocket Top, respectively — only arrived earlier in 2022, but now the company is back with a second batch of whiskeys, albeit slightly different from the first batch. These are fully produced “grain to glass” offerings made entirely in California and in keeping with the…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2022 Edition

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2022 |

Stagg is back, baby! With the latest release of one of the most highly coveted whiskey collections produced anywhere, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection returns to its full complement of five whiskeys, including the big daddy Bruiser, George T. Stagg. Details follow for each of the offerings, but if you’d like to read some past…

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Review: Uncle Nearest Uncut/Unfiltered Rye

By Drew Beard | October 31, 2022 |

Uncle Nearest is getting into the rye game in a big way this fall. Soon, the Tennessee distillery will be offering a whopping three new rye whiskey expressions. But before that happens, Uncle Nearest has given its most dedicated fans a cask strength, non-chill filtered sneak peek at what’s to come with this bottle. I’ll…

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Review: Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey 4 Years Old (2022)

By Christopher Null | October 29, 2022 |

For such a humble brand, Old Overholt Rye has undergone an awfully large number of reinventions over the last decade, including a full relaunch with proof change only 2 years ago, a bonded expression, and an overproof version. Now standard-issue Old Overholt is changing once again, keeping the new 43% abv but adding a 4…

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Review: Sagamore Spirit Rye Rum Cask Finish

By Christopher Null | October 26, 2022 |

  It was only a matter of time before Sagamore Spirit turned its finishing eyes to the venerable rum barrel, with this blend of 5- to 6-year-old MGP rye whiskeys spending 10 extra months in a mix of South American and Jamaican rum barrels. It’s worth noting that Sagamore seems to have now dropped the…

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Pursuit United Rye

Review: Pursuit United Blended Rye

By David Tao | October 12, 2022 |

Kentucky residents and bourbon mega-fans Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil have built a small media empire with Bourbon Pursuit, arguably the most popular bourbon-focused podcast across multiple platforms. Beginning in 2018, they started leveraging that audience for regular releases of single barrel whiskeys. And in 2021, they launched Pursuit United Bourbon, a blended product sourced…

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Review: The Gospel Straight Rye Whiskey

By Christopher Null | September 30, 2022 |

Here’s a fun fact: The Gospel Straight Rye Whiskey is the first Australian whiskey that is legally labelled as “straight,” following the strict distillation and maturation rules required of American whiskeys. The whiskey is made form 100% unmalted rye grown on a single farm in the Murray Mallee region of South Australia, said to be…

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