Rye

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

Jack Daniel's Rested Rye - bottle shot

Review: Jack Daniel’s Rested Tennessee Rye

By Christopher Null | April 10, 2014 |

Hey, remember a couple of years ago when Jack Daniel’s decided it was going to make a rye whiskey? Give Jack credit: Rather than simply buy someone else’s rye and put their label on it, Jack decided to make its rye itself, legit. The catch: Making whiskey takes time, so in 2012, when the rye…

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Review: Hudson Whiskey Maple Cask Rye

By Christopher Null | December 16, 2013 |

Aka Hudson Maple Rye, this limited edition bottling is the latest from New York’s Tuthilltown Spirits, one of the original and most iconic craft distillers in the U.S. Hudson Maple Cask Rye is born from a deal the company has with a nearby maple syrup maker: They send old bourbon barrels to the syrup guys,…

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Review: Collingwood 21 Year Old Rye Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2013 |

Who, who, whoooo is putting out 21 year old rye? At a price of 70 bucks (or less)? Collingwood, that’s who. Collingwood is best known for bottling its spirits in what look like oversized perfume bottles, but it should be known for the quality of the spirits inside. Standard Collingwood, a young Canadian blend, offers…

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Review: WhistlePig “The Boss Hog” Rye Whiskey Single Barrel 12 Years Old 2013

By Christopher Null | November 19, 2013 |

WhistlePig is widely regarded (by myself included) as one of the best ryes on the market, a straight, 100% rye bottled at 100 proof and a full 10 years old. Last year’s TripleOne brought the age up to 11 years and proof to 111 proof. Now comes The Boss Hog, a 12 year old rye…

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Review: Corsair Ryemageddon and Quinoa Whiskey

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2013 |

Corsair is probably the country’s most curious and experimental craft distillery (it makes one whiskey that has elderflowers in it), and the two whiskeys reviewed below should be proof enough of its oddball inspirations. Both of these whiskeys are part of Corsair’s standard releases, though that doesn’t mean they’re easy to find. Corsair Ryemageddon –…

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Review: Blue Flame Spirits Washington Rye and Wheat Whiskeys

By Christopher Null | October 11, 2013 |

Blue Flame is a craft distillery based in Prosser, Washington. The company focuses on hyper-local distilling: Both of these products are made from ingredients sourced from within 45 miles of the distillery, including grain from the distillery’s own farm and the barrels (made from local wood and custom designed by distillery owner Brian Morton) in which…

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Review: Wild Turkey Forgiven Whiskey

By Christopher Null | October 9, 2013 |

Is it possible that a distillery like Wild Turkey made a new whiskey by mistake… and that it turned out so well they decided to commercialize it? Well, I don’t want to get in the way of a self-described “wild tale” or this new whiskey, the first-ever widely produced whiskey that’s a blend of bourbon…

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Antique Collection buffalo trace 2013

Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2013 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 24, 2013 |

It’s always a glorious day when Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection annual samples arrive, letting us stick our noses and tongues in these classics of the American whiskey world. 2013 offers the quintet at ages of up to 19 years old. Here’s how the five whiskeys of the 2013 Collection stack up. (Hint: It’s one of the…

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Review: Whiskeys of Fog’s End Distillery – MoonShine, White Dog, Monterey Rye, and Agua Ardiente

By Christopher Null | July 29, 2013 |

Down in Gonzales, California — where, based on my travels, there’s plenty of fog — Fog’s End Distillery makes unique craft whiskeys, of a sort. These are all made, as the company’s owner Craig Pakish explains, with the “no cook, sour mash” method. But there’s a twist: While corn and rye are both used in…

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Review: Dad’s Hat White Rye and Rye Whiskey (2013)

By Christopher Null | July 17, 2013 |

Based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Dad’s Hat is one of the darling craft distillers of the modern mixology movement. Focused exclusively on young rye whiskeys, the basic Dad’s Hat mashbill involves 80% rye, 15% malted barley, and 5% malted rye. Grains are sourced locally, and aging is done in smaller barrels. These two whiskeys make up…

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