Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Resurgence Of Rye Whiskey

FoxNews picked up a story out of Louisville, KY about the resurgence of rye whiskey. With bourbon booming, I guess it was only natural that rye eventually would pick up again. Given that rye was probably America's first whiskey and that George Washington was the country's largest distiller of rye after he left the presidency, I'm glad to see it.

Woodford Reserve rye is the one shown here in the story. I will admit to not having tried it. I have a bottle of Michter's and a bottle of Wild Turkey rye in my liquor cabinet. And for some reason, I think I have a bottle of Bulleit hanging around as well which might be a sign that I have too many bottles of bourbon and rye.

I like both bourbon and rye Manhattans. However, there is nothing like rye if you want to make a Sazerac. According to the story, mixologists (aka bartenders) actually prefer rye in their creations as it is spicier and less sweet.

If you have a favorite rye, let me know in the comments and I may have to try it.

WDRB 41 Louisville News


  1. The Mount Vernon distillery sells 2 kinds of Rye. The first is the non-aged Rye that the General sold locally, and a 2 year old iteration of the same whiskey. The aged rye is 2x as expensive as the already expensive recreation of GW’s whiskey, but I have to say it is quite good. It is also tied for the most expensive whiskey I’ve ever had in a bar, pub or tavern, tied with Jameson’s 18 y.o. in pub in Cork.

    can you have too many bottles of bourbon?


  2. Too much whiskey is never a problem over here, but if you have that problem, there is a simple solution!

  3. When I was a young man working construction, an old iron worker keep telling me how much "Old Overalls" he had drunk over the weekends. He always said only real men drink straight rye.

  4. Rye whiskey is my favorite spirit (and Manhattans my go-to cocktail). Try High West's Rendezvous or Double Rye if you run across it.

  5. I like WT 101 Rye. I have a bottle of Jim Beam Rye and I will not be buying that one again. I want to try Michter's. I've heard good things about it.

    Funny thing, I've never had Rye mixed with anything. I've always drank it straight.

  6. You guys enjoy! I don't think I have every drunk Rye or could tell the difference. I'd better stick to Tequila. Whiskey makes my stomach do the wigglies, and then I has a bad outcome. :-(

  7. My favorite ryes are local to me in New York. Hudson Whiskey Manhattan Rye and Van Brundt Stillhouse Rye. Van Brundt is distilled in Brooklyn.

    And I'm sure that a few of the brands you have mentioned probably come from the same factory mega-distillery in Lawrence Indiana. See here:

    These are purchased in bulk and "bottled" with fancy labels and had written "lot" and "batch" numbers.

  8. My favorite is Knob Creek Rye Whiskey. Great neat or in an Old Fashioned.
    If you can get a bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye keep it neat. Heck, any of the Old Rip Van Winkle products are great sippers.

  9. I have a favorite rye. I will not mention it here. It was on allocation for quite awhile, and I would rather that not happen again. I don't need it to be any harder to get.

    But as Unknown mentioned, most of the interesting ryes are MGPI's 95/5 make ( High West's ryes are, and they're quite proud of that. Bulleit Rye is also. So is Templeton Rye, but they have done their best to hide that they don't make their own.

  10. Very informative discussion here and I am glad to have some of these suggestions which are new to me. Interesting to see that Woodford is putting out a rye because I have a two 375ml bottle set of Woodford ryes (one aged cask, one new cask) that I have never tried, but will look forward to comparing to what they are putting out now if I can get my hands on a bottle.

    To John's point about rye cocktails, unless I am feeling particularly flush, I am going with the true classic Old Overholt (or "Old Overalls" as it is apparently known to some!) in mine. Rittenhouse rye used to be a good (and hot and affordable at $20) mixer, but I've seen it up around $30 recently. Don't like to overpay like that, or to mix +$30 booze. I have seen people mix Van Winkle rye or Pappy bourbon in cocktails - it's makes me a bit surly.

    With the insanity surrounding certain highly allocated whiskeys (Pappy, Buffalo Trace antique collection), my whiskey drinking friends and I have set about a new challenge - not hunting the elusive whiskey but finding the exceptional $40 bottle. Suggestions welcome!

  11. Bulleit Rye, Filibuster, High West, James E. Pepper, Redemption, George Dickel, Templeton Rye and Cougar (Australia), and others are all Seagrams from Lawrenceburg, Indiana on the Ohio River.

    The best whiskey is made in South Bend, Indiana, IWC:

    If you drink "rye whiskey", you are drinking what MGP makes for you and puts in different bottles in Lawrenceburg.