The 411 on Rye Whiskey

September 05, 2018

The 411 on Rye Whiskey

September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, and with that celebration, we've decided there's no better time to talk about Bourbon's cousin, Rye Whiskey. Enjoy our quick list of need-to-know facts about Rye below, and shop all Rye here

  • Must be 51% Rye and the rest can be other grains like corn and wheat;
  • Needs to be aged in brand new charred American Oak Barrels;
  • Can never be distilled to an ABV higher than 80%;
  • Can not be higher in proof than 62.5% ABV when it enters the barrel for aging
  • When aged for at least two years and when not been blended with other spirits may be further designated as "straight", as in "straight rye whiskey";
  • Was historically the prevalent whiskey of the northeastern states, especially. Pittsburgh was the center of rye whiskey production in the late 1700s and early 1800s;
  • Rye Whiskey is used in many classic cocktails like the Manhattan, Sazerac, Vieux Carré, and and Old Fashioned;
  • Canadian whisky is often referred to as "rye whisky", since historically much of the content was from rye. There is no requirement for rye to be used to make Canadian whisky, and the labels "Canadian whisky", "Canadian rye whisky" or "Rye whisky" are all legally permitted regardless of the actual composition, provided it "possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian whisky;
  • Rye grain is known for it's spicy or fruity flavor. Bourbon, which must be distilled from at least 51% corn, is noticeably sweeter, and tends to be fuller bodied than rye.


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