Why Rye?


If you’re a regular follower of b&t you’ll no doubt have noticed I have a fondness for American Whiskey. I’ve written about visiting Kentucky, various Bourbons, Tennessee Whiskey and the like on many occasions, and in fact our drinks room boasts around 80 American Whiskies, from new made corn, through to prohibition bottles of ‘medicinal whiskey’. Somehow though, I’ve managed not to write about Rye, even though it’s an old favourite of mine… I think it’s time to set that situation right.

You see the ‘rediscovery’ of Rye Whiskey, and its growing popularity with bartenders is having a huge effect on the drinks industry as a whole at the moment. Somewhere between bartenders searching out and rediscovering classic cocktails, and American micro-distilleries opening up left right and centre, the face of American Whiskey is changing.

Until just a few years ago there were only a handful of distillers producing and marketing Whiskey in the States, and a few more that were bulk producing whiskey to ship mainly to Canada for blending in their domestic blends. Now however it seems like every month sees the launch of a new ‘small batch’ or ‘artisanal’ Whiskey to the market in the US. After many years without a hint of change, there’s new life being breathed into this category.