Rye Bother? An Inside-The-Barrel Look At American Whiskeys

on 11/09/13 at 10:01 am

Spirits

indexTen years ago rye whiskey was on the brink of extinction.

Despite its venerable history as the whiskey made by , only a handful of distillers were bottling this quintessentially American spirit. And you definitely couldn’t order a rye Manhattan at your local cocktail lounge.

My, how times have changed.

Now craft distilleries have popped up across the country devoted solely to making the golden liquor. And hipsters from Brooklyn to San Francisco can impress their friends by commenting on the peppery notes imparted by the rye in their Old Fashioned.

Rye lovers say the whiskey is spicier, edgier and less sweet than bourbon, which is made of corn. But few studies have actually looked at what makes American whiskeys unique — how fermenting rye versus corn changes the taste, aroma and mouth feel of the spirit.

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