Rye o Rye where art thou?
Rye is here and on rising in popularity in my humble opinion, and it’s easy to see why. Rye is just plain old school. The first old fashions were made with rye, though now-a-days mostly made with bourbons. Bourbons got pretty trendy which, hey, it’s still a great whiskey and also one of my first loves, but a girl’s got to have a little variety. Looping back towards a sipping liquor that isn’t as sweet is so 2012…but I promise there will always be a place in my heart and mouth for Señior Bourbon.
Let’s start with the basics, what makes a whiskey a Rye Whiskey? Simply that, it’s at least 51% rye (a grain similar to wheat and barley). I’m still learning about Canadian Whiskies but turns out Canadian Rye Whiskies are called ‘Rye Whisky’ because historically our northern friends used only rye to conjure the dark liquor. It seems there are no real rules about the ratio of rye to corn or % minimum so read the labels carefully if you are buying Canadian Rye as it may not even have much rye in it’s mash as you oiginally thought. (WTF is a mash? Peruse the “As If” section that outlines the making of whiskey for newbies or educationally interested.)
If you are new to rye, here is the Fancy List of Rye I have come to vouch for in the last 6 years. The list is ordered in such a way that if you are new to the dark liquors, to start from the beginning and work your palate up to the bottom of the list.
*** Bullet Rye ***
By far one of my favorite availably affordable rye whiskies.
Few Rye Whiskey
Years Aged —
Licks — Ψ Ψ Ψ Ψ Ψ (5 of 5)
Percentage — 100% Rye
Distillery — FEW Distillery
Location — 918 Chicago Ave. Evanston, IL (Chicago)
YWLTIYL (You Will Like This If You LIke) —
Still to Try:
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye
Years Aged — 13
Proof — 95.6