Whiskey has, of course, been around for years, but rye is seeing a new and exciting resurgence in the drink market. As a versatile grain, rye is used for vodka, beer, and whiskey. With distilleries across the country, both large and small, rye whiskey is a flavorful beverage that is gaining a whole new following.
Cask finishing is one way that all the many types of rye whiskeys separate from their competition, and the body of rye lends itself well to the process. Its clean finish is better suited to casks than bourbon’s heavier one.
While the United States has a long tradition and history of rye whiskey, its origins aren’t necessarily stateside. German immigrants brought the tradition with them in the mid-1600s while they were settling in modern-day Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Germany had a rich history of rye whiskey production, even then.
We can credit the German immigrants with bringing the rye process to the United States. Still, we can also credit the Dutch with the industrialization of distilling, and they made a spirit very similar to rye whiskey. The Dutch had been making genever with rye for many years. Luckily, rye grew plentifully in America, thus solidifying rye’s usage in distillation.
Before Prohibition, rye was America’s dark spirit choice rather than bourbon. Because of Prohibition, many distilleries that produced rye closed and never reopened, and rye was notoriously difficult to find for several years.
As for rye whiskey, a serious resurgence has been going on for some 15 years after its production had previously died off in the 90s. We’re lucky today that so many people in the industry have taken rye whiskey on as a quest, and while innovation can be great, staying power is excellent too.
Bulleit Rye is one of the classics that Payless Liquors offers. With its smooth, crisp finish and notes of vanilla, spice, and honey throughout, this is a great sipper on the rocks, neat, or as the base spirit for a number of cocktails.
Rittenhouse is another rye whiskey offering. Long a beloved choice for bartenders, Rittenhouse has an herbal, sweet taste to start, then transitions quickly to roasty, dark flavors, such as oak and licorice. Perfect for a classic Old Fashioned or Manhattan, its flavor can handle nearly every kind of whiskey-based drink.
Did you know that Old Overholt is America’s oldest rye whiskey brand? In production since 1810, this rye whiskey is no spirit to turn your nose up to. They’re still capable of producing an excellent core rye that’s being aged for four years rather than the previous three. They also make some higher-octane distillations and offer an 11-year-aged rye as well. Old Overholt has a citrusy bouquet and sweet caramel and vanilla scents. A perfect cocktail or sipping rye.
Rye has a long and rich history in the United States. With over 200 years of production and enjoyment, it has a staying power worth noting. See our full list of Rye Whiskey offerings, and try a new Rye today.