Rye all about it

While bourbons remain popular rye whiskeys are on the upswing. Rye whiskeys are spicier than their bourbon counterparts and have less sweetness which, in my opinion, makes them much more interesting in cocktails. To be considered an american rye the whiskey must be composed of at least 51% rye grains and aged in charred new oak barrels. Rye that is aged for more than two years earns the distinction of being straight rye whiskey.

Personally I enjoy rye in an old fashioned over any other applications i have found for it. The simple addition of sugar and bitters really bring out the characteristics I love in a rye. There are many other cocktails that embrace the rye when made correctly and i wouldn’t want to rob you of those so here is a link to four more ideas as well as the old fashioned.

After you have selected the drink you would like to try, or if you already have a favorite, you need to choose your whiskey.  There are many great rye whiskeys out there and all of our employees would be happy to help you select one. If you are anything like me however you like to go in knowing your stuff. So i scoured the web  searched for two minutes for these interesting articles that contain many of the rye whiskeys we carry (along with a few bourbons) so peruse them at your leisure or just come ask one of the employees at the store. I’d say it’s time to give rye a shot, I almost said rye time but that’s too cheesy and i used that up in the title. Anyway enjoy and below you will find a list of the rye and bourbons we carry that are featured in the article along with comments next to the whiskeys i have personally tried.

Here it is in no particular order:

  • Jim Beam Rye
  • Old Overholt
  • Knob Creek Rye
  • (ri)1
  • Rittenhouse- At 100 proof this rye is surprisingly smooth
  • George Dickel Rye Whiskey
  • Dad’s Hat- along with the traditional rye we also carry the rye that they aged in port barrels as well as a rye aged in vermouth barrels both of which are 94 proof. For a real treat try the vermouth barrel aged rye straight.
  • Michter’s Rye
  • Bulleit Rye- Bulleit makes one of my favorite bourbons in the ten year and while this rye isn’t quite at that level it does not disappoint.
  • Sazerac
  • Russels Reserve 6 year- I am sipping on this as I’m writing and it has an aroma of vanilla and cherries and tastes of bold rye with a woody finish. I am not an expert by any means but this is currently my favorite rye.
  • Templeton
  • Woodford Rye- this is the next rye i would like to try so if you read this and like it feel free to come buy one and let me try it (kidding) but seriously I’ll try it.


  • Angels Envy
  • Old Grand Dad Bonded
  • Michter’s US 1 Toasted Barrel Finish
  • Basil Hayden’s Straight Kentucky Bourbon

Below is a list of the rye whiskey that was not featured in either article but there are some fine examples among them:

  • 5 and 20 rye- Bottled at Mazza distillery which holds the honor of being the only company that has a winery, distillery and brewery under one roof.
  • Journeyman Ravenswood rye
  • Jack Daniels Unaged Rye and Rested Rye
  • James E Pepper 1776
  • James Oliver rye- I have only had this once but it made a fine Manhattan and i think it would do well in many of the cocktails in the link.
  • Pendleton 1910- This Canadian rye is aged for 12 years and is one of the first rye whiskeys i ever tried.  It is very smooth and approachable for those who are new to rye.

Along with all of these selections we also have many more bourbons and other types of whiskey to choose from.  If you see one you like or have an interest in something not mentioned here drop us a line using the contact form and we will do our best to get it for you.

Happy drinking,