rye whiskey

In the United States, "rye whiskey" is, by law, made from a mash of at least 51 percent rye. (The other ingredients of the mash are usually corn and malted barley.) It is distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof, and aged in charred, new oak barrels. The whiskey must be put into such barrels at not more than 125 (U.S.) proof. Rye whiskey that has been so aged for at least 2 years may be further designated as "straight", as in "straight rye whiskey".[1]

Rye whiskey was the prevalent whiskey of the northeastern states, especially Pennsylvania and Maryland, but largely disappeared after Prohibition. A few brands, such as Old Overholt, survived it. Today Heaven Hill, Catoctin Creek, Copper Fox, Jim Beam and Wild Turkey (among others) also produce rye whiskeys, as does a distillery at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, which sells a version of the rye Washington made. Rye is currently undergoing a small but growing revival in the United States.[2][3]

Rye is known for imparting what many call a spicey or fruity flavor to the whiskey. Due to its distinctive flavor, American rye whiskey is sometimes referred to as America's equivalent of an Islay whisky.[6] Bourbon, distilled from at least 51% corn, is noticeably sweeter, and tends to be fuller bodied than rye. As bourbon gained popularity beyond the southern United States, bartenders increasingly substituted it for rye in cocktails like Whiskey Sours, Manhattans, and Old Fashioneds, which were initially made only with rye. All other things being equal, the character of the cocktail will be drier with rye.[7]

Approximately twenty US distilleries produce about forty different ryes.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rye_whiskey)

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