Rye is enjoying a renaissance. A niche product that sold at a bargain price just a few years ago, distilleries today struggle to make enough to satisfy the bartenders and consumers who have rediscovered it. There are now more than fifty brands of rye whiskey available in the United States, according to NPR. Here are three new ways to enjoy the spirit.
White Dog Rye
The logic of supply and demand dictates that when demand for a product rises, as it has for rye, suppliers will begin making more of it. The complication for whiskey is that making it takes time; rye distilled now may need several years in barrels before it’s ready for market.
That said, whiskey doesn’t have to be aged, and many small distilleries have experimented with “white dog” whiskey that showcases the spirit before oak exerts its influence. Often these products do more to demonstrate the value of barrel ageing than they do for the spirits themselves. Not so with Wigle Whiskey, the initial offering from a new distillery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their rye white dog is a standout among white whiskeys, with a fruity note (as one expects to find in unaged liquor) matched with a very nice spice from the rye.
The name is in honor of Philip Wigle, one of the distillers behind the 1791 Whiskey Rebellion against federal taxes. He was sentenced for treason before being pardoned by President George Washington. The logo, which at first glance may resemble a fishing lure, reflects his narrowly avoided sentence. Oregon is the second state in which this spirit is available.
Tennessee whiskey isn’t required to be filtered through charcoal, but the two whiskey brands most identified with the state do take advantage of this process to mellow the spirit and set it apart from bourbon. One of these brands, George Dickel, is now applying that technique to rye.
Unlike Dickel’s Tennessee whiskey, which is filtered before aging in barrels, the rye is filtered after aging is complete. This puts it in strange territory, with the charcoal smoothing out any rough edges. The result is a spirit that is pleasant to sip neat at 90 proof, though not one that asserts itself in a cocktail, as do ryes with a more distinctive kick. Dickel shows the softer side of rye.
Organic Nation has been producing organic gin and vodka in Ashland, Oregon, since 2008, and now the distillery is venturing into rye. OldField Rye is aged 22 months in new oak barrels. What’s it taste like? According to the official website copy, “it has a bit of sweet vanilla and cinnamon notes,” but it’s only available at the distillery and a few Southern Oregon liquor stores. Given the quality of Organic Nation’s other spirits (currently available in Oregon, California, Washington and online), it’s likely worth picking up, if one is lucky enough to find it.
Alton Brown is taking a year-long break from alcohol, and his new go-to drink is pretty interesting. ...read more ›
Care for a lager with those leggings? Lululemon has partnered with Sta...read more ›
Are you tired of sipping on your cocktail? Try breathing in your cocktail instead at this new London bar....read more ›
The All-INNclusive Dogfish Experience is the perfect way to make the most of your beercation. ...read more ›
Firestone Walker made an announcement late last week that they had been "invested in" by Duvel Moortgat. But w...read more ›
Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›
The GABF has sold out in well under and hour for the past six years. Tickets to this year's event go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, July ...read more ›
Put the Steamboat Wine Festival on your summer travel calendar, because events are selling out quickly and you...read more ›
Grab some of these refreshing brews for your next beach trip or cookout....read more ›
Urine from the Danish Roskilde Festival is being used to fertilize barley which will be turned into beer in a ...read more ›
The country's second oldest beer festival is back July 22 through 26 and is still going strong after 28 years. ...read more ›
WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey 10 Year is well worth seeking out. ...read more ›