Imbibe Hour


Friday, January 28, 2011

American Straight Rye Whiskey to the RESCUE! Manhattan cocktail joy and drink

In the realm of whiskey I was always confused about what "Rye" whiskey was. I grew up in Canada and it seemed like virtually all Canadian whiskeys were just referred to as rye whiskey. The funny thing is, everyone I knew and grew up with never drank it, the only people who did were just really old, and they certainly weren't my parents. It seemed everybody just drank beer, the typical macro stuff and not any craft beer cause the movement in those days wasn't as big as it is now.

When I got into bourbon, I started learning just about whiskey in general, and many bourbon fans also enjoy rye whiskey too. However, I soon learned that there was a distinction to what Americans call rye and what Canadians call rye. There are many distinct differences, but not to say that one is superior over the other all the time.

One of the most obvious things is that American rye whiskey has to contain a mash bill that is at least 51% Rye. There is no such stipulation or law for this in Canada for rye whiskeys. Some Canadian whiskeys hardly even contain any rye at all.

I was also realizing that many people like Rye in their Manhattans which is easily a favorite cocktail of mine. I normally have it with bourbon being such a fan, but as I started hearing people talk about all these great American ryes, I felt like I was missing out on something special.

So I grabbed three straight American rye whiskeys to compare against, and more importantly try them all in a tasting. The results and imbibing joy are all below.


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