We’ve devoted quite a few of our Tuesday tastings to rye whiskey this year. Turns out there are many rye whiskey brands out there from both large producers and smaller boutique distilleries.
Rye whiskey tends to be much drier and lighter bodied than “bourbon.” We chose four ryes last evening: Old Overholt, Pikesville Supreme, Copper Fox, and Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye.
Most American whiskey is distilled from corn mixed with other grains, such as wheat, malted barley, and, of course, rye. How much the makers use and in what proportion varies a good deal. A few distillers even make a 100 percent rye, like Whistlepig from Vermont or in the case of Copper Fox, they use 75 percent rye and 25 percent malted barley. Hadn’t heard of this proportion before.
Rye can really brings those “high and dry” and floral flavors to whiskey that corn and wheat mixtures can’t on their own. The whiskies last night had a nice range of “rye-ness” to them.