Which Rye Whiskey Should I Try?

Which Rye Whiskey Should I Try?

What ryes are out there and how are they different? I know I’ve talked about this in the past, but I got into a conversation with some folks yesterday about what ryes they should be trying. Many distilleries steer clear of making their own rye because of the production difficulties that rye grain can pose. Rye can be notoriously difficult to work with. Bruce Joseph, head distiller at Anchor Distilling, said, “Rye is a sticky, viscous, mess-a brewer’s nightmare.” It may be a bear to distill, but it makes a delicious whiskey and is only continuing to grow in popularity in the U.S. The original American ryes had high rye mashbills. Farmers in Pennsylvania in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were making their surplus harvested grains into whiskey. Though the...

Industry Camaraderie

Industry Camaraderie

One of the things I have always loved about the whiskey industry is the camaraderie. The success of the whole industry comes before any one individual. On November 7, 1996, Heaven Hill’s production plant in Bardstown was almost completely destroyed by fire. The fire started in an aging warehouse and spread to other buildings and vehicles. 90,000 barrels of flammable bourbon were consumed. A “river of fire” flowed from the warehouses. The next day, business at the plant resumed. The bottling line was still operational and they still had stocks that needed to fill orders. The production end was crippled, however, and there were gaps in inventory. In many other businesses, competitors would leave a struggling company to sink or swim. Kentucky...