American Rye Whiskies are the cornerstone of the some of the world's most famous cocktails. The Manhattan, the Old-Fashioned and the Sazerac all rely on this bold, spicy spirit, which is legally defined as using at least 51% rye in the mash (the mixture of grains used to make the distillate). Once it pours off the still, the spirit is aged for a minimum of two years in freshly charred, new oak barrels before it can be bottled and labelled as 'Straight Rye'.
Flavour-wise, 'spice' is the watchword when it comes to Rye Whiskey. Cinnamon, clove, butterscotch, vanilla and caraway are common tasting notes along with oak, citrus peel and orange oil. Prominent producers of fine Rye Whiskies include Pikesville, Rittenhouse, Willett, WhistlePig and Thomas H Handy Sazerac, from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection series.