03 December 2008

Rye on the rise

Rye whiskey, not long ago, was a rare thing on a liquor store shelf. Other than Old Overholt--a fine drink--there wasn't much. Both Jim Beam (yellow label) and Wild Turkey (green label) made ryes, but you couldn't always find them. If you went to a bar and ordered a rye cocktail, like a Manhattan, you got Canadian more often than not. Now, I like Canadian whisky, and they use rye in the grain bill up there, but that doesn't cut it! Fortunately we are in the midst of a rye renaissance, and lots of new ryes are showing up. This classic American drink is making a comeback. I'm a big fan of Wild Turkey's standard rye bottling, and it was a no-brainer to pick up the latest "Russell's Reserve" version of rye whiskey. Mr. Russell is the famed master distiller at Wild Turkey, so his name on the label means "the good stuff." This whiskey was smoother than I expected, with a tempered, well-blended feel, and way too quaffable. It had the unique spicy-peppery notes we rye-lovers love, and I think it will hold up well on the rocks and in cocktails. Mostly, I drink my whiskey neat, maybe with a few drops of water. I like the full fire-water experience when I'm having my nightcap. I think this one will be good for many more evening drams!

1 comment:

Zo said...

I have been enjoying this one too. Much lighter than the Wild Turkey Rye, I use that in cocktails and the Russell's for sipping. I also like the Russell's Reserve bourbon, actually, I like it even better than the RR rye. Both very reasonably priced for good stuff. By the way, in preparation for your next trip to the Bay Area, check out Sunday's NY Times travel section, "In San Francisco, a Cocktail is Not Just a Drink."