Rye History & the difference between Bourbon
Bourbon & Rye are both whiskeys, but there is on key difference between them. Any guesses? Yup, its Rye.
What’s the story with Rye Whiskey? It goes back to the birth of our nation. Before the Revolutionary War, America was really into rum. New England was a massive producer of this spirit with 63 rum distilleries operating in the state of Massachusetts alone. Then the colonists had a disagreement with the English over taxes and it all changed. Coming out on the losing side, the English decided not to try to help the new democracy, and therefore the rum trade with the Caribbean dried up quickly.
The pioneering forefathers decided to step up to bat and started creating whiskey. Rye was very easy to cultivate in the east, and states like Pennsylvania and Maryland started producing a lot of Rye Whiskey. It became one of America’s staple spirits in the early years until about 1920. Prohibition gutted most of the American Spirit industry. American palates started seeking lighter tasting spirits following WW II. By the end of the 20th Century Rye Whiskey basically became a Dinosaur.
It wasn’t until the late 90’s that bartenders started using rye whiskey in their cocktails again. With Bourbon growing in popularity, rye started coming back into the realm of whiskey drinkers. With this resurgence distillers circled back to the rye grain and began producing more rye whiskeys.
So what is the actual difference between bourbon & rye? Bourbon has to be produced in the USA from a grain mixture of at least 51% corn, must be aged in new charred oak barrels, it can be distilled to no more than 160 proof, and must enter into the barrel at no more than 125 proof. When bottled, the spirit has to be at least 80 proof. Bourbon can’t contain any added flavors or coloring as well. The only difference for Rye whiskey, is that you use rye instead of corn…that’s it.
Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey is a unique offering of rye whiskey. It follows all of the rules of making a rye whiskey, but is finished for 18 months in Caribbean rum barrels. This finishing process imparts many flavors from the rum barrel into the whiskey, making it a sweeter tasting rye whiskey than most. Rye is known for its bold flavor compared to the sweeter corn flavor in bourbons. This whiskey imparts a sweetness at the end that is similar to bourbons, but more unique due to the rum finish. At 100 proof this rye is smooth! Here is a rundown of the Angel’s Envy Rye Experience:
Crystal clear quality with a rich, reddish amber color.
Aromas of citrus, caramel candy, maple sugar, vanilla, oak, hazelnut, spice, and sherry wood.
Sweet rum, sherry wood, and soft oak.
Both sweet and dry, as well as quick and easy.