Rye whiskey has experienced an incredible renaissance in the last two decades. Sales will increase from 88,000 9-liter cases in 2009 to 1.59 million in 2021, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of America (DISCUS). The number of growers has also seen an equally dramatic increase, from a handful in 2009 to more than 500 today.
The 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) evaluated 183 rye whiskeys. These entries represent the largest number of rye whiskey submissions received in the event's history.
Four rye whiskeys advance to the final round of Best 0f Show category winner. Final results will be announced at the Top Shelf Awards and Grand Tasting gala June 16-17 at Resorts World Las Vegas. Tickets for the event are available attop shelfwebsite or throughreserve it
Thirty-seven rye whiskeys were double gold and 35 gold. There was only one finalist in the Best Tennessee Whiskey category.
Founded in 2000, SFWSC is the oldest event in North America and the largest spirits event in the world. In April 2023, 65 judges from around the world evaluated around 5,500 spirits over three days.
The contest is organized by the Tasting Union, founded by Anthony Dias Blue. In addition to SFWSC, the Tasting Federation organizes spirits competitions in New York and Singapore, wine competitions in San Francisco and New York, and beer and RTD competitions.
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The four finalists for best rye whiskey areLock, Stock & Barrel, whisky de centeno puro fermentado, 50 % ABV, ANNX Spirits Co., Collection Rye Whiskey, 57,5 % ABV, Stellum Black, Fibonacci Rye #1, 57,56 % ABV;yLost Lantern, 2023 Single Cask No. 4, Corbin Cash California Straight Rye Whisky.
Lock, Stock & Barrel is a trademark of The Coopers Spirit Company. Based in Newport Beach, California, the company was founded in 2006 by Robert and Katie Cooper. It has released some of the oldest rye whiskey bottlings ever made.
The word vatted describes a whiskey that has been blended with spirits from different distilleries. The word originated in Scotland in the mid-19th century. Historically in the US, independent bottlers have often blended whiskeys from different distilleries. The practice fell out of favor after Prohibition and has only recently regained popularity.
Lock, Stock & Barrel describes their fermented rye as:
A blend of hand-selected 4-18 year old Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Alberta straight rye whiskeys with a 9 year old heart. ... The artistry and process of fermentation create a rich, full-bodied rye whiskey that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The SFWSC jury described Vatted Rye as an exhibitor:
Floral and spicy aroma, slightly herbaceous with additional notes of peach and apricot stone fruit. On the palate it is sweet with hints of maple syrup, pronounced stone fruit, a hint of apricot pit bitterness, caramel, a bit of vanilla and cinnamon, clove spice and a hint of nutmeg. Long and sweet fruity finish with soft but persistent pepper.
According to ANNX Spirits Co., the Kansas City-based company's spirits are distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and bottled in Silverton, Ohio. While the company doesn't say so explicitly, sources in Lawrenceburg presumably hint that the spirit was acquired from MGP.
According to the company, the Collection is a collection of whiskeys "crafted by James Beard Award-winning chef, Celina Tio. Each bottling is designed to be a unique blend from a handful of hand-selected individual casks."
Collection Rye, ANNX's first offering in the Collection range, is a blend of 5- and 6-year-old whiskeys from a blend of 95% rye/5% malted barley and a blend of 51% rye/49% barley. milk shake. Both mashes are traditional pop products.
The SFWSC jury described ANNX Rye as having the following characteristics:
Outstanding aroma of creamy vanilla flan with some spice. On the palate it is soft, slightly dry, with marked notes of tropical fruits. The aftertaste is long, sweet, fruity and slightly bitter at the end.
Stellum Black Fibonacci Rye #1 Blend is made from dark rye flour. Rye flour is generally classified into light, medium, and dark colors. The higher the ratio of bran to germ in the flour, the darker the color.
Historically, Russian black bread was made from rye flour. Rye flour technically contains all the bran and germ. However, there are no specific rules for how rye flour is graded, so even rye flour labeled dark may have some bran and germ removed.
Stellum Black Specialty Rye is a blend of six different rye blends. The term Fibonacci is used because the amount of whiskey in the mix corresponds to the sum of the first three numbers in the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, and 3).
The SFWSC jury described Stellum Rye as:
Spicy and creamy, with aromas of stone fruit, vanilla and caramel. On the palate it is soft and sweet, but very dry. It shows stone and some tropical fruit, cinnamon, a bit of clove and a pronounced pepper. The finish is long, sweet, fruity and caramelized with a lingering finish of pepper.
Lost Lantern is a specialist bottler of multi-distillery whiskey. This particular rye comes from Corbin Cash Distillers in Merced, CA. Only 217 bottles have been produced, making it one of the rarest rye whiskeys.
Corbin Cash Distillery was founded in 2007 by David Souza. The Souza family has been growing sweet potatoes in California's Central Valley for over 100 years. At the same time, they are growing rye as a cover crop in fields earmarked for sweet potatoes. David Souza has been distilling rye since he founded the distillery.
Rye is a classic grain whiskey distilled from 100% locally grown Merced rye. According to Lost Lantern:
It is aged for seven years in hot new oak barrels in the Central Valley, making it a rye from an unusually warm climate. The result is a warm and powerful whisky. It is fresh and minty, with hints of sweet chocolate, fine oak and wintergreen. It reminds us of mint, of chocolate ice cream. Our oldest rye whiskey to date.
The SFWSC jury described Lost Lantern, Corbin Cash Rye Whiskey as a showcase for:
Spicy nose with aromas of stone fruit, hints of tropical fruit and a hint of milk chocolate. On the palate sweet, soft and creamy but somewhat dry with a slight but persistent bitterness, stone fruit and persistent pepper. The finish is long, sweet and fruity with lingering notes of pepper.
Double gold winners in the rye category includeBaltimore Spirits Company, Epoch Reserve; Barber Lee Spirits, whisky Bond Rye embotellado; Broad Branch Distillery, Rye Fidelity T YO, Bond Bottled; Bushwood, Stillwater Rye; Buzzard's Roost Sipping Whiskey, Char # 1 Straight Rye Whiskey; Ciudad de Detroit, de cosecha propia whisky de centeno, Hard Truth Distilling Company, Master Distiller's Reserve Malt Rye Sweet Malt Rye Whisky y Nelson's Green Briar Distillery 15 Year Old Rye Whisky;
Win double gold medals tooKing Family Distillery, Ryeconic; King Family Distillery, Rye Whisky; Laws Whisky House, San Luis Valley Straight Rye; Luca Mariano, Single Barrel Rye Whisky; New England Barrel Company, Single Barrel Selection - Rye; Noble Oak, Port Cask Double Oaked Rye Old Hillside, Last Rye Whisky, Proof & Wood, Tumblin' Dice Straight Rye Whisky, Small Batch, Whisky de centeno envejecido en barrica; persecución unida, centeno; Hillrock Estate Distillery，Double Cask Rye – Single Field – Wiltsie Bridge 2016 Harvest；yJourneyman Distillery, No Rye King, Lot 8 of 90 certificates.
Including the final set of double gold winners.Redemption Whiskey, Sur Lee; Roaming Man, Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey; Sagamore Spirit, 8 Year Old Rye; Short Barrel, Rye 101; Still & Oak, Bottled Rye; Still Austin Whiskey Co, The Artist Straight Rye Whiskey; Templeton Distillery, 6 year old rye whiskeys, Templeton distillery, 10 year old rye whiskey, Traverse City Whiskey Company, 626 WC "Goat" rye, Uncle Nearest Premium whiskey, single barrel rye whiskey, lot 002, Watershed distillery, pure rye;yWilwood Spirits Company, interpretation.
The only finalist in the Best Tennessee Whiskey category was
The SFWSC jury described the whiskey as exhibitor:
Aromas of milk chocolate, fruity, caramel and vanilla. On the palate it is soft and creamy, very dry with hints of nuts. The finish is long and sweet with a mature and persistent oak, fruit and a touch of bitterness.
Otros dos whiskies de Tennessee son doble oro en el SFWSC 2023: Heaven's Door, Double Barrel Whiskey y Jack Daniel's 10 Year-Old Batch 2.
The 2023 SFWSC jury showcased an unprecedented collection of outstanding rye whiskeys, convincingly demonstrating the strength of the American rye whiskey renaissance. In fact, rye whiskey's appeal has grown beyond its American origins to gain popularity around the world. More than 200 rye whiskeys are now produced outside of their historic North American home.
Check out the previous Forbes column forSingle Malt Scotch Whiskey Category,Blended Scotch Whiskey Category, ySingle Malt Whiskey Category.
For a full list of all the medalists at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, visitunion of tasteswebsite.
The four finalists for Best of Category Rye Whiskey are Lock, Stock & Barrel, Vatted Straight Rye Whiskey, 50% ABV; ANNX Spirits Co., Collection Rye Whiskey, 57.5% ABV; Stellum Black, Fibonacci Rye #1, 57.56% ABV; and Lost Lantern, 2023 Single Cask #4, Corbin Cash California Straight Rye Whiskey.What is the best rye whiskey to drink straight? ›
A favorite rye whiskey to drink straight is the Barrell Seagrass. With it being finished in Martinique Rhum, Madeira, and apricot brandy barrels that lend a subtle sweetness that balances with some spice and oak finish.What is the oldest rye whiskey in America? ›
Old Overholt is America's oldest whiskey brand, dating back to 1810. It was originally a Monongahela style rye and was based in West Overton, Pennsylvania. By the 1960's, Old Overholt was the only nationally distributed brand of rye whiskey in America.What is the best whiskey in the world? ›
What is considered the best whisky? The Glenmorangie Signet is considered the best whisky in the world, thanks to its use of high roast chocolate malt barley with a blend of Glenmorangie's rarest whiskies matured in bespoke casks.What happened to rye whiskey? ›
In 1886, rye whiskey was produced in 17 states. Rye whiskey largely disappeared after Prohibition. A few brands, such as Old Overholt, survived, although by the late 1960s former Pennsylvania brands like Old Overholt were being distilled mostly in Kentucky.Is rye whiskey better than bourbon? ›
Those who prefer their cocktails with more of a kick will choose rye. Those who want a smoother and sweeter drinking experience go with bourbon. While some people may use rye and bourbon interchangeably, knowing the difference between the two can really step up your cocktail game.What is the difference between rye whiskey and straight rye whiskey? ›
Straight rye must meet all the legal requirements of regular rye, but it has a couple of extra requirements that regular rye lacks: Straight rye must be aged at least two years. If it is aged less than four years, the bottle must carry an age statement.What is the shelf life of rye whiskey? ›
While whiskey doesn't necessarily expire, it does start to lose flavor and elements after it is opened. An unopened bottle of whiskey will last indefinitely if stored in proper condition. After opening a bottle of whiskey, you have as long as two years or as few as six months or less to drink it before it goes bad.Does rye whiskey get better with age? ›
A lot of people will say that having whisky age “in the bottle” doesn't change the taste. It's true that it doesn't work like wine, people don't leave whisky in the bottle to improve its taste. However, factors such as oxidation and exposure to sunlight can change the taste of whisky that has been sitting on the shelf.What state is known for rye whiskey? ›
Historically speaking, both Indiana and Pennsylvania have been known for their high-quality whiskey production. In Indiana, The Indiana Whiskey Company stands out for special acclaim, while in Pennsylvania, Dad's Hat makes some of the finest rye whiskey in the nation.
This year's winners include M&H Elements Sherry Cask, from Israel, which was named World's Best Single Malt, and The Representative Bourbon, which was awarded the title of World's Best Bourbon.What are the 5 best whiskeys? ›
- Uncle Nearest 1856 Tennessee Whiskey. Uncle Nearest is a nickname for Nathan Green, one of the founding fathers of Tennessee whiskey. ...
- Henry Mckenna Single Barrel. ...
- Barrell Craft Spirits BCS Gold Label Dovetail. ...
- Redbreast Kentucky Oak Edition.
Rye brings spicy notes to the palate that are not always as present in other types of whiskey like bourbon. Think baking spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper, which make this whiskey a classic choice to use in cocktails that have a bit of sweetness to counterbalance the character of the rye.Where is the birthplace of rye whiskey? ›
Rye whiskey was first distilled in 1750 in Pennsylvania by local farmers who blended it with corn. Rye's domination was short-lived because in 1783 bourbon whiskey was made and became the whiskey of choice of middle America.What is the oldest rye bourbon? ›
Established in 1810 by the upright, forward-thinking Abraham Overholt, his namesake whiskey is recognized today as the oldest enduring American Rye in the United States. Made and sold without interruption, this whiskey has seen a thing or two over the centuries.Do bourbon drinkers like rye? ›
However, many Bourbon drinkers tend to gravitate toward a sweeter flavor profile and sometimes recoil at rye's more assertive characteristics. We've had many Bourbon drinkers tell us they don't like rye.Can you drink rye whiskey straight? ›
Rye lovers enjoy it neat or on the rocks, just like any other good whiskey. We love rye for cocktails, too, where its pronounced bite comes through loud and clear against the backdrop of other mixers. Some classic rye cocktails include the Vieux Carré, the Sazerac, and the Manhattan.Is Crown Royal whiskey or rye? ›
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Blended Canadian Whisky combines the distinctive flavour of Canadian rye grain with the unmistakable smoothness of Crown Royal for a truly exceptional Canadian whisky.Which is sweeter rye or bourbon? ›
Flavor-wise, bourbon tends to be sweeter and has a more oily mouthfeel than rye due to its high corn content. Common flavor notes in bourbon include vanilla, caramel, nuts, oak, dark fruit, chocolate, and mild spice. Rye whiskey's flavor profile can vary considerably depending on its overall rye content.Is Maker's Mark a rye whiskey? ›
Never bitter or sharp, Maker's Mark® is made with soft red winter wheat, instead of the usual rye, for a one-of-a-kind, full-flavored bourbon that's easy to drink. To ensure consistency, we rotate every barrel by hand and age our bourbon to taste, not time.
The legal definition according to The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau of the USA is: “Whisky produced at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent rye and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers.”Should you refrigerate rye whiskey? ›
Whiskey should be stored at a consistent temperature in order to preserve its flavor and freshness. The ideal storage temperature for whiskey is between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing whiskey at a higher or lower temperature can cause the whiskey to evaporate and become less potent.Should rye whiskey be chilled? ›
While a bit of flavor on the palate might be sacrificed when whisky is cold, the chill takes away some of the harsh edge. Either way, sipping slowly is the way to enjoy whisky, which is a spirit made from grain which has been mashed, fermented, distilled, and usually aged.Should rock and rye be refrigerated? ›
Sediment forms from the fruits/spices and needs to be removed in order for the rock and rye to remain clear and visually appealing. You will want to decant more than once to achieve this. Once removed, the fruit can be kept refrigerated in a closed container almost indefinitely, to enjoy as a boozy snack.Can you drink 70 year old whiskey? ›
70-year-old whiskies are incredibly rare, but there's no doubt they are the ultimate gift to mark a special occasion.Can you drink 100 year old whisky? ›
Can You Get Sick from Drinking Old Whiskey? If you found an old bottle of whiskey in the back of a liquor cabinet and want to give it a try, have no fear: In general, old liquor will not make you sick like other expired items. The only risk it poses is delivering a dull taste and underwhelming drinking experience.Is 30 year old whiskey still good? ›
Most primary (also called "base") liquors like whiskey, brandy, rum, gin, tequila, and vodka, have an almost infinite shelf life if left unopened. That's because they don't have much sugar and, unopened, aren't at risk of any oxidation.What is the whiskey capital of the United States? ›
Boasting over 24 breweries and 73 distilleries between 1837 and 1919, the “Whiskey Capital of the World” was an apt name for Peoria. The city was chosen by so many in the industry because of its plentiful supply of grains, clean and abundant spring water, dependable transportation, and fuel resources (wood and coal).Which cocktail is also the name of the rye whisky brand in US? ›
The famed Sazerac Coffee House was founded in New Orleans in 1850 and soon became known as the home of “America's First Cocktail,” the Sazerac. Using rye whiskey (in place of French brandy), a dash of Peychaud's Bitters, and Herbsaint, what eventually became the official cocktail of New Orleans was created.What is the famous Iowa rye whiskey? ›
Templeton Rye refers to rye whiskey originally made in Templeton, Iowa, during the prohibition era as a way for farmers in the Carroll County area to supplement their income. Amber in color, it was considered to be of particularly high quality and was popular in Chicago, Omaha, and Kansas City speakeasies.
Isabella's Islay Usd 6,200,000
A bottle of Isabella's Islay is the most expensive whiskey that money can buy. The price tag of more than 6 million dollars that comes with a bottle of this whiskey is because of the decanter that contains it. It features 8,500 diamonds, 300 rubies and exquisite white gold.
Springbank named World's Most Admired Whisky 2022 - Drinks International - The global choice for drinks buyers. Springbank has been named The World's Most Admired Whisky brand in the second edition of the annual top 50 list released by Drinks International.Which country makes the best whisky in the world? ›
Scotland is the biggest producer of whisky in the world, and has been for at least 100 years. But while Scotland is synonymous with whisky, it isn't the only country to produce it.Who is the number 1 consumer of whiskey? ›
United States. The United States remains the biggest Scotch whisky-consuming country by value. In 2022, sales of the alcohol type in the country were to the tune of GBP 1,053 million (around Rs 10,585 crores). The rise in value was 33 percent year on year from GBP 790 million (around Rs 7,941.7 crores) in 2021.What is top shelf liquor whiskey? ›
What is top-shelf liquor? Let's start by breaking down the terminology. Top Shelf: Bottles on the highest shelves behind a bar. Though there's no hard rule as to cost, these tend to be bottles that would retail for $50 or more in a store. Mid Shelf: Bottles on the lower half of the shelf behind a bartender.What is the smoothest whiskey with no bite? ›
- Auchentoshan 21 Year Old. ...
- Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask. ...
- Bushmills 21 Year Old. ...
- Crown Royal. ...
- Glen Moray Elgin Classic. ...
- Glenlivet 12 Year Old. ...
- Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare. ...
- George Dickel Bottled In Bond.
- Wild Turkey American Honey Sting. Louie's Liquor Barn.
- Knob Creek Smoked Maple. Knob Creek. ...
- Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey. mmpixel91/Shutterstock. ...
- Jim Beam Vanilla. ...
- Old Forester Mint Julep. ...
- Dewar's Highlander Honey. ...
- Ballotin Bourbon Ball Chocolate Whiskey. ...
- Jack Daniel's Tennessee Apple. ...
Traditional Pennsylvania rye, also called Old Monongahela, made with malted barley, unmalted rye and occasionally malted rye, is making a comeback, with more than a dozen distilleries across the state embracing the style.Why do people drink rye whiskey? ›
Adding rye into your diet regularly can help those who suffer from high blood pressure. It is the combination of the fibers, vitamins and minerals that all play a role in lowering the blood pressure. In return, this leads to a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots.Why do people like rye whiskey? ›
Rye is known for its peppery bite, a spicy splash of flavor that washes over the palate with every sip. Some are more aggressive than others, of course, but with rye grain making up the majority of its malt bill, you're bound to pick up at least a touch of that signature sting.
Perfecting the craft since 1847
It began in 1847 with a bold, satisfying taste that would make Indiana the rye capital of the world. For nearly 200 years, Lawrenceburg's master distillers and blenders have been perfecting the original handcrafted rye blends in one of America's last Prohibition-era distilleries.
The states with the most harvested acres of rye are Oklahoma, North Dakota, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The basic management practices and equipment needs for producing winter rye are similar to those of winter wheat within a similar environment.Is rye just Canadian whiskey? ›
Today, as for the past two centuries, the terms "rye whisky" and "Canadian whisky" are used interchangeably in Canada and (as defined in Canadian law) refer to exactly the same product, which generally is made with only a small amount of rye grain.Why is Angel's Envy rye so expensive? ›
One factor is the production process. Angel's Envy is a small-batch whiskey, made using a unique process that involves finishing the whiskey in port wine barrels. This process requires a lot of time and attention to detail, and it can add to the cost of the final product.What is America's oldest bourbon? ›
Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously operating distillery in America.Which whiskey has the highest rye content? ›
A few bourbons stand out with a high rye content that makes for a bold, spicy flavor. Four Roses Single Barrel has the highest rye count of any bourbon on the market, at 35 percent. Other high-ryes include Bulleit, Jim Beam's Basil Hayden, and Old Grand Dad. Flavors can vary: Bulleit is the fruitiest of them all.Is rye whiskey good by itself? ›
Pennsylvania-style rye whiskey is the most versatile, as it works well for sipping neat or over rocks, and it stands up in cocktails very well. Malt rye whiskey, which usually contains malted barley, goes well in several cocktails.Is rye whiskey good for your stomach? ›
It serves as a digestion aid.
Whiskey's high proof makes it an excellent digestif, stimulating the stomach's enzymes, which help break down food.
The mash is where the real difference lies between rye vs. bourbon whiskey. Rye's mash must contain a minimum of 51% rye. From there the process is almost identical to bourbon, except that rye can have additives to infuse flavors or improve color.Can rye whiskey go bad? ›
While whiskey doesn't necessarily expire, it does start to lose flavor and elements after it is opened. An unopened bottle of whiskey will last indefinitely if stored in proper condition. After opening a bottle of whiskey, you have as long as two years or as few as six months or less to drink it before it goes bad.
Whiskey contains antioxidants called ellagic acid from the rye grains. This is an acid that prevents DNA from making contact with cancer-causing cells. Rye grain suppliers have been very encouraged by the continued research done on the grain, finding more and more positive links to cancer prevention.How do you drink rye whiskey neat? ›
Whiskey neat is whiskey served without any mixer, additional flavor (think cocktail bitters) or dilution. It seems like this would be a glass of whiskey “straight up” but surprisingly when you order a spirit that way you're telling your bartender to mix it with ice first and then strain it into your glass.Is rye better neat or on the rocks? ›
Made with an old family recipe the spirits are known for their bold, spicy character with a distinctively smooth, clean finish. You could drink your rye whiskey neat, but we like it best served over ice cold southern stone.Which alcohol is worse for high blood pressure? ›
“It doesn't matter what beverage if you have a high risk, it's all about the amount,” Klatsky says. “There's plenty of research that shows heavy beer drinkers, heavy wine drinkers, it doesn't matter, they are all at risk of increasing high blood pressure when drinking in excess.”What alcohol is good for high blood pressure? ›
Beer: The most common alcoholic drink, beer is loaded with antioxidants called phenols. This protects you against suffering from heart diseases. Beer also lowers the risk of acquiring high blood pressure and helps maintaining it.Is a shot of whiskey good before bed? ›
The barbiturate effect of the alcohol can reduce stress, and also has sedative properties to help you sleep if you're experiencing anxiety. This is why whiskey is a classic choice of nightcap for badasses the world over.What is special about rye whiskey? ›
Rye is naturally spicier than other grains such as corn and wheat, resulting in a spicy kick to the whiskey, often described as having a black pepper or clove-like taste. Some of the earliest rye whiskeys in America were created from a mash of 100% rye. This whiskey was extremely spicy and dry.