America gained independence 235 years ago, the Whiskey Rebellion occurred 220 years ago over the first US tax on Whiskey, this year is the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War in 1861. From those tumultuous days up to the 17th January 1920 when the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution brought Prohibition into effect, American Rye whiskey was the spirit of choice in the United States. Following the ending of prohibition on March 22nd 1933, Bourbon became the drink of choice as it was quicker and easier to produce.
Just twenty years ago, in 1991, the Buffalo Trace distillery nearly closed and this represented the nadir in the American whiskey industry. Fortunately they survived and a mere decade later in 2001 their now famous Sazerac Rye was voted World Whiskey of the Year by the influential Malt Advocate Magazine.
It's a story evocative of Irish whiskey's own 'Single Pot Still' style demise and resurrection. We have assembled some of the best American Rye whiskeys available today. These include, Pikesville Supreme, (rî)1, Wild Turkey 101, Russell's Reserve, Van Winkle Family Reserve, Sazerac 18yo & Thomas H. Handy Ryes.
This is a unique opportunity for newcomers & members, bartenders & mixologists to discover the world of American Rye whiskey.
Note: At the end of the night we vote for our favourite whiskey. Number of votes and placing are included in the tables below. In this case, we voted on the first 3 whiskeys and later on the second 3 whiskeys..
1. Pikesville Supreme
3. Russel's Reserve Rye
4. Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye
5. Sazerac 18 year old
6. Thomas H. Handy Sazerac
7. Wild Turkey (used in Sazerac cocktail)