Friday, August 14, 2009

Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky

Rye whisky was one of the first whiskey types to be distilled in the United States, mainly distilled in the Northeastern regions of the U.S. Unlike popular belief blended Canadian whiskey is not rye whisky. This belief comes from the time of prohibition when bootleggers were smuggling whisky across the border from Canada where rye was a dominating crop. The bootleggers would take one barrel of rye whisky and blend it with neutral grain whiskey to turn one barrel of rye whisky into four barrels of blended Canadian whiskey. One of the distinctive characteristics of Rittenhouse is that it is bottled in bond, which means it had at least four years of cask aging and is at least 100 proof. The extra aging gives the whisky more complexity than some of the other ryes I have tried and makes it a worthy substitution for other American or Canadian whiskeys, especially in cocktails. For a classic Manhattan cocktail add 3 parts Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky to 1 part sweet vermouth, stir with ice and strain into a glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Rating: 8.9 out of 10

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