A 53% rye is a straight rye. An 80% rye is a flavoring whiskey for blends, of which Barton has several. Possibly for use in their Canadian blends, for the 9.9% rule.
Most of the majors (except Brown-Forman) have blends. The whiskey they make as straights can function as a flavoring whiskey for blends too, but I assume they also make some spirits strictly for flavoring blends, like the LDI 95% rye, but it's not something they talk about very much.
Last edited by cowdery; 01-20-2012 at 12:32.