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  1. #1
    Novice
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    Nov 2005
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    Louisville, KY
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    23

    Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    I just purchased a bottle of Sazerac 18yr Rye, Fall 2005 Bottling. This stuff is rich, flavorful, smooth - wow it's good. Although, it is quite expensive. I had never seen it before in the stores and I have been wanting to try it. After 20 minutes of pacing around the liquor store, I bought the last of a small allotment that the owner had. Now, I've been drinking bourbon for years and I know the basics - 51%> corn, charred white oak barrels, 4 plus years if not otherwise stated, etc.,etc. I really have no idea what Rye is. Can some one tell me (a) what the rules are for a whiskey to be a rye and (b) what are the specifics of how Sazerac is made? As much as I like this stuff, I might have to start buying rye (my wife already thinks I have way too much bourbon - so this is bad news for her).

    Thanks,
    Jimmy

  2. #2
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    May 2004
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    Sherburne County, Minnesota
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    389

    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    Actually, its a minimum of two years for straight whiskey, but they are required to state the age on the bottle if it is under four years.

    The "rules" for rye are similar to bourbon, except that it is a minimum of 51% rye, with the balance of the grains being corn and malted barley. The rest is the same, including the use of new charred white oak barrels and a minimum of two years of aging.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2005
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    Ann Arbor, Michigan
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    479

    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    The "rules" for rye are similar to bourbon, except that it is a minimum of 51% rye, with the balance of the grains being corn and malted barley. The rest is the same, including the use of new charred white oak barrels and a minimum of two years of aging.
    Well, just to be a little picky, there is no specification for what the balance of the grains must be, although in all cases that I know of other than 100% rye malt Old Potrero, that is what the other grains are.

    Same goes for bourbon - the regulations are silent on what other grains may be used.

    And another niggle - the regs only specify that new, charred oak barrels must be used - the type of oak is not specified. However, red/black oak leaks, so only white oak is appropriate. There is another thread on the subject of wood.

    Jeff

  4. #4
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    Nov 2000
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    Frankfort, KY
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    499

    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    White oak is very good and very abundant in the U.S., however, French Oak makes for some spectacular bourbon (of course these barrels cost about 3 times as much as white oak).

    Ken

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern California
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    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    Ken, who has, or is, using French Oak to make bourbon?


    White oak is very good and very abundant in the U.S., however, French Oak makes for some spectacular bourbon (of course these barrels cost about 3 times as much as white oak).

    Ken

  6. #6
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    Nov 2000
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
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    499

    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    Other than some experimental barrels we put away several years ago, I don't know of anyone using French Oak to make bourbon.

    Ken

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
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    New Jersey
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    862

    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    Will this experimental french oak bourbon ever get to market?

  8. #8
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    Nov 2000
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    Frankfort, KY
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    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    We are currently working on it, details at 11:00!
    Ken

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
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    862

    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    Suspense! Keep us posted. I am very eager to find out.

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Near York, PA
    Posts
    897

    Re: Definition of Rye - Just bought some Sazerac

    Is RYE by LAW required to be in new charred oak barrels? I always thought that only applied to bourbon.

 

 

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