Innovation Is Making Me Thirsty

I know you are sick of me saying it, but there is more innovation happening in the whiskey world, and it seems to be happening daily.  I guess if everyone’s doing it is no longer innovative?  I dunno, but what I do know is that the folks over at Bulleit have made a Rye that will be hitting shelves over the next couple of weeks.  So what is so special or innovative about that?  Rye has become a very strong market sector in the past several years, so we should expect everyone to jump on board, right?  Well in a word, yes.  That would only make sense, but there is rye, then there is innovative rye.

First of all let me say I am very glad to see Bulleit making something other than their very good Bourbon whiskey.  They are a relative newcomer to the marketplace, and as we all know because of the aging required bringing new product to market is long process.  But the distillers over at Bulleit are committed to developing a full line of products, which now includes a rye whiskey for us all to taste, and I applaud them for their commitment to the whiskey world, and hope they continue their innovation and introduction of new and interesting products.  So what is so innovative?…

Well for this Rye the innovation comes in the mash bill.  Most ryes incorporate Rye, Corn, and malted Barley.  And the percentages are typically about 55% Rye, 40% corn and 5% Malted Barley.  You have to have the barley regardless because it helps speed fermentation of the mash.  This new Rye from Bulleit has 5% Malted Barley and 95% Rye, and 0% corn.  They also painstakingly chose a blend of ryes from Germany, Canada, the US, and Sweden.  This blending of the various ryes produces a sweet and soft whiskey that has a very smooth flavor profile.  I haven’t had the opportunity to taste this yet, but they have over at and you can read about it here.

This is a 90 proof rye whiskey, just like their bourbon whiskey, it comes in the same unique glass bottle and should retail for around $30 a fifth.  Looking forward to this hitting the shelves here in Idaho so I can get a taste.  As usual I’ll let you know when I do.



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12 Comments on “Innovation Is Making Me Thirsty”

  1. Jake
    March 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Sounds like the perfect whiskey to pull you out of your funk…

    • Don
      March 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      Very good point Jake. It should go a long way towards pulling me along. Now if only we will get it here in this crappy Idaho Control State.

  2. Trevor B
    March 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Just bought a 5 gallon barrel from new start up distillery, roughstock distillers, the owner says they make a 100% Rye, another 100% Wheat, 100% Barley, and a 100% Corn, whiskeys. I have yet to try these, but they sound very interesting, and a good way to educate ones palate. Check them out at They export their whiskey, and it can be found in several states outside montana.

    • Don
      March 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      Well Trevor after looking over their web site, this looks like a very interesting distillery. They only discuss their 100% Barley Whiskey and they misknowingly say they are the only place producing it commercially, but New Holland Spirits produces a couple different 100% Barley whiskeys. Very good and artisnal. I’d love to get a chance to try some of their stuff. I’d also question them as to whether they use any Barley in their other all grain whiskeys. Fermentation is a bitch without it.

  3. Trevor B
    March 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Supposedly they do not use any barley in the other 100%’s, but he did mention using enzymes, so they may be adding amylases to the non-barley batches. He did mention, they will likely stop making the 100% rye because the mash is like oatmeal and is a huge mess.

    • Don
      March 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      I’d buy that, they have to do something to kick start fermentation or they risk spoilage before it happens naturally. So, the 100% is slightly misleading because they do have to add those enzymes to get things rolling.

  4. Nicole
    March 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    I’ve been obsessed with all things rye for years now. It’s about time everybody else got on the trolly! As a heads up, Leopold Bros releases their Maryland style Rye whiskey in August. I scored some from their special release and it only lasted 2 or 3 days in our house.

    • Don
      March 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      I was the same with the Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Rye. That stuff was so beautiful it was like a very high proof Chardonnay. It had a big gush of grapey goodness and I just couldn’t get enough of it. Sadly My fricking Alcohol Board of Control in Idaho in their very finite wisdom decided to stop carrying the entire Russell’s Reserve line. UGH!

      • March 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

        That’s not cool at all Don! The Russell Reserve Rye was tasty stuff. Smooth AND spicy!

        • Don
          March 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

          I know G-LO, I know. Definitely NOT cool, but I have no control. All I can do is bitch and complain to my local legislator. There is a bill circulating that would privatize liquor sales in this state in the legislature right now, and I wholeheartedly support it, but with all the Mormons in the House and Senate, I’m pretty sure it will be dead on arrival.

  5. Luke
    March 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Hey Don, I just picked up a bottle of this as a gift for my sister’s boyfriend. It’s actually only $20 a bottle in Maryland. He’s a big fan of Bulleit bourbon so hopefully we’ll crack this open and give it a taste tonight.

    • Don
      March 7, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      Well Luke, You should let me know what you think. Some Ryes can be challenging, although what I’ve heard of this one so far is it is very drinkable, and quite tasty.

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