Originally Posted by life_interrupts
How do y'all feel about Rye whiskey? They're making a comeback of late (the past two years). I've had Sazerac and the Jim Beam lately. Canadian Club is probably the best known one -- not a ringing endorsement.
One thing to keep in mind is that people mean two different things when talking about rye. First there are American "straight rye" whiskies. In order to be called a straight rye, the whiskey must follow all the same requirements as bourbon, with the only difference being that the mashbill must be > 51% rye, as opposed to > 51% corn for bourbon. It must still be aged in charred new barrels for at least 2 years, and be distilled at not greater than 160 proof (and barreled at not more than 125 proof).
When referring to Canadian whiskey, people also call it rye. It used to be a straight rye similar to the American variation, although it was never required to be aged in new, charred barrels. It has now, for the most part, become a very bland, tasteless whiskey, in no small part due to the fact that it is now a 'blended' whiskey similar to blended scotch; a very small amount of real 'rye' spirit is blended in with a more neutral grain spirit. This causes a very mild, and IMHO a rather bland and boring spirit. While there are a decent Canadian whiskies, I haven't found very many that I want to drink on a regular basis.
Not sure if it's been mentioned, but Wild Turkey Rye is actually a very fine example of a traditional American Straight Rye. Sazerac 6 year old from Buffalo Trace is also pretty good, while the 18 year old version of Sazerac (part of Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection) is outstanding.