6 Reasons Why Rye Is Taking Over as America’s Most Popular Whiskey

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Bourbon gives way to rye as the connoisseur’s whiskey on the rise.

Now that bourbon has had its day, it’s time for that distinctive American pour to move over and make way for another. Since 2009, rye-whiskey production has increased 536 percent, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, clinching rye’s place as the next big thing in the world of spirits. Rye’s ascension has been fueled by a shift in tastes among cocktail connoisseurs looking for the more muscular, pepper-sweet siren call of rye, which was being distilled in the Colonies long before there was bourbon. George Washington established a rye distillery in 1797 to take advantage of this abundant grain being grown in the new Republic. Thus, rye is literally the spirit of America and was one of Washington’s most profitable and popular ventures (not to mention the original whiskey used in a classic Manhattan). That special spirit is still exemplified by current brands included here.