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Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good glass of whiskey. Not only does drinking a quality whiskey make you feel relaxed, but it also represents a way for people to connect.

Whiskey has a long history around the world, but let’s look at an American contribution: rye whiskey.

Rye whiskey is not a specialty of any one region, but some of the most popular ones are crafted in Kentucky and Tennessee. These popular Kentucky spirits are Bulleit, Sazerac (Buffalo Trace), and Rittenhouse (Heaven Hill). Tennessee whiskey claims most of the market share among whiskey sales across the country – dominated by Jack Daniels and George Dickel distilleries.

What differentiates a rye from other whiskeys? It starts with the mash bill. The fermented grain mash must be comprised of at least 51 percent rye and is mixed with corn and malted barley. The liquid from the mash is put into large vessels to ferment, and yeast is added to the mix. Then, the distilling process begins by using copper distillers, which remove impurities from the liquid. After the distilling process, the spirit is aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years, put into the barrels at no higher than 125 proof (62.5 percent ABV) and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof (40 percent ABV).

In 2013, Tennessee, a new law was established that defined Tennessee whiskey, known as the “Lincoln County Process,” that requires bourbon to be filtered first through maple charcoal, and then aged in new, charred-oak barrels. Anything less is not legally considered “Tennessee whiskey.”

Rye whiskey was highly popular in America in earlier times. George Washington had a distillery on his homestead in Mount Vernon, Va. (an active distillery still exists there to this day). Rye whiskey was the original East Coast grain until the Prohibition era struck. Prohibition dealt a serious blow to the rye industry, as American drinking tastes turned more toward the bootleg whiskeys from Canada, Ireland, and Scotland, which have a softer taste for the most part.

Since the end of the Prohibition era, American’s tastes have shifted, but makers of rye whiskey have helped it to regain popularity once again.

Rye has made a comeback in recent years. If you have never tried it, this is a fantastic time to do so. Rye has a spicy, drier taste than most other whiskeys, such as bourbon. Popular drinks that serve up rye whiskey are the Old Fashioned, The Sazerac, Whiskey Sour, and The Manhattan. These popular cocktails have fueled resurgence among bars across the country. In fact, retail sales of this popular liquor have reached more than $300 million annually, with 40% of sales in the United States.

If you would like to try rye whiskey, come and visit us at Lincoln Road Package Store in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

At Lincoln Road Package Store, we offer a wide variety of popular ryes such as Knob Creek, High West, Buffalo Trace, Crown Royal, and much more. For questions, please call Lincoln Road Package Store at (601) 268-3677 or send an e-mail to

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