Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rye Whiskey Is Back... For Better or Worse?

I have been seeing more and more articles recently like this one form the New York Times:
Over the last few years, though, that has changed, as rye has emerged as a go-to craft spirit of the moment. Interest in its production has also come back, as small artisanal distillers, like Templeton and Delaware Phoenix, have popped up across the country, referencing old recipes and archaeological records to create new spirits strongly rooted in tradition. And big whiskey companies that mostly make bourbon — Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill — are not only bottling small batches of specialty rye but offering tours to spirit enthusiasts.
That first sentence has been bothering me. I think I covered similar territory in a blog a while back, but I don't like drinking the "spirit of the moment." It makes me feel weird when I go up to the bar and order the thing that has become chic. That is surely just a bit of hipsterism at best and an appalling display of elitism at worst. But it is still a feeling that is hard to shake.

However, I have decided to make peace with the idea. I am going to choose, instead, to embrace the rising popularity of rye. Because if my favorite drink becomes more popular, the logical outcome is that I will be able to get it more places. And there will be more varieties. And people will invent new cocktails.

So here is to rye whiskey and its new found popularity. May it be the Jack Daniels of the next generation.

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