Collection Bourbon / Rye - Whiskey from the USA

Whiskey is made across America, from Washington to Virginia. From sweet Tennessee whiskey to flavorful rye to unaged corn, America uses a wide variety of grains to make whiskey.

Bourbon is by far the dominant American whiskey, both in the US and worldwide. Although Jack Daniel's and the much smaller George Dickel call themselves Tennessee Whiskey, they are bourbons in name only. The Office of the US Trade Representative defines Tennessee whiskey as "straight bourbon made in Tennessee".

Sales of rye whiskey currently make up a tiny fraction of the market, but rye whiskey's popularity is growing rapidly, partly because it's a close cousin of bourbon and partly because it's used in many pre-prohibition cocktail recipes is used. Before Prohibition, rye was more popular than bourbon, but it never recovered and almost fell out of production. Its revival is a recent phenomenon, so demand is outstripping supply and many brands are hard to find, even close to where they are made.

In theory there are many other styles, but none are made by the major distilleries. Recently, America has experienced a boom in micro distilleries. They are all very small, just beginning to make whiskey and generally don't export, but they are something to watch out for in the future.

Bourbon is considered America's "native spirit" because its main grain, corn, is native to America. Not much was exported until about 25 years ago, but since then the international market has grown rapidly. Big brands like Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's sell half of their volume outside the US.

Bourbon whiskey is all about the sweetness and body that comes from the corn and the sweetness and rich flavors that come from the fresh new cask. The predominant flavors are vanilla, caramel and tannin. Most bourbons contain rye, and American rye whiskey is a distinct style, made in a similar way to bourbon, but with rye as the primary ingredient. Rye delivers earthy notes, spices, mint, fruit, flowers and a satisfying back-throat heat.