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November 19, 2018
If you’re a fan of sweet, oaky whiskies, odds are you’re a bourbon fan. Fancy a dram of something smoky and peaty? You’re going for Scotch. But for those who love complicated, dry, spicy whiskey, rye is where it’s at. One of America’s original spirits, rye was widely consumed in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic as far back as the eighteenth century. The industry took a major hit during Prohibition and didn’t recover for decades, as vodka and other clear spirits dominated the late 20th-century drinking landscape. But as American demand for craft spirits has taken off, rye has grown like never before. Today, many historical ryes (Rittenhouse, Old Overholt) are more popular than they’ve ever been, even if they’ve evolved over the decades; and many newer distilleries are trying their hand at the original American whiskey. Here are eleven brands you should know.