Great story on rye whiskey in Washington Post Food
Carrie Allan and Jason Wilson wrote a sweeping piece in Washington Post Food about how Prohibition almost killed off rye whiskey completely. Luckily, in the past few years, we've seen a remarkable resurgence, but there's still a long way to go to get back to the glory days before Prohibition.
In July, a partisan crowd gathered at Tales of the Cocktail, the annual trade conference in New Orleans, for a debate titled “The Greatest Whisk(e)y Category Is . . . .” Organized by Derek Brown, owner of several D.C. bars and the spirits adviser for the National Archives, the argument pitted peat-loving sister against limestone- loving brother, brand rep against brand rep, whisky against whiskey.
Southern Efficiency’s J.P. Fetherston, arguing for the supremacy of bourbon, ramped up supporters with jingoistic appeals to their patriotism. Andy Nelson of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery waved a picket sign as his brother Charlie advocated the superiority of Tennessee whiskey. Georgie Bell, brand ambassador for Mortlach single-malt Scotch, held out for the peaty classic.
After a vote taken by noise levels (a crowd whose morning has been spent tasting spirits is not one to hold back), Chad Robinson, who as global ambassador for Catoctin Creek Distilling had made the case for rye whiskey, stood triumphant.
The article goes on to discuss the various distilleries across the country re-introducing rye whiskey to the American public, and a couple of the styles in the production of the spirit. This is a great read, so be sure to check out the full story, here.