Raising a glass for samplings of rye, a preferred partner in Manhattans

IN MY GLASS

April 02, 2008

An American original and a traditional favorite of Marylanders, rye whiskey can be as pricey as its better-known cousin, small-batch bourbon. Bottles of aged, 20-year-old rye fetch upward of $100 a bottle.

Fortunately, there are a handful of flavorful rye whiskeys at lower prices. These are ryes, if you will, for recessionary times.

Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky

Heaven Hill Distilleries, Bardstown, Ky.$15.99 for 750 milliliters. 100 proof. Reliable Churchill, distributor Produced in what is known as the Pennsylvania style, which apparently is close to how the colonists made whiskey, this rye was named the top North American whiskey of 2006 in a blind tasting in San Francisco. It was the wild thing of my tasting, with strong alcohol flavors that even overpowered the Manhattan mix.

[Rob Kasper]

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