Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Rye Renaissance Is Finally Real.

The 'rye renaissance' has been a popular topic in the media for several years, but even though it was getting a lot of ink, producers weren't inking a lot of additional sales. (See, "The Rye Revival Is A Mirage," here.)

That's starting to change. Many brands, such as Sazerac Rye (i.e., 'Baby Saz') and Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond are on allocation and shoppers sometimes find empty shelves. Templeton Rye has struggled to get enough whiskey from its distiller in Indiana to meet demand. Now add Wild Turkey to the list.

As Wild Turkey introduces a new Wild Turkey Rye at 40.5% ABV (81° proof), it is letting people know that the 50.5% ABV (101° proof) version will be in short supply for the forseeable future. Wild Turkey also makes Russell's Reserve Rye.

Jim Beam, which produces more rye than anyone else, doesn't seem too stressed. It's even bringing out a new one, under the Knob Creek name.

Another brand that seems to have plenty is Bulleit Rye, which just launched a few months ago. It's the same Lawrenceburg, Indiana-made rye as Templeton and several other brands. You have to believe drinks giant Diageo, which owns Bulleit, has a priority claim on any whiskey Lawrenceburg has ready, but even mighty Diageo can't make fully-aged rye whiskey out of thin air.

You can bet the new owner of Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana, MGPI, is turning the dial on the rye machine there up to 10. This is why the aging cyle makes whiskey production planners prematurely gray. A few years ago, producers were wondering if the rye boom was real. Now they're wondering if it's here to stay.

1 comment:

Jordan Devereaux said...

It seems like Rittenhouse is finally becoming relatively easy to find again. With that said, I still have a couple of extra bottles stashed away, because you never know whether or not they ramped up production enough four or five years ago.