So, what is a high-rye bourbon? I think the best place to begin is to outline what makes a bourbon a bourbon. There are 6 inputs that must be met:
- It must be made in the United States.
- It must be made from a mash that contains at least 51% corn.
- It must be distilled at no more than 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume).
- It must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
- It must be bottled at no less than 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume).
- It cannot contain any added flavorings or colorings.
Overall bourbon can be a relatively sweet style of spirit. When developing our Old Fashioned we chose to have higher rye for three main reasons.
- More complex flavor profile: With notes of spice and pepper that can add depth and interest to an Old Fashioned cocktail.
- Balancing sweetness: The higher rye content can aid in balancing out the sweetness of the sugar used in an Old Fashioned, preventing the cocktail from becoming overly cloying.
- Bitterness complement: The spiciness of the rye can also help to complement the bitterness of the bitters, creating a more balanced flavor profile.