Rye whiskey, bourbon’s spicy cousin, is making a roaring comeback according to new supplier data from the Distilled Spirits Council.
Since 2009, Rye whiskey volumes have grown 536% from 88,000 9-litre cases to over a half million cases (561,000) in 2014. In value terms, that translates into a 609% jump from slightly over US$15m in supplier revenues in 2009 to over US$106m in 2014. This represents approximately US$300m in retail sales according to David Ozgo, Distilled Spirits Council chief economist.
“The growth of rye whiskey has been phenomenal, given that as late as 2000, rye volumes were virtually nonexistent with only a handful of brands in the US market,” says Ozgo. “By 2014, there were over 100 brands, and the sheer numbers tell the story. While it still represents a small share of the overall American whiskey category, its growth is skyrocketing.”
Ozgo attributed Rye’s revival to the following factors:
Famed Washington, DC bar owner Derek Brown, who is also chief spirits advisor for the National Archives Foundation, says: “Bartenders have embraced rye whiskey not just for its history in classic cocktails such as the Manhattan and Old Fashioned but also because it adds spice and backbone to new recipes as well.”
10 August 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor
Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Aruba Associations Bahamas Barbados Belize Bermuda Business Canada Cayman Islands Corporate Services Costa Rica Cuba Dominican Republic Drinks El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Haiti Home Honduras Jamaica Mexico Montserrat Nicaragua North America Panama Puerto Rico Research Research Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Spirits Trinidad and Tobago United States Whiskey - American