While Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve Distillery is best known for its line of fine bourbon whiskeys, they are also the producers of one of the state’s best rye whiskeys. Master Distiller Chris Morris holds to the traditional style of making this rich, honey-colored 90.4 proof spicy elixir by mixing a mash bill of 53% rye blended with smaller amounts of corn and barley to add a hint of sweetness that prevents the finished liquid from being too dry.

The Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey ($TBA) is then aged a minimum of two years in new charred oak barrels and is not blended with any other spirits once it is ready to bottle. It is only through this stringently controlled process that it earns the designation ‘Straight.’

After years of being relegated to the tastes and sensibilities of the Deep South, this world-class rye whiskey is beginning to be noticed. In 2016 it won both the ‘Whiskies of the World Awards’ Best in Class Gold Medal and the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In other words, it’s worth a taste, or two…