Elijah Craig... Rye

One of the Best Bourbon Makers in America Just Released Its First Rye Whiskey


October 17, 2019 Drinks By

Elijah Craig, the brand behind some of the best bourbons in America, now makes rye whiskey, too.

The Elijah Craig rye, which shares the Heaven Hill Distillery rye spotlight with Rittenhouse and Pikesville ryes, will retail for $30 and, though it will not bear an age statement, is comprised of older whiskey than either of its predecessors (Pikesville is aged six years minimum and Rittenhouse is aged four). Heaven Hill says the whiskey will be available January 2020 in limited markets — North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Oregon — with plans for eventual expansion.

Apart from age, the Elijah Craig Rye will sit right in between Rittenhouse and Pikesville in price. The Bottled-in-Bond Rittenhouse, one of the best cocktail ryes around, typically goes for somewhere between $20 and $25, while Pikesville can be found right around $50. The mashbills are of each are ever-so-slightly different, with the Elijah Craig Rye coming in at the minimum 51 percent rye, 35 percent corn and 14 percent malted barley, the highest barley percentage of the trio.

According to data collected by the Distilled Spirits Council, rye has grown from a $15 million market in 2009 to a $205 million juggernaut in 2018, while case volume has increased by 1100 percent in the same time frame, so it’s not a surprise to see Heaven Hill expand further into rye. If you live in the Carolinas, Georgia or Oregon, look for the green neck tag first thing 2020.

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