On October 21st 2017 I had the privilege of attending the launch of Empire Rye at New York Distilling Company in Brooklyn NY.
To qualify as an Empire Rye, the spirit has to be distilled from 75% New York grown Rye, distilled to no more than 160 Proof, barreled at no more than 115 proof and aged for a minimum of 2 years in charred new oak barrels. Distillers who follow these guidelines, earn the right to label their Whiskey as an “Empire Rye”.
Historically, Rye has grown abundantly in New York and was the ideal grain to represent this style of Whiskey that is quintessentially New York!
In 2007, New York saw a rise in Craft Distillers after the passing of the Farm Distillery Act that recognized distilling as a farm use, which also significantly reduced licensing fees.
Today New York is home to over 130 distillers. You can check out the list by clicking here.
This new mark of authenticity is a wonderful opportunity to differentiate craft whiskey distilled in New York from the many other small batch producers around the country.
Today, leading the pack of producers of Empire Rye are New York Distilling Company, Kings County Distillery and Van Brunt Stillhouse in New York City; Tuthilltown and Coppersea Distilling in the Hudson Valley; Black Button Distilling in Rochester and Finger Lakes Distilling in the Finger Lakes region.
Although these distillers lead this category, the Empire Rye distinction is open to any New York distiller who is willing to meet these guidelines.
It truly is an exciting time to be a distiller in New York!
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We look forward to hearing from you.