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Rye types for rye whiskey


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Hey all,

I'm working with a local farmer/malt house for obtaining rye for a rye whiskey.  They have bresseto and bono available, elbon the following year.  I can't find a lot of reliable information regarding their use in the distilling world. I know a handful of places that seem to swear by elbon.  Any chance our vast forum has an idea of what types of rye some of the rye whiskies use that I can find on the shelf?  I'd like to tap into my collection and get a feel for the difference in the varieties.  I realize there is a lot going on with a the spirit; age, barrel, speciality grains, etc, so it might not be much help, but I figured it couldn't hurt to reach out and get some info or suggestions.

My initial thought on a recipe is a high rye, about 80%+ of rye/malted rye.  

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Have used Danko (Semican), Brasetto and non-distinguished cover crop rye (left to seed) raw, as well as malted varieties from Breiss and Canada Malt.

My two cents.

The differences between malted and unmalted rye are far greater than the differences between the varietals.

Unmalted rye being milder, less assertive, fruitier when young.  Malted rye coming across far more assertive, maybe even a touch harsh when compared side by side, with spice developing far earlier.  They are very, very different.  Your ratio of raw/malt is going to have a major impact on flavor profile.

Our Rye Whiskey is 100% unmalted, entirely enzyme mash.  At 1-2 years it's extremely fruity, dark fruit, dried fruit, honey.  At 2 years spice begins to dominate over fruit.  By 3 years, fruit is gone.  Interestingly, we have a number of rye-sipping customers that prefer the younger aged rye, because of the very unique fruitiness.

If I recall - Far North in Minnesota was doing a lot of work on Rye varietals.  Maybe they'll share a few nuggets?

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On 1/6/2021 at 7:07 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

The differences between malted and unmalted rye are far greater than the differences between the varietals.

Doing your comparison, was the malted rye the unmalted rye but malted or was the malted rye from a different source than the unmalted?

The reason I ask is because my perception has been the opposite, but my malted rye was not a malted version of my unmalted rye.

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