169 – The Birth of Empire Rye

Empire Rye was founded by a group of distillers out of New York to create something so unique that it requires grains and a footprint in the Empire State. We’re joined by Brian McKenzie of Finger Lakes Distilling, Christopher Williams of Coppersea Distilling, and Allen Katz of New York Distilling Co to discuss the culture of rye in New York and the regulations set forth by the Empire Rye act.

Show Notes:

  • Shout out to Brad Bonds of Cork N Bottle for hosting us after our New Riff barrel selection
  • Patreon Barrel Picks -> http://bourbo.nz/BarrelPicks
  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about Trump, Trade, and NAFTA
  • Chris thanks for coming on today because you about lost your voice this weekend too
  • The oak is new and interesting. Are you sourcing from Independent Stave or somewhere local?
  • Are you looking at different stave widths to adjust for micro-climates?
  • Why culture of rye of NY? Can you talk about the history of it?
  • Who came up with the idea of Empire Rye? And what is the sole idea behind it?
  • During the drafting process, what are those elements that make something an “Empire Rye”?
  • What are the stipulations about grains or can someone in a different state distill an Empire Rye?
  • A rye whiskey is able to develop more flavor and mature faster than a bourbon at a 2 year state. Agree?
  • What about the grains of NY make it interesting or fit that definition?
  • What other grains are you experimenting with that other 25% that’s allowable in the mash bill?
  • Were you trying to find commonalities between bottled-in-bond act as well?
  • Is there anyone actually enforcing the standard?
  • When it comes down to the bottling proof, is there an expected standard or is it up to you all?
  • Is there going to be a collaboration or plan on selling barrels with the standard of “Blended Empire Rye Whiskey”?
  • What’s the next phase to bring more NY distilleries on board?
  • What’s your distribution plan right now?
  • Purchase Finger Lakes Empire Rye at Seelbach’s – https://seelbachs.com/search?q=McKenzie

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