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English Rye Whisky

English whisky, often overshadowed by its Scottish and Irish counterparts, has been making a robust comeback, and the rise of English Rye Whisky is a testament to this renaissance. Once a staple in England before the days of the gin craze, rye whisky is now being rediscovered, melding historic methods with modern innovation.

England's tryst with distilling dates back centuries, but rye whisky, in particular, found its roots in the agricultural landscapes of the country. The grain was widely cultivated and often found its way into local spirit production. However, as the gin boom took over in the 18th century, and as preferences shifted, rye-based spirits witnessed a decline.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and English distillers are reviving this almost lost tradition. The cool, damp English climate proves to be favourable for rye cultivation, leading to a rich and nuanced grain profile. The production process remains rooted in authenticity, often using pot stills and opting for natural fermentations.

Brands like Bimber Distillery and The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) are at the forefront of this revival. TOAD, in particular, prides itself on its heritage grain varieties, using populations of ancient rye to create a spirit bursting with character. Bimber, on the other hand, blends tradition with a touch of the contemporary, resulting in rye whiskies that are both reflective of their roots and appealing to modern palates.

Today, English Rye Whisky is not just a nod to the past but a dynamic category that's drawing global attention. With its spicy, fruity, and often herbaceous notes, it offers whisky enthusiasts an opportunity to explore a flavour profile that's distinct yet deeply rooted in English terroir. As more distilleries embrace rye, the future of English Rye Whisky seems both promising and exciting.

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