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How Rye Came Back


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How Rye Came Back


The unexpected source of a craft-whiskey boom




AUG 13 2014, 8:24 PM ET

“Two bottles of rye!,” Ray Milland barks to a liquor-store clerk in Billy Wilder’s classic 1945 film, The Lost Weekend. “The cheapest. None of that 12-year-old chichi aged in wood—not for me.”


Though rye whiskey anchored many fabled cocktails in the 19th century—including the Manhattan and the Sazerac—in the 20th it became known as bourbon’s less suave cousin, the geezer’s go-to. Threatened with extinction after Prohibition, it survived by going feral in Cheever-esque bars, drunk only by those who hadn’t heard that the world had moved on to more-modern libations. When you could find rye at all, it was more often than not Old Overholt, an inexpensive but unexciting whiskey that traces its origins to 1810. Scissors-32x32.pnghttp://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/09/how-rye-came-back/375061/

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