The overall popularity of whiskey is on the rise, and with it is a growing appreciation for grain whiskey. The variety of flavor combinations available with grain whiskey is attracting a new generation of enthusiasts hooked by a range of flavor and boldness, increasing access to diversified palates. Millennials are pushing the trend with a focus on elements like technique and history, and letting the whiskey speak for itself when it comes to rebranding its image.
What is grain whiskey?
Grain whiskey diverts from single malt whiskey by including ingredients beyond malted barley. Along with malted barley, grain whiskey blends grains such as rye, corn and wheat. Each grain shares a flavor, from the bold and spicy taste of rye to the gentler taste of corn or wheat.
Malt and grain whiskey can both be identified as “single” whiskeys, which means they are produced in one—single—distillery.
Changing the view of blended whiskey
Historically in the U.S., grain whiskey acquired a bad name due to the formula that created a less flavorful whiskey product. This view is changing with grain whiskey now distilled as a high quality product and not the lesser cousin of malt whiskey.
Multiple grain options offer an opportunity for distillers to creatively blend for taste, and test their blends to ensure quality standards are met. Blend is no longer automatically synonymous with a diluted flavor, but instead a chance to invent new and diverse whiskey products. And a high quality spectrum of flavor invites in more tasters, sure to find a flavor they enjoy.
The story behind the whiskey
The rise in popularity of grain whiskey is not solely due to raising the taste standard. Knowing the story behind the whiskey is also a growing trend, along with the desire to know how grain whiskey is made. Stories from the Prohibition era spark intrigue—a 250-year-old brand that piqued the interest of presidents adds character; modern day Middle Eastern bootleggers adds surprise and suspense.
History of these whiskey distilleries and the personal stories of why and how distillers entered the whiskey game offer a human connection—a connection that adds character to the whiskey experience.
Dedicated distillers influence the rise in grain whiskey directly through providing high quality taste options for an assorted community of whiskey drinkers. And the measurement for good whiskey can evolve as new consumers enter the market. From taste to story, grain whiskey offers multiple access points to welcome new whiskey followers.
When it comes to good distillery stories, Rackhouse Whiskey Club features the best. From the Whiskey Prison in North Carolina that connects the history of prohibition and imprisoned bootleggers to smuggling bourbon down the most dangerous road in the world, we scour the U.S. looking for the distilleries with the best stories. Heck, the story is sometimes as good as the whiskey!