Rye whiskey is unarguably what America was founded on. During the Revolutionary War, whiskey was used as a form of currency. Americans love their whiskey so much, that back in 1791 the Whiskey Rebellion was started over an increase in tax that was levied against it. The true test of time occurred during the Prohibition era of the 1920's and 30's, when all alcohol sales were banned in the country and made rise to bootlegging and mobsters like Al Capone. It was said that Templeton Rye whiskey (a.k.a. "The Good Stuff") from Carroll county Iowa was Scareface's favorite.
Capone would bootleg "The Good Stuff" to speakeasies in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Now that prohibition has ended, Templeton Rye whiskey has become a commercially available product legal to purchase. By law, whiskey distilleries cannot reuse their barrels like wineries do. This is great news for the craft beer industry!
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. is one brewery lucky enough to apprehend the highly sought after Templeton Rye barrels. Brau Brothers Brewing Co is located in the small town of Lucan, in southwestern Minnesota where rye is still grown. Outside the brewery is largest hopyard in the upper midwest. Surrounding the hopyard are fields or barley and rye. Brau Brothers Rye Wyne Ale is a rye barleywine aged in Templeton Rye barrels. Weighing in at 11% abv, this waxed dipped bottle sure packs a punch.
Another Brewery fortunate to receive old Templeton barrels is Boulevard Brewing Company. Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become one of the largest specialty brewers in the Midwest. Apart of Boulevards Limited Release Smokestack series, Rye-on-Rye is made with two kinds of malted rye to provide spicy sweetness, and giving it notes of caramelized wood and the citrusy tang of Perle, Magnum, and Saphir hops before easing into a dry, lingering finish. This is one of the best rye beers that I have had. It is very complex balance where the whiskey and beer blend seamlessly for a very enjoyable experience.