Why No Rye?
by andrew haley
I must admit that I have a certain liking for whiskey that most people just don't understand. It's the kind of love that I could only explain to a small group of anonymous chain smokers. I'm not rich enough to be too snooty about my whiskey, but I'm not poor enough to throw all my standards out the window. Be it bourbon, Irish, Scotch, Canadian, sour mash, tin tongued, Tennessee, Timbucktoo-I'll drink it and I'll probably flash my patented whiskey grin.
Now I must say that despite what certain individuals might say, Irish whiskey is the best whiskey on earth. The drunk bastards invented it, and perfected it, all the way from stove-top jet fuel to 16 year old single malt Bushmills (the best is red bush, of course). The only problem with Irish whiskey is those damn tariffs. Good whiskey goes down easy, and .75 liters isn't all that much. So dropping twenty dollars on a bottle of Paddies or Jameson stings sometimes.
When I was a bit younger I ran across an Irish bartender in the alcoholic wilds of the Alaskan frontier who agreed with me about the qualities and price problem of Irish whiskey. His solution was simple, go Canadian. A helluva lot of Irish ended up in the 51st state during the great potato dash, and while we sat on our thumbs during prohibition, they were busy working overtime to keep the underground whiskey train rolling.
It's true, Canadian rye whiskey, as well as the handfull of rye whiskeys made stateside, are quite similar in flavor and quality to Irish whiskey; and thanks to NAFTA, they come at a lower cost. Now I'm not pretending to say that rye can replace Irish in anybody's heart, but if Kentucky sour mash bourbon isn't what you're looking for, and you don't have $75 to drop on Glengefardigramme Single-Bullet Ten-Gauge Pheasant-Scented Scotch, you might want to give rye a try.
The only problem is that we live in Utah, and the DABC doesn't import it. If you head down to the liquor store right now, you'll see 27 different inbred Tennessee distilleries, thirty nine platinum coated vases of Scotch, a smattering of over priced Irish whiskeys and a few unidentifiables you last saw on your way to the floor in Hell's Tavern. It's always a problem when non-drinkers are put in charge of ordering all the booze imports for your state. It's like having a mechanic take orders from the bakery.
This is just a subtle hint to the temperate bastards of the DABC, WHY DONT YOU IMPORT ANY RYE WHISKEY!?! I understand that we may be at a tense moment with our northern neighbor over Cuban business prospects and the South Park movie, but even blue-blood shit-kickers like Jim Beam make a fine rye. It even comes in a handsome yellow label.
So then, until they do, I'll be crying in the aisles, waiting for deliverance. But hell, it's better than being stranded in a Russian submarine.