Brown-Forman launches first rye whiskey

Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve is extending its range and tapping into the US craft whiskey boom by launching its first rye whiskey in the UK.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight RyeCrafted at America’s oldest operating distillery, which dates back to 1812, its Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey is the first rye whiskey to be launched by the company.

Made in the tradition style, it’s described as having hints of pepper and tobacco flavours and a fruit finish.

Master distiller Chris Morris said: “Our commitment to flavour is something that is ingrained in everything we do and no liquid embodies that better than Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey.

“It’s been really well received in the US and I’m sure the growing army of whiskey fans around the UK are going to find it really interesting.”

Its launch comes just a few months after Bacardi announced it was stepping into the buoyant Bourbon market after it acquired Angels Share brands including the Louisville Distilling Co subsidiary and Angel’s Envy brand.

The move follows predictions that sales of whiskey would overtake vodka for the first time since 2007 in the US.

Figures quoted by Bacardi suggest that the American straight whiskey category is currently growing at a rate of “nearly 5%”, while the super-premium sector has enjoyed almost 10% growth.

Their figures are supported by the Kentucky Distillers Association who reported last year that they had seen the highest levels of production for over 40 years.

Kentucky Bourbon is going through the “largest expansion mode since the end of the prohibition”, according to Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The same could be said for the London market, which has seen a boom in bourbon sales thanks to a spike in American-themed new openings.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey will be selectively available in the UK on trade from July.

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