About Corsair Dark Rye American Whiskey
Corsair Distillery was founded in Bowling Green, KY, in 2008 by childhood friends, Darek Bell and Andrew Webber. The two were home brewing beer and wine in Darek and Amy Lee Bell’s garage, and developing a prototype bio-diesel plant, which did not go according to plans, when they got the idea to start making whiskey. In 2010, Corsair arrived in Nashville, TN, becoming the first craft distillery in Nashville since Prohibition. The distillery has grown with the city, and in 2016 Corsair opened its second Nashville location, which allowed them to create craft whiskey on a higher production scale.
Darek, who was named one of the 10 most pioneering distillers by Spirits Business Magazine, focuses on new recipes for spirits using alternative grains, unconventional smoked grains, and unusual botanicals, while Andrew likes using unusual ingredients in traditional distillations to yield novel, big, aggressive flavors. Together with their team, they create innovative and adventurous small-batch spirits, which have won over 800 medals at national and international spirits competitions. Corsair also makes craft beers, utilizing local farms, and its local malt house and smokehouse to put "Nashville in a bottle."
Corsair Dark Rye American Whiskey is made from a mash bill of 61% malted rye, 4% malted chocolate rye, and 35% malted barley. Instead of filling up the mash bill with corn, the Corsair Distillery uses malted barley, which produces exceptionally smooth rye whiskey with chocolate, coffee and spice notes. This also makes this expression technically both a rye whiskey and a malt whiskey, and shows Corsair’s desire to do things differently. Corsair never uses artificial flavors or colors, achieving superior flavor and color through quality malted rye and barley, innovative distillation and small barrel maturation. This expression is made 100% in house at the distillery, and is never sourced.
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"I'm an avid whiskey lover," says Darek Bell, master distiller at Corsair Artisan Distillery in Kentucky, "but I do think whiskey could be better. Different. More interesting. More imaginative." Bell, a graduate of the Bruichladdich Distilling Academy in Islay, Scotland, is a mad scientist and notoriously experimental distiller. Since opening its doors in 2009, Corsair Artisan Distillery has received numerous accolades and awards, including being named the 2013 Craft Distillery of the Year and 2013 Innovator of the Year by "Whisky Magazine".
"When you look at the palette the distilling world uses, the paints typically consist of corn, rye, wheat and malted barley," explains Bell, a former homebrewer. "Contrast that to craft brewing, where brewers use dozens of malts and adjuncts. With distilling, I think like a brewer: the better the ingredients you put into the whiskey, the better it will be."
As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.