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Monkey Shoulder

In a little over a year's time I've accumulated 190 different bottles of whiskey. They're predominately American, with the exception of three Canadian, two Irish, and one bottle of scotch. 62 percent bourbon, 20 percent rye.

In 1964 Congress declared bourbon a distinctive product of the United States. There are some rules to making bourbon. The most important are that it needs to be made from at least 51% corn (the second ingredient is usually rye) and aged in new, charred, American oak barrels.

Rye whiskey, on the other hand, was once a distinctive product of Pennsylvania. It fell out of favor after Prohibition but is making a resurgence. It needs to be made from at least 51% rye (the second ingredient is usually corn) and aged in new, charred oak barrels.

Whereas bourbon is characterized by its sweetness, rye is spicy and bold, like bourbon with a bite. Think of rye as bourbon's renegade cousin. Sometimes rye has a high-corn content and sometimes bourbon has a high-r…

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