Though wheat and barley are often used in the mash, U.S. law requires that this American whiskey be made with a minimum of 51 percent rye. Rye has a flavor that is similar to a smooth, rich bourbon with assertively spicy undertones. Straight ryes are those from a single distiller, while blended ryes are a combination of several straight ryes. See also liquor.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.