Is the Flavor of Rye Whiskey Unique? An Initial Investigation of the Aroma Components of Unaged Rye Whiskeys

Xinhe Huang, Dylan Flynn, Keith R. Cadwallader

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Whiskey, a beloved American distilled beverage, boasts rich history and diverse flavors. Rye whiskey, considered to have a distinctively “rye flavor”, is examined in this chapter to determine if its purported unique flavor has a scientific basis. To eliminate the confounding influence of barrel aging, four commercial unaged 100% rye whiskeys were compared by gas chromatography-olfactometry (GCO) and by quantitative analysis using stable isotope dilution analysis-GC-mass spectrometry (SIDA-GC-MS). Results revealed no unique compound or group of compounds provided a “rye” character across all unaged rye whiskeys. All 37 compounds detected by GC-O in this study have been previously reported in the literature as components of other types of unaged and aged whiskeys. Concentrations of selected odorants showed great variance among rye whiskeys indicating a lack of flavor consistency among the products. Results of this study suggest that rye whiskey’s perceived distinctiveness may be nonexistent or more complex than previously thought, thus challenging conventional wisdom on the uniqueness of this whiskey variety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACS Symposium Series
EditorsNick Flynn
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Pages77-87
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2023

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
Volume1455
ISSN (Print)0097-6156
ISSN (Electronic)1947-5918

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering

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