Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

2021 Indiana Rye Whiskey


2021 Indiana Rye Whiskey

Indiana is now joining the ranks of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri Bourbon for its own style of rye whiskey. 

With effective date July 1, 2021 Indiana is the newest state to have its own distilled spirits category. The bill HB 1409 was sponsored by Indiana State Rep. Chris May who worked with several Indiana distillers to help create a legal definition for Indiana rye whiskey. 

The idea behind this bill by Jeff McCabe (Co-Founder of Hard Truth Distillery) was to support local distillers, to promote Indiana crafted products and to help make Indiana rye stand out raising the quality standards for this unique category.

Indiana rye whiskey has beside the TTB standards for rye whiskey made in USA added the specific requirements that its rye whiskey needs to be mashed, fermented, distilled, and then rested at least two years in the state of Indiana.

With 30 distilleries, Indiana’s distilled spirits industry supported in 2019 according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States about 25,600 jobs adding $2,509,640,000 to the GDP of the State of Indiana alone, and exporting distilled products of $57,171,838.

Pearson Scott Foresman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
American Publishing Company, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Historical Rye Whiskey

Some standards put forth for marketing, labeling and selling Indiana Rye Whiskey include:


manufactured in Indiana


produced with a mash bill that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) rye


aged in new, charred white oak barrels


distilled to not more than one hundred sixty (160) proof or eighty percent (80%) alcohol by volume


placed in a barrel at not more than one hundred twenty-five (125) proof or sixty-two and one-half percent (62 1/2%) alcohol by volume


rested in a rack house for at least two (2) years in Indiana


bottled at not less than eighty (80) proof or forty percent (40%) alcohol by volume

The Birthright of American Rum

The distilling industry of American Rum became early colonial New England’s largest and most prosperous industry. For a period of time, American Rum joined gold as an accepted currency. The Molasses Act of 1733 and the following Sugar Act 1764 underline the historic importance of this commodity that paved the way for American Independence.

Commercial Distilling North America

The first commercial distilleries in North America were established as early as settlers were sent to the New World, and outrun the first legal Scottish distillery by more than 50 years, whereas distilling for private needs (non commercial) can be proved as early as first settlers arrived in 1620.