Architect of the Modern Rye Category Reemerges with BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey
POULTNEY, VERMONT, USA, January 16, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — A market-moving spirits maverick has reemerged with his long-rumored return to the category he once revitalized. Is “The Second Rye Revolution” upon us?
BHAKTA Spirits, the world’s preeminent House of Vintages, announced today the launch of its inaugural rye vintage, BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey (SRP $149). Symbolizing a significant step forward for the paradigm-pushing spirits portfolio, this landmark limited release will claim its place in the annals of whiskey lore alongside the astronomically-valued early career creations of the brand’s founder, Raj Peter Bhakta.
After inciting the “Rye Revolution” of the ‘00s and ‘10s through the iconic success of WhistlePig Whiskey — which he founded alone from a broken-down dairy farm in Vermont, and which exploded into a beloved billion-dollar brand — Bhakta made his name as a market-mover with a sixth sense for trendspotting.
Powered by his unorthodox instinct for brand-building, WhistlePig’s ascent to the spirits stratosphere brought the entire rye category along for the ride. Before WhistlePig, the rye segment registered an annual value of $15mm; after Bhakta’s exit from the brand, the category had grown an astonishing 1,473% to an annual value of $236mm (The Distilled Spirits Council of America, 2020). The rye category’s present value is now believed to be north of $300mm.
If America’s “First Rye Revolution” was defined by WhistlePig’s trinity of craft pedigree, agricultural authenticity, and luxury pricing, the “Second Rye Revolution” appears poised to push the category and overall market in an unexpected direction: single vintage spirits. While long sought-after for their specificity, status as collectibles, and astounding year-over-year variation, single vintage spirits have until now remained a rare find outside of the industry’s pinnacle category, Armagnac.
BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey is a brash, spicy, and precise expression of the distillate of just one year’s harvest. After a decade of initial aging, this single vintage whiskey earned an extravagant 75-day finish in Calvados casks curated from the oldest-in-the-world collection of Château BHAKTA. Bottled at 107.6 proof and released at 10 years and 8 months of age, BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey carries a mash bill of 95% Rye and 5% Malted Barley MGPI.
Raj Bhakta’s return to rye comes on the heels of his Vermont-based brand’s national launch of BHAKTA 1928 (SRP $69), a boundary-breaking blend of rye whiskey, XO Calvados, and four rare Armagnac vintages — including the nearly-100-year-old 1928 vintage.
“Rye was truly the spirit that started it all for me,” notes Founder Raj Bhakta. “Even after we exited WhistlePig, we knew we weren’t done with rye. And rye wasn’t done with us. Now we’re doing it again — but bigger, bolder, and better than we ever did it before. Single vintage, not an age statement. An entire college campus, not a decrepit farm. Same unstoppable belief in the barrels. And the same spirit of revolution.”
Much like Bhakta’s WhistlePig Boss Hog expressions of yesteryear, BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey is animated by a creative cask finish — this time Calvados, which imparts complexity, depth, and richness to the rye’s fierce flavor profile. Finishing casks were painstakingly curated from Château BHAKTA’s historic cellars. The exhaustive multi-year selection process was led personally by Bhakta and assisted by a secret panel of deputies including the château’s veteran Master Blender Bernard Domecq, BHAKTA Spirits Minister of Time Johnathan Page, and BHAKTA Spirits Chief Minister of Spirits Sean O’Rourke.
Located in Condom, France — the beating heart of the Armagnac region — Château BHAKTA boasts the world’s most comprehensive collection of ancient spirits. Its oldest existing stocks were distilled during the reign of Napoleon III. Most recently known as Maison Ryst-Dupeyron, the château was erected during the late Bourbon Dynasty by an aristocrat who subsequently lost his head in the French Revolution. Bhakta acquired the property in 2019.
“True to its status as a single vintage spirit, BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey represents the next level of rarity, transparency, variability, and specificity that spirits lovers are seeking like never before,” notes Chief Minister of Spirits Sean O’Rourke. “The beauty of vintages is that no two releases are ever the same. I see this new ‘Drink Vintage’ revolution as bound to dethrone age statements in the status spirits segment.”
Raj Bhakta’s “First Rye Revolution” gave birth to one of America’s most admired whiskey brands. Can the spirits pioneer push the limits yet again with a single vintage paradigm shift? Long live “The Second Rye Revolution” — and may the streets run deep with vintage rye.
About BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey (SRP $149)
—WhistlePig Whiskey Founder Raj Peter Bhakta’s return to rye
—Aged 10 Years, 8 Months
—75 Day Calvados Cask Finish
—Proofed at 107.6
—95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley MGPI
—800 Case Limited Release
—Aspect: Golden Orange
—Nose: Vanilla, Caramel, Apple Pie, Citrus
—Palate: Silky; Spicy Attack of Pepper & Nutmeg
—Finish: Dry; Mellow Oak & Rancio
About BHAKTA Spirits
BHAKTA Spirits is the world’s preeminent House of Vintages. Founded by visionary entrepreneur Raj Peter Bhakta — also the founder of WhistlePig Whiskey — BHAKTA offers a luxury craft spirits portfolio of limited release Single Vintage whiskeys, brandies, rums, and more, anchored by its ancient and awe-inspiring Armagnac holdings dating back to 1868. An innovator in the experiential hospitality space on a quest to help guests “Find Their Spirit,” BHAKTA’s destinations include historic properties in France, Vermont, and Florida. BHAKTA Spirits is headquartered on its BHAKTA-GRISWOLD Campus in Poultney, VT, the former site of Green Mountain College.
The Barrel Library, Vol. 4 | BHAKTA 2013 Straight Rye Whiskey