October 2019's Selection – James E Pepper Rye Whiskey


James E Pepper is a 19th century whiskey brand revived in the 21st century by entrepreneur Amir Peay after it fell into disuse.

When the opportunity arose to redevelop the original distillery site in Lexington, Kentucky, Amir couldn't resist. They began producing new whiskey at the renovated site in December 2017. For now though the liquid in the bottle is sourced from the MGP distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.


At Sipping Liquor we've been wanting to feature a rye whiskey for ages, but were waiting to discover the right one. Whereas a bourbon must be made from at least 51 percent corn (the yellow stuff you might eat on the cob at a barbecue) rye whiskey must be at least 51 percent rye –a grain from which you can also make stuff like bread. 

The rye grain brings a spicy quality to the whiskey, unlike corn which is noticeably sweeter. After falling out of fashion for much of the 20th century, rye whiskey has had a surge in popularity in the past decade. James E Pepper uses a rye-heavy recipe with more than 90% rye – for a really spicy hit. 

Andrew Rummer