André Mack Drops a Rye Whiskey for All

Rye & Sons pays tribute to American rye whiskey traditions without getting stodgy.

Rye & Sons
Photo: Courtesy of Rye & Sons

Whether he's making a bottle of wine, a charcuterie board, or rye whiskey, André Mack stays true to his ethos of keeping things approachable, playful, and absolutely delicious. With the launch of Rye & Sons, the polymath of Prospect Lefferts-Gardens, Brooklyn hopes to imbue drinkers with the same curiosity and excitement that they've come to expect at any one of his Brooklyn restaurants.

Rye & Sons isn't Mack's first dalliance with the whiskey category. After collaborating with Pinhook Bourbon co-founder and master blender Sean Josephs (whom he met while working at Per Se) on a special edition bottle in 2021, Mack felt the thrill of approaching the spirits world as a winemaker. The Pinhook collaboration release sold out "crazily" with marked-up bottles through third-party vendors selling for three or four times the retail price. Despite that exhilarating experience, Mack is looking to do something different with Rye & Sons. "For us, it wasn't about doing a limited edition release model or having a whiskey that sold instantly on the market. This is about whiskey for all."

At $27.99 per bottle, Mack's making good on that mission from a pricing perspective while managing to channel some of the flair and fanfare of the Pinhook collaboration. "Rye & Sons will be vintage dated, like wine. So it'll still be collectible," he explains. "This is the winemaker's approach in finding the best of what's out there in the market and making the best rye we can."

Rye & Sons
Courtesy of Rye & Sons

Mack explains that his palate has evolved since he first started working in wine, and that rye "always felt like an insider thing that sommeliers would drink." He likens bourbon to a Cabernet Sauvignon with its rich and round profile, while noting that rye feels leaner and more restrained like a Pinot Noir. "Rye was America's first whiskey, and after I opened & Sons with American charcuterie, going down the same route in whiskey with rye felt familiar to me. It was like, here's a chance to champion something that feels really American."

Mack says he's already gotten rave reviews for Rye & Sons' first bottling from locals at his neighborhood block party, which he's historically used as a test ground for projects like his much-anticipated oyster restaurant, Kingfisher, and Mockingbird tacos. This year, his team set up a cocktail bar and served Rye & Sons on the rocks, neat, and in mixed drinks like a Boulevardier, and a Negroni, with equal parts yellow Chartreuse, rye, and Benedictine.

"When you looked around at all of the old [whiskey] brands, they were pretty stodgy and named after people who died," Mack says. "This is something to be able to build off of tradition but not keep with tradition."

Find Rye & Sons in stores and online here.

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