Rye whiskey has a long history in the United States. As Carrie Allan writes in her excellent article (click here to read it), currently we're in a renaissance of the spirit that is intertwined with the country's history. George Washington distilled it at Mount Vernon, it effectively was the whiskey in the Whiskey Rebellion, and Prohibition damn near killed it.
I'm all for the renewed interest in rye. To me it is spicier and packs a more overt punch than bourbon. Like other spirits, there are variations, e.g. Allan discusses the difference between the Maryland and Pennsylvania styles. Rye is not for everyone, especially if you prefer your whiskey neat or on the rocks. For example, my friends Chuck and Tom love bourbon, but they don't care for rye. I guess that leaves more for me.
Rye is the base spirit of a number of cocktails in the Wulf Cocktail Den. If you're interested in rye (if you've read this far, you probably are), click the rye category tab on the right and see what catches your eye. It's fine if more than one piques your curiosity. Whatever you decide to drink, think what Homer Simpson might say about the renaissance of rye: "Whoohoo! In your face Prohibition!"