Great whiskey doesn’t have to be expensive, and that’s especially true about rye whiskey. While there are lots of great pricier bottles out there that you should try, these five excellent rye whiskeys all cost less than $30. Mix them into your favorite classic cocktails or sip them over a large cube of ice, and relish the fact that it came at a fair price.
There’s a reason that Old Overholt was the most popular spirit after the end of prohibition and has remained a stalwart ever since. As one of our favorite classic standbys for stiff cocktails like the Old Fashioned, this spicy, 3-year-old bottling boasts rich vanilla flavors and classic rye heat. If you’re in the mood for extra pepper, drink this spirit straight.
This beautiful rye always has a place on our bar cart. Coming in at 92 poof, it’s exceptionally smooth with light floral and citrus flavors. Redemption's mash bill is 95-percent rye, which pushes the grain’s peppery flavor forward. We suggest mixing this top-notch whiskey into a Manhattan or Sazerac.
Distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, from 95-percent rye and 5-percent malted barley, this rye is aged for five years in new, charred American oak before it’s finished with Dickel’s signature sugar-maple charcoal filtration process. The resulting liquid is herbaceous on the nose with notes of dill and eucalyptus before it opens up to spicier flavors of clove and white pepper on the palate. To bring out its herbal qualities, mix it in Supercall’s savory Spring Sazerac.
Rittenhouse is a classic bottled-in-bond rye that’s an absolute workhorse behind the bar. The mahogany liquid smells of dried fruit and sweet peppers with rich notes of cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg on the palate. The lingering sweet maple spice makes it a great match for the Perfect Manhattan.
Riverboat Rye ($19)
Supposedly Riverboat Rye is the same liquid as Redemption, but it’s only aged for two years instead of close to three. It’s spicy and fruity with notes of apple and persimmon on the nose, and it leaves an oaky, leathery taste on the tongue. While this rye is a bit rough to sip solo, it’s great for mixing in cocktails.