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10 Best Cheap Rye Whiskey Brands Listed & Ranked (2023)

Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Looking for an excellent rye whiskey at a price you can afford? We got you. 

Not all impressive and tasty spirits come with a hefty price tag. 

If you’re on a budget, there are whiskey expressions with decent quality, profile, and character that won’t break the bank.  

So without further ado, here are the best cheap rye whiskeys you can buy today. 

Top 10 Budget Rye Whiskeys You Can Try 

10. Old Overhold Bonded Rye

Old Overhold Bonded Rye

Average Price: around $25 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: Old Overholt has a bold nose, but a refreshing drink with a creamy body and some interesting flavors makes this expression a bit of a surprise. 

It’s a bit hot, but it drinks well over ice cream. As you let it develop, it becomes sweeter, with hints of baking spice and clove.

Its finish is long and spicy, with a peanut and cacao note.

9. Jim Beam Rye Whiskey

Jim Beam Rye Whiskey Bottle on top of a wooden table

Average Price: around $22.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: Jim Beam Rye is the spicier version of their bourbon expression, but this version is better as it doesn’t have any hard edges and bad notes. 

This whiskey tastes great in many cocktails as its rye spice adds a nice kick to any drink.

The nose is filled with black pepper and rye spice and will hit you with some butterscotch on the palate. 

8. Redemption Rye

Close Up Shot of Redemption Rye Whisky Bottle

Average Price: around $31.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV 

Why We Like It: Redemption Rye is a good choice if you’re looking for something different that suits your budget. This straight rye whiskey has a bit of spice and some wood flavors. 

A hint of spearmint follows a strong aroma of rye bread. You get clove and anise on the palate, followed by a rye spice blast.

The finish is long and spicy with cinnamon and more clove. 

7. Bulleit Rye

Bulleit Rye Whisky Bottle with jigger

Average Price: around $31.49 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: This smooth and sweet spirit hits you with the typical spicy notes found in rye whiskey.

However, to avoid diluting this drink, add large ice cubes to make it easier to drink. 

In addition, this Bulleit Rye also shines in mixed drinks as its rich spice presence adds a touch of booze to your favorite cocktail recipes.

6. Knob Creek Rye

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey with Liquor Bottles on the Background

Average Price: around $37.99 /750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: This is a medium-bodied spirit but has a good balance of dark fruit, wood, and spice, which you enjoy straight out of the bottle.

Its slightly creamy body adds to its positive points. Despite its 100-proof, it only gives small burns.

If you’ve tried any regular Knob Creek spirit, this rye is just a slightly spicy version. 

5. Woodford Reserve Rye

Close Up Shot of Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: around $34.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45.2% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Woodford’s rye is rich in oak, and as it develops, it shows hints of vanilla. The flavor is quite smooth and easy to drink, and its low rye content makes it a bit less spicy.

“I wish to live to 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.”

– Ava Gardner, American Actress

On your first sip, expect a mild rye spice with hints of vanilla and a fruity note. The body is thick and slightly creamy with a pleasantly long and warm finish. 

4. Jack Daniel’s Rye

Bottle of Jack Daniel's Rye Whiskey

Average Price: around $27.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: Jack Daniel’s Rye has a nice flavor and smooth finish, even though it was bottled at 90-proof. It’s slightly sweet with a faint peppery note and is completely drinkable.

Overall, it’s a well-rounded whiskey with a mint note, which is a standard rye whiskey. If you’ve tried Jack Daniel’s No. 7, this Jack’s Rye is the improved version. 

3. Sazerac Rye

Bottle of Sazerac Rye Whiskey

Average Price: around $23 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: The Sazerac Rye is a good alternative to Buffalo Trace as both are made at the same distillery. But Sazerac is relatively inexpensive.

Though it doesn’t shock nor impress, its flavor profile is very solid. It’s easier to drink than most other rye whiskeys because it only has 51% rye in its mash.

The sweet, spice, and pepper notes take over the palate. And despite its short finish, it leaves oak and mint notes behind. 

2. High West Double Rye

Bottle of High West Double Rye Whiskey

Average Price: around $37.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV 

Why We Like It: The High West Double Rye is very smooth, and you can drink it straight. But a drop of water will add some sweetness, making it an easier drink.

This rye is ideal for those who like to avoid too much spicy and burn. It leaves a smooth and creamy finish with a rich and flavorful taste. 

1. Rittenhouse Rye

Bottle of Rittenhouse Rye Bottled In Bond

Average Price: around $29 /750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: Down to our favorite budget whiskey is none other than Rittenhouse Rye. 

This can’t be the smoothest whiskey, but it has a great flavor profile: light on the nose, fruity on the palate, and buttery on the finish. 

Rittenhouse Rye is not that complex but slightly burny. Though it’s low in rye spice, it offers great quality and flavor, making it an exceptional drink– at a budget price.  

FAQs 

Is cheap rye whiskey a good whiskey?

Cheap rye whiskeys are good whiskeys as well. Inexpensive spirits don’t mean they’re not packed with quality and standards. 

You can find many great rye expressions available at a budget price. 

Is drinking cheap rye whiskey good for you?

Drinking cheap rye whiskey may not be good for you if you consume too much, the same as premium spirits. 

Regardless of the price, it can’t do any good if you drink irresponsibly. 

Is cheap rye healthier than bourbon?

Cheap rye can be healthier than bourbon in terms of calorie content. 

Rye whiskeys have low-calorie content compared to bourbon [1], which contains wheat or corn, which are high in calories.

Final Thoughts 

If you’re looking for the best cheap rye whiskey you can enjoy, then opt for the Rittenhouse Rye. 

This is a high-proof [2] whiskey with a smooth and creamy feel and has a nice balance of sweet and spicy.

But apart from that, you can try any other rye spirits on this list– from the Old Overholt Bonder Rye down to the High West Double Rye; all are well-crafted and excellent spirits that won’t disappoint despite their low price value. 

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/bourbon-whiskey  
  2. https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/news/2017/07/why-alcohol-content-is-measured-in-proof 

2 thoughts on “10 Best Cheap Rye Whiskey Brands Listed & Ranked (2023)”

  1. All great choice. The Old Forester is 100 proof and has amazing flavor for sipping and mixing. I’m also a fan of Jack Daniels Single barrel. I’ve seen it for as low as $32. Whistle Pig Piggy back is a 6 year old rye that out punches it’s $42 price range and quite possibly the best budget rye that I have in my collection.

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