Liquor Laboratory

16 Best High Rye Bourbon Brands (2024 Updated)

Best High Rye Bourbon

High Rye bourbon is a type of whiskey with high rye grain on its mash bill but does not exceed the 51% corn primary requirement of bourbon. It has gained popularity because of its spiciness and bold flavor without losing its bourbon identity. 

Follow along as we explore the best high rye bourbon that will suit your taste buds. 

Top 16 Best High Rye Bourbon To Try

16. Still Austin “The Musician” Cask Strength

Still Austin Cask Strength bottle on a table

Still Austin “The Musician” Cask Strength is a bourbon with a high rye mash bill and 59% alcohol content. 

The grain mash (70 percent corn, 25 percent rye, and 5 percent malted barley) of Still Austin Cask Strength is sourced from local farmers. The high rye bourbon has a rich mix of pecan pie and grilled peach with waves of clove, rye, and nutmeg. 

15. Woodinville Cask Strength Bourbon 

close up shot of Woodinville Cask Strength Bourbon bottle label

Woodinville Cask Strength bourbon is a small-batch bourbon with high rye content. The distilled spirit is made from different grains that are mashed, and after the fermentation process, it undergoes distillation and aging. 

Woodinville Cask Strength bourbon is a Kentucky straight bourbon aged in charred American oak barrels [1] for a desirable flavor profile. 

14. Bradshaw Bourbon 

bottle of Bradshaw Bourbon

Bradshaw bourbon is one of the high rye bourbons you can enjoy neat or on the rocks. The aroma is filled with banana, leather, campfire notes, and toffee. On the palate, it has nice tasting notes of cinnamon, brown sugar, and candied orange peel. 

Bradshaw Bourbon is made by a third-generation Master Distiller of the brand. It is bottled at 51.9% ABV, and its high rye mash bills contribute to the spicy flavor of the bourbon. 

13. George Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon

bottles of George Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon and decanter on the background

George Remus Repeal Reserve is one of the best high rye bourbons that has received multiple awards from prestigious spirits competitions. It was crafted using five rare bourbon reserves from 2008-2014 with up to 36 percent rye on their mash bills. 

On the nose, George Remus has rich aromas of saddle leather, nutmeg, honey, and notes, while on the palate, it has rich caramel and baking spices flavor profile. 

12. Deadwood Tumblin’ Dice 3-Year Bourbon

Deadwood Tumblin’ Dice is a three-year-old straight bourbon aged in charred oak barrels for distinct flavor and appearance. It was distilled at MGP and is made from a mash bill that contains 36% rye. 

Deadwood Tumblin’ Dice is a bold bourbon with peppery spice and smoked balanced from rye and corn and oak casks. It is bottled at 100 proof and bears an age statement since it is younger than four years old. 

11. FEW Bourbon Whiskey

FEW bourbon is one of the high rye bourbons on the market that you can enjoy neat, on the rocks, or as a cocktail. You can compare the straight bourbon whiskey to a rye whiskey because of its black pepper spice notes and a nice kick. 

The high rye bourbon is a three-grain recipe that infuses the spiciness of northern rye, the sweetness of corn, and the smoothness of malt. It is a small batch of handcrafted bourbon and can be lined up with famous brands like Knob Creek. 

10. Very Old Barton 100 Proof Bourbon

Bottle of Very OId Barton and a glass

If you are looking for a cheap alternative for your rye whiskey, you can go with Very Old Barton. The 100-proof high rye bourbon is aged for at least four to six years for well-defined tasting notes and rich amber color. 

The high rye bourbon is spicier than a wheated bourbon like Maker’s Mark because it contains rye instead of wheat.

The black pepper spice of Very Old Barton is evident in every sip, as well as the chewy leather and vanilla bean’s aroma and taste. 

9. Hirsch The Horizon Bourbon

Hirsch The Horizon Bourbon is a great straight bourbon distilled in MGP in Indiana. It is a combination of two sourced bourbon, wherein 94% of the bourbon is made from a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% barley. 

The remaining 6% contains 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% barley, and it is aged for at least six years and two months inside the barrel for wood ventures. 

8. Jim Beam Signature Craft High Rye 

Jim Beam Signature Craft High Rye came from the Harvest Bourbon Collection; the brand experimented with six bourbons using various grains. The Jim Beam bourbon was distilled and aged for eleven years. 

If you are a fan of rye-forward whiskeys, Jim Beam Signature can be one of your straight bourbons’ go-to-choice. The Jim Beam bourbon is a classic small batch whiskey with more rye in its grain recipe than other Jim Beam expressions. 

7. Bulleit Barrel Strength Bourbon

bottle of  Bulleit Barrel Strength Bourbon

When it comes to high-rye bourbons, you cannot go wrong with the Bulleit Barrel Strength bourbon that came straight from the barrel, non-chill filtered, and uncut.

The frontier whiskey is a small batch of bourbon with gentle spice and sweet oak aromas. 

On the palate, Bulleit bourbon is bold with a dry, long, and sanity finish of oak, nutmeg, and maple. The tasting notes are suited for fall drinking and can be on the same level as other rye whiskeys. 

6. Four Roses Small Batch Select

Four Roses Small Batch Select bottle with an empty glass on the side

Four Roses Small Batch Select is made from a blend of recipes with five yeast strains. It is an upper-premium bourbon with an herbal-forward flavor profile and aromas of clove, nutmeg, and raspberries. 

The Four Roses Small Batch Select is aged six to seven years and features 104 proofs (52%). Like Four Roses single barrel, it is non-chill filtered. 

5. Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon close up shot of bottle label

Old Grand-Dad Bonded bourbon is named after Basil Hayden, a distiller known for its high rye cereal grains in a distilled spirit. The art of distilling was passed through Raymond B. Hayden, the third-generation distiller of their family. 

Old Grand Dad is a high-quality bourbon because it complies with the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897. It is made by a single distillery in one distilling season and should be aged in a government-bonded warehouse for at least four years [2]. 

4. Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Booker Noe crafted Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey, and like the Old Grand Dad, it is named after Basil Hayden’s contribution to the bourbon world.

It is a unique whiskey with evident sweet notes of caramel, vanilla, and hints of charred oak and dried fruit. 

Basil Hayden’s bourbon has gathered different awards from New York and San Francisco liquor competitions.

3. Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Woodford Reserve Bourbon  bottle on a grey background

Woodford Reserve is a perfectly balanced whiskey that delivers a bold and spicy character. The bold character and emphasis on spice deliver a sweetly spiced finish to the bourbon.

Moreso, the brand is well-known for its 200 detectable flavor notes from sweet aromatics, spice, fruit, and floral notes. 

Read: Woodford Reserve Bourbon & Basil Hayden Compared

2. 1792 Small Batch Bourbon

1792 Small Batch is a pride of Barton 1792 distillery, and it is handcrafted using a high content of rye on its mash bill.

It features 93.7 proof but has a bold yet smooth flavor profile. It is skillfully made and married to another batch of bourbon to create a premium and delectable distilled spirit. 

1. Redemption High Rye

Redemption High Rye bottle and an an empty glass with ice on the side

Redemption High Rye bourbon is made from 36% rye, resulting in a unique combination of flavors. It has a nice balance of sweet but punctuated rye spice. Redemption High Rye has a long and smooth finish with light vanilla, mint, and light licorice. 

Redemption has a great lingering finish with soft spice and a nice spicy kick from the secondary grain. 


What bourbon has the highest rye content?

Redemption by Deutsch Family Wine has the highest rye content. It contains 36% rye on its mash bill, which gives the distilled spirit a noticeable and enjoyable spicy finish. 

What does high rye bourbon taste like?

High rye bourbons taste like an aggressive and spicier bourbon. Bourbons are sweeter and more mellow, but because of rye, it becomes more bold and spicy but with a slight sweetness and mellowness. 

Which is sweeter, high rye or wheat bourbon?

Wheat bourbon is sweeter than high rye. The wheat content gives the distilled spirits a sweeter and softer flavor. On the other hand, high rye bourbon is spicy and has a bold finish.  

What makes high rye bourbon unique? 

High rye bourbon is unique for its bold and spicy character, derived from the higher percentage of rye grain used in its production, offering a distinct taste experience loved by many whiskey enthusiasts.

Are there specific characteristics to look for in the best high rye bourbon? 

Yes, the best high rye bourbon often exhibits characteristics such as a spicy and peppery flavor profile, balanced by notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, as well as a smooth and satisfying finish.

How does high rye bourbon compare to traditional bourbon? 

High rye bourbon typically has a spicier and more assertive flavor profile compared to traditional bourbon, which is characterized by its sweetness and mellow flavors derived from corn.

What are some notable brands of high rye bourbon?

Several bourbon brands are known for producing exceptional high rye bourbon, including Bulleit Bourbon, Four Roses, Old Grand-Dad, and Basil Hayden’s, which have gained recognition for their quality and unique flavor profiles.

Can I expect variations in flavor among different high rye bourbon brands? 

Yes, high rye bourbon brands offer a range of flavor profiles and intensities, influenced by factors such as aging process, mash bill composition, and barrel selection, providing diverse options for whiskey enthusiasts.

In Summary

If you want to elevate your classic bourbon cocktails or enjoy the intense essence of rye grain extract, you should try the best high rye bourbon.

It is a mellow, smooth, distilled spirit with a nice spicy kick from the rye but does not lose its bourbon identity. Try a bottle now. 


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