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15 Best Rye Whiskey Brands to Drink Straight (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on October 27, 2022 by Lydia Martin

You can enjoy spicy and bold rye whiskey in numerous ways because it is a versatile drink that fits easily on different moods and occasions. 

Rye whiskey is popularly consumed neat for a reason. Good thing we curated the best rye whiskeys to drink straight. Read on.

Top 15 Rye Whiskeys To Drink Straight 

15. Lock Stock & Barrel Rye 16 Year

man holding a bottle of Lock Stock & Barrel Rye 16 Year

Average Price: Roughly $159.99

Alcohol Content: 53.5%

Why We Like It:

Lock Stock and Barrel Rye is a 16-year-old rye whiskey made from a mash bill of 100% rye grain. 

We like the rich notes of sour grass, stewed blackberry, rye, dried pear, and roasted acorns. It is unfiltered, bold, and spicy, and you will appreciate its aroma and flavor profile more when you drink it straight. 

14. Willet Family Estate Rye Whiskey

bottle of  Willet Family Estate Rye Whiskey on a wooden table

Average Price: Roughly $116.49

Alcohol Content: 58.3%

Why We Like It:

Willett Family Estate Rye Whiskey is a non-chill filtered rye whiskey made from 95% rye and 5% malted barley.

It is aged in new charred oak barrels for eight years before bottling in Kentucky. The earthy rye grain shines with its classic caramel and maple syrup notes. 

13. Old Forester Rye

Old Forester Rye bottle on top of table

Average Price: Roughly $26.99

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Old Forester Rye features a mash bill of 15% corn, 20% malted barley, and 65% rye. The high proportion of rye gives a brisk spice along with the sharp black pepper, baked apple, cinnamon stick, and dried dill. 

12. New Riff Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

New Riff Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey bottle and glass on a wooden table

Average Price: Roughly $49.26

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

New Riff Kentucky Straight Rye whiskey follows the strict regulation of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 [1]. The rye whiskey features a unique mash bill of 5% malted rye and 95% rye. 

It has a bold, heavy, and spicy flavor profile with rich caramel, vanilla, and sweet toffee undertones. 

11. Knob Creek Rye Whiskey

close up shot of Knob Creek Rye Whiskey bottle label

Average Price: Roughly $37.99

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Knob Creek Rye whiskey is an award-winning rye whiskey you will appreciate more when you drink straight. It pairs the traditional rye spice with the trademark sweetness of Knob Creek. On the palate, it has bold rye spiciness with lots of oak and vanilla undertones. 

10. High West Double Rye Whiskey 

High West Double Rye Whiskey bottle

Average Price: Roughly $37.99

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

High West Double Rye whiskey embodies a harmonious balance of botanical notes and bold rye spice. It is fresh, complex, and curated to highlight the bold spice character. We like the balanced flavor profile of juniper, mint sprigs, cinnamon, and fresh wildflower honey. 

9. Redemption Straight Rye Whiskey

Redemption Straight Rye Whiskey on a table with bottles of liqour on the  background

Average Price: Roughly $29.99

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Redemption Straight Rye whiskey is well-accepted because of its beautiful, complex flavors. It has exceeded the 51% rye content requirement of rye whiskeys [2] by using 95% rye on its mash bill. It is bolder, peppery, and spicier tasting notes and aroma.

8. Old Overholt Rye Whiskey 

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey bottle and a glass

Average Price: Roughly $19.99

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey is the oldest enduring American Rye in the US. It is non-chill filtered to ensure robust flavor; Old Overholt has a nice aroma of light spices and pepper. It is full-bodied and has a nicely balanced spice.

7. Sazerac Rye Whiskey

bottle of Sazerac Rye Whiskey

Average Price: Roughly $33.99

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Sazerac Rye is well-loved as a cocktail base, but it has nice tasting notes that will be experienced when you consume it neat. It has a nice fragrance of vanilla and anise, a subtle citrus flavor, and bold rye spice. 

6. Bulleit Rye Whiskey

Bulleit Rye Whiskey bottle

Average Price: Roughly $32.99

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Bulleit Rye is a crowd favorite because of its complexity and unparalleled spice.

It is made from 95% rye and 5% malted barley, and the result is exceptionally smooth with a nice, crisp, and clean finish.

Read: Bulleit Rye vs Bulleit Bourbon

5. Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey

Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey bottle on a table

Average Price: Roughly $34.99

Alcohol Content: 47%

Why We Like It:

Elijah Craig Straight Rye whiskey is a unique combination of sweet corn and spicy rye grains.

It is perfectly balanced and features amazing smoothness that is hard to pass up. On the palate, it’s like butter hitting the tongue with cinnamon and black pepper. 

4. Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey

Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey bottle and a glass

Average Price: Roughly $47.99

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Basil Hayden Dark Rye combines two flavorful whiskies and port for a one-of-a-kind Dark Rye. It has a complex blend of caramel, lingering dried fruit, and rye spice with a hint of sweetness.

3. WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye Whiskey

WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye Whiskey bottle and 2 glasses of cocktail drink

Average Price: Roughly $54.99

Alcohol Content: 48.28%

Why We Like It:

WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye Whiskey is made from 100% rye for a bold, spice flavor profile.

While most bartenders love to use it as a cocktail base, it is versatile enough to be consumed neat and on the rocks. 

2. Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey

Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey on a wooden table with bottles of liqour on the background

Average Price: Roughly $28.99

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky is Bottled-in-Bond and carries a distinct, spicy flavor that many appreciate.

It is aged for four years in a government-bonded warehouse and is a whisky choice for whisky lovers and mixologists.

1.  Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye

close up shot of Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Rye bottle label

Average Price: Roughly $65.99

Alcohol Content: 52%

Why We Like It:

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye won’t disappoint you because it is a bold whiskey that strikes a balance of vanilla, tobacco, and spicy pepper flavors. It is non-chill filtered with a great flavor profile that will make you want another glass. 

 *Average prices are based on Drizly. Prices may vary in local liquor shops.

FAQs 

Is rye whiskey good to drink straight?

Yes, rye whiskey is good to drink straight. It has rich, flavorful, and spicy notes that you will appreciate more when you consume it neat.  

Is rye whiskey good in cocktails?

Yes, rye whiskey is good in cocktails. While it is great sipped neat, it packs a punch that can elevate classic cocktails.

Is rye whiskey smoother than bourbon?

No, rye whiskey is not smoother than bourbon. Bourbon is smoother and lighter, while rye has a spicier and bolder flavor profile. More on rye whiskey vs bourbon here.  

Final Say

There you have it, the best rye whiskeys to drink straight. While most people enjoy drinking rye whiskey in cocktails, there are rye whiskeys that are pleasing to the taste buds and enjoyable to drink neat. 

What’s your favorite rye whiskey to drink straight? Let us know by commenting down below. 

References:

  1. https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/drinks/a36466533/what-is-bottled-in-bond/ 
  2. https://www.seriouseats.com/guide-to-rye-whiskey-cocktail-101-basics-what-is-rye-how-is-it-made-brands 

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