Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Similar to bourbon, rye whiskey is making a resurgence. Compared to bourbon, which is heavily influenced by corn, rye offers a robust pepper and spice note.
Ryes are versatile and can be enjoyed neat or in a variety of whiskey cocktail recipes, such as Manhattan or Sazerac.
The good news is that there are plenty of great rye whiskeys you can find just as good for less.
If you want a good spirit without paying a high price tag, here’s the best rye whiskeys under $100 you need to check out.
Top 10 Rye Whiskey Under $100 (Most-Voted)
10. Willett Family Estate Bottled Rye 4 Year
Average Price: approx. $74/750ml (Drizly)
Alcohol Content: 55% ABV
Why We Like It: This is a great rye with a big and robust flavor. The nose is filled with cherries, cinnamon, hints of oak, and a beautiful blend of dark cherry and spice.
We like the long and flavorful finish with spices and cherries. Throughout the experience, there’s the touch of rye, and it’s smooth overall– well-balanced.
9. WhistlePig Small Batch Rye Whiskey: Aged 10 Years
Average Price: approx. $88/750ml (Drizly)
Alcohol Content: 50% ABV
Why We Like It: The premium 100% rye whiskey from WhistlePig is the most expensive on this list, but it’s worth the price, considering this is a 10-year-old rye whiskey.
As we sip this spirit, the creamy texture is filled with spices such as nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon that coat the tongue.
It’s savory, the rye spice is easily noticeable, and the finish is all rye.
8. Balcones Rye
Average Price: approx. $40/750ml (MSRP)
Alcohol Content: 50% ABV
Why We Like It: The Texas rye expression from Balcones is an incredibly easy-sipper and a perfect example of “tasty.”
Its spicy and chocolaty flavor profile surprisingly also delivers the rye spice, which completes the overall satisfaction.
This is a young rye that we don’t think will hold up well in the barrel if aged for more, but that makes it an easy drink. It’s made with 100% rye– so definitely a must-try.
7. Pikesville Rye
Average Price: approx. $55/750ml (Drizly)
Alcohol Content: 55% ABV
Why We Like It: One of the best choices for rye whiskeys is Pikesville Rye.
The 6-year-old expression is made from 51% rye, 38% corn, and 10% malted barley and was originally Maryland’s Rye.
Produced in Louisville, Kentucky, Pikesville Rye 6-year-old has a strong root beer flavor with hints of molasses, cherry, and licorice.
This is quite a good sip that rye lovers will surely enjoy.
6. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Rye
Average Price: approx. $68/750ml (Drizly)
Alcohol Content: 56.1% ABV
Why We Like It: This Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye is uniquely strong– barrel proof, non-chilled filtered, and aged in various barrels (4 to 8 years old).
It’s an excellent choice under $100 that any drinker shouldn’t miss.
With 112.2 proof, this Rare Breed Rye delivers a bit of burn and intensity. So, this isn’t for beginners.
Once you can get past its initial singe, you’ll surely enjoy the notes of lemon, dry spices, and caramel. With this character and profile, any sip or mix is a level-up.
5. Lot 40 Canadian Rye Whisky
Average Price: approx. $40/750ml (Drizly)
Alcohol Content: 43% ABV
Why We Like It: Want a full-bodied blended spirit? Then Lot 40 Canadian Rye is what you’re looking for.
It hits all the right notes, which feels good on the mouth as it delivers plenty of oak and caramel notes.
Also, the hints of butterscotch, clove, and spicy cinnamon round up the drinking experience.
Its smooth and lingering finish is satisfying, making it a solid rye whisky.
4. Bulleit 12 Year
Average Price: approx. $49.99/750ml (MSRP)
Alcohol Content: 46% ABV
Why We Like It: Bulleit 12-Year is special as it’s made of 95% rye. So, if you’re a serious rye fanatic, this is a must-have.
While Bulleit is well-known in the industry for its high-rye expressions, the release of this 12-year-old rye is a more improved version.
“Bulleit 12-Year-Old is a beautiful whiskey to sip slowly and responsibly.”— Ed Bello, Bulleit Brand Director
Along the deep, bold rye spice comes smoothness, spiciness, and sweetness.
Yes, it lacks proof, but the excellent flavor profile makes up for building the overall experience.
3. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye
Average Price: approx. $69.99/750ml (MSRP)
Alcohol Content: 66% ABV
Why We Like It: In an effort to further develop its reputation as a leading Canadian Whisky brand, Alberta Premium launched a Cask Strength Rye expression .
So this spirit is a reflection of the company’s heritage and commitment to quality.
And the expression itself is a true testament to the brand’s ability to create exceptional spirits.
This underrated whisky feels like a surprise from the Canadian expressions. The well-rounded flavors, pleasant aroma, and smooth finish sum up a wonderful sipping experience.
2. High West Double Rye
Average Price: approx. $37.99/750ml (MSRP)
Alcohol Content: 46% ABV
Why We Like It: It’s impressive how David Perkins, a creative distiller, pioneered the making of double rye whiskeys.
The idea of blending rye from 2- to 7-year-olds, including MGP’s famous 95/5 rye and its flagship 80% rye and 20% barley, creates a sweet and spicy profile.
So this makes High West Double Rye grassy and spring, with a rich yet subtle finish.
1. Michter US 1 Rye
Average Price: approx. $39.99/750ml (MSRP)
Alcohol Content: 42.4% ABV
Why We Like It: Our most-voted rye whiskey is this Michter’s US1 Rye made using a select blend of American rye grain– sheared to extract the flavor from the grain.
Each bottle comes from a single barrel , a unique attribute of this spirit, providing the best possible experience to drinkers.
We totally love the variety of spices and flavors in this drink, including oak and citrus.
The rye spice, butterscotch, and peppery notes dominate the overall experience.
What is the best rye whiskey under $100 for beginners?
The best rye whiskey under $100 for beginners is Michter’s US1 and High West Double Rye.
Not only they’re budget-friendly, but their character and flavor profile is manageable for starters.
Can you drink rye whiskey for under $100 straight?
You can drink rye whiskey under $100 straight, neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails.
Price doesn’t dictate the quality of spirits. Even affordable expressions can deliver a great and satisfying drinking experience.
What is the best rye whiskey under $100 to give as a gift?
The best rye whiskey under $100 to give as a gift is Michter’s US1 due to its impressive overall profile.
But if you want a more premium one, then Willett and WhistlePig Ryes are great gift ideas, too.
At under $100, you can find rye whiskeys that can deliver quality, experience, and satisfaction to drinkers without breaking the bank.
From the Willet Rye to the Lot 40 Canadian Rye to our favorite Michter’s US1 Rye, all these ryes are well worth checking out, perfect for sipping neat, straight, over ice, or in a cocktail.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.