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10 Best Rye Whiskey Brands Under $30: Ranked (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Spicy and bold—that’s how many people define rye whiskey. But despite having a stronger flavor profile, the bourbon’s spicier sibling is taking the spotlight.

Rye whiskeys are becoming a trend in many cocktail drinks, and their prices have soared to match.

But don’t worry, we got you the best deals for rye whiskeys.

Here is a list of the best rye whiskeys under $30 that offers the best bang for the buck. Read on.

Top 10 Rye Whiskeys Under $30 You Need To Try 

10. Jack Daniel’s Rye Tennessee Whiskey

Bottle of Jack Daniel’s Rye Tennessee Whiskey

Average Price: Around $26 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV

Why We Like It: Jack Daniel’s Rye spiciness profile has a remarkable fruity balance and smoothness when sipped neat.

Its 70% rye grain bill is always a solid choice to sip a good rye spice. 

Compared to other rye whiskeys, it has a subtler spiciness. You can take shots, but we recommend Jack Daniel’s Rye mixed in cocktails like a classic soda highball.

9. Wild Turkey 101 Rye

man holding bottle of Wild Turkey 101 Rye

Average Price: Around $25 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50.5% ABV

Why We Like It: Wild Turkey Rye is a straight rye whiskey with a complex profile bottled at 101-proof.

It’s love at first sip, with warm peppery rye notes and smoky flavors from the charred oak.

Wild Turkey 101 has a lingering spice finish and complements an Old-fashioned cocktail with some orange zest.

8. Old Overholt Rye Whiskey

Old Overholt Rye Bottle with glass drink

Average Price: Around $20 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Old Overholt is one of the great sipper rye whiskey bottles you should have in your liquor cabinet.

Its affordable bottle price has a great quality of straight rye with distinctive spice and caramel hints.

It is good to drink neat, tastes better on the rocks, and is best for flavorful Manhattan cocktails.

7. George Dickel Rye

close up shot of George Dickel Rye Whisky bottle

Average Price: Around $27 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV

Why We Like It: The spiciness and exceptionally smooth finish of George Dickel Rye whisky can turn bourbon drinkers into rye lovers.

It has a sweeter flavor profile with a great balance of spice oaky hint.

George Dickel Rye is made from 95% rye, but its flavorful profile comes from its signature chilled charcoal-mellowed style procedure.

6. Redemption Rye

old man holding Redemption Rye whisky bottle

Average Price: Around $29 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV

Why We Like It: A bottle of 90-proof Redemption Rye with 95% rye content is dynamite in cocktails.

“I think of rye as being an herbal spirit…Rye works better as a younger spirit than bourbon does…”

– Clay Risen, Author/Journalist

Savoring it neat will give a spice-forward flavor, but it will shine as a base spirit for bold cocktails.

You can taste the toasted oak, hints of orange peel, and the beautiful rye spice that works off with a great balance of vanilla sweetness.

5. Rittenhouse Rye

Rittenhouse Rye Bottle and a glass on top of table

Average Price: Around $29 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It: Rittenhouse Rye is the best budget ryes from the Heaven Hill family.

It is a big-hitting bottled-in-bond straight rye with high alcohol content, bottled at 100-proof.

Beyond its affordable price tag and high-proof bottle, Rittenhouse Rye from Heaven Hill is a more approachable whiskey with oak-aged sweetness and a signature peppery finish.

4. Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock & Rye

Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye bottle with glass and cat on table

Average Price: Around $26 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 42% ABV

Why We Like It: Rock and Rye is a whiskey infused with honey, rock candy, orange peel, and some bitters.

This whiskey gives a vibe of a bottled canned rye Old-fashioned drink.

Its subtle honey notes and peppery spice are best served straight up, but this brand also offers in-can bottles of this Rock and Rye whiskey.

3. Jim Beam Rye Whiskey

close up shot of Jim Beam Rye Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: Around $23 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Jim Beam Rye is known for its pre-Prohibition style rye whiskey.

It is a classic, bold, warm spice whiskey drink rounded out by hints of oak and vanilla.

This rye whiskey has an excellent peppery edge made from the oldest recipes of the Beam Family, making pre-Prohibition flavor cocktails.

2. Old Overholt Bonded Rye

Old Overholt Bonded Rye Whiskey Bottle and a glass on top of a barrel

Average Price: Around $27 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: Another excellent whiskey from Old Overholt is its bonded rye whiskey. It delivers a nice spice that won’t overwhelm your palate.

This bonded rye is bottled at 100-proof and is more flavorful than the original Old Overholt Rye.

Sip it neat, or make it a base for an excellent Old-Fashioned drink.

1. Old Forester Rye

Average Price: Around $26 for 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: At 100-proof and 65% rye content, Old Forester Rye stands up boldly on its own.

It has a uniquely floral character that balances the spiciness of the rye grain.

Old Forester Rye has rich brown sugar, rye spice aromas, and a tingly peppery finish.

Its high alcohol proof is great on the rocks and is an excellent alcohol base for some bold cocktails.

FAQs

What does 100% rye whiskey taste like?

100% rye whiskey tastes just like the flavor of toasted rye grain. It is bold and grassy with rich peppery spice notes.

Does straight rye mean 100% rye?

No, straight rye doesn’t mean it contains 100% rye. In the US, rye whiskey should have at least 51% rye [1], while straight rye Canadian whisky may or may not include rye grain.

Is rye whiskey smoother than bourbon?

No, rye whiskey is not smoother than bourbon. Rye has a bolder and spicier profile. Bourbon is sweet and smoother than rye whiskey because it uses corn in its mash bill. [2]

Final Verdict 

Rye whiskey’s complexity in profile makes it more interesting than other sweeter whiskeys in the market.

Some brands offer affordable bottles of rye whiskey that deliver exceptional taste.

Old Overholt Rye and Old Forester are great entry-level rye whiskeys. But high-rye profile-wise, George Dickel Rye and Redemption Rye give the highest rye on their mash bill. 

You can explore more rye whiskey brands out in the market, but this rye whiskey list won’t break your 30 dollars price barrier. 

References:

  1. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2021-title27-vol1/xml/CFR-2021-title27-vol1-sec5-22.xml 
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/04/5-rules-that-make-it-bourbon.html

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