Seven of the Best Rye Whiskeys Under $50

Pikesville Rye in a Glencairn Glass, photo by Sean Kinslow
Pikesville Rye in a Glencairn Glass, photo by Sean Kinslow /

These best rye whiskeys will have you toasting the complex liquor.

Rye whiskey has seen a revival in recent years, with seemingly every large American whiskey distillery having a rye in their line up. Rye Whiskey is a whiskey that has a mash-bill of at least 51% rye.

Rye whiskey tends to have a bit more complex taste than bourbon and is often described as “spicy” by new drinkers. Rye whiskey may be the spirit for your if you think bourbon is a bit too sweet or just looking to change things up.

Below are 7 great, easy to find best rye whiskeys for under $50 in no particular order:

1.High West Double Rye originates from Park City, Utah. This blend of rye whiskeys has a palate of cinnamon, oak, and fennel. High West Double Rye is bottled at 92 proof.

2. Michter’s US*1 Straight Rye Whiskey is a sourced rye from an undisclosed distillery. It is, however, still a great whiskey. This product is a single barrel creation so flavors can vary, but most bottles feature a minty, peppery taste. Bottled at 84.8 proof.

3. Woodford Rye is a great rye for bourbon lovers. With a mash-bill of only 53% rye, this whiskey shows off a subtle expression of what a rye can be. Bottled at 90.4 proof, this is one of the sweeter, most bourbon like ryes found on the market today.

4. Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye Whisky is an excellent example of a rye whiskey from Canada. This rye’s mash-bill is 100% rye and is bottled at 86 proof. The palate consists of a heavy black pepper taste, with some sweet background notes to balance this whisky out.

5. Russel’s Reserve Rye is a 90 proof Rye that carries a 6 year age statement. It is made by Wild Turkey. This is a smoother than average rye, that carries all the traditional rye characteristics just in a slightly more subtle way.  Tastes of rye bread, black pepper, milk chocolate are most predominant.

6. Sazerac is a rye whiskey that is now produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery. Originally a product of New Orleans, this rye whiskey is the foundation of the popular cocktail that bears the same name. This rye is also enjoyed neat or on the rocks. The palate consists of hand-fruit, pepper, and sweet cinnamon. Sazerac is bottled at 90 proof.

7. Pikesville Straight Rye is a Heaven Hill product, although it was initially produced in Pikesville, Maryland. Pikesville Rye carries a sweeter flavor than some ryes. Notes of vanilla, berries, and rye spice are all present in this easy drinking yet high proof (110) rye whiskey.

These seven ryes are great for drinkers who are new to rye whiskey and for anyone not looking to spend more then $50 on a bottle of rye. Looking for more whiskey content? Check out our article on affordable bourbons here. Cheers!

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