Rye Whiskey Reviews: Pluck These 19 Bottles

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We were wondering about rye whiskey reviews – top picks, prices, etc. So, we had to ask a group of our whiskey guys and gals to help us out. We deeply appreciate their input and hope this makes shopping for some bottles easier (and more fun) for you.

You’ll find our enthusiasts below with their favorite ryes. Then we’ll give you a price breakdown and some mini-reviews to help you choose what you’ll enjoy most.  Ultimately, whatever you like best should be your top rye whiskey.

Our Enthusiasts Weigh In on Rye

We asked our experts to tell us about their favorite ryes.  These ladies and gents are connoisseurs of the whiskey world. So, it’s safe to say that their opinions are worth reading. Without further ado, here are their personal Top 3 lists.

@indianabourbon

  1. Michter’s 10 Year Rye
  2. Kentucky Owl Batch 1
  3. Bear Wallow Distillery Barrel Proof Straight Rye Whiskey

@beautifulbooze

  1. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  2. Bulleit Rye Whiskey
  3. Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

@cocktailcrafty

  1. WhistlePig 10 Year
  2. Bulleit Rye Whiskey
  3. WhistlePig 12 Year Old World

@dadsdrinkingbourbon

  1. Michter’s Barrel Proof Rye
  2. Willett 4 Year
  3. Thomas H. Handy

@steelespeakeasy

  1. Old Overholt
  2. WhistlePig 15 Year
  3. Smooth Ambler Rye

(Note: For cocktails, anything 100 proof, e.g. Rittenhouse.)

@giulio_bartender_n.3

  1. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whiskey
  2. Willett Distillery Family Estate Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey
  3. Sazerac 6 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

(Bonus: Redemption Barrel Proof Straight Rye)

@kentuckybourbonjosh

  1. Pikesville Rye
  2. Sazerac Rye Straight Rye Whiskey (Baby Saz)
  3. EH Taylor Straight Rye

(Some of the best but limited releases? Thomas Handy (BTAC), Michter’s Rye Barrel Proof, and Kentucky Owl Rye Batch 1.)

@chicagobourbon

  1. WhistlePig 10 Year
  2. Whiskey Acres Rye
  3. Redemption

@whiskeymoments

  1. Rittenhouse 100 Proof
  2. Crown Royal Rye
  3. Bulleit 95 Rye

19 Rye Whiskey Reviews [Info & Prices – Ranging from Around $200 Down to Under $25]

Want to read some actual reviews? Join us for a price breakdown, along with some quick notes and info. We’re serving all these up alphabetically within the price categories. You’ve seen our whiskey enthusiasts’ top picks. Now, it’s time to try things yourself. You be the judge! (And leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.)

(RYE WHISKEY UNDER $200)

1) Kentucky Owl Straight Rye

Rye whiskey review - Kentucky Owl straight rye.
Kentucky Owl Straight Rye | Price: $169.99 – $199.99
Yep. Batch 1. It was (and still is) all the rage for good reason, but it was a limited release. Batch 2 can still be hard to come by, and though it dropped in ABV (from 110.6 to 101.8), that price tag went up. But it’s in demand and special for sure. More information here.

“Both are great yet very different. B1 is higher proofed and spicier, more similar in flavor and mouthfeel to other ryes you can find. B2 is thick and tasty, but also lighter in proof and overall character.” – Reddit

2) Michter’s 10 Year Kentucky Single Barrel Straight Rye

Rye whiskey reviews - Michters 10 Year Kentucky Single Barrel Straight Rye.
Michter’s 10 Year Kentucky Single Barrel Straight Rye | Price: $159.99 – $199.99
There are limited quantities with this Michter ’s single barrel beauty. It’s 92.8 proof, so it’s great for sipping neat. It ’s vanilla and toffee goodness, supported by plenty of pepper and even a little citrus. More information here.

“Pretty damn good!” – Reddit

3) Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye (BTAC)

Rye whiskey review - Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye (BTAC)
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye (BTAC) | Price: $99.99 – $109.99
Part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, this Kentucky straight rye was last bottled at 128.8 proof. Boy howdy. More information here.

“… A more savory than sweet profile…” – Distiller

4) WhistlePig 10 Year / 12 Year Old World / 15 Year

Rye whiskey reviews - Whistle Pig 15 Year Old
WhistlePig 10 Year / 12 Year Old World / 15 Year | Price: $79.99 – $199.99
Almost all of the WhistlePig Ryes found their way onto our list. The 10 Yr is 100 proof, 12 Yr Old World is 86 proof, and 15 Yr is 92 proof (and extremely special). With this collection of ryes, you’re certainly going to make a lifelong friend. More information here.

“… This sure is a tasty whiskey…” – Forbes

(RYE WHISKEY UNDER $100)

5) Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye

Rye whiskey review - Michters Barrel Strength Rye.
Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye | Price: $74.99 – $89.99
This rye will keep you warm and dry. Anywhere from 107 to 112 proof, it’s cinnamon, butterscotch, and caramel. More information here.

“…It’s initially drying and hot on the palate. Complex and echoing with rounded vanilla and allspice…” – Wine Enthusiast Network

6) Redemption 10 Year Barrel Proof Rye

Rye whiskey review - Redemption 10 Year Barrel Proof Rye.
Redemption 10 Year Barrel Proof Rye | Price: $89.99 – $94.99
This is a dark, dreamy 108.2 proof selection. You’ll be experiencing licorice, rich chocolate, pepper, and even cardamom. More information here.

“…Really delicious stuff. It delivers…!” – Reddit

(RYE WHISKEY UNDER $75)

7) Bear Wallow Distillery Liar’s Bench Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey review - Bear Wallow Distillery Liars Bench Single Barrel Straight Rye.
Bear Wallow Distillery Liar’s Bench Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $69.99
Retail Make Indiana a destination, Y’all. And cross your fingers you can get ahold of one of these barrel strength limited editions. Usually, it’s above 120 proof, so you’re gonna know this rye is in the house. More information here.

“…Exceptional!” – Tripadvisor

8) E.H. Taylor Straight Rye

Rye whiskey review - E. H. Taylor Straight Rye.
E.H. Taylor Straight Rye | Price: $69.99 – $74.99
No corn in this bottle. It’s rye and malted barley, small batch B-I-B, 100 proof. Darkly spicy and even sweet with caramel, it’s everything rye and dry that you’ll love. More information here.

“Simply spectacular!” – John Paddon, blind tasting notes (from the 2015 International Whisky Competition).

9) Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Straight Rye

Rye whiskey review - Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Straight Rye.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Straight Rye | Price: $49.99 – $59.99
This limited release whiskey is 95% rye and 5% malted barley. Aged at least 7 to 9 years, it’s a rare find right now. At cask strength (has been over 120 proof), it’s ready to party. More information and the latest news may be found here.

“This particular bottling is a single barrel expression of rye whiskey, barreled the way God intended!” – Modern Thirst

10) Whiskey Acres Rye

Rye whiskey reviews - Whiskey Acres Rye
Whiskey Acres Rye | Price: $59.99 – 64.99
At 110 proof, it’s 75% rye and a real kick. You’ll pick up on some smooth vanilla with this strain of rye, though. More information here.

“Hilarious tour, tasty rye!” – Tripadvisor

11) Willett Family Estate 4 Year Rye

Rye whiskey review - Willett Family Estate 4 Year Rye.
Willett Family Estate 4 Year Rye | Price: $49.99 – $59.99
At 110 proof, it’s heavy with cherry vanilla. It’s balanced, velvety, tart, and spicy! More information here.

“… Drinks like a whiskey 3 times the price.” – Distiller

(RYE WHISKEY UNDER $50)

12) Bulleit 95 Rye

Rye whiskey review - Bulleit 95 Rye
Bulleit 95 Rye | Price: $24.99 – $34.99
It’s 90 proof, award-winning, complex, and oh-so-spicy. More information here.

“One of my favorite whiskeys that encompasses all of my favorite attributes: smooth, flavorful, perfect sweetness and dryness, oakiness, perfect vanilla. I could go on and on.” – Google Reviews

13) Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whiskey

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whiskey Price: $29.99 – $34.99
Part of their signature series, Crown Royal gives us Canadian rye. Want butterscotch, vanilla, and pepper? You’ll find it with this one at 90 proof. More information here.

“I have never been a rye drinker until I encountered this whiskey.” – Google Reviews

14) Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey review - Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey.
Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $29.99 – $34.99
It’s a standby for many. 100 proof and you ’re tasting a variety of sweet, nutty, herbal, and spicy with hints of vanilla and certainly that oak. It’s a solid addition to the shelf that won’t break the bank, though. It’s rye to explore. More information here.

“More spicy rye (and cinnamon) than the nose suggests; but less than most ryes…” – Reddit

15) Pikesville Rye

Rye whiskey review - Pikesville Rye.
Pikesville Rye | Price: $45.99 – $49.99
This one is known as “the last standing Maryland rye.” The 110 proof dry and spicy delight also bears notes of vanilla and clove. More information here.

“This is a strong rye whiskey with a lot of punch, but also a softer side underneath that’s worth exploring.” – The Whiskey Shelf

16) Rittenhouse 100 Proof

Rye whiskey review - Rittenhouse 100 Proof.
Rittenhouse 100 Proof | Price: $24.99 – $29.99
This is the go-to cocktail rye for plenty of bartenders and mixologists. It’s clean with plenty of flavors. More information here.

“Rittenhouse should be considered one of the better value pours on the market.” – Modern Thirst

17) Sazerac 6 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey review - Sazerac 6-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey.
Sazerac 6-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $24.99 – $34.99
Say hello to the New Orleans original, “Baby Saz,” kids. It’s candied spices, vanilla, and even a little citrus. More information here.

“I’ve been singing the praises of both Baby Saz neat and as the perfect rye for an Old Fashioned for some time.” – Straight Bourbon

18) Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey review - Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey.
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $39.99 – $49.99
It’s pepper and spice at 90.4 proof, but it’s also sweet tobacco and fruit. More information here.

“… This one was well worth the wait.” – Distiller

(RYE WHISKEY UNDER $25)

19) Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey reviews - Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey.
Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey | Price: $15.99 – $19.99
At 80 proof and aged 3 years, this one is a legacy for real and is perfect for the old-style Manhattan. More information here.

“A very solid rye whiskey that deserves a larger audience.” – Wine Enthusiast Network

Take Us with You

If you’re headed out to scoop up some of these fine selections, take these rye whiskey reviews (and us, please) with you. For real, though. Don’t do this rye journey alone. Our handcrafted decanters and unique glassware can keep you company. Check them out.

Thanks again to our contributors. Follow these fine folks on Instagram for more recs. And if you happen to be adding some bourbon to your collection, read our article Bourbons to Try.

Finally, before you head off into the rye whiskey night, share your favorite ryes with us below. There’s no shame in self-promotion here, either. If your distillery is making good things happen in rye, holler at us.

Prestige community, y’all are “all-rye-ght” with us. (Go ahead. Roll your eyes. We deserve it for that one.)

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About Author

Each decanter is handcrafted and hand-blown, formed into designs limited only by imagination. We never skip steps to cut costs either. Instead, our decanters are made the hard way because quality takes effort and that’s what you deserve. And that goes for all of our products. Everything you buy from Prestige is created with premium grade materials that stand the test of time. We’re also environmentally friendly and we plant a tree to help promote U.S. forestry every time you buy.

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