11 Best Rye Whiskeys Under $50

While bourbon is undoubtedly America's most beloved whiskey, rye has been experiencing a renaissance recently. And for good reason! Rye has a distinct spicy taste and rich flavor profile, and it's an essential component in many classic whiskey cocktails like the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Sazerac. 

But with so many rye whiskey options available, sometimes finding the perfect bottle that won't break the bank can feel overwhelming. That's where we come in.

In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best rye whiskeys under $50. Whether you're a seasoned rye drinker, cocktail lover, or dipping your toes into the world of rye, you'll undoubtedly find a pocket-friendly bottle to excite your taste buds.

1. Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

While the Buffalo Trace Distillery may be renowned for popular bourbons like Eagle Rare, Pappy Van Winkle, and Colonel E.H. Taylor, Sazerac Straight Straight Rye Whiskey is one of its finest bottles. 

A true gem that pays homage to its New Orleans roots, Sazerac Rye Whiskey is a subtly spicy and slightly sweet whiskey with notes of spicy cinnamon, creamy vanilla, and lingering pepper, resulting in a complex and vibrant drinking experience. 

Whether you want to enjoy it neat or in a classic cocktail like the eponymous Sazerac, Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey guarantees a delightful drinking experience on a budget.

2. Woodford Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey

Woodford Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey

If you're new to rye whiskey and want to try a rye that tastes somewhat like a bourbon, consider Woodford Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey. Unlike many rye whiskeys distilled from a mash bill high in rye grain, Woodford Rye whiskey contains only 53% of the grain in its recipe, making it more approachable to rye newbies.

The whiskey boasts a velvety texture and a symphony of flavors, with hints of dried fruit, warm spice, creamy vanilla, soft oak, and sweet honey. Whether you want to sip it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, Woodford Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey offers a well-balanced profile making it perfect for seasoned drinkers and newcomers alike.

3. Old Forester Rye Whiskey

Old Forester Rye Whiskey

Although the Old Forester brand is best known for its bourbon lineup, Old Forester Rye Whiskey is a decent rye. Distilled from a mash bill with 65% rye, Old Forester Rye Whiskey offers a harmonious blend of sweetness and spiciness. Its mash bill also consists of a high percentage of barley, eliminating the need for artificial enzymes during fermentation, resulting in a unique baked bread taste. 

Plus, with notes of dried fruits, baking spices, and a hint of citrus, Old Forester Rye Whiskey offers a delightful and memorable drinking experience with every sip. If you're a seasoned rye drinker or a newbie looking to try a rye that packs a punch, Old Forester will win you over with its bold and distinctive character.

4. Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey is a flavorful whiskey that holds no punches. Aged patiently in charred oak barrels and bottled at 100 proof, it offers a complex and rich flavor profile. Each sip reveals a captivating blend of sweet vanilla, caramel, and a touch of toasted nuts, resulting in an exquisite drinking experience. 

If you're a bourbon enthusiast looking to add a rye whiskey to your liquor cabinet, Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey will make the perfect addition to your collection because of its relatively low rye mash bill and high corn content.

5. Bulleit Rye Whiskey

Bulleit Rye Whiskey

While the Bulleit Distillery is renowned for its bourbon, Bulleit Rye Whiskey is also an exceptional drink. Critically acclaimed, Bulleit Rye Whiskey has won multiple awards, including the coveted Beverage Testing Institute Award in 2012.

With a high rye content of 95%, Bulleit delivers a spicy and peppery kick, making it a favorite among rye whiskey connoisseurs. Beyond the spice, it's also an exceptionally smooth whiskey with pleasant honey, vanilla, and spice notes. 

If you're a rye enthusiast looking for a bold rye or a newcomer looking to take a deep dive into the world of rye, Bulleit Rye Whiskey won't disappoint.

6. Redwood Empire Emerald Giant Rye Whiskey


Redwood Empire Emerald Giant Rye Whiskey is a rye lover's dream come true. Crafted with a blend of premium rye sourced from various regions and aged in charred oak barrels for over three years, Redwood Empire Emerald Giant rye whiskey offers a symphony of flavors, including cinnamon, honey, and a subtle hint of pepper. 

If you want rye whiskey with a distinct taste and bold character, this whiskey will leave a lasting impression.

7. Doc Swinson's Rye Whiskey

Doc Swinson's Rye Whiskey

While Doc Swinson's Rye Whiskey isn't as ubiquitous as many other brands on this list, it's a hidden gem worth trying out. Aged in rum casks, it has a unique fruity and spicy flavor with notes of caramel, light oak, dried fruit, and a hint of spice. 

As a small batch release, Doc Swinson's Rye Whiskey offers a rare experience that will enchant and intrigue you. If you're searching for a distinctive rye whiskey with a fruity flavor profile that sets itself apart from the crowd, Doc Swninson's deserves a spot on your shelf.

8. Devils River Rye Whiskey

Devils River Rye Whiskey

Devils River Rye Whiskey draws its inspiration from the rugged wilderness of its namesake, the Devils River in Texas. Produced with the purest limestone-filtered water, its smooth and clean taste complements its spicy rye character.

With a harmonious balance blend of corn, malted barley, and notes of vanilla, dried fruits, and pepper, Devils River promises to excite your taste buds. Whether you're an adventurous whiskey imbiber or appreciate a quality dram, Devils River Rye Whiskey guarantees a memorable experience. 

9. Russell's Reserve 6 Year Old Rye Whiskey

Russell's Reserve 6 Year Old Rye Whiskey

When two legendary whiskey makers, Jimmy and Eddie Russell, put their expertise together, the result is Russell's Reserve 6 Year Old Rye Whiskey – a true masterpiece. Aged for six years, it has a deep and rich flavor profile that showcases the art of patient maturation.

Russell's Reserve reveals layers of caramel, vanilla, roasted nuts, cinnamon, and pepper on the palate, creating a complex and rich sipping experience. Whether you want to enjoy it neat, on the rocks, or in classic cocktails like the Manhattan, Russell's Reserve is a versatile whiskey that offers an exquisite drinking experience. 

10. Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey

Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey

If you want a spicy rye-forward whiskey, you'll love Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey. With a mash bill featuring a generous amount of rye, malted barley, and no corn, this rye whiskey is perfect for hardcore rye enthusiasts.

On the palate, it delivers a robust and spicy flavor with notes of cinnamon, dried fruit, black cherry, and hints of vanilla and oak. The result is a full-bodied whiskey that captivates the taste buds and captures the spirit of Pennsylvania's rich rye-making heritage. 

Consider adding this whiskey to your liquor collection if you're a rye connoisseur or a lover of classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned.

11. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Rye

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Rye

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Rye is a wild and unapologetic expression of rye whiskey. Bottled at full proof, it boasts a robust and intense flavor profile that's not for the faint of heart.

Each batch is a blend of six to eight-year-old rye whiskies, resulting in a remarkable complexity of taste. From bold rye spice and sweet caramel to toasted oak and creamy vanilla, every element comes together harmoniously.

If you're an adventurous whiskey enthusiast who craves robust flavors and high-proof whiskeys, the untamed nature of Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Rye will certainly enchant your taste buds.


You don't have to splurge on a premium bottle to enjoy an exquisite rye whiskey. From the bold and robust spiciness of Dad's Hat and Bulleit to the mellowness of Woodford Reserve and Knob Creek, each of these rye whiskeys under $100 guarantees a pleasurable drinking experience.

Best rye whiskeys under $50


What's the Difference Between Bourbon and Rye Whiskey?

Bourbon and rye whiskey are two popular types of American whiskey. While both whiskeys differ when it comes to taste and production processes, the primary difference between the two lies in their ingredient composition. Bourbon must contain at least 51% corn, while rye whiskey must have at least 51% rye grain.

Is Rye Whiskey Spicier Than Other Whiskeys?

Rye whiskey is generally spicier than other whiskeys like bourbon. Its spicy nature is due to the high composition of rye grain in the mash bill, giving it its unique flavor profile. It's also spicier than other whiskeys because when it's distilled and aged, it often showcases flavors of black pepper, cinnamon, anise, and other baking spices. In contrast, bourbon often showcases flavors like caramel and vanilla, giving it its mellow flavor. 

Is Rye Whiskey Smoother Than Bourbon?

The perception of smooth whiskey can vary from drinker to drinker. However, bourbon is typically perceived to have a smoother flavor profile than rye whiskey because it's primarily made from corn, with flavors like vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch being salient.

How Should I Enjoy Rye Whiskey?

The best way to enjoy rye whiskey depends on preference, but it's a versatile spirit you can enjoy neat, with ice, or in timeless cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or Whiskey Sour.

Where Can I Buy Rye Whiskey Online?

You can buy rye whiskey online from reputable online stores like Nestor Liquor. Check out our wide rye whiskey selection to find a pocket-friendly rye to add to your collection.
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