When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on how we conduct reviews, click here.
High rye bourbon is a whiskey type containing some percentage of rye grain in the mash bill. It has been gaining popularity because of the bold flavors it adds to the liquor and some spiciness.
Many whiskey enthusiasts enjoy the drink's crisp character and intense essence of rye grain extract. We'll explore the best high rye bourbon brands so you can find the one that best suits your taste buds!
Our Top Picks
Most Light - Knob Creek
• Smooth taste
Best for Parties - Very Old Barton
• Strong spice
Most Refreshing - George Remus
• Slightly sweet
1. Old Forester 100
Average Price: $25
Tasting Notes: Black pepper and cinnamon stick
The recipe for Old Forester Rye was initially acquired in 1940 by Owsley Brown I, a man who had an appreciation of quality and consistency.
The 65% rye mash bill allows this whiskey to be entirely natural - no need for artificial enzymes or flavor chemicals!
Additionally, barley malt gives it that uniquely floral character while balancing out its sharp spice when mixed with London dry vermouth on the side.
Average Price: $59.99
Tasting Notes: Oak, butterscotch, dilly herbal spice, cinnamon, leather, and copper
Four Roses Small Batch Select is the recent addition to its core line-up. It is bold in the nose, rich in color, and is filled with dried fruit cloves, sweet salted caramel, and high viscosity.
They managed incredibly to cross over between being beautiful and balanced from start to finish.
It concludes like a well-conceived meal, complete with a closing note, and more like a delicious dessert with the occasional chocolate cake, cherries, and butterscotch glaze.
Average Price: $31.99
Tasting Notes: Berry, fruity, mint, oak, pepper
Redemption Rye, a non-distiller producer purchased by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits in 2015, is known for its high rye whiskey.
But the brand also has an excellent bourbon with 60% corn content and 36% rye which results in a very flavorful drink!
Average Price: $37.99
Tasting Notes: Vanilla and honey
Basil Hayden is a high rye bourbon that has been around since the late 1700s. It was one of the first bourbons ever made, and it's still going strong today!
This whiskey is aged for 8 years in new charred oak barrels before being bottled at 80 proof. The brand does not disclose its mash bill or how much rye content there is, but we know it's over 30% because of its spicy flavor profile.
If you like your bourbon on the sweeter side with hints of vanilla and caramel, then this might be right up your alley!
Average Price: $19.99
Tasting Notes: Caramel, vanilla, pepper
The Old Grand-Dad bourbon whiskey is a drink from the Hayden family at Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. This rich variety has been around since 1869, and it's made with high rye like most other whiskies on today's market.
The flavor profile includes notes of banana bread cookies, doughnuts dipped in honeycomb frosting, and sweet vanilla caramel sauce over french fries dusted white sugar crystals.
It also contains hints of candied and roasted nuts, which give this bottle some extra complexity not found anywhere else.
6. Jim Beam Signature Craft High Rye
Average Price: $44
Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, maple syrup, and apple pie
After experimenting with different grains, Jim Beam's Signature Craft line comes the Harvest Bourbon Collection.
The series consists of six unique bourbons that are 11 years old. All have been specially distilled for this bottling before rye whiskey had even taken off in popularity.
So, if you're a fan who wants something classic yet refreshingly adventurous, look no further than High Rye!
7. George Remus
Average Price: $43
Tasting Notes: Charred oak, creamy vanilla, and dried orange peel
When it comes to making whiskey, the name Indiana MGP is well-known. They also make a few products for themselves and collaborate with other brands like George Remus Bourbon and Jim Beam Single Barrel bourbon.
Their flagship product blends high rye bourbons resulting in an all-rounder flavor profile—with hints of spice from its signature yeast strain and the sweetness brought on by corn, balancing out everything nicely!
8. 1792 High Rye
Average Price: $43
Tasting Notes: Candied orange peel, sweet cream, and rich caramel
The 1792 Bourbon has something for everyone. Its varieties include Sweet Wheat, Full Proof, Port Finish, and Single Barrel whiskey.
Still, the High Rye variation is a top pick as it contains more rye than others allowing you to taste authenticity with every sip!
Aged 8 years in a barrel and only produced in limited quantities, those interested to try this masterpiece should grab a bottle as soon as possible.
Average Price: $38.99
Tasting Notes: Earth, leather, and spice
The Bulleit label, revived by Tom Bulleit in the 1800s, was first produced for friends and family. Augustus' version of this "Frontier Whiskey" around 1987 is a mash bill made up primarily 68% corn, 29% rye, and 4% malted barley.
This high-rye bourbon goes 90 proof, but don't let that fool you! It packs quite an array of tastes with its quaint frontier-style bottle.
This has been well-received among many different types of drinkers all over America since they were reintroduced two decades ago.
Average Price: $32.99
Tasting Notes: Citrus, cinnamon, and cocoa
Woodford Reserve is one of the best-known and sought-after brands in America. With a history dating back to 1812, this Kentucky straight bourbon has been distilled in Versailles since 1996 when it first appeared on shelves as Woodinville Distilling Company's Rye whiskey product line.
Made from exclusively locally grown grains mixed with fire malt coloring (thus, why they call themselves “rye makers"), 18% rye makes for an intense flavor profile that will remind you of wintertime drinks like hot toddies or stomachs medicine!
11. Deadwood Tumblin' Dice
Average Price: $50
Tasting Notes: Ripe banana, caramel, and toasted coconut
Deadwood Tumblin' Dice 3 Year Straight Bourbon is a release from Proof & Wood Ventures, founded by Dave Schmier. The straight bourbon was distilled at MGP in Indiana from a mash bill of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley.
It is bottled after 3 years of aging in new charred American oak barrels to give it that smooth flavor with notes you can taste all the way down your throat!
12. Very Old Barton
Average Price: $14
Tasting Notes: Rich caramel, nougat, rye spices, and toffee
Bottled by the Sazerac Company in Bardstown, Kentucky, the Very Old Barton is now made with an age statement.
There are several different varieties, including an 80 proof blend for those that want something lighter and more flexible. Or try their 86 proof bourbon, which packs quite a punch but still tastes good.
For fans who like things strong and spicy, there's 90 proof bonded whiskey available, which is perfect if you're looking to enjoy very old British taste without watering down your drink at all!
13. Hirsch Small Batch High-Rye Straight Bourbon
Average Price: $39.99
Tasting Notes: Peppery zest
This mid-July 2017 release from Hirsch is a small batch bourbon that has two high rye mash bills. It contains 21% rye mixed with a 36% rye mash bill, with corn sourced from Indiana, Ohio, and some imported spirit for good measure.
The whiskey was aged 8 years in barrels before being bottled at barrel char #4 on the bodies while heads received two different charring treatments - one more intense than the other, giving them distinct flavor profiles.
14. Knob Creek
Average Price: $39.99
Tasting Notes: Vanilla and oak
Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey is made with a blend of the finest quality rye to create an extraordinarily smooth yet spicy finish.
Knob Creek Rye makes you think about spice, oak, and vanilla, while subtle hints at herbs linger in your mouth for just enough time before being fully absorbed by its depths.
This is perfect for bourbon drinkers since it has a big flavor without being overwhelming due to its 100 proof (40% ABV) potency.
15. Wild Turkey 101
Average Price: $27.99
Tasting Notes: Peppermint spice, wood, and alcohol
Wild Turkey is a very high rye bourbon brand that has been distilling the perfect mixture for more than 60 years.
With a high rye content aged in retired white oak barrels with deep char, this iconic American spirit is sure to please any whiskey fan!
Whether you're looking for the best high rye bourbons or one with lower amounts of rye, there are many different types out there to be discovered. Maybe it's time to take the plunge and try some new brands!