Taster’s Club Best Rye Whiskey in 2023
Written by Emma C | Updated August 2023
Rye whiskey is a big, bold, and strong element of America’s spirited past. While the spirit was quite popular throughout the 1940s and 1950s, it took a backseat to other spirit types at the start of the 21st century. These days, with its distinctly spicy, dry, grassy profile, rye is sure having a moment with many fabulous bottles on offer. Its big comeback is likely thanks to the craft spirit and cocktail boom. From aroma, flavor, and cask finish to heat and body, several aspects make up the best rye whiskey. We know it can be tricky to narrow down the very best bottles so, to help you out, we’ve tasted many and picked out the best for 2023, all available directly from our bottle shop. Take a look for some home bar inspiration.
Taster’s Club Best Rye Whiskey Picks – Available in the Bottle Shop
1. Laws Whiskey House San Luis Valley Straight Rye
8,000 feet above sea level, in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, the Cody family has been cultivating this low-yield, semi-wild rye grain since the 1930s. They fell in love with how it ferments and distills into a terroir-driven, unapologetic whiskey.
Region: Colorado | Tasting Notes: Molasses, Peppercorn, Caramel, Mint, Fruit | ABV: 50%
2. Templeton Rye 10 Year
Templeton Rye 10 Year Reserve is a single-barrel whiskey, aged 10 years in charred new American oak barrels. Flavors include dark oak with honeyed floral notes and the distillery’s signature rye spice.
Region: Iowa | Tasting Notes: Oak, Honey, Brown Sugar, Mint, Baking Spice, Citrus | ABV: 52%
3. Barrell Craft Spirits Seagrass Rye
Seagrass highlights the grassy oceanside notes of Barrell Craft Spirits’ rye and the opulence and spice of finishing barrels. It’s a blend of American and Canadian rye whiskeys, with each ingredient meticulously sourced and finished separately in Martinique rhum, Madeira, and apricot brandy barrels.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Vanilla, Molasses, Apricot Brandy | ABV: 59.11%
4. Michter's US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye
Michter’s is renowned for rye and takes the production of its US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye extremely seriously. The spirit is made from select American rye grain, sheared to maximize the extraction of flavor. On the nose, you’ll get aromas of cherry, green apple, caramel, spice, and oak. You’ll taste similar flavors, along with cinnamon, baking, and citrus, followed by a slow, dry finish.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Caramel, Spice, Oak | ABV: 42.4%
5. Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
This 100-proof rye from Knob Creek was named the World’s Best Rye at the 2016 World Spirits Competition. It pairs traditional rye spice with the brand’s signature sweetness. With a high corn mash bill, this one’s perfect if you love bourbon but are looking to add rye to your home bar.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Caramel, Spice, Oak | ABV: 50%
6. WhistlePig Boss Hog
Siren’s Song is a twice finished, well aged rye which slumbered in casks seasoned with Greek fig nectar and barrels suffused with homemade tentura liqueur, made with ingredients hailing from Greece and local Shoreham, Vermont fields. It arrives in the glass with scents of cinnamon and citrus zest. The palate finds notes of clove, cardamom, and stewed orchard fruit, retreating upon rippled waves of raisin and prune. This rare and outstandingly complex whiskey is barrel strength, bottled between 102.3 and 106.2 proof.
Region: Vermont | Tasting Notes: Clove, Cardamom, Stewed Fruit, Raisin, Prune | ABV: 51.15 to 53.1%
7. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye
Crafted in one of the few distilleries to remain dedicated to the art of rye whiskey, Rare Breed Rye is a blend of non-chill filtered rye. It’s barrel-proof, meaning that it’s uncut – bottled directly from the barrels at the proof it reaches in those barrels. It’s sister to award-winning Rare Breed Bourbon and the first permanent super-premium rye in the Wild Turkey family.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Herbal, Lemon, Mint, Licorice, Nut, Spice | ABV: 56.1%
8. High West Double Rye!
Thanks to its balance of cinnamon, anise, and honey, High West Double Rye! stands on its own in cocktails, but is great served neat, with a little water, or on the rocks. A blend of two different rye whiskeys, this one is also crafted to be twice as spicy as the average rye whiskey. The older rye adds a richer, bolder character and just enough caramel sweetness and woody vanilla richness to calm the bite of the younger rye.
Region: Utah | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Oak, Honey, Cinnamon, Floral, Spice | ABV: 46%
9. Redemption Rye
With a rye content of 95%, well past the 51% required, Redemption’s rye is beautifully balanced, with a warm, medium-light body. You’ll get aromas of vanilla, toffee, dill, oak, citrus, and herbal spice, along with similar flavors and a lovely sweetness, followed by a long, soft finish.
Region: Indiana | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Toffee, Oak, Dill, Citrus, Herbal Spice | ABV: 46%
10. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye
Alberta Premium released its Cask Strength Rye to innovate within the Canadian whisky category. With a deep history rooted in heritage and quality, Alberta Premium is proud to be a major player in the resurgence of Canadian whiskies and Alberta Premium Cask Strength is the award winning result. This expression offers aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, green tea, and baking spice, followed by a palate of lemon zest, rye spice, berries, and honey with a touch of vanilla and brown sugar.
Region: Canada | Tasting Notes: Lemon Zest, Spice, Berry, Honey | ABV: 66%
With this guide to Taster’s Club’s best rye whiskey for 2023, you’ll be more than ready for guests or when you simply need to relax. Everything is available in our online bottle shop, open 24/7. But, if you’re looking for a more curated experience, try our Whiskey Club. We have two tiers to choose from, and you’ll receive top-quality monthly selections from award-winning distilleries you won’t find on every liquor store shelf.
Look no further than Taster’s Club for the best Whiskey Subscription Club!
Taster’s Club is the Premiere online shop for anyone looking for a curated Liquor of the Month Club or a one-off bottle purchase from our Bottle Shop.