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Taster’s Club Best Rye Whiskey in 2023

Written by Emma C | Updated Dec 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.

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Taster’s Club Best Rye Whiskey Picks – Available in the Bottle Shop
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1. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye,is a masterpiece by Master Distiller Eddie Russell, seamlessly blends tradition and innovation. Crafted in small batches, this barrel-proof, non-chill filtered rye whiskey matures to perfection in charred oak barrels, delivering rich complexity and a balanced flavor profile. A bold yet smooth interplay of spice, oak, and subtle sweetness defines this exceptional spirit, offering a remarkable sipping experience. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in your favorite cocktails, Rare Breed Rye stands as a testament to Wild Turkey's commitment to excellence in the world of rye whiskey.

Region: Kentucky | Notes: Herbal, Lemon, Mint, Licorice, Nut, Spice | ABV: 56.1%

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2. High West Double Rye

High West Double Rye is a masterfully crafted blend that harmonizes bold rye spice and vibrant botanical notes, revealing layers of freshness and complexity. Aged for a minimum of two years, this distinctive whiskey is a combination of column and pot-still whiskies. Carefully curated to accentuate the remarkable spice character inherent in high rye whiskies, it also offers a refreshing botanical brightness. The flavor profile is a unique and balanced fusion of cinnamon, gingersnaps, juniper, mint sprigs, and fresh wildflower honey. Perfect for bold sipping, stirring, or savoring, High West Double Rye is a testament to the artistry of whiskey blending.

Region: Utah | Tasting Notes: Oak, mint, eucalyptus, herbal tea | ABV: 46%

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3. Pikesville Rye

Pikesville Rye, with roots dating back to the 1890s in Maryland, embodies the resilience of a bygone era. Initially halted by Prohibition, it reemerged, standing as the sole survivor of Maryland Rye. Today, produced in Kentucky by Heaven Hill Distillery, Pikesville Rye continues its legacy from extra-aged barrels in optimal warehouse conditions, preserving the rich history of Maryland's once-thriving Rye industry.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Dry and spicy, with honeyed rye | ABV: 55%

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4. Redemption Rye

Uncover the essence of Redemption Rye with every sip—a journey into the intricate world of rye whiskey. Boasting a remarkable 95% rye content, far exceeding the 51% threshold, this expression revives the timeless American whiskey that once graced our glasses before the era of Prohibition. Each nuanced flavor tells a story, inviting you to savor the rich complexity and heritage of this exceptional spirit.

Region: Indiana | Tasting Notes:Oak, Dill, Herbal Spice | ABV: 46%

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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%

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6. Old Forester 100 Proof Rye

WhistlePig Whiskey kicked off our Rye Whiskey journey with the Quintessential Rye –our Small Batch Rye, Aged 10 Years -it’s the one that started it all. True to our original Master Distillers’ vision, it’s a high Rye whiskey with a bold, spice forward whiskey that offers new layers of flavor with every year of age. And at 100 Proof, it’s versatile no matter how you drink it. Ingenuity, determination, and a fearless pursuit of flavor led us here, and we never turned back.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: cinnamon stick, dried dill, baked apple | ABV: 50%

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7. 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%

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8. 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%

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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%

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9. Rittenhouse Rye

Embrace the rich history of Philadelphia's renowned Rittenhouse Square with Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky. As a Bottled-in-Bond spirit, it continues to embody the distinctive, spicy flavor that has made it a staple. Revered by both mixologists and whisky connoisseurs, Rittenhouse stands as the go-to Rye Whisky, seamlessly blending tradition with timeless appeal.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Rich, cocoa, citrus, cinnamon | ABV: 50%

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.

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