Another distinguishing factor that defines many rye whiskeys is fresh, herbal notes — think dill and mint. Though not always present, these notes complement the grain’s signature spice, but it would be a stretch to define them as spicy by nature.
On the cocktail front, it’s true that rye is vital for any properly made Manhattan or Sazerac, and competently takes the place of bourbon in an Old Fashioned or Boulevardier. But were it not for the revival of those cocktails, there’s a high chance that rye would have continued down its path of dwindling popularity to reach near extinction by this point.
Rye is essential in these drinks but the drinks themselves are just as important in the whiskey’s modern history.
So rye’s is a complicated tale, and the waters are only muddied further by another point that should be raised: Given the recency of this style’s resurgence in popularity, many distilleries have been forced to source from or contract distill their rye at external facilities — the most notable of which is Indiana’s MGP.
Now this is also true in the bourbon industry, but given that even some of the major brands continue to do so with their rye expressions, it’s worth reiterating.
So, too, is the simple fact that there’s nothing inherently wrong with this practice, especially as those buying and bottling this juice are increasingly transparent about doing so.
The Best Rye whiskeys Under $50
Rye whiskey is an accessible spirit, and there are multiple great options that are in contention to be one of the best ryes whiskeys under $50. But the good news is that you can still find something at or under that price point that is still delicious.
The below list is a starting point for anyone interested in rye whiskey, who doesn’t want to break the bank. They all can be enjoyed straight, with a little water, on ice, or in a cocktail.
When you are looking for a bargain, but don’t want to sacrifice taste, start with this list of the 11 Best Ryes Under $50.