Best Rye Whiskey under

Best Rye Whiskey Under $50

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

Here at Barrel and Brew, our favorite whiskey is undoubtedly rye whiskey; however, most people still fancy their bourbon. As rye is taking over a larger and larger share of the whiskey market, we figured we’d help people out that are looking to get their feet wet. So, we’re bringing you a list of the best rye whiskey under $50.

There are some objective qualities when it comes to whiskey, but, for the most part, a lot of this boils down to personal preference. With that said, if there’s a whiskey you think we should add – or one that should not be on the list – let us know in the comments. We’ll break our list down in order from most expensive to least.

Best Rye Whiskey $40-50

Everyone has a different price range of what a bottle of whiskey should cost – or at least what they’ll pay and how often they’ll pay it. Some people may buy $15 whiskey and splurge with a $30 bottle. Some may buy $30 bottles and splurge with a bottle over $50. Some may consistently buy $50 bottles and splurge with bottles over $100 or even $1000. Regardless, the $40-50 price range is where you can find a lot of high quality whiskey without going too crazy on price. Below is what we think are the best rye whiskeys in the $40-50 range.

Laws Straight Rye Whiskey

Best Rye Whiskey
  • Produced By: Laws Whiskey House
  • Distilled By: Laws Whiskey House
  • Aged: 4 years
  • ABV: 47%, 94 Proof
  • Price: $50

Laws Straight Rye Whiskey is distilled in house and uses 100% heirloom rye whiskey for their mash bill. They source their rye grain from 2 family farms, one in San Luis Valley and the other in eastern Colorado.

Laws Rye Whiskey can usually be found right at the $50 mark, so it is on the upper end of the budget here, but this is in our top 3 favorite rye whiskeys. Neat, there is a little clash of mint and pepper; however, the addition of an ice cube or a splash of water takes this from good to fantastic. If $50 is in your wheel house, this is your bottle. If not, we’ll have some cheaper rye whiskey that can rival Laws coming soon.

WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye

  • Produced By: WhistlePig
  • Distilled By: Unknown Canadian Distillery(ies)
  • Aged: 6 Years
  • ABV: 48.28%, 96.56 Proof
  • Price: $50

WhistlePig Piggyback Rye uses a 100% rye mashbill and is among our absolute favorites on this list. While it has an all rye mash, there is a smoothness to it that Canadian whisky is known for. The down side is, like Laws, that it’s at the top of the price range at $50.

WhistlePig Piggyback was originally created and marketed with the purpose of being a whiskey used in cocktails. Now, I don’t mind when whiskeys do this. In fact, Monkey Shoulder did it with Scotch and had much success with it. The problem is that most people don’t want to spend $50 on a bottle that’s going to be diluted with lemon juice and vermouth and other mixers. Another reason I don’t like it promoted as a cocktail whiskey is because it’s SO good on its own.

WhistlePig Piggyback combines the flavor and spice of rye whiskey with the smoothness of Canadian whiskey. It’s a balance which provides you the best of both which makes this whiskey worth $50 and worth enjoying neat, or on the rocks.

Best Rye Whiskey $30-40

Here at Barrel and Brew, we buy most of our whiskey in this price range. We believe that you find a lot of high quality whiskeys here and at the lowest price. It’s where we start to find a lot of whiskey that is meant for sipping, but also cheap enough to throw in a cocktail.

Sagamore Spirit Rye

  • Produced By: Sagamore Spirit
  • Distilled By: MGP
  • Aged: Minimum 4 years
  • ABV: 43%, 86 Proof
  • Price: $37

Sagamore Spirit Rye may be the best casual sipper rye on this list. It’s not a whiskey that’s going to test your senses, nor one that will be praised for any unique qualities. It is exceptionally smooth and easy to drink while providing enough flavor to be delicious. We do have a full review of their Double Oak Rye that you can check out. It is a little more complex than their standard rye, but it missed out on this list as it’s a bit over the $50 threshold.

While Sagamore Spirit does distill some whiskey in house, their signature selection is sourced from MGP. That is totally fine by us as MGP (Ross & Squibb now) produces some of the best rye whiskey in the world. You’ll likely see a couple other whiskey distilled by them on this list.

Clyde May’s Rye Whiskey

  • Produced By: Conecuh Brands, LLC
  • Distilled By: MGP
  • Aged: 4 years
  • ABV: 47%, 94 Proof
  • Price: $37

Aaaaand would you look at that…. we have another rye whiskey distilled by MGP, aged four years, and right at that price of $38. It seems that this would be a similar whiskey to Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye, but I can assure you, it’s not.

Clyde May’s Rye Whiskey is noticeably stronger and a touch more harsh than Sagamore. With this comes a lot more flavor. Strong floral notes blend with light fruits such as green apple and a touch of rye spice. As I mentioned, it’s not quite as easy to drink as Sagamore and the floral notes can be a touch heavy. It made our list, though, because the addition of ice mellows the floral and ethanol notes and really helps this become a smooth, balanced whiskey. The more I drink it, the more I like it.

Get Monthly Whiskey Recommendations
We review 10-15 whiskeys a month. Find new favorites to add to your liquor cabinet!
Featured Image
Best Rye whiskey under $50

Pinhook Flagship Rye (Rye Munny 2022)

  • Produced By: Pinhook
  • Distilled By: Castle & Key Distillery
  • Aged: Minimum 2 years
  • ABV: 49.5%, 99 Proof
  • Price: $35

We debated putting Pinhook’s Flagship Rye on the list or not. Not because we weren’t sure if it was good enough but because each year they release a new addition of it. Pinhook sources their whiskey from multiple distilleries, hand selects barrels, and blends them to a desired profile. This process is repeated each year, so every year you get a new whiskey.

This makes putting it on the best rye whiskey list a little risky because it may not be so good next year. However, we enjoyed the 2020 selection “Rye’d On” and love the 2022 selection of Rye Munny. While it’s Rye Munny that makes the list, we are confident enough in Pinhook to make a similarly delicious rye whiskey next year.

Pinhook can also end up being a cool collection of bottles. Every year they name their whiskey after a thoroughbred horse and have a unique bottle design. It’s a fun whiskey to drink and a good one! They also release a bourbon every year as well if that’s more your preference.

Best Rye Whiskey Under $30

Under the $30 mark is where we find a lot of solid cocktail whiskeys with the best being solid sippers as well.

Bulleit Rye

  • Produced By: Bulleit Distilling Co.
  • Distilled By: Bulleit Distilling Co.
  • Aged: Minimum 2 years
  • ABV: 45%, 90 Proof
  • Price: $25

Known for it’s high-rye bourbon, Bulleit is a growing whiskey on the market, especially among younger whiskey drinkers. While their bourbon with a mash bill containing 28% rye is a solid, mass produced whiskey, we prefer their rye with a 95% share of the mash bill.

Bulleit Rye is not the best rye out there. Not by any means. But, out of all the mass produced rye whiskey, such as Knob Creek Rye, Jack Daniel’s Rye, Wild Turkey Rye, Jim Beam Rye, and so on, Bulleit is our preference. You can’t really go wrong with any of these options – they’re probably more of your mixing whiskeys that can be drunken neat.

High West Double Rye Whiskey

  • Produced By: High West Distilling
  • Distilled By: MGP & High West Distilling
  • Aged: Minimum of 2 Years. A blend of 2 yr and 4-7 yr whiskey.
  • ABV: 46%, 92 Proof
  • Price: $29 (I’ve seen it sell for as low as $25 but as high as $36)

While I have High West Double Rye in the under $30 category, please understand that it depends greatly upon your location and individual store. We buy our High West Rye from Total Wine and get it for $26.

High West Double Rye is a blend of two rye whiskeys. One, a 2 yr whiskey, sourced from MGP. The other, as of 2018, is their own distillate aged 4-7 years. MGP dominates the rye whiskey market, and while they do source some whiskey from them, it’s nice to see a distillery add their own touch to a bottle. The High West Distillery is located in Park City, Utah (fantastic place to ski or snowboard), so you get both Indiana and Utah rye in a bottle.

High West Double Rye is one of the best $30 bottles out there, especially if you love the typical rye spice that the whiskey is known for. If it’s a bit too much for you, simply add an ice cube, and you won’t be disappointed. This is one of the best value picks. It’s a great whiskey to sip which is unusual for a bottle under $30.

Summary – Best Rye Whiskey under $50

I want to reiterate that this is a list of our favorite rye whiskey. While we have a lot of MGP rye’s on this list, we tried to put together a comprehensive and diverse list. We simply like MGP rye’s and they dominate the market, so it’s tough to find a good craft rye whiskey that doesn’t source from MGP to some degree.

Now, which takes the cake for BEST rye whiskey? Which is our absolute favorite? Well, that depends who you ask. Mine is Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye (and their Double Oak). Jake’s favorite is WhistlePig Piggyback. and Zach’s vote for best rye whiskey is Laws Whiskey House Straight Rye.

We also LOVE trying new whiskey, especially new whiskey that other people think is good. If you have a couple favorites that we didn’t mention, drop them in the comments and we’ll give it a try!

Get Monthly Whiskey Recommendations
We review 10-15 whiskeys a month. Find new favorites to add to your liquor cabinet!
Featured Image

Similar Posts


    1. I just don’t drink Michter’s often. It’s good stuff, a lot of people really like it, I simply reach for these instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *