Spice Up Your Life with High Rye Bourbon

High rye bourbons have around 20-35% rye in a bourbon mash bill. That extra boost of rye give these bourbon bottlings a spicy backbone and depth. Drink neat, on the rocks or in cocktails like a Manhattan or Kentucky Mule.
Jun 26, 2019
  • 15
    80
    Spicy
    Basil Hayden is one of the four Kentucky straight bourbons in the Beam Small Batch Collection along with Booker's, Baker's, and Knob Creek. Although Basil Hayden, Sr. is not featured on his namesake bottle, his likeness is on every bottle of Old Grand-Dad. It is his high rye bourbon mash bill recipe that is featured in this bottling. It is the lowest proof of the Small Batch Collection coming in at just 80 proof. Note: As of 2021, the brand has been renamed as Basil Hayden replacing the former Basil Hayden's name. Additionally, the packaging and label for the core products have been updated. The bourbon recipe itself has not changed.
  • 14
    82
    Spicy & Vanilla
    Redemption High-Rye Bourbon aims at creating a youthful hybrid whiskey between bourbon and rye. It is distilled and aged in Indiana at Midwest Grain Products (MGP) with an especially unique mash bill of 60% Corn, 36% rye, and 4% barley malt. It is aged at least 1 year in new charred American oak before being bottled at 92 proof. Note: Updated packaging as of November 2016.
  • 13
    84
    Sweet
    Old Grand-Dad is based on the high-rye bourbon recipe made famous by Basil Hayden -- it's his picture on the bottle. This is the Bottled-In-Bond version of Old Grand-Dad Bourbon, meaning it was all distilled in the same calendar year. Additionally, it was aged at least 4 years under government supervision, and it is bottled at 50% ABV. Along with Old Overholt Rye, Old Grand-Dad falls under "The Olds" whiskeys released by Jim Beam. 
  • 12
    84
    Spicy
    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. Bottled after 3 years of aging in new, charred American oak. Bottled at 100 proof.
  • 11
    85
    Full Bodied & Rich
    Distilled at its namesake Woodford Reserve Distillery located in Versailles, Ky. (formerly called Labrot & Graham Distillery), this Kentucky straight bourbon was first introduced in 1996. It is also known as "Distiller's Select". This high-rye bourbon has a mash bill containing 18% rye. It is made from a combination of pot still and column still whiskey. The bourbon is aged between 6-7 years and carries no age statement. Bottled at 45.2% ABV.
  • 10
    86
    Sweet & Rich
    Very Old Barton, owned by the Sazerac Company, is produced in Bardstown, Kentucky. There are a variety of Very Old Barton Bourbons marques on the market including an 80 proof, an 86 proof and a 90 proof. This is a 100 proof bottling which is also bottled in bond. The 6 year age statement is now gone and replaced with just the number "6" on the handle, but the bourbon is indeed at least 4 years old. 
  • 9
    86
    Spicy
    The "Old Grand-Dad" this Kentucky straight bourbon is named for is none other than Basil Hayden. Created by Basil's grandson, Colonel R.B. Hayden, this bourbon utilizes a high-rye mash bill. Sold in a variety of proofs, this is the 114 proof. Old Grand-Dad is part of "The Olds" in the Jim Beam portfolio which includes Old Overholt ryes.
  • 8
    86
    Spicy
    The Bulleit label, revived by Tom Bulleit, was first produced for friends and family by Augustus Bulleit in the early 1800s. While Augustus never sold his product, Tom (working with Four Roses) first started producing his version of this "Frontier Whiskey" around 1987. With a mash bill of 68% corn, 28% rye, 4% malted barley, this is a high-rye Kentucky straight bourbon. Bottled at 90 proof.
  • 7
    88
    Vanilla & Sweet
    Basil Hayden 10 Year Bourbon is made using the same high-rye mash bill as the standard offering, one of four bottles in the Beam Small Batch Collection. It was announced in December 2018 as a limited edition bottling with plans for this bottling to return each holiday season in limited quantities. NOTE: As of 2021, Basil Hayden has updated its packaging (and dropped the 's in the name) but the recipe remains the same.
  • 6
    88
    Rich & Spicy
    The name Old Forester was allegedly chosen in honor of a doctor named Forrester, who regularly prescribed the bourbon to his patients at a time when it was still sold in pharmacies "for medicinal purposes." However, the signature for which this bourbon gets its name and which is displayed on each bottle, is the founder of the brand, George Garvin Brown. This is made in both 86 and 100 proof versions.
  • 5
    89
    Fruity & Rich
    This straight bourbon takes its namesake from Cincinnati Prohibition-era bootlegger George Remus, the "King of the Bootleggers." MGP Ingredients acquired the George Remus brand from Queen City Whiskey Co. in November 2016. This straight bourbon is a blend of high-rye bourbons aged for a minimum of four years. Bottled at 47% ABV.
  • 4
    90
    Sweet & Vanilla
    This is the second straight blended bourbon release released by the brand to commemorate the repeal of Prohibition. The straight bourbons were distilled at MGP in Indiana and are made from two high-rye mash bills. From the 21% rye mash bill: 15% was distilled in 2007 and 50% was distilled in 2008. From the 36% rye mash bill: 10% was distilled in 2007 and 25% was distilled in 2008. This is a limited release set to launch on November 13, the birthday of the brand's namesake, George Remus, "the king of bootleggers."
  • 3
    90
    Spicy & Rich
    Four Roses Single Barrel is bottled at 50% ABV and is comprised of their OBSV recipe (Four Roses has 10 different recipes). It's a Kentucky straight bourbon made using a high-rye mash bill (60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley) and uses their delicate fruit yeast strain. Each batch will vary slightly as is to be expected from single-barrel bottlings.
  • 2
    91
    Spicy & Rich
    Released in mid-July 2017, this small batch bourbon release from Hirsch is comprised of two high-rye mash bills. In addition to corn from both Indiana and Ohio, one contains 21% rye and the other 36% rye. This sourced whiskey is aged in barrels with a char #4 on the bodies of the barrels and a char #2 on the heads of the barrels. This straight bourbon was aged for 8 years.
  • 1
    92
    Fruity & Sweet
    Four Roses Small Batch is a straight bourbon that is comprised of 4 of the 10 recipes Four Roses employs. They use an equal measure of both of their mash bills (60% corn, 35% rye, 5% barley and 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley). They also use yeast strains which highlight both a light and spicy profile along with a rich and fruity one. It is bottled at 45% ABV.