Best Rye for Old Fashioned

Choosing the ideal rye for an Old Fashioned isn’t as simple as it sounds. When friends ask me this question, a multitude of factors come into play: Do you lean towards specific flavor profiles? Rye or Bourbon? High proof or low proof? Moreover, what’s in your whiskey collection? While the answer is inherently subjective, here’s my go-to list based on my mood and preferences.

Enhancing Your Rye Old Fashioned: Tips and Recommendations

  • Opt for a sizable ice cube or sphere to effectively manage dilution.
  • Exclusively opt for Luxardo cherries and avoid using the red alternatives at all costs.
  • Enhance the presentation by adding a flamed orange peel garnish.

Rye Whiskey Finds: Exceptional Value Picks

Value Ryes. You should be able to pick these up at any store  that sells liquor (whenever they’re open).

  • Rittenhouse – A favorite among those in the bartending industry. I find the 100 proof mark is a sweet spot when making old fashioneds. 
  • Old Forester Rye – Just like Wild Turkey 101, this is probably the best value in Rye. Excellent by itself and in cocktails. 

Premium Ryes:

These selections might require a heftier investment or a bit more effort to locate. While some suggest savoring them neat, I believe that the quality of ingredients contributes to an exceptional end result, and everyone should savor their preferred choice. Nevertheless, I’d recommend reserving these for memorable occasions or leisurely weekends, allowing them to be relished without the constraints of work the following day.

  • Sagamore Spirit Rye Double Oak – This may not be an allocated option, but some may be hesitant to mix a $60 bottle of rye. I’m here to tell you that it’s fine and it’s delicious. Budgets will be different for everyone, and this isn’t to say that you need to use this for every old fashioned you make. For a special occasion though, highly recommended.
  • Angel’s Envy Rye – Again, not allocated but not inexpensive either. Angel’s Envy Bourbon is an incredibly popular mixer in cocktails. I find the rye to be overlooked. The rum finish offers a bit more sweetness than what you’d usually expect in a rye, but I find it works extremely well in an old fashioned.

Honorable Mentions:

Let’s not forget to acknowledge a couple of additional noteworthy ryes.

  • Wild Turkey Rye Barrel Proof
  • Wild Turkey 101 Rye
  • Stellum Rye
  • Whistle Pig
  • Michters Rye