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Elijah Craig Rye vs Rittenhouse Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Elijah Craig Rye vs Rittenhouse Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better for You!

Elijah Craig Rye

NoseVanilla, sweet grain, baking spice
PalateOak char, spice, sweet cereal
FinishLong, rye spice, mint
Alcohol content94 proof (47% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, Cocktails
Similar toPikesville Rye, Elijah Craig Bourbon

The Elijah Craig Rye is one of the many Rye Whiskeys in the market made from a mash low in rye grain making it “barely legal”; this makes it far less spicy than whiskeys like the Bulleit that are made from a mash high in rye.

The nose offers vanilla, followed by sweet grain and a tad of baking spice.

On the palate, you get oak char and spice at first, followed by spicy and grassy rye hints along sweet cereal. This is a medium-bodied whiskey that feels right.

The finish lingers, with spice and mint with little warmth and a bit of rye tingling.

Drinks nicely neat, but adding ice a large cube makes it better as it thins the oak char and the spice while making it somewhat sweeter.

Not the best mixer, though, as it’s not high enough in rye making me prefer more punchy rye whiskeys to make a spicy Old Fashioned or Manhattan.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Elijah Craig Rye:

  • Aged for around 4 years.
  • Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021, 2022.

Rittenhouse Rye

NoseRye spice, vanilla, oak
PalateRipe fruit, nutty, citrus
FinishLong, Citrus, pecan
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toOld Overholt, Sazerac Rye

The Rittenhouse Rye only carries just above 51% rye in the mash providing a modest rye spice hit.

Light on the nose with vanilla, oak, spice, a citrus note coming behind and just a whiff of ethanol.

Palate is fruity up-front, low in rye spice, with a nice nutty hint and citrus notes along a good hit of baking spice.

Finish is surprisingly long and buttery, providing good warmth throughout.

This is not the smoothest 100 proof whiskey as it burns a bit, but the overall flavor profile makes up for it. Adding a dash of water tunes down the Rittenhouse Rye making it easier to sip.

Overall, the Rittenhouse is not too complex and a bit burny, low in rye spice, great quality and flavorful making an easy drinker and an even better mixer as the high proof will add a nice kick to your favorite cocktail

This whiskey is a no-brainer due to its well tasting flavor profile and it affordable price making it the best cheap Rye Whiskey to buy!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Rittenhouse Rye:

  • Aged for 4 years in charred oak barrels.
  • “North American Whiskey of the Year” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Earned a score of 94 points from Wine Enthusiast.
  • “Best North American Whisky” by Whisky Magazine.
  • “Best Buy Whisky of the Year” by Whisky Advocate.

What do Elijah Craig Rye and Rittenhouse Rye have in common?

Both are crafted at the Heaven Hill Distillery

Elijah Craig and Rittenhouse crafted at the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, KY along the Evan Williams, Pikesville, Henry McKenna among others.

Are Elijah Craig Rye and Rittenhouse Rye the same whiskey?

The Rittenhouse is a bottled in bond release

The Rittenhouse is bottled in bond making it have a slightly higher proof than the Elijah Craig which in turn provides more body to the whiskey.

Elijah Craig Rye vs Rittenhouse Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Elijah Craig Rye$35
Rittenhouse Rye$29

Elijah Craig Rye vs Rittenhouse Rye: Which is better?

The Rittenhouse is a champ in terms of value

  • These whiskeys have many tasting note in common as they are crafted using the same mash and at the same distillery.
  • Yet, the Rittenhouse is a bit more flavorful and creamy due to the higher proof and offered at a discount making a better deal.
  • In fact, the Rittenhouse is the best in its type with flavors hard to find in a whiskey at this price range.