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Old Forester Rye vs Rittenhouse Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Old Forester Rye vs Rittenhouse Rye in this head to head comparison and decide Rye Whiskey is better for You!

Old Forester 100 Proof Rye

NoseRye spice, spearmint, cinnamon
PalateRye spice, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, caramel
FinishMedium length, anise, clove, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toSazerac Rye, Bulleit Rye

I like the Old Forester 100 Rye as it carries 65% of rye in the mash providing a still moderate amount of rye while bottle at 100 proof (50% ABV) providing pleasant warmth to make the Old Fashioned more punchy.

The nose hits with rye spice at first, followed by spearmint and cinnamon.

It has a nice peppery bite at first, offering notes of cinnamon, clove and baking spices. There is vanilla and caramel sweetness coming behind the spice blast along a licorice note.

The finish is a bit sharp and fairly warm yet pleasant, rich in rye spice, oak and more cinnamon which is present from start to finish.

The Old Forester has some complexity, along some nice punchy flavors. It’s a bit hot but a drop of water is enough to make it sweeter and easier to drink.

In summary, The Old Forester 100 Proof Rye (Review) offers good value for the money, this is a pour full of character, moderately spicy, fairly warm and fully flavored.

It makes a good pour for an experienced aficionado capable of handling some bold flavors.

This is one the best whiskeys for mixing and my favorite to make Manhattans and Old Fashioneds.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whiskey:

  • Launched in 2019 with the first new mash bill in 150 years!
  • The mash is comprised of 65% rye, 20% malted barley, and 15% corn.
  • The Old Forester does not have an age statement.
  • Earned Gold at the 2020 International Wine & Spirits Competition.
  • Crafted at the Brown–Forman distillery in Shively, Kentucky.
  • Brown-Forman owns other brands such as Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve and Herradura Tequila.

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, Elijah Craig 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.
  • Crafted at the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown along Evan Williams and Elijah Craig.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Old Forester 100 Proof Rye$26
Rittenhouse Rye$23

Old Forester Rye vs Rittenhouse Rye: Which is better?

Old Forester for mixing, Rittenhouse for sipping

  • I prefer the Rittenhouse as a sipper as it has nice fruity notes nicely balanced against mid rye spice. Its pleasing warmth and thick creamy body keep you coming for more. It’s hard to find such a flavorful dram, full of character at this price.
  • The Old Forester would be my choice to make a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned as its spicy notes will make these cocktails a bit more interesting.
  • Neither the Old Forester nor the Rittenhouse Rye are the smoothest whiskeys as they are a bit warm but their bold flavors make up for it.
  • Both the Old Forester and the Rittenhouse Rye are good non-pretentious pours.

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