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Old Overholt Bonded vs Rittenhouse Rye: Head to Head!

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

Old Overholt Bonded Rye

NoseCaramel, cherry blossom, vanilla, ethanol
PalateNutty, creamy, rye spice
FinishRye bread, cacao, peanuts and baking spice
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toOld Overholt Rye, Knob Creek Rye

There is alcohol on the nose, along caramel sweetness and cherry blossom.

On the palate, the Old Overholt has a good creamy texture. The first sips are hot and biting, although as you let it develop it becomes sweeter, a nutty hint shows up, along clove and baking spice.

The finish is surprisingly long, spicy, with cacao and peanut note and pleasantly warm.

The Old Overholt is a bit sharp on the nose, but drinks less hot than it smells. Flavor is surprisingly complex, with a good creamy body and has some interesting flavors.

It’s a bit hot but nothing that can’t be tamed with a splash of water making a rewarding sip. It reminds me in many ways to the Rittenhouse which I have in high regard.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Overholt:

  • Aged for 4 years in American oak casks.
  • Bottled in bond means that the whiskey was produced in one distillation season, by one distiller, at one distillery.
  • Gold Medal at the 2020 International Spirits Competition.
  • Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 Whiskies of 2020.
  • Legend says that JFK was fond of the Old Overholt.
  • Jim Beam does not disclose how the mash bill is made but I assume the Old Overholt only carries around 51-60% of rye due to the low spice.
  • Crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery.

Rittenhouse Rye

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

Old Overholt vs Rittenhouse Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Old Overholt Bonded Rye$26
Rittenhouse Rye$22

Old Overholt Bonded vs Rittenhouse Rye: Which is better?

Tough call between two of the best in its type

  • There is no right answer as they are both quite good offering many features in common such as a satisfying 100 proof, a good creamy body, both were bottled in bond, low rye presence in the mash, the same aging length and both are champs in terms of value for the money.
  • Knowing that JFK was fond of the Old Overholt is something nice to know but if I had to choose between these two I would keep the Rittenhouse, but believe me when I say that is a tough call.
  • I like the Rittenhouse as it has some tasting notes that are uncommon at this price range making it a value play.
  • These are solid unpretentious drams worth sipping side by side so you reach your own conclusions… cheers!

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