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Rittenhouse Rye vs Sazerac Rye: Head to Head!

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

Rittenhouse Rye

rittenhouse-straight-rye-whiskey
NoseRye spice, vanilla, oak
PalateRipe fruit, nutty, citrus
FinishLong, Citrus, pecan
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toPikesville Rye, Bulleit Rye

Aroma is light 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.

Sazerac Rye

sazerac-rye
NoseVanilla, cherry, mint
PalateVanilla, mint, anise, oak, baking spice
FinishShort, oak, mint
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBuffalo Trace, Bulleit Rye

If you have tried the Buffalo Trace you are going to find the Sazerac to taste like its spicy iteration, which should not come as a surprise as they are both crafted at the same distillery.

The difference lies in the Sazerac having more rye in the mash!

The nose starts off with some sweet hints of vanilla, cherry and the minty notes you expect to find in a Rye whiskey.

On the palate the sweet notes continue but then the pepper and spice notes start to take over. The mouthfeel is thin, but not in an unpleasant way, almost silky.

The only let down is the finish which ends quickly leaving oak and mint behind.

It’s sweet and spicy, as you’d expect from a pleasant rye. It doesn’t shock nor wow, but it’s very solid and quite easy to sip.

Overall, the Sazerac Rye is a nice and easy sipping whiskey, easier on the spice than most rye whiskeys as this only carries around 51% rye in the mash.

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

  • The Sazerac Rye does not longer carry an age statement but is matured for 6 years.
  • Produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, KY.
  • Sazerac is named after the Sazerac Coffee House on Royal Street in New Orleans.
  • The Sazerac company is a privately-owned American company headquartered in Louisiana.

What do the Rittenhouse Rye and the Sazerac Rye have in common?

These pours are “barely legal” rye whiskeys as they only have a bit over the minimum of this spicy grain to belong to this category.

You get some rye spiciness while the high corn content in the mash makes it sweet. 

If you are looking for a dram high in rye take a look at the Bulleit Rye or the Templeton Rye that are 95% rye and if you want to go full rye look into the Whistlepig Whiskey as it’s 100% rye.

Rittenhouse vs Sazerac: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Rittenhouse Rye$22
Sazerac Rye$20

Rittenhouse Rye vs Sazerac Rye: Which is better?

Sazerac is easier to like yet the Rittenhouse is more rewarding

WhiskeyRittenhouse RyeSazerac Rye
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Sazerac Rye is easier to like as it pretty much tastes like a spicy Buffalo Trace.
  • The Sazerac is a safer bet but the payout is low compared to the Rittenhouse which is a fairly warmer but with tasting notes and a creamy texture that are hard to expect from a whiskey at this price range.
  • If you are exclusively looking for a whiskey to make cocktails the Rittenhouse is a better option as its profile will deliver a more tasty cocktail.

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