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Sazerac Rye: Best Alternatives & Similar Whiskeys

Discover the Best Alternatives and Similar Whiskeys to the Sazerac Rye!

Rittenhouse Rye

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

The Rittenhouse Rye is a champ in terms of value, making the best budget Rye Whiskey.

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.

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.

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 whiskey mixer as the high proof will add a nice kick to your favorite cocktail

Woodford Reserve Rye

NoseOak, vanilla, rye spice
PalateRipe fruit, rye spice, vanilla, oak
FinishLong, vanilla, tobacco, oak spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toWoodford Bourbon, Woodford Wheat

Woodford Rye has a nose rich in oak at first and as you let it develop vanilla and rye spice appear.

The first sip provides mild rye spice followed by rich and sweet hints of vanilla and a fruity note that tastes like apricot. The body has a good texture, not too creamy but thick nonetheless.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm with little burn leaving vanilla and a bit of oak spice.

The Woodford Reserve Rye drinks nicely neat, due to its low rye content it does not have much spiciness making it quite easy to sip.

If you add a little ice it will become even smoother and will bring out some sweet vanilla making it more enjoyable.

It shares many features of the much beloved Woodford Reserve such as the signature toasty note oak, yet this is the best Woodford Reserve to make cocktails due to the spicy character of its flavor.

High West Double Rye

NoseHoneysuckle, oak, cinnamon
PalateClover honey, apple cider, mint, oak, cinnamon
FinishMedium to long, apple pie, rye spice
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toRittenhouse Rye, Rendezvous

The nose offers a subtle sweet aroma, along oak and cinnamon.

On the palate the High West provides a nice buttery feel, starts out sweet, followed by rye spice, mint, and cinnamon.

The finish is smooth with very little to no burn, leaving an aftertaste rich in rye spice, baking spices and brown sugar. There is a bit of black pepper on the tail, but nothing terrible as it goes down smoothly.

The High West Double Rye drinks nicely neat, although a drop of water will bring-out some sweetness making it an easier drinker.

Overall, the High West is a good option for those who want a sweet rye, not too spicy, with very little burn. There is nothing remarkable or outstanding about the High West but it drinks nicely, nonetheless.

Alberta Premium

NosePeppermint, baking spice, vanilla
PalateRye spice, caramel, baking spice, peppermint
FinishMedium, rye spice, peppermint
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toForty Creek, Crown Royal

The nose is high in a peppermint bubble gum note at first followed, by cinnamon, nutmeg, along some vanilla note.

On the palate, Alberta Premium has a decent body as it does not feel as watery as the typical Canadian Whisky providing a good mouthfeel.

Flavor hits with moderate rye spice and caramel, giving way to cinnamon, nutmeg and peppermint, along the grassy note present in rye whiskeys.

The finish has a medium length, with smooth rye spice, along more peppermint and a dash of oak spice.

Alberta Premium is one of the few 100% Rye Whiskeys in the market along the Whistlepig. Yet it does not hit with a high spicy note as one might expect making it an easy drinker.

This whiskey is surprisingly good for its price, not earth-shattering or memorable, yet provides some complexity and some good flavors and an easy drinker providing a satisfying experience.

Whistlepig Piggyback

NoseCaramel, rye spice, anise, mint
PalateRye spice, apple, caramel, cardamom
FinishShort, rye spice, old leather
Alcohol content96.56 proof (48.28% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toRussell’s Reserve 6

The Whistlepig Piggyback is 100% rye and bottled at 96.56 proof, honoring the year 1956 in which the late master distiller Dave Pickerell was born.

The Piggyback is targeted for mixing in high-end cocktails, although it’s a bit pricey but it delivers the spicy and punchy cocktails it promises.

Even the shape of the bottle is designed to be easier for bartenders to handle.

The nose is sweet with anise and signature rye whiskey mint hints.

The body is a bit thin, quite spicy with hints of apples and butterscotch. The finish shows spice that dissipates quickly and a bit warm.

This whiskey certainly gets better better when served rocks as it becomes less spicy and the warmth gets tuned-down.

Wild Turkey 101 Rye

NoseMint, herbal, ethanol
PalateRye spice, anise, mint, cherry
FinishMedium, rye spice, ripe fruit
Alcohol content101 proof (50.5% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toWild Turkey Rye

The Wild Turkey is a Rye Whiskey low in rye that tastes like a moderately spicy version of the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon.

The nose is sweet and minty, with a hint of charred oak typical of every Wild Turkey bottle and a faint spicy note.

Palate brings rye spice in moderation with nice tasting notes of mint and anise which are typical of rye whiskey along leather, oak and caramel.

The body is a bit creamy with a nice silky mouthfeel.

Finish is moderate and sweet with just a slight sour note from the oak char, but nothing extreme.

This whiskey is a bit warm but not nearly as much as you would expect from a high proof dram; it drinks quite nicely, especially when adding ice.

It makes a competent sipper as most Wild Turkey’s releases and a great option for cocktails that demand a kick out of the high proof.

Buffalo Trace

NoseCaramel, cinnamon, baking spice, cereal
PalateCaramel, vanilla, oak, espresso coffee, chocolate
FinishVanilla, baking spice, oak
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, rocks
Similar toGeorge Dickel 12, New Riff

The Buffalo Trace is quite similar to the Sazerac Rye, in fact, the Sazerac could be labeled as the Buffalo Trace Rye as they are made at the same distillery.

The difference lies in the Sazerac carrying around 51% rye in the mash, while the Buffalo carries around 10% to 15%.

Buffalo Trace is one of the best-selling bourbons for two good reasons: it delivers a smooth yet tasty taste and is attractively priced delivering good value for the money.

On the nose the Buffalo Trace is very subtle with notes of caramel, vanilla and a touch of baking spice. 

Taste hits the spice a little harder, displays oak and fruit and the underlying sweetness is still there, a little caramel and vanilla goes a long way. Mouthfeel is soft and approachable, light on the heat.

The finish has a decent length, rich in vanilla and baking spice, although flavors don’t sit on the tongue for long but leave a refreshing sensation in the mouth.

The Buffalo Trace is a well-rounded whiskey, making a nice easy sipper with a medium to full body, soft with a chewy feel, fruity and oaky with a medium spicy finish.

Neither intense nor mind-blowing, but it gets the job done delivering a pleasant and satisfying bourbon.

Overall, Buffalo Trace is a good mid-shelf bourbon, a sipper that does not need neither water nor ice.

Makes a solid option for an “everyday whiskey” but not the best mixer as it lacks the punch to deliver tasty cocktails.

Best alternatives & similar whiskeys to Sazerac Rye: Buying Guide

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Rittenhouse Rye$29100
Woodford Reserve Rye$4090
High West Double Rye$3892
Alberta Premium$2680
Whistlepig Piggyback$5496
Wild Turkey 101 Rye$26101
Buffalo Trace$3590
Sazerac Rye$3490

Sazerac Rye

NoseVanilla, cherry, mint
PalateVanilla, mint, anise, oak, baking spice
FinishShort, oak, mint
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toKnob Creek Rye, Rittenhouse Rye

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 and inexpensive rye whiskey, easier on the spice than most rye whiskeys as this only carries around 51% rye in the mash.