The Old Fashioned is the king of whiskey cocktails. And while there are plenty of delicious variations, nothing beats the classic. If you love a spicier Old Fashioned made with rye, these five bottles are your best bets.
Wild Turkey 101 Rye ($42 for 1L)
We’re big fans of Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, and the same goes for the brand’s spicy rye. The amber liquid has a warm, almost smoky flavor that pairs well with the bitters and sugar in an Old Fashioned. If you like the classic with a hint of vanilla, this is the rye for you.
Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey ($34 for 750mL)
It may seem like a sin to put one of the best ryes on the market in a cocktail, but anything goes in a drink as simple and elegant as the Old Fashioned. Knob Creek’s 100 proof bottling is oaky and spicy, a solid choice for fans of extra bold cocktails. We suggest adding a skewer of brandied cherries to this variation, if you so desire.
Sazerac Rye Whiskey ($34 for 750mL)
Sure, this rye expression is famous for its namesake cocktail, the Sazerac, but we think it’s equally as tasty in an Old Fashioned. It delivers lots of baking spices on the palate with a smooth, anise-forward finish. Balanced and crisp, it takes the classic cocktail to near perfection.
Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey ($18 for 750mL)
Don’t let this bottle’s low price tag fool you—it’s a damn good whiskey, especially when mixed in a classic cocktail. People have been swigging it since the mid-19th century, and it was the most popular spirit in America after Prohibition. Its peppery flavor has stood the test of time and still stands up perfectly to an Old Fashioned.
High West Whiskey Double Rye! ($36 for 750mL)
This is one of the spiciest ryes on the market, perfect for those who can’t get enough of the spirit’s signature bite. It’s a little bit minty with some wildflower honey sweetness and a cinnamon tinge on the finish. We suggest mixing this into an Old Fashioned and sipping it ‘round the campfire.