OLD OVERHOLT (80 proof; $15.50). Tamer than the higher-proof brands, this whiskey is suitable for sipping straight and is a good starting point for rye rookies.
OLD POTRERO 19TH CENTURY (90 proof; $65). Fritz Maytag, the man behind San Francisco's Anchor Steam beer, has earned his distiller's stripes with this spectacular rye, which is made with 100 percent rye malt.
RED HOOK RYE (133 proof; $110). The creamy complexity of this long-aged, small-batch rye is underscored by notes of wood and smoke.