Jeffersons Reserve Very Small Batch
In contrast to the other distilleries that weve included on this list, Jeffersons Reserve is a bit of a newcomer. That being said, age isnt everything, for despite being founded in 1997, the brand has quickly made a name for itself with its innovative bourbon blends. Just take this Very Small Batch, for instance. Comprising four different bourbons sourced from various undisclosed distilleries, it makes for a subtle sipper that manages to hide its high rye content quite well.
$: Jameson Gold Reserve
Proof:80Approx. cost: $84
If Irish whiskey gets a bad rap, Jameson takes the brunt of it. Unfortunately, its still seen as the stereotypical shot you take after your team loses a close game of kickball. In actuality, the Dublin legend has some terrific offerings, and the Gold Reserve is cause for celebration. Of course, you should sip it neatdont you dare shoot it. If youd rather not spend your whiskey money on something peaty, Gold is about the best you can do. The spirits massive honey notes and rich complexity will certainly please youespecially if you think Irish whiskey is only reserved for punishment.
Others: Bowmore 18, Laphroaig 18
Crown Royal Apple Canadian Whiskey
For those looking for a refreshing twist on their favorite tipples, you can try making a DIY infused bourbon whiskey at home. But if you want a quicker route, just buy a bottle of Crown Royal Regal Apple Flavored Whisky!
Its made with Canadian whisky and flavors from apples grown in the Regal Gala orchards. Crown Royal is very aromatic with light vanilla and caramel notes. You’ll smell a pleasant bouquet as Crown Royal offers no alcoholic burn. The undertones of pound cake and lemon zest make for an elegant but gentle scent.
The crisp, tart flavor of the apple shines through in this drink! Its a great mixer for highballs as well! The sweet taste is hardly noticeable when mixed with other ingredients but stands out nicely on its own or when diluted to your liking.
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Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch
So this is a small batch in theory and name more than practice. The expression is a marrying of 200 barrels of bourbon from Heaven Hills warehouses. That juice is then proofed down to 45 proof and bottled as is.
The whiskey pulls you in with a touch of cornbread dripping with butter next to bourbon vanilla and hints of oak. The taste adds a drop of honey to that buttery cornbread as fruitiness takes on a tart caramel apple edge. The end is short, sweet, full of corn, and a little oaky.
This is squarely in the workhorse genre. Its perfectly suitable as an on the rocks sipper, highball base, or cocktail bourbon. You really cant go wrong with this one and thats why its taking the top spot today.
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Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Years
Sweet and warm, with vanilla, chocolate, oak, and freshly baked bread aromas, this bourbon-barrel-aged Scotch was a crowd favorite. It has a creamy body and fruity, peppery finish, like peppercorn and orange peel. Glenfiddich 14 was also a favorite, with Lipton-tea-like bitterness and acidity on the finish, one taster said. Panelists found both whiskies approachable and easy to drink. Average price: $55.
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Jp Wisers Rye Canadian Whisky $20
This rye whisky managed to find the perfect median of complex and balanced, offering a smooth texture that crawls up the glass. Wisers rye is brimming with oak and toasted grain notes with an enduring rich toffee finish. Not only is this blend bold enough for life on the rocks, it is also light enough to make any cocktail flourish.
The Best Supermarket Whiskey Offers
Whiskey is undoubtedly one of the finer things in life, but you no longer have to be a member of the landed gentry to afford the famous names and there are plenty of high quality own brand options to choose from too. Whether youre partial to Jack, Jim or Johnnie, read on to find which supermarket gets you quality whiskey at the best price
Weve scoured the aisles of your favourite supermarkets to find the best value whiskey, so you can join the drinking elite without selling a kidney. Some findings:
- Lidls Queen Margot Blended Scotch and Aldis Highland Earl Scotch are the best value bottles, working out at just 37p per measure – that’s £14.99 a bottle
- ASDA boasts 8 out of the 20 best value whiskey bottles. Sainsburys also does well with 4.
- There are a whopping 621 bottles for sale across all supermarkets!
For nabbing the big names without overspending, ASDA is a clear winner, though a big shout out goes to Morrisons with the joint-best branded scotch and bourbon varieties.
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If You Choose Your Whiskey Wisely It’s Okay To Be Cheap
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Going cheap with whiskey is a gamble. While you may not want to spend over $20 for a bottle, there’s a good chance of buying something that you’ll regret because cheap whiskey can be like drinking fire. For that reason, its best to stick with whiskey thats not the cheapest but, instead, a good value compared to other whiskeys.
Whether youre a fan of bourbon, rye, or Irish whiskey, there are a handful of good whiskeys that every frugal drinker should know. Youll even find a budget-friendly Scotch and, of course, theres always moonshine. Generally not the smoothest, most of these are best in mixed drinks, though a few are nice straight, too.
Here are the best cheap whiskeys.
Four Roses Yellow Label
Four Roses focus on rye-driven mash bills and multiple yeast strains translates to a bourbon that is rich in cereal and fruity fermentation notes. The palate is bright and delicate, and while lacking the luxurious richness of other bottles, this bourbon serves an attractive and memorable spice note on the finish. Average price: $19.
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Four Roses Kentucky Small Batch Straight Bourbon
Blended from less than 35 barrels, theres a tale to this bourbons name. In 1884, Paul Jones Jr. transported his grocery business from Atlanta, Georgia to Louisville, Kentucky. Four years later, now a whiskey maker, he trademarked the name Four Roses according to legend after sending a proposal of marriage to a beautiful Southern belle. She is said to have replied saying that if the answer was yes then shed wear a corsage of roses in her dress to the coming ball, although she ended up saying no. While he may have been bitter, this bourbon is rich, buttery and honeyed with popcorn, Christmas spice, blackened fruitcake and vanilla.
Colonel Eh Taylor Straight Rye
A Whiskey Comeback with a Dark FinishProof: 50
Another promising rye variety is the Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye which has made a comeback in the US. With notes that bring out more spices, this old-fashioned sour mash variety is made of no-corn rye with a 50 proof that makes for a long yet spicey finish. Flavors include pepper, chili powder, barrel spices, and even chocolate for a decadent touch.
This best sipping whiskey lets you appreciate the cinnamon, dark fruits, and candy sweetness that will spike your palate to want more. This whiskey rye was the revival no one saw coming, and for less than $85, its a bang for the buck.
The Bougie Bet with Chocolate Malt BarleyProof: 46
The Glenmorangie Signet is a labor of love made with distilled chocolate malt barley. Its known for its dark, roasted, and bitter flavors. Of the Scotch variety, this sipping whiskey type has a 46 proof and boasts hints of orange, vanilla, and even ginger for an incredibly unique selection of ingredients.
Many avid fans of the Glenmorangie Signet find it relatively smooth with a medium finish that is both satisfying without leaving an ethanol burn on the tongue. Maturation of this sipping whiskey is done with Sherry and new charred oak casks that blend rich flavors with a toasty surprise.
Striking Buttery GoodnessProof: 50
Chocolate Concoction with a Berry PunchProof: 92
Campfire Nostalgia with a Salted Caramel FinishProof: 80
Bittersweet Fruity PunchProof: 90
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Best Single Malt: The Balvenie 12
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
Region: Speyside| ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Raisins
As with a lot of spirits, the lower-priced expression exemplifies a brand, according to Chasse. This 12-year-old entry scotch speaks to the heart and soul of its distillery, she says. The vanilla and cinnamon spice that come through are so indicative of Balvenie.”
But its special double-wood aging, first in former bourbon barrels made of American oak and then in first-fill oloroso sherry butts, add unique layers of flavor. Its roundness is abetted by those nice, raisinated notes from the fortified wine, Chasse says, yet its balanced enough that its not overly sweet. All in all, its a lot of scotch for the price.
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
At a price point awash with weak, lower-alcohol offerings, Knob Creeks Single Barrel Reserve makes for an ideal alternative. Aged for nine years and clocking in at a hearty 120-proof, it might not explicitly mention barrel proof anywhere on the bottle, but thats essentially what youre getting and at just $42 to boot. In practice, this means that it provides a characteristic tingling sensation on the nose, after which youll find that its creamy sweetness softens through the palate and a mixture of oak, cinnamon, and leather finishes it off strong.
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$: Benchmark Old No 8
Spirit: BourbonProof: 80Approx. cost:$11
If I were transported back to being a broke 22-year-old dipsomaniac once again, what would I be drinking? Benchmark Old No. 8 from Buffalo Trace fits the bill. A rye-heavy bourbonthough not a true rye, per sethe whiskeys ABV is as low as legally possible, but still flavorful enough: a strong caramel note with just enough vanilla to let you know it was kept in barrels for a few years. At this price point you wont fare much better, mainly because you cant find many other bourbons so cheap. Unfortunately, Old No. 8 can be hard to find itself, no matter how low on the shelf you check.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
This amber gem has a peaty aroma that reminded one panelist of maple bacon, and another of crackers and brie. A silky, honey-sweet texture gently ascends to a peppery kick, with tingling spice sticking to the cheeks and lips. This is one to sit with and savor on a crisp night, hopefully with something to celebrate, one panelist said. Average price: $185.
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Glen Moray Speyside Elgin Heritage 18 Year
Bright amber and almost glistening, this attractive dram reminded one taster of a forest on a fall morning at dawn. Crisp, crunchy leaves, new oak, and a hint of hot toddy float from the glass, while the palate is creamy with a peppery twinge on the tip of the tongue, one panelist said. A great fall sipper for those looking to add a bit of quiet spice to their night or day!, one taster said. Average price: $94.
Best For Sipping: Jp Wisers 18 Year Old Blended
courtesy of Wine.com
“This whisky stands out for its complexity in flavors, which is driven by the usage of the barrels , says Frederic Najem, the director of food and beverage at Loews Philadelphia Hotel. It has an aroma of earth, smoke and rye on the nose. This whisky is well balanced at a great price. Perfect for sipping, this spirit is aged for 18 years.
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Old Heaven Hill Bottled In Bond
Toasted Oak Tradition with a Leather TouchProof: 100
A staple in sipping whiskey tours, Old Heaven Hill plays around with sweet citrus hints. Expect a pleasing aroma from this whiskey, thanks to its rye spice, butterscotch, and mint notes. Nosing this liquor will make you linger on leather, brown sugar, and citrus, while the palate follows with caramel, toasted oak, green apple, cinnamon, and walnuts.
Its a whiskey variety thats more on the thin side, smooth and lightweight despite not being a marquee brand. Aged for at least four years, this sipping whiskey honors tradition with a stamp on the label that proudly says Bottled in Bond.
Not for the Faint of HeartProof: 96
A Scottish contender for the best sipping whiskey, the Laphroaig Quarter Cask draws a fine line between rye and bourbon. With its reputation for being peat-heavy and single smoky malt, it sat in smaller oak barrels for up to 5 to 11 years. Having 48 proof, a glass of Laphroaig Quarter Cask hits with a smoldering seaweed accompanied with briny notes of wood sweetness.
With a medium-bodied palate, sugarcane and vanilla extract will surprise you as your palate makes its way through the smokehouse fumes. This sipping whiskeys finish is long and packs a punch with bitter spent wood lingering as it makes its way down your throat.
The Best Bottle Of Whiskey For Every Budget
When people find out I write about intoxicants for a living, I get asked lots of questionsthe most prominent one being, Really, they pay you for that? But lately, Im continually getting asked what bourbons to buy, whether people want to drink it, flip it, or simply show off their #bourbonporn on Instagram.
The question is simple: If person X has Y dollars, what would be the best bottle he could reasonably purchase? Reasonably is a critical word. Sure, Old Rip Van Winkle might be the best with a MSRP of $40but good luck finding it on shelves, and good luck finding it anywhere for less than $200. For the sake of this exercise, were going to ignore those white whalesthe bourbons you can only score if you camp out, win store lotteries, or know a guy. There will be a few tricky picks on this list. You wont be able to saunter into your local BevMo! and nab everything in one awesome Supermarket Sweep-style booze run, but with a little effort and cash, youll be able to track down most of these bad boys.
But why should we limit it to bourbon? There are all sorts of whiskeys worth buying nowadays, and many offer better value since they dont have cult-bourbons cachet. In the following list youll see ryes, Irish whiskeys, Japanese whiskeys, Scotches, and even one weirdo hybrid*. All the best of the best, dollar-for-dollar.
*I will use whiskey with an e at all times, no matter whether that is technically correct, so dont be an annoying pedant.
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Rebel Yell Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Not just for Billy Idol fans, this whiskey is made in the style of W.L Wellers wheated bourbons. Full of honey and raisin flavors, Rebel Yell is a bargain, as it displays the flavor profile of something much more expensive. By buying Rebel Yell, though, youll be left with cash money in your pocket to either a) buy ingredients for some cocktails or b) buy another bottle. If youre in this position, choose option B.
Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Wild Turkeys mash bill is high in corn, which softens its high strength. Soften it even more by adding a splash of water to appreciate the buttery chocolate, gingerbread, tobacco leaf and toffee flavours. Wild Turkey 101 makes a great old fashioned, best appreciated when stirred down with a touch of demerara as well as white sugar.
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Gold International Wine & Spirits Competitions 2017
Widely considered to be one of the best single malts for the money, Highland Park 12 is a brilliant combination of mild smoke and brine with the right amount of sweetness in the form of honey and fruit. The result is a whisky whose drinkability and intrigue rest at the top of the heap. Highland Park can brag as one of only two Orkney Isle distilleries in existence, and its briny peat is used in careful amounts so as not to dominate the drinking experience. For less than $50, you can experience one of the best single malts around.
The 10 Best Affordable Whiskeys Under $35
Older doesn’t always mean better for whiskey, and neither does more expensive. Phenomenal whiskey deals can be found for those looking to spend wisely by shopping the opposite side of the “Pappy” spectrum. While the availability of wonderful whiskey really explodes at the $40-$45 range, herein we’re digging deeper to find the top 10 best whiskeys under $35.
First, a few ground rules. With prices, taxes and availability so variable from one locale to the next, for consistency’s sake, only widely-available labels are included here, and prices are all taken from the same sourceleading online retailer Binny’s, for full 750 ml bottles.
Facebook/Buffalo Trace Distillery
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Should You Filter Whiskey
More common with vodka, some people think that running cheap liquor through a water filter or charcoal improves the taste. This hack may seem like it works, but its not a great approach. For instance, activated charcoal water filters can actually remove some of the whiskeys desirable flavors, not just its harshness. While its typically done before aging if you want to experiment, follow Tennessee whiskeys Lincoln County Process, and use regular charcoal. In reality, it may cost you more to try and improve the cheapest whiskeys than to spend a little more on one that is drinkable straight out of the bottle.