Best Campbeltown Scotch Whiskies
Campbeltown juts out toward Ireland from mainland Scotland its a peninsula sandwiched between Islay to the west and the Lowlands to the east. Once home to 34 distilleries and considered the whisky capital of the world, a post-war economic downturn left the region with only a handful of active distilleries. In general, expect Campbeltown whisky to be dry and pungent, with a peatiness thats less smokey and meaty, like that found in Islay, and more earthy decay and fantastic funk.
The Glenlivet Ndurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish
The Glenlivet is a name known everywhere. The Nàdurra line is named for the fact that its released non chill-filtered and at cask strength, or natural. While the rough cut Nàdurra is fantastic and the winner of Double Gold at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, those who want a little more refinement should look no further than The Glenlivet 18.
Yamazaki 25 Years Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky
Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask was another Jim Murray darling and one of the best Japanese whisky bottles you could drink if you could get your hands on it. The Yamazaki 25 Years Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky expresses similarly due to the fact that it was also aged in Sherry casks to impart that dried cherry nose, mahogany color, nuanced taste and masterful finish. As you might have guessed, this is an investment bottle of whisky if you can even find one. $3,000
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Whisky Beginners Dont Fear Heres How To Pick The Best Whiskies To Start
Theres a literal world of whisky out there, but while we know thats cause for celebration it can also be a daunting prospect particularly if youre new to the category. Whats what? Where to start? What to try?
To get you on your way weve put together a guide with the help of Greg Dillon, Editor of the ever-excellent whisky blog GreatDrams and Whisky Wizard at The Dram Team. It details several of the most important styles of world whisky and whos likely to enjoy them, and includes product recommendations for each.
Just want the list? Heres whats on Gregs essential whisky list:
There is also an abridged, embeddable version you can share on your own site if you like. The snippet is available at the end of the page.
John Walker & Sons Diamond Jubilee Scotch Whiskey $157000+
The most expensive whiskey on our list by a long way, John Walker & Sons Diamond Jubilee makes the grade for not only for its royal associations and exclusivity, but also for its distillers reputation as one of the best in the entire world. Its carefully concocted grain and malt whiskey blend, created by Queen Elizabeths official Scotch distillers to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, was carefully matured for 60 years in small wooden casks at Royal Lochnagar Distillery on the edge of the Balmoral Estate.
The whiskey developed slowly from 1952 in containers specially carved from oak from the Queens private Sandringham Estate, with its profits sold in aid of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust last year.
Presented in a Baccarat crystal decanter set with a half carat diamond, a chance to sample this royal whiskey is one that some may argue justifies the hefty price tag.
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From Bourbons To Ryes To Single Malts Neat Or On The Rocks
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Best Sherry Cask Scotch: The GlenDronach Allardice at Drizly
Matured entirely in Spanish Oloroso sherry butts, the 18-year-old whiskey delivers one of the best full-flavored sipping experiences.
Best Canadian:Lot No. 40 Whisky at Drizly
Look for a little bit of spice here, but overall this is a smooth sipper with notes of cocoa and caramel that pop in the palate.
In the big world of whiskeys, there’s a bottle out there for every taste, price point and preference. Nowadays, you can find whiskey made in every corner of Americaindeed, every corner of the worldeach with its own specific character and identity. Whether youre looking for the perfect whiskey to pair with a cocktail, something really smoky and assertive, or a smooth sipper, weve got you covered.
Here are some of the best whiskeys you can get your hands on now.
Glenfarclas 17 Year Old
Glenfarclas is one of the few remaining family owned and operated distilleries in all of Scotland. Their core line-up is packaged without fuss or frills, making them a great value and the 17 year just gets it right. Matured exclusively in ex-Oloroso sherry casks, this has big butterscotch and sherried fruit, mix with a little peat smoke for an easy-drinking, reliable Scotch.
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Best Grain Scotch: Compass Box Hedonism
Region: Scotland | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Coconut, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla
A century ago, many Scottish whiskies were made with grains, including corn and wheat, but declined in popularity as big producers started focusing on single malt whiskies. Maverick whisky maker John Glaser rehabilitated it, searching out old grain barrels and blending them together in making Compass Box Hedonism.
H. Joseph Ehrmann, owner of San Franciscos Elixir Saloon and co-founder of Fresh Victor, calls it a head-turner that can open your eyes to the pleasures of grain whisky. With its coconut and caramel notes, it tastes fun, says Tardie. Glasers doing a wonderful service for blended scotch.
Region: Highlands | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Coffee, Espresso, Raisins, Cinnamon
did something innovative, says Tardie. They toasted the barley so much that they call it a chocolate malt.
Just as in beer making, where a chocolate malt adds mocha flavor to a porter or stout, this Highland scotch is rich in cocoa and espresso notes that only deepen over time. Its made from the distillerys oldest whisky35- to 40-year-old scotch, aged in American white oakwhich gives it a gravitas that Tardie appreciates. As you sip it, and as the alcohol burns off, he says, theres a strong characteristic of dark chocolate and coffee grinds.
Makers Mark Bourbon Whisky
If you prefer a nice whiskey cocktail theres no need to splurge on a premium bottle for sipping and discussing. Instead, go for a beloved classic such as Makers Mark Bourbon.
Makers Mark sets itself apart with a recipe that doesnt include rye . Without rye, Makers Maker allows the corn, malted barley and red winter wheat to do the talking. The flavor is less spicy, with more sweetness and citrus.
Although Makers Mark will hold its own simply on the rocks, it really does best in a great cocktail. We like the classics , but also suggest trying lesser known recipes like a Lynchburg Lemonade or Whirl-Y-Gig.
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Jeffersons 17 Year Old Presidential Select $100+
Universally praised as one of the smoothest and silkiest bourbon whiskeys on offer today, Jeffersons exclusive small batch 17 Year Old Presidential Select is the stuff of a whiskey connoisseurs dreams. Released on a limited basis back in 2009 and with demand on the rise as it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain, this well aged Kentucky produced wheated bourbon can be identified by an attractive copper color flickering from amber to mahogany depending on the light.
Jeffersons has since released an 18 Year Old and a 21 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon, which may be easier and cheaper for the American whiskey fan to acquire.
It has a sweet bouquet of coconut, roasted nuts and nougat, with tasting unveiling to the fortuitous drinker syrupy flavors of vanilla, caramel apples and taffy.
Meanwhile Jeffersons younger but no less satisfying regular small batch bourbon won a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2008. The brand produces its soft liquid gold in metal clad warehouses, the heat forcing the bourbon to expand deep into its wooden barrel, releasing the most prevalent flavors.
Balblair 21 Year Old 1993 Gordan & Macphail Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Take everything thats great about the Balblair distillery and combine it with the centuries old Gordan & MacPhail bottling and distilling operation to get an idea of what makes this independent bottling of a two decade old Scotch whisky so special. The 53.4% ABV Highland whisky was bottled at cask strength after being matured in a first-fill Sherry butt from 19932014. Figs, plums, oak, raisins, rum and chocolate are just a few of the things this Sherry monster has to offer in terms of its evolving taste and aroma. If you can find it, this is one of the best Scotch whisky bottles to add to your collection for special occasions. $260
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Most Innovative: Bruichladdich Islay Barley
Region: Islay, Scotland | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Honey, Citrus, Vanilla.
Scotlands Bruichladdich distillery is always experimenting with new innovations. Experiments in the concept of terroir in whisky, aging its annual Octomore series in different barrel types, and often making some of the most heavily peated whisky you can find are just some examples. Their philosophy on whiskey is simple but effective: they care about what they do, and it comes through in their product, says Brendan Bartley, beverage director of Bathtub Gin and The 18th Room. Wiznitzer agrees, noting, This distillery turns out some of the most innovative consumer bottlings in all of Islay. The Islay Barley 2011 release is a true experiment in terroir. Its an unpeated whisky distilled from a mash bill of barley grown on six Islay farms in 2010, highlighting the flavors of stone fruit, green apple and citrus zest that the climate and soil bring to the grain.
Top 10 Best Blended Whiskies In The World
Perfected through trial and error, and created by mixing together some of the best spirits produced all over the world, the development of blended whisky is an art so beautifully expressed in a bottle.
Some of the worlds most popular and sought after Scotch Whisky, Irish Whisky, and Japanese Whisky brands by Whisky connoisseurs and recreational drinkers are blended whisky brands. Equally popular across countries as single malts, these are some of the worlds best blended whisky brands that are the product of labor of many a Master Blenders in distilleries all over the world.
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Ledaig 1996 19 Years Old
Lest ye be mistaken for a whisky neophyte, remember that this single-malt scotch from the Inner Hebrides is pronounced la-chayk or even la-chik . Ledaig, safe haven in Gaelic, is handcrafted at the Tobermory Distillery, the only whisky production facility on the impossibly colorful Isle of Mull. The Ledaig 1996 19 Years Old is what is often referred to as a peat bomb, crackling with smoky goodness from sniff to finish. And bless the ole malt masters heart for all the other wonderful things at play in this whiskytoffee and seaweed on the nose, with apple, orange, and black pepper mingling on the palate. Finishes long, with peaty embers glowing.
These Are The 5 Best Whisky Brands In The World According To The International Wines And Spirits Competition
The International Wines And Spirits Competition is the undisputed authority on the best of the best in the spirit world, especially the world of whisky. Every year, the competitions expert judges announce the worlds best whiskies in the form of Trophy Winners — selected from the Gold Medalists awarded in the categories of single malts, scotch whiskies, bourbons and more.
The selected whiskies are further judged by a panel of IWSCs most experienced jurors, before being handed the coveted title of a Trophy Winner. This years biggest Trophy Winners include five whisky labels, including a beloved 40 YO spirit that you can personalise. Take a look at the winners below.
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Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Perhaps the ultimate whiskey for bargain hunters, its aged for 12 years, bottled uncut and unfiltered, and sells for about $50 . It has all of the characteristics of Heaven Hill bourbons , with flavors of caramel, apple, vanilla, and cinnamon, but with more depth and intensity. This bourbon can be quite dangerous as it doesnt drink as hot as the proof may suggest. It also makes a phenomenal Old Fashioned with just a touch of sugar and a few dashes of bitters.
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
Introduced in 1939, Crown Royal whisky has consistently been one of Canadas leading whiskies since it was made available outside Canada in 1964. The brand claims to have developed the first sample of the whisky by blending together 50 source whiskies in order to commemorate King George VI and Queen Elizabeths first visit to Canada.
These are some of the most desired and loved blended whisky brands in the world.
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Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Chicken Cock was originally established in 1856 out of Paris, Kentucky. It wasnt until years later during prohibition, however, that Chicken Cock became popular as the house whiskey of the Cotton Club, one of the most legendary prohibition speakeasies. Because the brand survived through Americas prohibition, they still know how to make whiskey as they did in the good old days.
This bottle of Kentucky straight bourbon is overseen by Master Distiller and 40+ year veteran Gregg Snyder. The flavor is complex, ends with a smooth finish and boasts a spicy pepper taste. At 90 proof, theres some real heat, so we suggest enjoying this Chicken Cock neat and slowly.
What Should You Mix With Irish Whiskey
Its smoothness and well-rounded whiskey flavor make Irish whiskey an excellent candidate for cocktails. It is famously paired with coffee in the Irish coffee and shines in simple soda highballs. Manhattan-style cocktails are a fantastic use for Irish whiskey, and its a great style choice for nearly any classic whiskey cocktail. While many people associate whiskey with cold-weather drinking, when mixed with fresh ingredients, Irish whiskey can create some bright and refreshing summer-worthy cocktails, too.
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What Is Irish Whiskey Made From
Barley is commonly used to produce a classic style of Irish whiskey. Many distilleries use unmalted barley, some incorporate a portion of malted barley or other cereal grains, and single malt Irish whiskey is made entirely of malted barley. Grain Irish whiskey has a lighter flavor and is distilled from other cereal grains, such as corn or wheat, using column stills. Its also often used when blending Irish whiskey after aging. Single grain Irish whiskey uses just one type of grain.
Best Peated: Talisker Distillers Edition
Region: Isla | ABV: 45.8% | Tasting Notes: Iodine, Earth, Smoke, Dried fruit
A classic Islay scotch subjected to a Highland treatment, i.e. secondary aging in Amoroso sherry butts, this bottle is, at first, big, peaty, and smoky, says Shanahan, but then, you start to see this wonderful new balance created. You get these fruit kickers coming through without being too cloying, but theyre added to the peaty notes of the scotch from the isles.
The sherry-cask fruitiness softens yet also highlights the peat, reminding you of the earthy elements in the scotch, he concludes. Dont be afraid to pair this one with food. Those heavily peated, oily, viscous scotches love seafood or meat, says Tardie. One of my favorite pairings is oysters and peated scotch.
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George Dickel Barrel Select
George Dickel is the second-largest Tennessee whiskey distillery, but its far less well-known that the largest, Jack Daniels. However, George Dickel is often considered superior in quality, and this Barrel Select is the brands finest bottle. Its first steeped in charcoal, mellowing the bite, and then aged 10 to 12 years. Finally, ten barrels are hand-selected by George Dickels Master Distiller, John Lunn.
The award-winning flavor is marked by caramel and corn with hints of vanilla, oak, clove and rye. These fade slowly, leaving a satisfying finish of caramel, cinnamon and vanilla. Its a premium bourbon, so its best enjoyed neat with a drop of water, but also works for making upgraded bourbon cocktails.
Jameson Irish Whiskey The Best Irish Whiskey Brand
In first place on our list of the best Irish whiskey brands is Jameson, which is also one of the most famous Irish whiskey brands around the world.
This is the go-to drink of choice for the majority of whiskey drinkers as, not only is it a well-known brand, but it offers an extremely smooth taste with vanilla and nutty flavours.
That concludes our list of the top ten best Irish whiskey brands. Are there any other Irish whiskey brands that you think deserved a place on our list?
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The Macallan Triple Cask Matured 18 Years Old
Photo: Courtesy of The Macallan
This legendary single malt, formerly known as Fine Oak 18 Years Old, is an amalgam of spirits aged in a trio of different oak caskssherry-seasoned European oak, sherry-seasoned American oak, and American ex-bourbon barrels. Of the many brilliant expressions produced by the Macallan, Triple Cask Matured 18arguably, of coursebest exemplifies the identity of the brands core range: scotch that is exceedingly smooth, elegant, and adorned with disparate tastes that somehow come together in perfect harmony. Dominant flavors include rich dark chocolate, dried coconut, and orange, with subtle notes of vanilla, nutmeg, and wood smoke. Best enjoyed neat with a side of toasted marshmallows dipped in Pedro Ximénez sherry.