Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year
Aged in ex-bourbon casks for 14 years and finished in new, charred oak barrels, this single malt whiskey has a complex flavor profile. We can taste dark fruit, toffee, and cinnamon to spice things up. It has a subtle Mexican vanilla taste in the finish.
If your idea of a perfect whiskey is fruity, the Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year might be the one whiskey for you.
Read: Glenfiddich vs Glenlivet
Best Special Barrel: The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Madiera Cask
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
ABV: 45% | Age: 10 years | Volume: 750 ml
It’s fun to taste spirits aged in a variety of barrels. The previously used wood soaks up flavors from its former inhabitant and imparts those qualities to the new liquor. That’s what happened in The Tyrconnell 10-Year-Old Madeira Cask, which is produced at the Cooley Distillery .
This 92-proof single malt whiskey is finished in Portuguese Madeira casks for six to eight months. Madeira is a fortified wine thats noted for its caramelized fruity flavors, and that juicy sweetness translates wonderfully into the whiskey. Apples, citrus, and berries are just a few fascinating flavors that make it an enjoyable drink. Its a solid whiskey thats smooth and has the perfect spicy finish to keep you pouring another round.
For a world-class whiskey that’s worth every penny, we recommend the renowned Redbreast 15 Year Irish Whiskey . Another great option is the top-rated, award-winning, and relatively affordable The Irishman Single Malt .
Kavalan Concertmaster Single Malt Whiskey
Kavalan is the first whisky to be produced in Taiwan, taking its name from the indigenous inhabitants of the northeastern part of the island. As Kim explains: “Taiwan is really hothotter than Kentucky in summer, so you get a complex, rich single malt with less time in the barrel.” She particularly loves the sweetly nutty Kavalan Concertmaster, aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in port casks.
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Is There A Misconception Of Blended Scotch Whisky
Out of all the Scotch whisky sold in the world, its estimated 90% of it is a blend.
When a blended whisky carries an age statement , that statement pertains to the youngest whisky in the blend. For example, Johnnie Walker Black Label 12-Year-Old consists of whisky thats been aged for 12 years or more. The biggest misconception about blended Scotch is that because of this, the quality is lacking. We asked the whisky experts, is there a misconception about the quality of blended Scotch Whisky? and heres what they had to say.
Theres absolutely a misconception about blended whisky! For the longest time blends were the king of whisky, only in the last 50 years or so did single malts become popular. That isnt to say that every blended whisky on the market is good there are certainly some underwhelming drams out there but theyve definitely received an undeserved bad rap over the last few decades, said Oliver Maruda, a whisky expert and co-founder of The Whisky List.
Best Bourbon: Henry Mckenna Single Barrel
Courtesy of Drizly
Region: Kentucky | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Vanilla, Cinnamon
Bourbon aficionados have to become familiar with a whole bevy of inscrutable terms”age statement,””bottled-in-bond,””single barrel”but even the casual imbiber who doesn’t know all the definitions would have to conclude it’s impressive if a whole bunch of them show up on the same bottle. Produced at Heaven Hill Distillery, the Henry Mckenna Single Barrel is the only extra-aged, bottled-in-bond, single-barrel bourbon currently available today. If that doesn’t impress you, it was also named “Best in Show” at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, due in no small part to its generous palate featuring notes of caramel, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Region: Speyside, Scotland| ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Raisin, Vanilla, Spice
Among an abundance of single malt scotch to choose from, with various regions showcasing different styles and flavors, The Balvenie stands out as one of the best. The distillery was an early adopter of cask finishes with its DoubleWood 12, which is matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in sherry casks.
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Our Methodology To Select And Rank The Best Whisky Brands In The World
A combination of well-loved favorites, classic choices, and a few left-wing options made up our list of the 15 best whiskies in the world. In order to choose which brand was the best fit for each category, we took into consideration a variety of characteristics and expert opinions.
Price, flavor profile, and unique qualities of each brand were compared to compile the list, leading to an overall top 15 that we recommend sampling.
Brief History Of Sazerac Rye
The French Quarter has always been a place of good times and strong drinks. In the early19th century, rye whiskey from the American heartland was shipped down the Mississippi River to the growing city of New Orleans.
At that time, saloons masqueraded as coffee houses began popping up all over the city.
One of these establishments was the Sazerac Coffee House, which quickly became known for its unique cocktail made with rye whiskey, absinthe, and bitters.
This tasty libation soon became the signature drink of the Sazerac Coffee House, and in 1869, it was officially christened The Sazerac.
Today, our Sazerac Rye pays tribute to this rich history with its unrestrained taste and character.
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Glenfiddich 21 Year Gran Reserva
We think all whisky newbies should all try a top-shelf bottle, if possible, to get the full picture of what whisky can be. This Glenfiddich 21 Year Gran Reserva is a good way to do just that. Its maturity has shaved down the bite, letting you fully appreciate the whiskys elegant subtleties. The single malt is finished in Caribbean rum casks, imbuing unique hints of banana, spicy toffee, and other fruits.
With the Gran Reserva, youre also getting acquainted with one of the worlds quintessential whisky brands. Glenfiddich has been around since 1887 and is currently the worlds best-selling single-malt whisky. The storied brand is a staple in any whisky connoisseurs bar, and certainly worth trying if youre just getting into the spirit.
If youre a longtime whisky drinker, then you probably know that a 21-year bottle of Glenfiddich is a damn good whisky, through and through. Pick it up as a nice gift for any fellow whisky lovers, or tuck it away for special occasions .
Willet The Iron Fist Or The Velvet Glove 23 Year Old Rye
If there was any aspect of the world of whiskey that needs to finally have a book written about it, its the early single barrel expressions released when Willett came back in 2006 after almost four decades of being gone. Willetts The Iron Fist and The Velvet Glove are a pair of very different rye whiskies that were produced in tandem as independent expressions with similar age and alcohol statements. As some of the earliest expressions the brand released, these legendary straight rye whiskey bottles are just as hard to find as Pappy. If you manage to find a bottle of either, pick it up. If you manage to find both, we better be your first call after checking your line of credit. $2,300
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Best Overall Angels Envy Rum Cask Finished Rye Whiskey
Angels Envy Rye Finished in Plantation XO Rum Casks is one of the best. From the creator of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Whiskey Advocate named this rye as one of the Top 10 Whiskies in the Summer 2013 Issue.
Angels Envy Rye was Finished in Plantation XO Rum Casks and is only released twice each year in the autumn and spring. The rum casks that were used for the whiskey were also used to age French cognac.
This adds an additional layer of complexity to the palate. Its described by Caskers as A collision of bold flavors as the raw, spicy rye mingles with the mellow sweetness of the rum, culminating in a unique spirit.
Irish Whiskey: What Is It And Where Does It Come From
The triple distillation process, which gives Irish Whiskey its silky smooth finish, is a significant and, in many ways, the most essential component influencing its style.
For legal purposes, the whiskey has to be Irish-made, triple-distilled, and wood-aged for a minimum of three years. While most Irish whiskey is blended, several distilleries are experimenting with single malt versions as a different approach. There are several exceptions to the rule, such as Cooley’s Connemara Irish whiskey, which is unpeated. Irish whiskey is often triple-distilled, although it’s not always the case. Irish whiskey used to be created primarily in pot stills, but nowadays it may be either pot-distilled or a blend of column- and pot-distilled spirits.
It’s important to know the difference between pot still and single pot still, which refers to a whiskey made from a pot-distilled blend of malted and unmalted barley. This gives the whiskey a distinct oiliness and spice flavor that’s both delectable and unique. Enzymes may be added to Irish whiskies to help prepare starches for fermentation.
When it comes to maturation, Irish whiskies may be aged in a variety of casks, including Madeira, Sherry, Bourbon, and rum barrels, and completed barley whiskies can also be combined with grain whiskies to create the final product.
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How We Decided What Made The List
This article is aimed at everyone but we didnt want to put out a list of the best bourbons in the world and for them to all be ridiculously expensive or rare to the point where youd have to sell a kidney to get hold of one.
We dont have the funds to purchase a lot of those kinds of bottles anyway and Im sure most people reading this dont either.
Some really good bourbons out there will be expensive though.
So we decided to split the list into two with the following criteria:
Best Budget Jameson Irish Whiskey
This iconic Irish whiskey is always distilled three times and has been consistently aged for four years, even before there were any aging requirements.
The whiskeys distinctive taste profile makes it an excellent choice for use in cocktails. Its versatility means it can be used in both classic and modern drinks, such as the whiskey sour or Jameson and Ginger.
Jameson is floral when smelled and boasts hints of caramel notes combined with vanilla and almonds. The finish is smooth with notes of sherry and sweet fruit.
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Best Overall: Henry Mckenna Single Barrel Bourbon
Courtesy of Drizly
Region: Kentucky | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Honey, Vanilla
From Heaven Hill Distillery, this Henry Mckenna bourbon was named “Best in Show” at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and with good reason. Aged in oak barrels, this bourbon is the only extra-aged bottled-in-bond single barrel bourbon available and offers a smooth, sumptuous, structured flavor profile.
Xania Woodman, bar manager and lead bartender at O.P. Rockwell Cocktail Lounge & Music Hall, describes the 10-year-old bourbon as rich and buttery, “like butterscotch candy,” but with an appreciable bite. And for all its attributes, the price point isn’t as exorbitant as some other celebrated bourbons. It just goes to show you, says Woodman, that an astronomical price doesn’t necessarily indicate actual quality.
Best Peated Scotch: Bowmore 15 Years Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The quintessential crowd-pleaser, Bowmore 15 effuses enough smokiness to entice peat lovers while also serving a profile thats approachable for those new to the style. A prominent characteristic though it is, smoke is but one feather in this single malts cap. Expect vibrant aromas of red berries and violets, followed by the rich, powerful character of dried fruits and honeyed nuts on the palate. Average price: $90.
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Sit Back Relax And Enjoy One Of These Deliciously Malty Tipples
Are you looking for the best whisky to buy? Or do you want to know more about how to choose the finest whisky for your budget? We’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision, whatever your preferences.
Whisky has long been a popular tipple in the British Isles and Ireland, with a history dating back to at least the 15th century. Empire and emigration took the spirit worldwide and whisky is now globally popular in three distinct types: peaty, double-distilled Scotch whisky lighter, triple-distilled Irish whiskey and the sweeter bourbon-style whiskies produced in the US.
While the drink fell out of popularity for a short while in the late 20th century, whisky has recently overtaken vodka as the UKs most popular spirit and most local pubs will offer a good selection of malts and blends.
But how do you find the best whisky? Weve sipped our way through a selection to help you find the whisky that will best suit you.
- Best blended whisky | Naked Grouse Scotch
The Singleton Of Dufftown 54
The Singleton Of Dufftown 54-Year-Old is the oldest single malt release from The Singleton of Dufftown and Diageo. It was only available in exceptionally limited quantities when it was released. It is a rich deep amber and has a light body. Its sweet with hints of fruit and spice on the palate.
This 54-year-old whisky was aged in a precious oak butt cask that was slowly hand-filled on October 31, 1966, and sealed in time. Finally, it was transferred to a Pedro-Ximenez Sherry-seasoned cask for its exquisite final maturation.
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The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old
Macallan is a fixture in the high-end whiskey world. Theyve been around since 1824, and theyre still one of the best-selling Scotch brands in the world. In fact, they were one of the first to mass-produce single malt whiskey.
We like Macallans Sherry Oak 12-Year for two reasons: firstly, its matured in unique Oloroso sherry-seasoned oak casks from Spain. These casks introduce a bit of fruitiness and floral spice to the flavor. Secondly, with 12 years of age, its a mature, premium scotch yet much more attainable than Macallans older bottles .
Macallan makes a Speyside whiskey, meaning theyre distilled in Strathspey, Scotland, which just happens to be the home of the other two best-selling Scotch whiskeys in the world: Glenfiddich and Glenlivet. Speysides are characterized by a sweeter and fuller flavor thats more approachable for beginner whiskey drinkers.
Best Blended Scotch: Johnnie Walker 18 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky
As the second child in the Johnnie Walker family, many might look past this 18-year-old release in favor of the brands iconic Blue Label bottling. Where value for money is concerned, this could be considered a mistake. With an average price of around half its elder siblings, this expression comes exceedingly close in terms of quality, complexity, and depth of flavor, delivering a greatest hits of the many styles of Scotch in one harmonious blend. Average price: $91.
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The Best Whiskey To Invest In For 2022 And Beyond
Investors should be just as familiar with different whiskey types as they are with whiskey brands. Oftentimes, a single corporation will own several whiskey brands that each produce many single malt and blended varieties each characterized by the grain blend they’re made from, the species of wood the cask is made from, and how long the whiskey aged in the cask. The flavor and quality of a whiskey are determined mostly by these three traits.
It’s not enough for a whiskey to just have desirable traits it must also be exclusive and highly sought after. Name brands produce great quality whiskey, but quantity must be taken into consideration before investing. Investors prefer limited edition and vintage whiskeys for the highest return on investment because their rarity and scarcity drive up their value.
Best blended Scotch: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen
First on the list is a limited-release Blue Label from Johnnie Walker called Ghost and Rare Port Ellen. This 2020 release is the second in a series of “ghost” whiskeys, meaning whiskies from distilleries that no longer exist. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen is a blend of three ghost whiskies and five rare malts that compose a unique and complex flavor profile.
Best single barrel Tennessee whiskey: Uncle Nearest 11 Year 1820 Premium Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey
Best blended Bourbon: Blood Oath Pact No. 8
Best Japanese blend: Hibiki
Best Rye Whiskey: Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Rye
Bookers Rye 13 Year Old Big Time Batch
The first rye whiskey ever released by the iconic Bookers brand, Bookers Rye 13 Year Old Big Time Batch immediately went on to get declared World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murrays Whisky Bible2017. As you might imagine, that made the already hard to find bottle almost double in price. If you can find a bottle of this whiskey for anything near its $300 retail price, buy it immediately because Murray himself described it as a simply staggering example of a magnificent rye showing exactly what genius in terms of whiskey actually means. Thats high praise coming from a man thats tasted over 4,500 different whiskies. $300
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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.