The Glenfiddich 21 Year Old
The Glenfiddich distillery is synonymous with Speyside whisky, and this expression is ripe with the brands signature cereal grain and subtle oak notes. Ah, but malt master Brian Kinsman adds a sublime touch, finishing the 21 Year Old in Caribbean rum casks that rouse exotic fruit flavors such as mango, lime, and banana. Opens soft on the palate and then busts a move toward brisk and peppery, with smoke and ginger on a very long and warming finish.
The Best Rye For Cocktails
The peppery bite of rye makes for some of the greatest whiskey cocktails, and the 19 bartenders we polled were pretty united on their favorite options. Here are two ryes that come highly recommended, plus a few more bottles that bartenders say are worth trying.
More bartenders recommended this bottle than any otherand for many drink pros, the bold, spicy rye has been a favorite for years. It has more complexity than many pricier ryes, notes Gaby Mlynarczyk, who describes the spirit as boasting hints of chocolate, spice, and dried fruit. Others say they taste cinnamon candy and orange peel. And since its overproof, she adds, the heat of the spirit is not bullied out when mixed. Try it in an old fashioned, a Manhattan, or a Sazerac. Daniel Paez of Low Bar in Oakland, California, notes that the subtle sweetness of Rittenhouse plays especially well with any bitter amaro too.
Best Irish Whiskey: Slane Irish Whisky
Courtesy of The Whisky Exchange
Region: Ireland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Spice, Dried Fruit
Slane Irish Whiskeys unique triple cask process shines beautifully in a highball, showcasing its notes of tropical and stone fruits, baking spices, and caramelized sugars, says Luke Nevin-Gattle, bar manager at Broken Shaker at Freehand in Chicago. My preferred serve is a Slane Highball built as follows: 1.5 ounces of chilled Slane Irish Whiskey, served over clear ice in a tall glass, with a cold premium sparkling mineral water very gently stirred in, and a garnish of a freshly manicured orange peel.
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North Of Scotland Single Grain Scotch Whisky
This is the first and only official bottling from the North of Scotland Distillery Co, Alloa: a single-grain Scotch whisky aged in bourbon casks for more than 50 years. This is a rare chance to taste long-aged whisky from this lost distillery and experience a drop of history. North of Scotland Distillery started producing whisky in 1957 and closed in 1980.
£950, buy it here
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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Balvenie 12 Doublewood Review
Slightly red caramel
NOSE Complex tropical and orchard fruit opens up. It leans a bit heavy on the tropical side with honey, vanilla, and a nice dessert sweetness giving support. A few dashes of malt and sweet cocoa add more dimension and excitement.
PALATE Muddled tropical and orchard fruit laced with caramel and honey dance across the tongue followed by light notes of wood, malt, dark sweetness, red licorice and a hint of melon. The flavor takes on a noticeably darker character.
FINISH Malt and wood and fruit and char and something intriguing that I cant quite pinpoint pleasantly linger long after the dram is gone.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL There is a nice harmony to this whisky and its carried on a medium body and a smooth oily texture.
OVERALL The Balvenie 12 DoubleWood is one of my favorite kicking-it-around-the-house sipping whiskies. It has enough complexity to keep it interesting and fun, but light enough to fit into almost any occasion. That warm fruit and honey nose that slips into darkly sweet and fruit palate and fades out in equal parts sweet and rustic puts a smile on my face every time. It also pairs well with food and makes great cocktails if youre so inclined. Its just an all around great whisky.
Pappy Van Winkles Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
Grab this, hoard this, and only ever serve it to people who you know will appreciate it. From its beautiful copper color to its sophisticated nose, it starts strong and then never lets you down. Its silky mouthfeel reveals dark chocolate, cinnamon and walnut under a cloud of elegant smoke. And the finish is a surprisingly full mixture of pepper and honey, Preston Van Winkle likens it to a cognac, but you can really drink it any time. Just dont ever mix it with Coke.
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How To Make An Old
Finally, I want to leave one final interesting resource here on this page: a proper tutorial on how to make an Old-Fashioned. I personally can not make one, I still have to practise many times before mine is getting there so I could not show you. So, this is a great example of a skilled bartender creating an Old-Fashioned.
The recipe from the video can be improved by using a bigger ice-cube but those are details. In general I enjoyed the video and think that the bartender explains it well.
Buffalo Trace Wl Weller 12
There are few bourbons more coveted than Pappy Van Winkle 12-Year Lot B. The problem: That bottle is impossible to find without a tremendous markup. Our advice: skip the Lot B and get this bottle instead. Regaled as the inexpensive Van Winkle Lot B, this wheated bourbon is one of the best values on the market, says Bill Thomas, owner and whiskey curator at Washington, D.C.s Jack Rose Dining Saloon. Though it’s quickly becoming scarce, it shouldn’t run more than $40. There are plenty of bloggers out there who think that you can approximate a bottle of Pappy blending this with another whiskey, but why bother when it’s so good?
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Pittyvaich 30 Year Old
First, the bad newsthe Pittyvaich Distillery is no more. Indeed, in the grand scheme of Scotch-making, it hardly ever was. Built in 1974 in Dufftown, Pittyvaich produced malt whisky for blends up until 1993, when it was shuttered for good . Fortunately, some stocks survived, including this gem, finished in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. Medium-bodied, lightly oily and smooth in texture, the taste is rich and creamy vanilla-sweet, with fruity acidity for balance. It gets drier as it spends time in the glass, and closes warm with a sweet flourish.
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.
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$4: Angels Envy Bourbon
Spirit: BourbonProof: 86.6Approx. cost: $44
As we move beyond the $40 price point, we find manufacturers willing to be a little more playful with products like with High Wests scotch/bourbon/rye blend, Campfire. Angels Envy is another such release, a blend of four- to six-year-old bourbons finished in French-oak port barrels. That injection of wine adds a great chocolate-covered-cherries zing to the already toffee-like flavor profile. Im sure some annoying know-it-all has told you before that angels share refers to the portion of whiskey lost due to evaporation during aging. Well, this is supposedly the bourbon angels are envious they werent able to nab. Youll have no such trouble so long as youve got a valid I.D and no court orders against you.
Others: Dads Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey, High West Campfire, Old Forester 1870 Original Batch, Smooth Ambler Old Scout
What Is Irish Whiskey
Irish whiskey is a style of whiskey that must be made in Ireland and meet certain criteria that is defined by law. It is customarily triple distilled in copper pot stills and bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume or slightly higher. The majority of Irish whiskey is blended, and other styles include single malt, single pot, and single grain.
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Henry Mckenna Single Barrel 10
Bourbon doesnt get much better than this Henry Mckenna Single Barrel. It won Best in Show Whiskey at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, which is one of the highest honors for any brand. Plus, this bottle is only the second bourbon to get the award.
Henry Mckenna is part of the Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Distillery, which is known for other award-winning whiskeys such as Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon and Pikesville Rye Whiskey. This specific bottle of Mckenna comes from a single barrel of bourbon thats been aged 10 years, but despite that prestigious number, the whiskey isnt too expensive at all.
Bimber Spirit Of The Underground
Current auction value: £350-£650Trending: up first appeared at auction for £350
The Bimber distillery is based in London and is a new addition to the single malt industry. The first Bimber casks were laid down in 2016 and their first release, Bimber the First, followed in 2019. Perhaps their most ambitious endeavour to date, the Spirit of the Underground series is a collection produced in collaboration with TfL to celebrate the London Underground. The first release is set to be available in May and will consist of four single cask bottlings representing four of the most major tube stations: Waterloo, Kings Cross St Pancras, Baker St, and Oxford Circus. Bimber has hit the ground running with this release at the first launch will include 3 of the busiest tube stations in London, and as a result the most tourist focused. This series is targeting a huge array of people, many outside of the typical whisky buyer and at £125 per bottle is more likely to be bought by this new demographic. Whilst there is not yet a definite method of sale, it has been advised by Bimber that joining their mailing list will be the best way to find out how to buy these bottles when they are launched.
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Best Rye: Michters 10 Year Kentucky Straight Rye
One of the most sought after of the year, Michters 10 Year rye is one to write home about. Its big, its spicy, and its well balanced. If you can, snap up a bottle noweven if youre going to wait till the holidays to gift it. As with most Kentucky ryes, the spice is the thing. But that heat is amazingly balanced with sweet notes of vanilla, toffee, marzipan, and a subtle pop of orange.
For fans of blended whiskies, wed recommend Johnnie Walkers flagship Blue Label. The folks at the Striding Man take a secret selection of grain and malt whiskies from the Diageo portfolio from across Scotland, including Cardhu and Clynelish, to create a phenomenal bottle that many retailers will engrave. Vanilla and honey rise to meet cacao and sherried fruits that lead into a signature smoky-sweet finish. Its a crowd-pleaser that any whisky drinker would be proud to display on the shelf.
Bushmills Black Bush Whiskey
This spicy blend is a favorite of Jack McGarry, a co-owner of The Dead Rabbit in New York. Due to the heavy Sherry component, Jack says, the blend possesses wonderful Christmas cake notes of dried fruits and the prerequisite Christmas spices. Despite its festive wintertime flavors, its suitable for year-round consumption when poured in a timeless whiskey glass.
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Macallan 18 Year Old Double Cask
Description: The other addition to Macallans Double Cask range.
Nose: A darker nose compared to the last one. Dark chocolate and turmeric predominate, with undertones of oak and leather.
Taste: The darkness gives way to a ray of fruity light. Its surprisingly fresh and soft compared to the nose, and beautifully balanced. Raisins, persimmons, ginger, raspberries and blackberries.
Overall: Delightfully soft. 8
Best Kentucky Bourbon: Evan Williams Single Barrel
Region: Kentucky | ABV: 43.3% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Oak
Each bottle of this Evan Williams bourbon lists barrel numbers, the date it entered the barrel, and the date of bottling. One of Heaven Hill Distilleryâs most-awarded whiskeys, this reasonably-priced single barrel is big, balanced, spicy and sweet, and enjoys a backbone of honey and citrus.
âItâs straightforward, flavorful, not heavy-handed, and terrific neat,â says Jeff Moses, a Charleston-based spirits entrepreneur. âI like it best when I have it with a meal like a barbecue or a rotisserie chicken.â
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Best Single Estate: Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
Region: Highlands | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Wild herbs, Honey, Roasted nuts, Floral
The whiskies from Glenmorangie pair so well with food, Tardie remarks, “I’m convinced that the distiller is more of a fan of wine than whisky.
Produced using estate-grown malted barley and matured 15 years in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, this lithe, floral scotch complements a variety of summertime meals. Open the whisky up with some water and try it with marinated grilled chicken, barbecued spare ribs, mint-laced salads or fresh berries for dessert. Its honey-blossom nose leads to vanilla and roasted nuts, a delightful herbaceousness, and a hint of orange.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost And Rare Port Ellen
Single malts hog the headlines, but some of the finest whiskies on the planet are blends. This superb creation showcases fabled Islay ghost distillery Port Ellens peated savour alongside rare grain whiskies from closed Carsebridge and Caledonian, plus aged malt from Mortlach, Dailuaine, Cragganmore, Blair Athol and Oban. At a few hundred quid, its a snip. Alc 43.8%
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The Tastiest Bourbons Ryes And Malts To Buy Right Now
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
While limited-release bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle or deeply aged single malts like Macallan 25 are hyper-scarce and expensive, you can still find a brilliant whiskey at your local shop and online for more modest sums.
A great whisky is simply one that tastes incredible, says Brendan McCarron, Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks, The Glenmorangie Company. The whiskies I love most always have balancelots of different flavors and aromas playing off each other. You need to be able to taste the distillery character and the influence of the wood for a whisky to be truly great.
If youre looking for a delicious whiskey to enjoy, here are top-notch bottles across a variety of styles to try.
If you arent familiar with the story of Nathan Nearest Green, an enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, you should be. He is believed to have perfected the proprietary Lincoln County Process for making Tennessee whiskey, which includes a maple charcoal filter that sets it apart from other methods of production.
Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack
For a lot of guys, Jack Daniels is a go to drink. It mixes well with just about anything and has a solid flavor. Gentleman Jack is a top-shelf version, undergoing additional steps to give it unequaled smoothness. The company refers to this great Tennessee whiskey as double-mellowed, and thats a perfect description of this oaky, caramelly spirit. This bottle is perfect for dads who dont like change but will dont mind a nice upgrade every now and then.
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