Eh Taylor Straight Rye
E.H. Taylor is a bold and spicy rye that, unlike most American rye whiskeys, contains no corn. The resulting barley and rye recipe makes for a peppery, herbal whiskey where we get notes of tobacco, caramel, and layers of wood influence. Its a difficult-to-beat bottle, even with so many choices on the market.
Raasay & Borders Distillers The Tweeddale Grain Of Truth
Tweeddales Grain of Truth is a bold attempt to reclaim the notion of grain whisky as a term to be used with pride. While the rest of the whiskies in this article are single malt whiskies , grain whisky can have other grains, such as wheat, rye or oats, malted or unmalted. Grain whisky normally has a lighter body, and that lightness usually sees it go into blends, rather than use it in its own right.
Here though, a grain whisky is the star. A grist of 50% barley and 50% wheat, matured in bourbon barrels and finished in oloroso sherry hogsheads, this has a unexpected fullness, with a rich fruity nose. Vanilla and candy floss mingle with a clean, almost menthol edge. Very smooth, with an edge of the alcohol presenting itself at 46%, tidbits of ginger biscuits and hazelnut poking through. It finishes cleanly, with the spice and hint of tannin of oak.
Rich, but sidestepping the heft of many single malts, Grain of Truth also sits very neatly in cocktails like a bobby burns, or in the place of bourbon in a boulevardier.
Runner Up: The Whisky Barrel
As we hear your wallets creaking under the strain of further shipping and import costs, an apology may be in order, because taking the second spot on our best list is another store from across the Atlantic The Whisky Barrel.
The Whisky Barrel offers a similarly wide range of spirits, with several exclusive to the website. The sites navigation and sorting tabs are just as detailed as those found on The Whisky Exchange, with separate menus for scotch, independent, and world whiskeys.
The Whisky Barrel, however, allows you to browse by distillery with an easily-accessible A-Z tab .
On the price side, The Whisky Barrel seems to be slightly lower than The Whisky Exchange on some products. For example, 70cl of Glenfiddich XX comes in at $72.92 on The Whisky Exchange, compared to $59.22 at The Whisky Barrel so do some price comparing before buying.
Ships to: all states
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Best For Manhattan: Pendleton Whisky
Pendleton’s Canadian whisky is sourced and bottled by an American company: Hood River Distillers in Oregon. Its a blended whisky that is distilled and aged in Canada, then brought to the U.S. and cut with spring water from Mt. Hood before bottling. The palate is slightly sweet and mild with a bit of spice, making this an excellent Canadian whisky to use in a Manhattan. The pepper and fruit notes will also complement any sweet vermouth you go with.
Old Pulteney 21 Year Old
Old Pulteney, which was founded in 1826, is located way up in the Scottish Highlands near the royal burgh of Wick, making it the most northerly whisky-making facility on the Scottish mainland. Old Pulteney is known as the Maritime Malt, and the 21 Year Old certainly has its sea legs . . . er, sea mouth, as evidenced by its fish-oil-like texture and prominent briny notes. The bulk of the spirit that goes into the final blend was aged in ex-oloroso sherry casks, imbuing the whisky with rich toffee and vanilla flavor. There are biscuits, dates, and baked apple in the mix, as well, with smoke and a hint of iodine on the lingering finish.
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Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye
This Cask Strength Rye Whiskey from Knob Creek is another San Francisco World Spirits Competition winner, earning Best Rye Whiskey back in 2018. Its the first limited rye that Knob Creek has released , with each bottle indicating that it was barreled in 2009. Knob Creek was introduced in 1994 as an upscale brand under Jim Beam, making it a fairly young label by American whiskey standards. Nevertheless, it has quickly become a favorite of many whiskey lovers.
The Cask Strength designation translates to a whiskey thats really, really strong this bottle has an ABV of 59% ABV. The taste follows suit, bursting with flavors such as tropical fruits, citrus oil, and peach nectar. The finish is you guessed it strong, with a rich spiciness, and notes of charred oak and honey. Be sure to sip this slow, or maybe even dilute it with a splash of water to unpack the full flavor.
$: 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.
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Jeffersons Ocean Aged At Sea Bourbon
Most whiskey distillers get experimental with different wood, blends or aging. Jeffersons takes this experimentation even further with their Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon. After eight years of aging on land, the bourbon is aged an additional five to ten months on an OCEARCH shark tagging vessel. This time at sea develops the flavor profile by exposing the bourbon to temperature fluctuations, salty air and the rocking motion of a ship.
The result of this wild aging process is a unique, complex whiskey that everyone should try. The saltiness of the ocean air is certainly present, while extra wood tannin extraction creates aromas of vanilla, caramel and burnt matches.
James E Pepper 1776 Rye
Of course, there are more options, tooGeorge Dickel came up frequently as another go-to rye. Its well-chosen, well-blended, and robust enough to stand up in a cocktail, says Neff. A great all-around rye for sipping and mixing. Several others voted for Wild Turkey 101: If I want the spice to push through other bold flavors, such as in a Boulevardier, explains Amy Fisher, Wild Turkey 101 is the onethough she feels that a softer rye can sometimes work better in a Manhattan.
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$2: Old Weller Antique
Proof: 107Approx. cost: $24
Are you the kind of bourbon neophyte who is all about the Pappy, baby? Gotta have that Pappy. Ooh, what you wouldnt give for some Pappy. Let me let you in on the worlds worst kept secret: Theres a cheaper line of bourbons sorta like the beloved Van Winkles that youve never tasted before. You see, Pappy is a wheated bourbon, which is fairly unique in the industry. In 2002, Buffalo Trace acquired the Old Rip Van Winkle brand and began using its wheated mash bill to make the Pappys. Are things starting to come together for you? Yes! Buffalo Trace also owns the Old Weller line of wheated bourbons for which it uses that exact same mash bill. The indispensable Bourbonr blog calls it Poor Mans Pappy, advocating mixing Old Weller Antique with the similarly-priced, though tougher-to-find, W.L. Weller 12 Year. If I wanted to mix things at home, though, Id make a cocktail. Antique is perfect by itself.
Others: Elijah Craig 12 Year, Old Forester Signature, Rittenhouse Rye Bottled-in-Bond
Learn More About Whisky: How Whisky Is Made
Whisky is a spirit made from fermented grain mash. The spirit features various grains, which may be malted, including barley, corn, rye and wheat. The process for creating whisky has changed little over the past 200 years including the makeup of three core ingredients water, barley and yeast.
There are five stages to the whisky-making process: malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation.
Barley is soaked for two to three days and then regularly turned before its dried. Peat is the powering source for many kilns, which means its at this point of the process when the level of peatiness can be determined. Whats left after this process is malt.
Next, the malt is mixed with water to create a mash, before the mixture is fermented with yeast. The fourth step of the process is the distillation, which is traditionally done twice for Scotch whisky and thrice for Irish whiskey.
Finally, the liquid is left to mature in casks. The spirit must mature in casks for a minimum of three years before its legally allowed to be called whisky in Scotland.
Many factors are at play here to determine the overall flavours of the whisky: the casks surrounding environment and other natural compounds. Once this process is complete, the whisky is bottled and sold.
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Best Barrel Finish: Pike Creek 10 Year Old Rum Barrel Finished
From Corby Distilleries, Pike Creek’s rye whisky undergoes some interesting barrel finishes after initial maturation. One of the best expressions is this 10-year-old blended whisky finished in rum barrels. This secondary maturation brings notes of banana and brown sugar to the mix of caramel, spice and dried fruit flavors.
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.
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Best Peated Scotch: Bowmore 12 Year Old
Region: Islay, Scotland| ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Peat, Chocolate, Cherry.
Bowmore is mildly peated compared to some other Islay whiskies, but the smoke is distinctly present all the same. But in this 12-year-old expression, the peatiness is balanced out by a rich array of fruit and spice flavors, along with notes of honey and vanilla. The distillery is the first recorded to be in operation on Islay, and this long, storied history is present in this approachable yet pleasantly smoky single malt.
Region: Japan | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Green apple, Citrus, Smoke.
Japanese whiskey, particularly from Suntory, can be very costly and hard to get, but this bottle from the Hakushu distillery in the Japanese Alps is phenomenal. It features crisp notes of unripe melon and apple, along with just a hint of smoke. This 12-year-old whiskey makes a delicious highball, although you might want to save this to sip. Lynnette Marrero, bar director for Llama Inn and Llama San NYC, calls it delicious, grassy, a little smokier than other Japanese whiskeys.
The Best Bourbon For Cocktails
Bourbon obsessives empty their wallets for rare bottles, but you can make delicious bourbon cocktails with much more affordable whiskeys. Here are five widely-available options to get you started.
When considering bourbon for cocktails, I want something that has a nice round profile of sweet vanilla and tannic oak. It should feel both soft and robust, a challenging dichotomy to achieve, says Jared Hirsch of Sidebar in Oakland and Nickel Dime Syrups. Four Roses Yellow Label fits the bill, says Hirschand many other bartenders agree. I like it for shaken cocktails, notes New Yorkbased bartender and educator ms. franky marshall. It integrates well with citrus juices and other fruit-based modifiers. She says its a bourbon thats great for beginners who are initially hesitant about drinking brown spirits too.
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What Drink Gets You Drunk Quick
Carbonation helps alcohol get absorbed faster in the stomach and gets you drunk faster, champagne is famous for that effect. Then theres the fact that stronger alcohol produces intoxication faster, so something like redbull and vodka or scotch and soda should do the trick.
Editors. 23 Last Updated. 26 days ago Authors. 11
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.
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Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 2
This is the second annual bottling in a series that was launched in 2019 by the acclaimed Islay distillery. Islay, of course, is an island off Scotlands west coast, famous for its peaty whiskies, and Traigh Bhan is the isles best-known beach. Smells like the sea, with notes of leather, eucalyptus oil and pine. Flavor-wise, theres a lot going on with this whisky, starting with wood smoke , biscuit, anise, fennel and fudge. Eventually, savory and smoke collide in a sharp, intense and satisfyingly lengthy finish.
Bib & Tucker White Whiskey
If the whiskey lover in your life is tired of the brown spirits, give them a taste of white lightning! Bib & Tucker makes Kentucky whiskey that is completely clear in the glass. Their simple mash bill of 72% corn and 28% “small grains” really lets the corn sweetness and honeysuckle notes shine through. It’s aged in white oak for one day only before moving to the bottling line.
This $37.99 bottle makes a perfect mixing whiskey for those enthusiasts looking to take a step back from whiskey while moving up in flavor from vodka.
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The Tastiest Bourbons Ryes And Malts To Buy Right Now
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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.
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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Best Irish: Redbreast 12 Year Old
Region: Ireland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Sherry, Spiced apple, Cream.
While there are cheaper Irish whiskey blends available, Redbreast is worth the extra splurge. There’s no blend hereinstead, its a single pot still Irish whiskey, meaning it’s made from a mash bill of malted and unmalted barley and produced at one distillery in copper pot stills. The whiskey is aged for 12 years in a combination of ex-sherry and bourbon casks, imbuing it with rich red berry, spice and sweet vanilla flavors. Redbreast is the pot still showcase, says Vacheresse. He considers it an excellent whiskey teaching tool and the perfect introduction to the Irish pot still category.
The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old
Great Scotch? Yes. Smooth? Ridiculously? Overpriced? Definitely. The Macallan 18 Sherry is the perfect Scotch for non-Scotch drinkers. Its difficult not to love it, but as a luxury Scotch bottle it isnt designed to challenge you, but rather to open the door for anyone to enjoy what 18 years can do to transform whisky. It makes for a nice gift, and is a showcase of what 18-year-old sherry-bombs can taste like, but the more adventurous should look elsewhere.
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