What Is The Smoothest Whiskey To Drink Straight
Whiskey drinking is an art, a delightful art that you can learn. We purposefully dedicated this article: How to Drink Whiskey Like A Man: Bourbon Guide to teach men the art of drinking whiskey like a real man.
Even without our guide, you can still enjoy the smooth, delicious taste of good whiskey. Good whiskey should be sipped it matters not if you are drinking alone or with a company, drinking hardcore, or on the rocks. You will enjoy the balance of various aromas and flavors.
Whiskey is of the most versatile spirits with different brands from different cities, countries, and continents, with each bottle having its unique profile and character. So, you will find Scottish, Japanese and American whiskey on this list. Note that only Americans and the Irish spell Whiskey with the e, other countries spell it as whiskey.
There is something for the big spenders and great pocket-friendly options. Limited release and more matured bottles are usually pretty expensive and hard to come by. However, they are not necessarily the best, and some people prefer a younger bottle, especially if the age difference is small. If you are interested in classy, expensive drinks, then check out our top 7 brands of cognac.
Of all the smooth whiskey types out there, here are five great options.
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Smoothest Bourbons To Drink Straight For Beginners
If you are not sure if you have what it takes to put down a good glass of bourbon, take a look at our smoothest bourbons to drink straight for beginners.
Newbies will often go to experienced bourbon drinkers to try and figure out which ones are best to start with. The common notion out and about is that bourbon is something that will grow hair on your chest, or that only the real men can drink bourbon and so on. However, thats just something rather superficial. Obviously, we all have different taste buds and you would be surprised at some people who actually enjoy drinking bourbons and whiskeys. In case of bourbon, it can be a little harsh on you, if you are just starting out. So, it would be better to start out with something that has a lot of flavor in it, but does not have the too much burn of the bourbon. Of course, the point of a bourbon is to have the burn in the end, but you can build up to that.
Get your glass ready for a taste of the smoothest bourbons to drink straight for beginners.
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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What Is The Difference Between Single Malt Scotch And Scotch Blends
Single malt Scotch whisky is distilled in one cask or barrel and then bottled. Scotch Blends are made from a range of different malts from different distilleries, a combination of grains and vintages, distilled in different cask and barrel types.
Distillers will then bring them all together in a separate barrel before bottling. In Scotch blends, a distiller will achieve smoothness by harnessing desirable qualities from varying grains and vintages. Using other grains on top of the classic malt will also reduce production costs.
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.
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The Smoothest Rye Whiskey
High West Rendezvous Rye received high praise from the 2020 I.S.C. as much for its rye forward grain bill as for its balanced flavor. If you can get your hand on a bottle from before 2018, carry it to your grave because you hold in your hand a unicorn whiskey.
Their grain ticket is a blend of rye mash bills from MGP and their own spirit production, and they wont tell you what it is, but the long line of distinguished awards and lauded reviews indicate a damn good rye. And its not their only one. High West Distillery is working hard to turn their Utah rye into Americas preferred fireside spirit by putting out wild limited release blends. Their Midsummer Nights Dram looks like a fairy tale whiskey, another proprietary blend of straight rye but finished in charred French port barrels.
If you cant get your hands on a Shakespearian spirit, dont worry. Whistle Pigs got you covered. Their 10 Year Aged Rye is freaking delicious. I can forgive them for using a cache of lost Canadian rye barrels. Whatever. Its bottled in Vermont. But for a truly Ron Swansian rocking chair by the fire under a blanket reading Steinbeck experience, you want their 12-year-old Old World Rye, and I cant even explain it. Ive had this whiskey at a critical Chicago dive bar I wont tell you the name of, where the bartender knows his shit. I didnt want to leave, ever. I just wanted to sit there at the bar drinking Whistle Pig while I turned into amber.
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It’s hard to find a bottle of Irish whiskey that’s truly disappointing. Most are genuinely good, pleasantly smooth to sip, and fun to mix into your favorite Irish whiskey cocktails. Since there are only a few distilleries in Ireland, the offerings are not as numerous as youll find with other whiskey styles. That takes nothing away from the craftsmanship or allure of these smoothly blended whiskeys. There are a number of notable Irish whiskeys you’ll definitely want to seek out, including single malts, small-batch whiskeys, and whiskeys aged in special barrels.
From a high-end splurge or two to affordable everyday options for mixed drinks, these are the best Irish whiskey bottles worth adding to your bar.
ABV: 46% | Age: 15 years | Volume: 750 ml
Redbreast is a favorite among Irish whiskey connoisseurs and known for producing whiskey that anyone can enjoy. The 15-Year-Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is a perfect example of this style of whiskey. Produced from a combination of malted and unmalted barley, it is distilled three times in copper pot stills, then aged for a minimum of 15 years.
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Koval Single Barrel Bourbon
The Koval Single Barrel Bourbon is a unique spirit with an interesting flavor profile. Koval is a relative newcomer to the whiskey game, and was only established in 2008. It is also Chicago’s first legal distillery since prohibition times, making it a vanguard in the area. The flavor notes in this bourbon are fit for such a groundbreaking enterprise, with ethanol and tart tropical fruit on the nose, along with “subtle sweetness,” pepper, and melted butter, per The Whiskey Watch. They describe the taste of this spirit as “remarkably like Smarties,” featuring “a pleasant powdery taste on the palate after sipping” and a finish of “sulphered apricots.”
Most reviewers attribute Koval’s alternative and strong tastes to its “unusual” mash bill of 51% corn and 49% millet, as well as its use of only the “heart” of the distillate. It ranks a solid 89 points on Wine Enthusiast’s matrix, and 31 Whiskey described it as, “something that I’d go back to time and time again for those nights when I want something a little unique and different to sip on.” For a truly unique bourbon in 2021, look no further the Koval Single Barrel.
What’s The Smoothest Irish Whiskey
10 of the Best Irish Whiskies to Try Now
- The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey. drizly.com.
- Tullamore D.E.W. Original. reservebar.com.
- Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey.
- Knappogue Castle Single Malt 16 Year.
Likewise, which is the smoothest whiskey? Top 10 Best Light & Smooth Whiskies
- Auchentoshan 21 Year Old.
- Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare.
- Redbreast 12 Year Old.
- Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask. Rating: 83/100.
- Tomintoul 14 Year Old. Rating: 82/100.
- Glenlivet 12 Year Old. Rating: 75/100.
- Glen Moray Elgin Classic. Rating: 72/100.
Keeping this in view, what is the best Irish whiskey to drink straight?
The 10 Best Irish Whiskeys to Sip Right Now
- 01 of 10. Redbreast Irish Whiskey.
- 02 of 10. Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey.
- 03 of 10. Tipperary Watershed Single Malt.
- 04 of 10. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey.
- 05 of 10. Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye Irish Whiskey.
- 06 of 10. Tullamore D.E.W.
- 07 of 10.
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Tullamore Dew 15 Year Old Trilogy Small Batch Irish Whiskey $9599 At Caskers
Heres a limited-edition Tullamore DEW 15 Year Old Trilogy Small Batch Irish Whiskey that is made from three different grains, including malted barley, unmalted barley and corn. This trilogy of Irish whiskey has a rich aroma filled with tropical fruits, mixed nuts, tannins, and oaks. The palate then transitions to flavors of chocolate fudge and whipped cream, which makes this blended Irish whiskey a good choice for after-dinner drinks.
What Is The Smoothest Scotch Whisky To Drink Straight
All smooth Scotch whiskies should be easy to drink straight. Adding water to any whisky can make it a smoother experience when sipping on them. A great quality Scotch will be easy to nose and swallow, without being overly alcoholic.
As world champions in the Scotch whisky game, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Glenmorangie Vintage 1997, and Dewars Double Double 32 Year Old are great examples of what the best Scotch whiskies to drink straight are.
First and foremost, youre looking for the qualities in a Scotch that make it smooth. As weve talked about it, youll know what to look for on the nose, in the color and on the palate when sampling a smooth Scotch.
Most of the top quality, smoothest Scotch whiskies are relatively expensive owing to the awards theyve received from whisky experts all over the world. However, if you know what to look for, youll be able to identify what makes any Scotch smooth.
As a general rule, any Scotch that youre sipping happily without reaching for the ice tray will be smooth. If a Scotch blows your head off because it tastes or smells too alcoholic, its probably not a good quality, smooth Scotch whisky.
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Best For Sipping: Aberlour A’bunadh
Region: Speyside, Scotland | ABV: Varies by batch | Tasting Notes: Sherry, Spice, Vanilla
This scotch has something of a cult following, and with good reason: it’s a high-proof, sherry cask single malt that is consistently delicious. This is a rare example of a single expression being recognized and sought after by consumers, while the rest of the brand lineup is mostly , says Vacheresse. Add a bit of water or drink it neathowever you prefer, Aberlour ABunadh does not disappoint. Take your time with this as you sip to unveil layer after layer of flavor.
The Smoothest White Whiskey
This may be tough because white whiskey is more or less moonshine, and you dont really associate shine and smooth. But recent distillers getting into the white whiskey game have made a hell of an effort to turn out shine thats easy on the tongue. Hudson NY Whiskey makes Hudson NY Corn Whiskey. Its smooth and tastes like movie popcorn.
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Hudson Whiskey Ny Bright Lights Big Bourbon
Tuthilltown Spirits, which makes the Hudson brand in upstate New York, was a trailblazer in the American craft spirit movement outside Kentucky. Local corn makes up 95% of the mash bill and dominates an earthy flavor that tastes like roasted and distilled cobs wrapped in orange peels, caramel, and spice. Its frisky but still balanced to sip and fairly priced for a brand thats historically not been a bargain. Hudson Whiskey Bright Lights, Big Bourbon, 92 proof, 750ml, on sale for $3 off through December, $36.99
Milam & Greene Straight Rye Whiskey Finished In Port Wine Casks
If youre obsessed with whiskeys finished in former wine barrels, then this ones for you. Using old Port wine casks from Portugal, this flavorful rye is something youll definitely want to keep all to yourself. The aroma pulls you in with the smell of chocolate, cinnamon, and berries. Enjoy this one neat.
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Slane Irish Whiskey $3499 At Drizzly
Slane Irish whiskey uses three different types of casks: Virgin, seasoned, and sherry. For this reason, it complements other spirits when crafting cocktails. Well balanced, clean, yet full of character, says a 5-star Drizzly reviewer. Perfect for cocktails or sipping. Distilled in the iconic city of Slane, Ireland, also known as the Rock n Roll Capital of Ireland, the triple-casked whiskey is a legacy label in every liquor store.
The Irishman Small Batch Single Malt Irish Whiskey $5299 At Caskers
The Irishman Small Batch Single Malt Irish Whiskey earned a score of 94 points from the Beverage Testing Institute and it won the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The fan-favorite whiskey is matured in a special combo of American oak casks that were previously used to mature bourbon and European oak casks previously used to mature Oloroso Sherry. You can expect notes of vanilla, sweet granola, toasted almonds and honey on the palette fished with a touch of malt and sweet oak.
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Evan Williams Black Label
A classic bourbon in the barrel for over two years, 86 proof, tastes exactly what bourbons supposed to taste like, and a liter is under 20 bucks, marvels McCarthy. Its the perfect well bourbon, quality product at a great price and you can drink it all day. For such a bargain, its smooth as all get out and possesses enough rounded character to stand up tall in cocktails and sing on its own.
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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Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
A shortage in older stocks of Japanese whisky, coupled with an increased demand amongst international consumers, has led to Nikka’s bottles being in short supply. The company’s Taketsuru Pure Malt can be somewhat difficult to find because of this, however, it is well worth the hunt. This interesting Japanese blend retails somewhere around the $80 mark, although high shipping costs and taxes can drive the price up into triple figures.
The latest expression, released at the very end of 2020, provides a welcome update to their original Taketsuru Pure Malt. The retained 100% pure malt formula and sherry cask finish brings the classic Taketsuru smokiness, but this time with “even greater depth and balance,” per The Whiskey Wash. The nose this time is fresher, with notes of stone fruits and citrus, according to More Drams Less Drama. The taste begins with citrus and smoke, then transitions into a gingery spiciness, a fruity sweetness, and, finally, dark chocolate and sherry notes with a creamy mouthfeel. The finish is long, spicy, and smoky, with a chocolate taste that lasts.