Darkness 8 Year Old: Best Sherry
Price: £50 | Buy now from Master of Malt
This mysterious brand is produced at an unnamed distillery somewhere in Speyside and the result is an outrageously drinkable whisky. It may only be an 8 year old single malt whisky at its core, but those eight years have been spent maturing in bourbon barrels and then followed with a further three months in deliberately bijou octave Oloroso sherry casks to imbue as much complexity and flavour as possible.
The sherry influence isn’t quite as intense as with some whiskies we’ve tasted, but the result is impossible to dislike. There’s a rich, vibrant surge of flavour bursting with sherry, spice, orange peel and amaretto, all underpinned with a gentle sweetness which results in a whisky that’s dangerously drinkable. For the money, it’s one of our favourites – and a stunning dram to boot.
Key specs Alcohol content: 47.8% Bottle size: 70cl Country of origin: Scotland
How To Choose And Enjoy A Good Whisky
Choosing a good whisky can be a challenging task particularly if you dont have much experience drinking it.
The world of whisky is a complex maze of grains, flavors, and distillation processes. It is one of the most diverse distilled spirits in the bar. There are plenty of terms that dont mean much unless youve done a little bit of homework.
- Blended whiskey mix of whiskys from different distilleries and made with several cereals
- Blended malts these are Whiskeys made only from malted barley. The liquid can come from different distilleries
- Single Malt these are whiskys made from malted barley from one and the same distillery.
In order to fully understand exactly what whisky is, you need to look at each individual style. Its according to the style that you like that you will be able to steer you towards a whisky rather than another.
When you start to taste the whisky, ask yourself the following:
- Does this whisky taste fruity, sweet, or spicy?
- Is the drink going down smooth or is it a bumpy ride?
- Can the whisky hold up with your wild and fun personality?
Once youve determined what type of whisky you want, its time to go on the hunt.
The 11 Best Whiskies For Whiskey Sours This 2021 According To Bartenders
Every cocktail is more nuanced than just combining liquor with a sugary mix. This rings especially true for the whiskey sour, an elegant and sweet American cocktail classic. It contains a frothy egg white , a freshly squeezed citrus juice, and a dash of simple syrup.
However, selecting the right whiskey with the right dimension and balance transforms your whiskey sour from lackluster to delectable. Heres our roundup of the best whiskies for whiskey sours this 2021, all carefully hand-picked by expert bartenders.
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The 25 Whiskeys You Need To Try Before You Die
Whiskey is more than the juice inside the bottle.
The 25 whiskeys herein are not the best whiskeys in the world. There isnt a rating system or greater calculus behind them. This is a list of whiskeys that, in one way or another, matter. Some, like Johnnie Walker Blue Label or Old Grand-Dad 114, tell a story about where whisky has been. Others, like Bulleits ubiquitous rye or Buffalo Traces Blantons line, quietly reshaped whiskey history. And then theres whiskey thats just so good, so unique and so iconic, it makes the cut by force of will like Four Roses 2017 release dedicated to and co-designed by the legendary Al Young, or the cook-kid-scotch Lagavulin 16. These are the whiskeys every would-be whiskey drinker should try before they die.
Is there Pappy? Maybe.
Balcones Rye 100 Proof
My final choice in the USA is a big step up in the world of rye. It is more expensive, but gives you a full on rye experience as it is made from 100% rye. This was created for the tenth anniversary of the Balcones distillery. Made with several different varieties of rye this whisky is complex and spicy with plenty of power from a heightened ABV. It is chocolatey with orange zest and honey, cinnamon and baked apples on the nose. The palate is even more complex and full-bodied with chocolate and tobacco joining the flavours. The finish is dark brown burnt sugar and hints of char and dry oak. Its one of my favourite rye whiskies.
ABV: 50%Buy it now for £67.25
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The 12 Best Whiskeys For An Old Fashioned
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like an Old Fashioned, and those who dont. In most cases, those who drink Old Fashioned cocktails regularly have a particular, ardent preference in the type of whiskey their drink is made with.
And since the Old Fashioned is basically booze, sugar, Angostura bitters, and ice, the whiskey matters. A lot. Not to overwhelm since whiskey can do that the main factors were looking for are either a bourbon that isnt too sweet, a rye that isnt too spicy, and a whiskey thats sufficiently high proof and dry to withstand both the sugar cube and ice dilution. Bear in mind, since an Old Fashioned is a mixed drink, you dont wanna break the bank on either bourbon or rye. Buy decent, but dont buy extravagant save those bottles for thoughtful sipping.
Here are the best whiskeys for making Old Fashioned cocktails.
Glenallachie 30 Year Old Batch 1
Current auction value: £1300Trending: up first appeared at auction for £575
As its oldest core bottling, GlenAllachie has released a 30 Year Old Cask Strength single malt. This is following the recent achievement of winning Best Single Malt at the 2021 World Whiskies Awards for the GlenAllachie 10 Year Old Batch 4. This 30 Year Old release is batch 1 in what will be a series of annual 30 year old small-batch bottlings and batch 1 has a yield of only 2,000 bottles. This whisky is drawn from whisky distilled in 1989 and 1990, all matured in sherry oak. This series is the passion project of Master Distiller Billy Walker, who had the ambition to create a 30 year old expression for GlenAllachie. This bottling is a cask strength whisky of 48.9% ABV and is non chill filtered and its natural colour.
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Whisky For Beginners: Here’s How To Pick The Best Whiskies
Old Grand Dad – Best Bourbon to mix in a cocktail. Jim Beam – Best Bourbon to pair with a beer. Widow Jane – Best Bourbon for the money. William Larue Weller – Top shelf Bourbon to try at least once. Michter’s – The most expensive Bourbon. Pappy Van Winkle – The overall best Bourbon of 2021 This whiskey can be hard to get. It will pop up occasionally on some of the better online whiskey stores. We are linking to one of your best options below. If you see a bottle is available, you should buy it before they run out! Click here | See if you can score a bottle of Blanton’s. Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Kentucky Straigh
What Does Irish Whiskey Taste Like
Irish whiskey is known as one of the smoothest whiskeys available. These easy-drinking whiskeys are characterized as having a lot of flavor but with a lighter profile than bourbon and the complete lack of smoky peat found in scotch. Fruit and vanilla notes are very common, and the aging imparts a pleasant oak and caramel background to the whiskey. Essentially, Irish whiskey tastes like a classic whiskey, which is why its so well-loved.
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Best Nas Blended: Akashi White Oak
Region: Japan | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, spice, marshmallow
“This blended whisky is a crowd-pleaser,” says Brooks. Made by a sake expert, this whisky is aged in a variety of cask types, including shochu, bourbon and sherry. It is complex and gives you a little bit of everything that scotch drinkers love. It has the richness of American oak, smokey peat undertones and leather on the finish,” he says.
Great Whiskeys You Should Buy Now Before Theyre Gone For Good
You dont want to miss out on these killer discontinued bottles.
Whiskey lovers tend to prioritize limited edition and rare bottlings when spending their dough in liquor stores, but the real value is in discontinued bottles.
Rare whiskey and discontinued whiskey may both skyrocket in value once their supplies are limited, but theyre very different products. Limited editions, special bottlings, and anything with the year it was bottled printed right on the bottle are expected to be gone at some point. And though they may be one of a kind, theyre a crapshoot in terms of quality. Just because you liked the 2016 release doesnt mean the 2017 will measure up.
Discontinued bottles, on the other hand, arent born into obscurity, nor are they unpredictable in quality. They become valuable when a recipe changes, when an age statement is removed from the bottle, or when the product is simply phased out of production either to supplement a more popular one, or because the distillery doesnt see the point.
Since distilleries are notoriously cagey about actually telling people we wont be making any more of this product, things can linger on shelves for years, simply because word doesnt get out that the supply is finite. With that in mind weve put together a list of whiskey bottles you should grab if you run across them in stores, because what you see might be all thats left, sooner or later.
1. GlenDronach 15-Year-Old Revival
3. Elijah Craig 12
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Does Whiskey Go Up In Value
Whisky Market in 2019 Rare Whisky 101s 2018 report shows that their Apex 1000 index increased by 30% and that the overall value of collectable bottles went up by 62% in the last year. People buy whisky because they love drinking it and theyre willing to pay ever-increasing amounts of money for the pleasure.
This Quiz Asks For Your Flavour Preferences And Then Tells
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Best Whiskeys To Buy At Any Liquor Store
Heres the truth about most Best Whiskeys lists youll find online: a slideshow of rare Pappy Van Winkles and Macallan Lalique releases arent going to help you on a Friday afternoon at your local liquor store, when youre trying to find something great to sip on through the weekend and beyond.
With that in mind, we created this list: our comprehensive guide to the whiskeys that are worth buying nowthat you can actually buy right now. Whether youre looking for massive peat smoke for a fireside winter night, an easy summer daytime sipper on the rocks, or a bold budget bourbon for a batch of Old Fashioneds, weve got the perfect bottle for you.
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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.
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Pay Attention To The History
Part of the fun of whiskey drinking is learning the unique history behind each bottle, so make sure to fill your home bar with bottles that tell stories. One of the highlights of Huertas’ tasting was Uncle Nearest whiskey, which is made in the “Lincoln County” process. The Tennessee whiskey is named after the formerly enslaved man, Nathan “Nearest” Green, who taught Jack Daniels how to distill.
“He never got credit in history or American distillation,” she said. “And now through Uncle Nearest coming into the market and becoming a huge success, we’re able to tell the story of the man who taught Jack Daniels.”
Huerta served the whiskey in a tart, frothy cherry bounce sour cocktail, made with aquafaba instead of egg whites.
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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Feis Ile 2021 Bottles
Original retail price: Various
Whilst the Feis Ile festival cant go ahead in person this year, a virtual festival is being held from the 28th May until the 6th June and rest assured there will be plenty of bottles to look forward to. Big name distilleries such as Bowmore, Ardbeg, and Bruichladdich are back on the bulletin for this years festival to name but a few and there are sure to be some fantastic bottles produced for the occasion. Feis Ile began in 1984 as part of the Gaelic Drama Festival with its first whisky tasting event taking place in 1990. It has now grown into a huge culture and whisky festival with exclusive bottlings being produced for the annual event. As the festival is virtual this year, the bottles will likely be available online from the distilleries and this will be confirmed closer to the festival dates.
Festival bottles 2021 releases:
Bunnahabhain 2001 20 Year Old Marsala Cask £199Bunnahabhain 2013 7 Year Old Moine Bordeaux Cask £85Bruichladdich Laddie Origins £150Bruichladdich 17 Year Old Single Cask £150Lagavulin 13 Year Old £160Caol Ila 12 Year Old £130Kilchoman Single Farm £99.96Laphroaig Cairdeas PX Cask Cask Strength £89.90Bowmore 1996 23 Year Old £365 Bowmore 18 Year Old £135
Best Irish: West Cork 8
courtesy of LiquorBarn.com
Region: Ireland | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Dried apples, Honey, Baking spices
While some American consumers regrettably limit their consumption of Irish whiskey to the occasional shot purchased by a casual acquaintance at a sports bar, there’s also a vibrant and growing list of Irish craft whiskies that deserve our attention. West Cork produces a gorgeous single-malt that sees Irish barley and local spring water going into a hand-built copper pot still, with the resulting distillate matured for eight years in first-fill, flame-charred bourbon barrelsleading to far more depth and character than fans of other whiskies may typically associate with the category. The well-balanced palate features pretty notes of dried apple and honey segueing to a baking-spice finish, and all at an approachable 80 proof. You won’t want to shoot this one.
Region: Ontario, Canada | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Raisin, Coffee
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What We Do At Hard To Find Whisky
Whatever your whisky or spirit preferences, here at Hard to Find Whisky we will have the right blend for you. Unlike many drinks and whisky retailers worldwide, Hard to Find Whisky set out to be unique, offering connoisseurs the very best in rare and vintage whisky. We also provide the very best competitive prices and perfect gifts for drinks lovers all over the world. The Hard to Find Group is the place to look when searching for that perfect gift or treat that can truly not be found anywhere else.