Best For Sipping: Speyburn Bradan Orach Single Malt
Courtesy of The Whisky Exchange
Region: Speyside | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Flowers, Walnuts, Honey
Light, easy and imminently sippable, this Speyside scotch is aged in former bourbon barrels, so it doesnt have the excessively sweet sherry profile of many of its neighbors. That makes it great for an afternoon dram when you want something reasonable to enjoy before going on with your evening.
Tommy Tardie, owner of New York’s;The Flatiron Room;and;Fine and Rare, is a fan. Its light, floral; its approachable, he says, and though it also makes great cocktails, its diverse enough to throw a cube in or sip neat.;
Region: Speyside | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Flowers, Vanilla, Pineapple
Made from a blend of mature scotches transferred into former oloroso sherry and American bourbon casks , this blended whisky has a luxurious texture from its additional 9 to 18 months of oak aging.
Its flavor mingles vanilla with brûléed pineapple flavor. You can still experience the Scottish heather, though, in its floral nose. At 46% ABV, its big, but goes down easy.
The Best Whiskeys For Whiskey Sours In 2021
- Post category:Whiskey Mixology
Whiskey Advocate calls the Whiskey Sour the essential whiskey cocktail. Its universal simplicity and elegance are making a comeback.
Versatile and delicious, it has a long history and dates back to the very inception of mixology! Even better? Its so easy to make you can quite easily try it at home. And youll definitely be able to order it at any bar you visit. What goes best? Weve looked at five classic whiskeys that will change the flavor profile of your cocktail from bourbon to rye, to even smoky scotch!
Whether youre thinking of ordering it at your next happy hour or want to add it to your home cocktail bar, well give you a run-down of everything you need to know about Whiskey Sours.
Evan Williams Black Label: A Reliable Go
Evan Williams is one of the most popular straight bourbon whiskey brands. Williams emigrated to Kentucky from Wales and began distilling whiskey in 1783. The Black Label is modestly priced but very drinkableespecially with a mixer like coke. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but it’s always a reliable go-to drink. If you have the means to spend over twenty bucks, I would highly recommend investing in a bottle of the high premium whiskey that Evan Williams produces in limited quantities. My favorite is their nine-year-old single-barrel bourbon.
What Is Straight Bourbon?
Bourbon that has been aged for over two years may be called “straight bourbon” on the label. If it has been aged for less than four years, however, it must be labeled with the number of years that it has been aged. The majority of bourbon has been aged for over four years, and most premium bourbons are aged for considerably longer.
Four Roses is a mellow-tasting, easygoing, whiskey that’s great for mixing.
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Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye
Rye novices need not apply. One of five bottles in Buffalo Traces mighty Antique Collection, Handy Saz is an uncut, unfiltered, max proof rye made from the same juice as the standard Sazerac bottling . Each years release is a little different, but you can generally expect a five-finger rye punch to the tastebuds. If you find a bottle at its $99 retail price, and you wont, you should buy it immediately bottles from the Antique Collection are typically sold for three- and four-times their SRPs, at minimum.
Johnnie Walker Red Label
The brand Johnnie Walker is extremely popular and Im sure you have heard from them before. They have multiple colored labels that differ in taste, quality and price. While the black, blue and green label are all more suitable to drink neat/with ice, the red label is made to be mixed.
This bottle will set you back around $25 and is readily available world-wide. When mixing you can try all the common mixers that I will probably be repeating for a couple of more times throughout this page.
Common drinks to mix with Johnnie Walker Red Label are soda, ginger ale, cola, green tea and even something like ice tea will do the trick.
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Does Whiskey Go Bad
When properly stored, whiskey has a very long shelf life. Unopened bottles can be stored indefinitely in a cool place out of direct light, and the whiskey inside will not change. Once opened, you might notice some subtle flavor changes if the bottle isnt sealed properly or the whiskey isnt consumed within a few years. The only real concern about whiskey going bad is with flavored whiskeys because some include ingredients that may deteriorate over time, though even that is rare.
George Dickel Superior No 12 Tennessee Sour Mash $25
Tennessee is known for its sour mash, a process that adds mash from an older batch of whiskey to start the fermentation of the next batch. While Jack Daniels is the most famous sour mash whiskey, George Dickels Superior No. 12 is the most layered and richly flavored sour mash weve tried. Bottled at a whopping 90 proof, this whiskey is big and boozy, with flavors of sour pickles, buttered popcorn, maple syrup, white pepper and burnt oak. This is the kind of whiskey that you can drink every day and never tire of it.
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Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Years
Sweet and warm, with vanilla, chocolate, oak, and freshly baked bread aromas, this bourbon-barrel-aged Scotch was a crowd favorite. It has a creamy body and fruity, peppery finish, like peppercorn and orange peel. Glenfiddich 14 was also a favorite, with Lipton-tea-like bitterness and acidity on the finish, one taster said. Panelists found both whiskies approachable and easy to drink. Average price: $55.
Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
When tasted alongside similarly priced, high-volume competitors, its quite apparent why Jim Beam is the No.1-selling bourbon brand in the world. Its aromas shine brighter and its flavor profile is more concentrated and approachable. Admittedly, this whiskey tastes like the product of calculated engineering rather than small-batch craftsmanship, but thats reflected in its price and wide availability. And on the plus side, both of these factors make this whiskey perfect for when you need to buy large quantities of bourbon and dont want to break the bank. Average price: $15.
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$: Wild Turkey Russells Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon
Spirit: BourbonProof: 90Approx. cost: $32
Jimmy Russell has been making whiskey at the 75-year-old Wild Turkey Distillery for a whopping 54 years, so he probably;knows a thing or two about crafting a decent bourbon. Now, working side-by-side with his son Eddie, the two have released a slew of well-priced products in the last few years. Their Russells Reserve line provides some of my favorite offerings from the company. Russells Reserve Single Barrel is top-notch, but at a $55 price point, it faces too much competition to make this list. Luckily, theres a cheaper 10 Year Old bottling nearly as good. Made from small-batch barrels in the center cut of the rickhouse, and specially selected by the Russells, this spicy bourbon is perfect for a neat pour.
Others: Evan Williams Single Barrel, James Pepper 1776, Jeffersons Straight Bourbon Whiskey Very Small Batch
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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Heaven Hill White Label: Toffee And Citrus
Also bottled in bond bourbon, the Heaven Hill white label offers excellent value for the money and is a far superior drink to their cheaper green label versionit’s also stronger. The palate of this whiskey is toffee, dark fruit, and citrus; and the finish is cocoa and peanuts. It’s a delicious bourbon that compares favorably with many of its more expensive competitors.
Benchmark No. 8 was originally created by Seagram’s back in the 1960s as a luxury bourbon.
Best Under $: Bowmore Darkest 15 Year Old
Region: Islay| ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Toffee, Smoke, Brine, Dried fruits
Bringing together the best of Scotlands opposing traditions, this cherrywood-colored scotch from Bowmore, Islays oldest distillery, is made with heavily peated malt from island-grown barley. Its aged primarily in bourbon barrels, but its final three years are spent in oloroso casks, where the scotch takes on its sherrylike layers.
I love that it captures both, says Tardie. Its the perfect balance: salty but sweet. Toffee, dried fruit and swarthy smoke are finished with ocean-water salinity for what Tardie calls a multidimensional treat. Im not big on dessert, but if I were to have a dessert, this would be it,” he says.
Region: Islay | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Smoke, Brine, Umami, Dried fruit
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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.
Best Grain Scotch: Compass Box Hedonism
Region: Scotland | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Coconut, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla
A century ago, many Scottish whiskies were made with grains, including corn and wheat, but declined in popularity as big producers started focusing on single malt whiskies. Maverick whisky maker John Glaser rehabilitated it, searching out old grain barrels and blending them together in making Compass Box Hedonism.
H. Joseph Ehrmann, owner of San Franciscos Elixir Saloon and co-founder of;Fresh Victor, calls it a head-turner that can open your eyes to the pleasures of grain whisky. With its coconut and caramel notes, it tastes fun, says Tardie. Glasers doing a wonderful service for blended scotch.
Region: Highlands | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Coffee, Espresso, Raisins, Cinnamon
did something innovative, says Tardie. They toasted the barley so much that they call it a chocolate malt.
Just as in beer making, where a chocolate malt adds mocha flavor to a porter or stout, this Highland scotch is rich in cocoa and espresso notes that only deepen over time. Its made from the distillerys oldest whisky35- to 40-year-old scotch, aged in American white oakwhich gives it a gravitas that Tardie appreciates. As you sip it, and as the alcohol burns off, he says, theres a strong characteristic of dark chocolate and coffee grinds.;
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Gold Medals San Francisco World Spirits Competition & World Whiskies Awards
The bottle is tall and bold, and whats housed within doesnt shy away. Drink this one on a brisk evening, and youll forget all about the weather as soon as the notable spiciness and orange peel of this reddish-brown, dark honey colored whiskey dance on your tongue. For us, we prefer the purity of drinking it neat because it is a rich experience that makes no sense of the wallet-friendly price.
To Add In Egg Whites Simply Add 1/4 Oz To The Rest Of Your Ingredients In The Shaker Before Mixing
And you might want to skip pouring over ice if you are adding eggs, many drinkers feel ice cubes, and egg froth doesnt mix. Ice can also cause the egg proteins to break apart too quickly. Instead, try shaking with ice and pouring straight.
You will want the egg whites to be shaken with all the other ingredients*. Otherwise, you miss the point. Shaking blends the eggs and froths them up!
*There is some argument about this method. There are those who say you should dry shake the eggs first to froth them up, wet shake the other ingredients separately, and then combine. I say no. Blending them together is half the fun! But it is up to you.
Personally, this is my favorite version of a Whiskey Sour. I first experienced it in a little speakeasy in Rochester, NY. Its hidden behind a padded door. Its dimly lit. The bartenders wear bowties. And they prepare drinks the old-fashioned way.
I ordered a whiskey sour and was presented with this frothy white mixture that I stared at in horror for a moment or two. Until I tried it and realized Id been doing Whiskey Sours wrong my whole life.
So definitely give it a shot. Its worth it.
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Gold International Wine & Spirits Competitions 2017
Widely considered to be one of the best single malts for the money, Highland Park 12 is a brilliant combination of mild smoke and brine with the right amount of sweetness in the form of honey and fruit. The result is a whisky whose drinkability and intrigue rest at the top of the heap. Highland Park can brag as one of only two Orkney Isle distilleries in existence, and its briny peat is used in careful amounts so as not to dominate the drinking experience. For less than $50, you can experience one of the best single malts around.
Best Cheap Rye Whiskey: Old Overholt Straight Rye
It wouldve been fair to call it a tie between Old Foresters new 100 proof rye and Old Overholt for the Best Cheap Rye title. Its a stout, cheap rye that balances spice and Old Foresters classic bumblegum-like sweetness nicely. Its been out for less than two years, but dont be surprised when it becomes a staple well rye at your local bar.
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Wild Turkey 101 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Wild Turkey 101 is the bartenders choice for mixing cocktails that pack a punch on a modest budget. Its high rye mash bill and high alcohol are noticeable on both the nose and palate, but the heady ABV content is muted by nuanced baking spice aromas and pronounced sweet notes on the palate. If youre sipping it unmixed over ice, Wild Turkeys steep proof also allows you to sip at your leisure, without worrying too much about dilution affecting flavor or alcoholic kick. Average price: $23.
The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year
Citrus and orange peel are pronounced on the nose of this Scotch, like an Old Fashioned, one taster said. Its bright, acidic, and zesty on the palate, light and smooth, with a short finish, said another, adding, Im salivating. Panelists also enjoyed Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask . Average price: $57.
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Glendronach Parliament 21 Year
Dark like a tobacco leaf, this Scotch has nuanced aromas that excited our panel brown sugar, molasses, cookie dough, and almost roasty, like imperial stout, one panelist said. Others tasted marzipan and vanilla cake with homemade icing. It has a noticeable kick to it, a panelist added. I keep coming back for another sip, they concluded. Average price: $178.
The Best Bottle Of Whiskey For Every Budget
When people find out I write about intoxicants for a living, I get asked lots of questionsthe most prominent one being, Really, they pay you for that? But lately, Im continually getting asked what bourbons to buy, whether people want to drink it, flip it, or simply show off their #bourbonporn on Instagram.
The question is simple: If person X has Y dollars, what would be the best bottle he could reasonably purchase? Reasonably is a critical word. Sure, Old Rip Van Winkle might be the best with a MSRP of $40but good luck finding it on shelves, and good luck finding it anywhere for less than $200. For the sake of this exercise, were going to ignore those white whalesthe bourbons you can only score if you camp out, win store lotteries, or know a guy. There will be a few tricky picks on this list. You wont be able to saunter into your local BevMo! and nab everything in one awesome Supermarket Sweep-style booze run, but with a little effort and cash, youll be able to track down most of these bad boys.
But why should we limit it to bourbon? There are all sorts of whiskeys worth buying nowadays, and many offer better value since they dont have cult-bourbons cachet. In the following list youll see ryes, Irish whiskeys, Japanese whiskeys, Scotches, and even one weirdo hybrid*. All the best of the best, dollar-for-dollar. ;
*I will use whiskey with an e at all times, no matter whether that is technically correct, so dont be an annoying pedant.
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