Tuesday, February 27, 2024

What’s The Best Whiskey For An Old Fashioned

George Dickel Rye Whiskey

Old Fashioned Rye or Bourbon which is best?

Depending on your tastes, rye whiskeys spicy and aggressive character may not be up your alley. If thats the case, Id urge you to reconsider your opinion for George Dickels Rye Whiskey. They use a cool filtration method to reduce the overall heat of the spirit, and filter through sugar maple charcoal to add a sweet and tasty bourbon-like note to this rye. If that sounds familiar, youre on point: Thats the same process that makes whiskeys like Jack Daniels so easy to drink.

The Classic Old Fashioned Cocktail Features Little More Than Whiskey Sugar And Bitters Done Right It’s A Perfectly Balanced Timeless Crowd

  • Pin
  • Bitters add complexity and dimension to the bourbon or rye.
  • Sugar brings subtle sweetness to open the bourbon’s aroma.
  • Toasted sugar tastes less sweet than plain, and can add a subtle note of caramel to play off the bourbon or rye.

The Old Fashioned is one of the most venerable of cocktails, predating not only the motorcar but the presidency of Abe Lincoln. All it takes is serving whiskey, sugar, bitters and, if you like, a cherry or orange garnish on the rocks. Properly made, it’s strong but not too strong, sweet but not too sweet, and, most importantly, it’s dead-simple and absolutely delicious.

The best bitters for an Old Fashioned are up for debate, but Angostura is classic for a reason, while Fee Brothers offer a welcome alternative.

A Few Things To Consider When Choosing A Bourbon

There are some things that you should know about bourbon before you go on your journey of trying to find the perfect bourbon for an old fashioned. Bourbon has to be aged at least two years. There are some options that are aged longer. One thing is to consider what type of cocktail you are going to make or if you are going to simply sip on your bourbon.

If you are someone who likes to sip on bourbon, you should consider checking out a few things. One of these is to always consider first the types of notes and flavors that you enjoy from a bourbon. This is so that you do not have to worry about not enjoying the bourbon that you are sipping.

Some bourbons definitely have more spiciness with stronger flavors of pepper, while others are sweeter and feature stronger hints of caramel and vanilla. Now if you are going to be making cocktails, whether it be the Old Fashioned, a Mint Julep, Bourbon and Sprite, a Manhattan, or something completely unique, you will want to choose the flavor profile that is going to best marry or pair with the cocktail flavors that you are trying to achieve. By thinking about these things up front, you are sure to find the perfect bourbon for your needs.

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The Best Whiskey For An Old Fashioned

The best whiskey for an Old Fashioned is … the whiskey you like! Many reputable mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts have opined on whether you should use rye or bourbon, but honestly, you can use either. Which do you prefer? There that’s your whiskey for an Old Fashioned!

I like this drink with bourbon. I used Buffalo Trace most recently, but other mid-tier bourbons like Maker’s Mark, Bulleit, or Knob Creek would all be excellent choices.

Old Overholt Straight Rye

The Best Whiskey For An Old Fashioned

Pete Marzulli, general manager at Agave West Village in New York City

Old Overholt Rye is my pick. Not only is it affordable, but it is aged in bourbon barrels, which really brings out nice smoky flavors that work perfectly in whiskey-based cocktails, especially the classic old fashioned.

Grab a bottle of Old Overhold Rye here.

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Runner Up: Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Another whiskey from Kentucky, this Buffalo Trace Bourbon will be one of the smoothest you have tasted.

The bourbon has a long finish with hints of brown sugar and spice. It is a deep amber whiskey with an intricate mix of flavors, including mint, vanilla, and molasses.

Sweet to the taste, the bourbon will surprise you with its rich undertones of oak, dark fruit, toffee, and anise.

Many bourbon enthusiasts have also tasted hints of caramel and coconut, adding to the whiskeys complex flavor profile.

Furthermore, this bourbon is from Buffalo Trace distilleries. The distillery has been making bourbon whiskey for over 200 years, so you are sure to receive a finely crafted product.

This is the best whiskey for old fashioned recipe with its sweet flavors and depth.


  • Perfect for old fashioned cocktail


  • Does not taste as good when served neat

Final Thoughts

This is a bourbon that has impressed many whiskey enthusiasts. You wont get a better flavor profile and smoothness for the price.

Buffalo trace bourbon has just enough body to be the perfect base for an old fashioned.

The whiskey has a very rich flavor profile and a long finish. Its main strength is how smooth it tastes. If you like your bourbon more on the sweet side, this will be a good choice.

The old fashioned cocktail recipe will also make it even sweeter and enhance its flavor.

With its notes of caramel and vanilla, it is the best bourbon whiskey for old fashioned.

A Classic Whisky Cocktail Old Fashioned

I love the fact that classic cocktails the kind that my dad used to make without too much hassle are making a comeback. One classic whisky cocktail, an Old Fashioned is one of the best ways I know to enjoy a single malt, and its also incredibly simple to put together. Much as I love the fine dining cocktails you get in Londons top bars, just as I enjoy a well-prepared steak or a platter of oysters with traditional service, cocktails like the Old Fashioned are classics for a reason.

George Kappelers Whiskey Old Fashioned is quite simple. You need a lump of sugar, a little water, two dashes of Angostura bitters, ice and lemon peel. And, about 60ml of whiskey. All you do is dissolve the sugar in the water, before adding the remaining ingredients and mixing with a small bar-spoon. He suggested serving with the spoon in the glass.

Meanwhile, the lovely people at Glen Moray have been sharing their own Old Fashioned recipes with me. Last year, at about this time I shared the Port Cask Finish Old Fashioned, which is made with Earl Grey Syrup. This year, Im going back to the classic and sharing a classic whisky cocktail recipe for an Old Fashioned. Its one of those recipes which is so simple there are only a few things you can do to make it different but I do think its important to remember a few details.

Secondly, the garnish of orange and a cocktail cherry is important.

For a classic Old Fashioned whisky cocktail, Id recommend using the Glen Moray Elgin Classic.

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Where Can You Find Jim Beam Bonded Bourbon

Jim Beam Bonded Bourbon is easy to find. Since it is the most popular bourbon in America, there is no liquor store, gas station, or grocery store that carries liquor that does not have this bottle. However, if you want to be certain that the liquor store in your neighborhood does indeed carry it, you can check out their website locator here. They actually allow you to locate a bottle based on your choice so you are not just going to get the brand when you find a place, but the bottle that you want.

The 11 Best Bourbonsfor An Old Fashioned

OLD FASHIONED – Explained in 90 Seconds – Best Old Fashioned recipe #bourbon #cocktails #drinks

There is no bad bourbon. There are only some bourbons that arent as good as others.-Raymon Chandler

Yes, the bourbon quality is important. But selecting the best bourbon for an old fashioned means considering many things, like your budget, tasting notes, how practical you want to be, and of course, personal preference.

Related: How is Bourbon Made?

Before we get to the list of the 11 best bourbons for an Old Fashioned, one quick note- I dont believe in wasting an expensive bourbon making an Old Fashioned . Which is why you wont find anything over $50 on this list. $50 is the absolute max I would spend on a bourbon if I knew I was using it to make an Old Fashioned. Anything more expensive than that seems like a waste of the taste .

I know youre here to learn about the best bourbons for an Old Fashioned, but before you do, its important you know how to make one one.

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The Pendennis Club Myth

For decades, the creation of the old-fashioned was attributed to the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky. David Wondrich points out in his book “Imbibe!” that this is false: The club opened in 1881, but a year before that, “old-fashioned cocktails” were mentioned in the Chicago Tribune. There was even an “ambiguous newspaper squib” that mentioned old-fashioned drinks as early as 1869.

In truth, the old-fashioned formula dates back to the 1850s, if not earlier. It was made with whiskey, brandy, or gin . It was quite simply liquor, sugar , and ice. Add bitters, and you have the original definition of a cocktail.

What Is The Best Bourbon Whiskey

There are not many drinks that are primarily popular in America. One of those unique drinks is bourbon whiskey. The rest of the world has even recognized that the bourbons that are in the United States are far superior to anything anywhere else in the world. Most of the best bourbons are made in Kentucky. While there are some companies producing bourbons in other states, these are all still using the methods that were developed in Kentucky and part of what made Kentucky known for bourbon around the world.

So, I will share my personal top ten bourbon whiskeys.

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Best Whiskies To Use In An Old Fashioned

There are two kinds of people in this world . But among drinkers, there’s the kind who’ve had an Old Fashioned, and those who haven’t.

Within those categories are further subdivisions: those who’ve not only had an Old Fashioned cocktail, but have a particular, ardent preference , and inevitably a particular, like Boy Band crazy, brand preference. And then there are those who’ve ordered an Old Fashioned because the mixologist wore suspenders and stared at them with a mixture of hope and sexy impatience. “Old Fashioned, please! Ahem. I love jazz. Anyway. But yeah, an Old Fashioned” Sounds cool, drinks well, earns speakeasy street cred.

And with good reason. The Old Fashioned is a “cocktail” in the truest, most original sense of the termbasically a sugar cube, a splash of water, a couple of dashes of bitters, and 2 ounces of whiskey, it’s still rich and silky and complex like Jared Leto, despite being so apparently Spartan.

Since the Old Fashioned is basically booze, sugar, Angostura bitters, and ice, the whiskey matters. A lot. Not to overwhelmsince whiskey can do thatthe main factors we’re looking for are either a bourbon that isn’t too sweet, a rye that isn’t too spicy, and a whiskey that’s 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 don’t wanna break the bank on either bourbon or rye. Buy decent, but don’t buy extravagantsave that for thoughtful sipping.

Knob Creek Straight Bourbon

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Knob Creek Bourbon has some good blood. Aged nine years, Knob Creek is the oldest by a couple years. The extra aging draws more flavor and sugar from the wood, providing a full-bodied, fruity flavor with hints of grass and grain. Its 100-proof, which is considered the honest age of bourbons made a century ago.

Knob Creek Bourbon is comfortable on the top shelf of any home bar, but how does it mix? Its bold, organic flavor stands up well in cocktails. It mixes for a very nice old fashioned with orange, bitters and a cherry. Whatever you do, taste it with a little extra patience. It spent nine long years getting to you. Dont rush it.

Pro tip:Try a new fashioned. Instead of sugar, use Amaretto as a sweetener. Mix that with bitters and an orange peel.

How much does Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey cost?

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon costs around $38 per bottle.

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Is Rye Or Bourbon Better For An Old Fashioned

When it comes to what whiskey to use for an old fashioned, it will depend on your personal preference.

Rye and bourbon have distinct tastes and flavor profiles an old fashioned with bourbon will taste much different than an old fashioned with rye whiskey.

Rye mash consists of rye, while bourbon mash consists of corn. Rye will have a more spicy and dry taste, while corn will have a sweeter and full-bodied taste.

Typically, rye whiskies are much more intense than bourbon whiskies. Many bourbons will be sweet and will typically have hints of vanilla.

If you are in the mood for a more peppery, bolder old fashioned, use rye whiskey. If you are looking for a lighter-bodied drink that is sweet, use bourbon.

The best rye whiskey for old fashioned will be Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey . Buffalo Trace Bourbon is the best bourbon for an old fashioned .

If You Want To Experiment Try Different Bitters

Angostura bitters is traditionally used in an Old Fashioned.

You can’t go wrong with Angostura bitters, but if you’re making an Old Fashioned in the winter or around the holidays, I recommend using a few dashes of Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters instead. You get way more cinnamon and clove on the nose, like a winter holiday in a bottle.

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Makers Mark Bourbon Whisky

  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Age: Straight NAS
  • Casking: Virgin White Oak

In the guide already linked above, our favourite overall bourbon is Makers Mark Cask Strength. While it would indeed be fantastic in an Old Fashioned, you dont necessarily need such a premium option. In fact, the standard Makers Mark bourbon is just as good.

Identifiable thanks to its cognac-inspired bottle and hand-dipped wax neck, the classic Makers Mark is a popular bourbon and for good reason, too. Often available at a very attractive price point, Makers Mark is quite sweet and subtle thanks to the heavy use of wheat in the mash bill.

Makers 46 Bourbon Whiskey

Which Whiskey is the best for an Old Fashioned? Jameson Irish Whiskey or High West Rye | PMD

Makers 46 is a masterclass in whiskey aging with an impressive depth of flavor. Building on the successful base of classic Makers Mark, the barrel masters then add seared French oak staves renowned for their clean and fresh flavor. Aged only in the winter, where it can mature slowly and gracefully, the resulting whiskey has a double dose of complexity that develops beautifully over a big cube of ice.

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Be Wise In Using Sugar

Sugar is one of the cardinal ingredients that are used in making this product. Because of that, you must be wary of the way you use it.

Ensure that you do not dump a sugar packet in the glass. The best way to add sugar is the place it at the glass bottom.

Then mix it with water and bitters and you have to observe it dissolve completely. Some people prefer to use the simple syrup for this purpose. These are great options but the most important thing is that you must be very wise in your use of sugar.

Moreover, bitters are the very important ingredient you are going to use for this old-fashioned. You must be very tactful the way you use it.

The tradition is that you add just two to three dashes of the splitter. Anything more or less than that is not going to work.

When the quantity added is too small or when it is too big, it is going to be counterproductive because it is going to affect the taste in a negative way.

When it comes to the use of bitter. The type of bitter you use as well as the quantity you use matter a lot and you must bear that in mind when you are considering this factor.

How To Make An Old Fashioned Cocktail

An Old Fashioned is a very popular whiskey cocktail. It is a cocktail that could be made from a spicy rye whiskey as well, but today bourbon is preferred. Keep in mind that the bourbon that you choose can drastically change the flavor profile your Old Fashioned has.

In my list of the best bourbons for an Old Fashioned, I add some tasting note comments for you to help you pick the bourbon that best feeds your personal preference.

There are a few different recipes out there for an Old Fashioned. Some use lemons or oranges instead of cherry as the garnish. Some use simple syrup instead of raw sugar. They all use bitters, but some use flavored bitters.

This is the basic Old Fashioned recipe that I use. It is classic and it is a good place to start. It will also help you to identify if you are looking for something else.

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Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon

Though better known for their budget-priced options, Wild Turkey makes a mean premium whiskey. Their Rare Breed Bourbon is the most affordable barrel proof whiskey youll find, coming in at a whopping 116.8 proof. When youve had dozens of old fashioned drinks and start to find them too sweet, its time to trade up to the big boys and Wild Turkeys Rare Breed should be your first stop on that journey.

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