“When it comes to whiskey, it seems like nobody can quite get enough of it,” says Becky Paskin, editor of The Spirits Magazine in London. We couldn’t agree more. Indeed, a great whiskey makes one of the best gifts for a whiskey enthusiast. However, what one considers good, may quite possibly be just ordinary to someone else. Hence, naming the best whiskies can be tricky. More so, as every year witnesses the addition of new variants, each claiming to be of an improved quality than the previous version.
The history of American whiskey is rich and can be traced back to 1791, when the liquor first emerged in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Whiskey was brewed as a rye-based product at that. While a large percentage is distilled today in Kentucky and Tennessee, whiskey is produced across the length and breadth of America. Our list includes the varieties trending the most:
1. Jim Beam Black
The whiskey stays in white oak barrels twice as long as the other bottles of this category. The prolonged stay inside oaks imparts a robust flavor with hints of butterscotch, caramel, rich honey, and brown sugar that the whiskey is known for.
2. Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye
Russell's Reserve, the 104-proof rye, has been a favorite of whiskey enthusiasts ever since its inception in 2015, owing to its prominent spicy note. It is spicier than its usual batches and accompanies tobacco and vanilla aftertaste. However, the vanilla and tobacco does not interfere with the strong flavor.
3. Widow Jane Whiskey Distilled From a Rye Mash
Having Kentucky rye mash as the key component, the whisky is known for its bold taste. Owing to the water used during distillation, the whisky holds an interesting sweet mineral taste. The water is sourced from New York's Rosendale Limestone Mine, also known as Widow Jane Mine.
4. Dry Fly Washington Wheat Whiskey
It is one of the rarest American whiskies. But if you are trying to locate one, your search is worthwhile. The wheat produced within Washington is used for creating the fascinating liquor containing pronounced notes of cinnamon, baked orange scones, and fruit gum. Dry Fly Distilling is in the picturesque town of Spokane, and is known across the state for its hand-crafted spirits.
5. Mckenzie Rye
A product from Finger Lakes Distilling in the state of New York, Mckenzie Rye consists of freshly baked biscuits notes and possesses brown sugar and maple syrup on the palate. This undoubtedly is one of the best whiskies crafted in the US, and is not to be missed for rye whiskey lovers.
6. High West Campfire Whiskey
Preferred when the weather is cold and cozy, High West Campfire Whiskey is as smoky as any other peaty whiskey, perhaps more. However, the tone is made subtle by adding the syrupy and sweet honey flavors.
7. Westward Single Barrel Oregon Straight Malt Whiskey
Produced from malted barley, Westward Single Barrel Oregon Straight Malt Whiskey is distilled in America’s House Spirits. It indeed is an impeccable example of crafted whiskey within the US. Having the perfect amount of oak, and the touch of a master distiller, Westward Single Barrel Oregon Straight Malt Whiskey is by far one of the best small batch craft whiskies that the US comprises.
8. Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year Old
More than a decade old, the Kentucky Bourbon is heaven on the tongue. The bottle is short and intricately crafted. A lot of time is spent in charring the American whiskey, providing a remarkably strong flavor – one of the best Bourbon variants produced by Bulleit till date.
9. Kings County Chocolate Whiskey
The spirit is crafted by blending the King’s County corn whiskey and Mast Brothers chocolate, one of the best produced in Brooklyn, New York. The neat liquor serves as a great replacement of deserts in occasions like Thanksgiving.
10. Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select
Jack Daniel’s and coke is indeed your favorite. How about a little complex, creamier, and robust version? The single barrel select is the fancier version, that does not need the intervention of coke. Rather, can be sipped as is.