Whiskey is a spirit produced from the distillation of grain. Debate still rages about whether the Irish Celts or Scots were the first to produce the “water of life,” but the first written recording of whiskey’s creation dates to 15th century Scotland. Origin isn’t the only debate concerning whiskey. Spelling is contentious, too. When distilled in Scotland, Canada, and Japan, it is spelled whisky without the e, while whiskey distilled in Ireland and the United States is most often, but not always, spelled with the e. Technically, whiskey is a distilled spirit produced from a fermented grain mash, distilled to no more than 190 proof, and bottled at no less than 80 proof. All whiskey, with the exception of corn whiskey and “white” whiskey, must be aged for some period of time in oak containers. Whiskey is classified by country of origin (i.e. Canadian whisky) and may be further defined by the type of grain used (i.e. rye whiskey) or the way it is produced (i.e. single malt).

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Bhakta 2013 Rye

Review: Bhakta Rye 2013

By David Tao | March 2, 2024 |

Raj Bhakta founded WhistlePig and helped (re)popularize rye among American consumers. With Bhakta, his eponymous second act in spirits, Raj has leaned into highly aged brandy, rum, blends, and bourbon. It turns out, it was only a matter of time before a full-on rye release was back on the table. Announced in January 2024, Bhakta…

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Review: Deanston Tequila Cask Finish 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | March 1, 2024 |

Scotch casks tend to make it to Mexico for use in tequila. The other way around… not so much. Deanston Distillery mixes that up with this 15 year old — blending “the essence of the Scottish and Mexican Highlands.” The whisky starts out spending 13 years in traditional Oak hogsheads before being finished for 2…

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Review: Still Austin Bottled in Bond Bourbons – Blue Corn and High Rye

By Christopher Null | February 29, 2024 |

Still Austin‘s bonded expressions continue to arrive at a healthy clip. Today we’re looking at a pair of recent releases, a high-rye offering and one built around exotic blue corn. These are the second and third releases in Still Austin’s ongoing Bottled in Bond series. Both are of course 100 proof. Still Austin Bottled in…

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Review: Rabbit Hole Founder’s Collection Amburana

By Drew Beard | February 28, 2024 |

While it’s predominantly associated with cachaca or barrel-aged beers, a few American distilleries (maybe more than a few) have experimented recently with finishing their whiskeys in Brazilian oak (also called Amburana). None, however, has offered such a luxe rendition as Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole. The distillery’s Founder’s Collection, where this latest offering is housed, is the…

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Review: Spirits of Single Cask Nation, Spring 2023 Releases

By Drew Beard | February 27, 2024 |

More than just the packaging has changed for indie bottler Single Cask Nation (SCN) since last we checked in on them. At the beginning of 2024, the brand announced their acquisition by Artisanal Spirits Co., owners of another, bigger bottler you may have heard of, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Founders Joshua Hatton and Jason…

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Review: Old Elk Cigar Cut Island Blend and Infinity Blend 2023

By Christopher Null | February 27, 2024 |

Old Elk recently (that is, at the end of 2023) released a pair of its big blends, both incredibly complex whiskeys that draw from a range of mashbills and finishing styles, all whipped up into a frenzy. We’ve got them both covered here — including the Cigar Cut and Infinity Blend, both in their 2023…

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Cameron George

Can Scotch Win More American Hearts and Minds? Brand Building with Ardbeg’s Cameron George

By David Tao | February 24, 2024 |

In a whisky world pushing press around master distillers and blenders, one group with outsized market impact doesn’t always get the spotlight: professional brand ambassadors. They’re the folks often closest to accounts both on and off-premises, promoting brands at large-scale events, and tackling entry into new markets one at a time. Few spirits in the…

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Jaywalk Straight Rye Whiskey

Review: NY Distilling Co. Jaywalk Straight Rye

By David Tao | February 23, 2024 |

Brooklyn’s NY Distilling Co. recently announced the release of three different rye expressions, all using a unique grain that harkens back to 17th-century New York State. Jaywalk Rye utilizes Horton Rye, a grain smaller in size than traditional rye used for whiskey making. NY Distilling’s Allen Katz and Tom Potter partnered with Cornell University to…

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Review: Mash & Mallow S’mores Whiskey

By Christopher Null | February 20, 2024 |

Mash & Mallow looks on the surface like any old industrial flavored booze product, right? I mean… s’mores whiskey? Come on. Turns out the product is made by none other than Kaveh Zamanian, the man behind Rabbit Hole Bourbon and no slouch when it comes to quality spirits. So maybe there’s something to this after…

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Review: Daviess County Bourbon Medium Toasted Barrel Finish

By Christopher Null | February 19, 2024 |

In 2023, Lux Row’s Daviess County brand launched a new series of whiskeys built around toasted barrel finishing. The first, with a Lightly Toasted Barrel Finish, didn’t make a huge impact on us. But the series trudges forward all the same with, of course, a Medium Toasted Barrel Finish expression. Like its Lightly Toasted predecessor,…

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