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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Review: Few Spirits Four Grain Bourbon 10th Anniversary Edition

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2022 |

For its recent 10th anniversary, Evanston, Illinois-based Few Spirits dropped a special edition bottling, a bourbon made from a four-grain mashbill (no breakdown specified), aged six years in oak. It’s available exclusively in Illinois and on Few’s own direct-to-consumer channel, BuyFewSpirits.com. The bright, burgundy-hued whiskey keeps things on the level, aromatically. Peanuts and caramel corn, laced…

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Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 12.1, 12.2, and 12.3

By Christopher Null | May 19, 2022 |

Octomore — the self-proclaimed world’s peatiest whisky — is back for round 12, this time with a twist. While the “x.2” release is usually a duty-free release, Octomore 12.2 is available for the first time in general retail. Details from the distillery: This twelfth series of Octomore returns to explore a delicately balanced, soft smoke…

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Review: Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey 114 Proof

By Drew Beard | May 16, 2022 |

Jim Beam’s Old Overholt lineup saw a major refresh back in 2020, along with the introduction of two limited editions available, at the time, only in Ohio and Pennsylvania: an 11-year-old offering (that still eludes us) and this bottle, Old Overholt 114 Proof. The release was in celebration of the 210th anniversary of Abraham Overholt’s…

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Review: Michter’s US-1 Barrel Strength Straight Rye 2022

By Drew Beard | May 15, 2022 |

The absence last fall of George T. Stagg, a perennial favorite in the annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, left the world’s bourbon-obsessed with one less unicorn to chase. In March of this year, Michter’s added to the misfortune with its announcement that the distillery would be holding back its beloved 10-year-old bourbon until 2023 to…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 31 and Batch 32

By Drew Beard | May 14, 2022 |

Barrell Bourbon ended 2021 with Batch 31 of its flagship bourbon and kicked the new year off with Batch 32. Each release is a blend of sourced stocks from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee, which has become a consistent theme in recent years (with the exception of Batch 30). Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll…

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Review: Egan’s Irish Whiskeys – Conviction and Legacy Reserve IV 18 Years Old

By Christopher Null | May 12, 2022 |

Two new whiskeys from Ireland’s Egan’s, each with quite the different approach. Conviction is a 10 year old blend that joins the Egan’s permanent collection, while Legacy Reserve IV a limited edition single malt, the final release in this four-year-long series. We tried them both. Here goes. Both are 92 proof. Egan’s Conviction Irish Whiskey…

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Review: Basil Hayden Subtle Smoke

By Robert Lublin | May 10, 2022 |

Producer Jim Beam has introduced a range of new Basil Hayden products in recent years, including creative approaches to bourbon and rye, and now it is offering something completely different by creating a bourbon with a distinctly smoky character. Unusually, it isn’t made with peat. They explain the unique process for creating a very subtle…

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Review: Treaty Oak Distilling x Whiskey Myers Red Handed Bourbon 2 Years Old

By Christopher Null | May 9, 2022 |

This whiskey was pitched to me as a collaboration with “a highly acclaimed band,” in bold, to which I said sure, send me some. Well, I have never heard of Whiskey Myers, but I can appreciate this whiskey — a sourced two year old Kentucky Bourbon made with a high-rye mash bill (70% corn, 21%…

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Review: Elvis Whiskey – The King Rye and Tiger Man Tennessee Whiskey

By Christopher Null | May 8, 2022 |

Yes, that Elvis. Charleston, South Carolina-based Grain & Barrel Spirits is producing this Elvis Presley inspired duo of whiskeys, joining numerous other brands in the G&B lineup, including Chicken Cock Whiskey, Dixie Vodka, and Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey. The two expressions of Elvis are sourced from two different distilleries in different states — neither in…

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Review: Walker’s Cay Bourbon

By Christopher Null | May 7, 2022 |

Walker’s Cay — complete with a marlin on the label — sure does sound like a rum. Surprise: It’s bourbon, made in Kentucky, finished with sherry cask staves, and bottled by King Spirits in Owensboro, KY. The owner of King Spirits is Steven Busch, the son of August Busch III, and clearly more of a…

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