American Single Malt Whiskey

American single malt does not officially exist (yet) as a legally defined category of whiskey in the United States, but producers generally adhere to the same regulations observed in Scotland. It is produced at a single, U.S. distillery from 100% malted barley, distilled to 160 proof, and bottled at no less than 80 proof. American single malt is often aged in used cooperage, like its counterparts overseas. On the other hand, “American straight malt” – which is a legally defined category – must be aged in new oak containers for a minimum of 2 years, echoing the rules for other categories of American whiskey. Today, American producers continue to experiment with barrel regimens for this emerging category.

Top American Single Malt Whiskey Posts:

A Visit to House Spirits in Portland, Oregon
Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey Sauternes Finish
Lost Spirits Distillery Abomination “The Sayers of the Law”

Review: Coppersea New York Corn Whisky, Green Malt Rye, and Excelsior Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 11, 2016 |

Coppersea, based in upstate New York, has been on a real tear lately with a flood of new (and very young) whiskey releases, running the gamut of American styles. Today we’re looking at three of them. Thoughts follow. Coppersea New York Corn Whisky – 80% corn, 20% malted barley, aged at least six months in…

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Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey 8 Years Old (2015)

By Christopher Null | September 2, 2015 |

What a terrifying sight to unwrap a box featuring Heaven Hill’s latest and always highly-anticipated annual release of the Parker’s Heritage Collection… only to see in big, gold, italic type, the word Malt. Yeah, now it’s Heaven Hill that is taking a stab at making a Kentucky Straight Malt with this non-bourbon release, the second…

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Review: Westland American Oak Single Malt, Sherry Wood, and Peated Whiskey

By Christopher Null | July 12, 2015 |

American single malt whiskeys get a bad rap, and that’s usually for a good reason: Many of them are borderline undrinkable. Seattle-based Westland is trying to change that perception with it offerings, all single malts, and all produced in the style of their Scottish inspirations. Westland makes its whiskeys from five different malts, including a…

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Review: Balcones “1” Texas Single Malt Whisky Classic Edition (2015)

By Christopher Null | April 25, 2015 |

Distiller Chip Tate may now be gone from Balcones, but they’re still turning out whiskey (er, “whisky,” here) at the Waco-based operation. Balcones 1 — one of the distillery’s best-known spirits and a product that’s widely considered the best American-made single malt — is still being produced, and we got our hands on a post-Tate…

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Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Batch #121

By Christopher Null | April 5, 2015 |

It has been many years since we visited Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey in a formal capacity. Batch #33, in fact, back in 2009. Since then, Stranahan’s has become a bona-fide phenomenon, one of the stalwarts of craft whiskeymaking and the recipient of a cult following. Today we look at the 121st batch of Stranahan’s — still…

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Review: McMenamins Devils Bit Whiskey

By Christopher Null | March 12, 2015 |

The microdistillers at McMenamins specialize and young and unaged spirits, but once in a while they make more seriously aged stuff, too. Once a year, actually, in the case of Devils Bit, a five-year-old whiskey that is available for one day and one day only each year from a dozen McMenamins properties. That day happens…

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Review: Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey and Single Malt Straight Rye

By Christopher Null | March 3, 2015 |

Old Potrero is the craft distilling arm of San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling, and in addition to a number of gin and unaged whiskey products, it also produces a handful of aged spirits under the OP label. Today we look at two extreme oddities, both made 100% malted rye, which means the rye has been partially…

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Review: Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon (2014), Single Malt, Double Cask Rye, and White Rye

By Christopher Null | December 28, 2014 |

When famous distiller Dave Pickerell (ex of Maker’s Mark) opened Hillrock Estate Distillery in upstate New York, he had but one product, a high-rye Bourbon aged in the solera style and finished in oloroso sherry casks. Since then, Hillrock has added three more craft distilled products, all super-local and carefully handmade, to its stable: a…

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santa fe apple brandy

Review: Spirits of Santa Fe Spirits – Apple Brandy, Wheeler’s Gin (2014), Silver Coyote Pure Malt Whiskey, and Expedition American West Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 9, 2014 |

Santa Fe Spirits is based, you guessed it, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded by Colin Keegan in 2010, the company now offers a range of five spirits, all with a southwestern bent and primarily column-distilled. We tasted four of them (all but the aged, single malt whiskey). Thoughts follow. Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy…

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Woodford Reserve Masters Collection Straight and Classic Malt

Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Double Malt Selections

By Christopher Null | October 15, 2013 |

Every year around this time our friends at Woodford Reserve release a special, and sometimes experimental, whiskey release. And for 2013, Woodford is taking things to the Old World, bottling two single 100% malted barley whiskeys… made in Kentucky. You’re reading that right: These are the first “fully matured whiskies crafted from malt in Kentucky since…

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