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: Balcones “1,” Baby Blue, and Brimstone (2017)

By Christopher Null | December 1, 2017 |

It’s been roughly three years since Chip Tate left Balcones, the Texas distillery that he founded, but Balcones Distilling continues to pump out whiskey after whiskey from its Waco operation with Jared Himstedt at the helm. We’ve been covering the distillery off and on for eight years now, and if anything can be said about…

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A Visit to Copper Fox Distillery

By Drew Beard | November 6, 2017 |

While only an hour and a half outside of Washington, D.C., Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, Virginia seems worlds away from any city. Many new distilleries today are taking up shop in suburban business parks or urban warehouse spaces, which makes this location, in an old 1930s apple warehouse and cider mill at the foot…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2017

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2017 |

San Francisco’s WhiskyFest seemed as popular as ever this year, kicked off with the stampede to the Pappy Van Winkle booth that always marks the start of the show. As always, there was plenty to enjoy at this year’s event — both new expressions and classic old friends ready for tasting. Here’s a full rundown…

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Review: Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey Sauternes Finish

By Christopher Null | September 6, 2017 |

In case you missed our earlier review, Texas’s Swift Single Malt Whiskey is a gem in a world of lackluster single malts made in the U.S. Now the distillery is out with a new expression: single malt finished in Sauternes casks instead of the Oloroso sherry casks used for the mainline release. The distillery gives us…

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Review: Westland Garryana Native Oak Series 2017 Edition 2|1

By Christopher Null | August 14, 2017 |

Westland’s single malt “Garry Oak” series continues with this second edition, a follow up to the inaugural 2016 release. I won’t rehash what a Garryana oak is, but will instead focus on how this release differs from the first. The main thing: No peat. Like its predecessor, Edition 2|1 features Garry Oak as the lead…

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Review: Rua American Single Malt Whiskey

By Christopher Null | June 17, 2017 |

Great Wagon Road Distilling can be found in Charlotte, North Carolina, where this small operation can be found making vodka, poitin, and malt whiskey under the care of Ollie Mulligan, a native Irishman. Today we look at Rua — Gaelic for “red” — the company’s American single malt made from 100% malted barley. The whiskey…

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Review: Westland Winter Release 2016

By Drew Beard | June 3, 2017 |

Seattle-based Westland Distillery makes only American single malt whiskey, but they have produced a range of variations on this theme to date including Sherry Wood and Peated, as well as more creative offerings like Garryana, part of the Native Oak series in which they age their single malt in oak sourced from the Pacific Northwest. In the winter…

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Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Port Finished Virginia Highland Malt Whisky (2017)

By Christopher Null | May 6, 2017 |

Virginia Distillery — which takes authentic single malt from Scotland, blends it with malt whiskey distilled in house, and finishes it all in unique barrels in Virginia — is back with another release, and like its inaugural release, this one finished in Port wine barrels. (Again, note that this expression differs from that first release and…

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Review: Lost Spirits Distillery Abomination “The Crying of the Puma”

By Christopher Null | April 15, 2017 |

Recently we gave you an accounting of a strange little whiskey called Abomination, in which newly-Los Angeles-based Lost Spirits Distillery takes Islay white dog, puts it through its patented reactor, and a week later comes out with a heavily-peated, rapidly-aged “Scotch” unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. You may not recall that Abomination was being released…

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Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey and Diamond Peak (Late 2016 Bottlings)

By Christopher Null | March 6, 2017 |

We’ve reviewed several of Stranahan’s single malt whiskey bottlings in the past, and today we look at a fresh batch of both the yellow-labeled original and the company’s higher-end Diamond Peak release. Both are 100% malted barley whiskeys, made and aged in Colorado. Unfortunately prices batch information is not available for these, which were tasted…

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