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: Lost Spirits Distillery Abomination “The Sayers of the Law”

By Christopher Null | March 4, 2017 |

One can count on few things in life, but one of those things is the fact that Lost Spirits Distillery — now operating out of Los Angeles — is going to come up with something new to mess with your mind. What did Bryan Davis do to create this “abomination?” Instead of distilling his own…

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Review: Santa Fe Spirits Colkegan Single Malt Whisky

By Christopher Null | January 28, 2017 |

A name like Colkegan may evoke Ireland, or perhaps Scotland… but not exactly New Mexico, does it? Nevertheless, here we are with a distinctly American single malt — its barley dried not with peat but with mesquite — double pot-distilled, and aged (time unstated) in casks at 7000 feet above sea level (yes, in the Santa…

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Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Cider Barrel Matured Virginia Highland Malt Whisky

By Christopher Null | January 18, 2017 |

If Virginia Distillery Co.’s flagship product — a Scottish single malt imported to the U.S. and finished in Virginia Port wine casks — wasn’t wacky enough for you, now comes its first line extension, which sees that first product finished not in Port barrels but instead in locally-sourced cider barrels (specifically barrels from Potter’s Craft…

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Review: Westland Garryana Native Oak Series 2016 Edition 1|1

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2016 |

Who or what is Garryana? It’s short for Quercus garryana, a species of oak native to the Pacific Northwest, where Westland Distillery is based. While American oak barrels are traditionally formed form Quercus alba, a species of oak common to the midwest, Westland, as you might have guessed, aged part of this limited edition release of its…

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Review: Seattle Distilling Idle Hour Whiskey

By Christopher Null | October 24, 2016 |

Home-grown Washington barley finds its way into Seattle Distilling’s Idle Hour single malt whiskey, which adds local wildflower honey into the fermentation to sweeten things up a bit (Seattle Distilling calls this “its Irish character”). The distillate is aged in re-charred, used French oak cabernet sauvignon wine casks, though no age statement is offered. This…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2016

By Christopher Null | October 16, 2016 |

WhiskyFest is always a great opportunity to get a look at new releases — and pre-sampling products I won’t be able to formally review for a few weeks or month is my favorite part of the show. WhiskyFest 2016 was shaping up to be a windfall for these kinds of releases, including Ardbeg Dark Cove,…

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Review: Greenbar Slow Hand Six Woods Malt Whiskey (2016)

By Christopher Null | October 4, 2016 |

The Greenbar Collective in Los Angeles is home to Slow Hand, a white whiskey and this, an aged whiskey made of 100% malted barley. The company calls it “a new kind of whiskey that… has never been tasted before,” and the production description doesn’t falter on that front. Says Greenbar: “After fermenting and distilling a…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Distillery Series – Five Malt

By Christopher Null | July 19, 2016 |

Woodford’s latest Distillery Series bourbon — a limited edition experimental series that doesn’t quite merit Master’s Collection status — is here. “Five Malt” connotes what it is, though the company doesn’t exactly tell you everything: Inspired by the popularity of micro-breweries to explore malted grains typically used for beers when crafting whiskey, Five Malt’s distinctive…

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Review: Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey

By Christopher Null | May 13, 2016 |

Swift is a new entry into the burgeoning Texas craft distilling industry, a region which is particularly enamored with malted barley rather then the more typically American corn and rye. The latest single malt to cross our path comes from Swift, a husband and wife team with a distinct and particular goal: To replicate Scotch…

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Review: McMenamins Edgefield Hogshead and Monkey Puzzle Whiskey

By Christopher Null | April 9, 2016 |

Two new whiskeys from McMenamins’ Edgefield Distillery in Troutdale, Oregon. Let’s take a spin through this pair of limited edition spirits available directly from the distillery and its various gift shops. McMenamins Edgefield Hogshead Whiskey – “Pure pot distilled from 100% malted barley,” per the label. Since “pure pot still” — in the Irish sense…

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