American Whiskey

American whiskey comprises a huge swath of sub-categories, and most of the whiskeys you’ll encounter fall into one of these. Bourbon (distinguished by its 51%-or-greater corn mashbill) is undoubtedly the largest of these, with Rye (at least 51% rye) arguably second. Tennessee Whiskey (a subset of Bourbon, made in Tennessee and charcoal mellowed) is another major, with Wheat Whiskey, Corn Whiskey, and Malt Whiskey all having their adherents. White whiskey (unaged whiskey) is another segment growing in size. Other categories, including Blended Whiskey, Light Whiskey, and Spirit Whiskey can also be found occupying this broad catch-all category.

Top American Whiskey Categories:

Bourbon
Tennessee Whiskey
Rye
Wheat Whiskey
American Single Malt

Review: Templeton Rye (2009)

By Christopher Null | March 19, 2009 |

If they were drinking whiskey this good back in the Prohibition days, I don’t feel so bad for them after all. Templeton was a purported favorite of Al Capone and “the center of his bootlegging empire,” Templeton Rye is a killer whiskey that — if marketing is to be believed — has been being produced…

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Review: Red Stag by Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 15, 2009 |

I don’t know what deer have to do with cherries, but you try coming up with a name for you black cherry-infused whiskey, OK? Red Stag — which is Jim Beam bourbon “infused with natural flavors” (predominantly black cherry, one would assume) — is as good a name as any for what Beam has come…

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Review: Fighting Cock Bourbon

By Christopher Null | February 26, 2009 |

One approaches a spirit called “Fighting Cock” with tempered expectations. The name does not suggest smoothness or elegance, but rather an old-school saloon bourbon that will probably encourage you to get into a situation in which you end up bleeding before the night is out. Fighting Cock is not as scary as it sounds —…

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Review: McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt 3 Years Old (2009)

By Christopher Null | February 23, 2009 |

One sip — heck, one sniff — of McCarthy’s whiskey and you’d swear it was fresh off the boat from a foggy distillery on the shores of Islay instead of in Portland, Oregon. The only hint that you’re drinking something different is the pale gold color, a signal of a relatively short time in cask…

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Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 1999 Vintage

By Christopher Null | February 13, 2009 |

While Evan Williams may be best known for it’s $9.49 black label bourbon, the fact is the company makes a wide range of whiskeys spanning a range of price levels. While not its most expensive concoction, this vintage-dated, single-barrel bourbon is near the top for the company, though at just $30 a bottle (sometimes less),…

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Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Batch #33

By Christopher Null | February 4, 2009 |

I’m not gonna pull any punches here. Stranahan’s is the strangest whiskey I’ve ever experienced. It looks harmless enough, a bright, orange-hued spirit with a relatively mild nose — almost rye-like. Though 94 proof, the nose isn’t particularly hot. Looks promising. Then the tasting. Hmmm. Stranahan’s is a rarity among American whiskeys, distilled from 100…

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Review: Evan Williams Black Label Bourbon

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2009 |

I’ve written about Evan Williams a few times now after seeing the brand rank highly in taste-tests of inexpensive booze. Widely regarded as the best “cheap bourbon” on the market, I figured I’d pick up a bottle and try it myself, tasting it as seriously as I would a $300 Scotch. The price of this…

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Review: Kentucky Vintage Bourbon

By Christopher Null | January 29, 2009 |

The name “Kentucky Vintage” immediately leads one to snicker a bit. Vintage? Bourbon? Really? In reality, this is the fourth (and final) bourbon from the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers’ Small Batch Collection — the entire line has been reviewed here now — and it is arguably the least impressive of the series. At just 90 proof,…

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Review: Noah’s Mill Bourbon

By Christopher Null | January 19, 2009 |

Another entry from the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers consortium, Noah’s Mil is a standout from this bottling group. Produced in small batches, it arrives in the bottle at a downright sweltering 114.3 proof, and sipping without water makes one positively sweat. Add a touch of water to the amazingly dark, toffee-brown bourbon and you get something…

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Review: Jim Beam Distillers Series Bourbon (2008 Edition)

By Christopher Null | January 13, 2009 |

I’m on record as being a fan of Jim Beam as a totally solid, affordable bourbon, so I had to snag a bottle of Jim Beam Distillers Series — a reserve bottling, if you will — when I heard it was being produced. This new, limited-edition bottle features a line-art representation of each of the…

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