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: Diageo Scotch Whisky Special Releases 2021

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2021 |

Diageo’s Special Releases Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection for 2021 has arrived. Tagged with the moniker “Legends Untold,” this year’s collection spans 8 whiskies, all single malt (no grain whisky this year), designed to “reach into the realms of augmented reality to share the untold stories of iconic Scotch distilleries in new and unique ways.”…

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Review: Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar 2021

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2021 |

November is upon us, which means holiday shopping will soon follow. For the spirits enthusiast in your family, consider an early present in the form of an advent calendar: 12 or 24 30ml mini bottles that can be consumed, one each day, leading up to Christmas. Drinks by the Dram was nice enough to send…

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Review: One Eight Distilling District Made Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon

By Drew Beard | November 12, 2021 |

Last year, Washington D.C.’s One Eight Distilling released their first ever single barrel under their in-house District Made label, an impressive cask strength rye whiskey. What makes sense for a sequel? You guessed it. A cask strength, single barrel bourbon. This bottle hit the distillery’s gift shop shelves back in September, but the One Eight…

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Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction Cuvee Single Cask

By Drew Beard | November 11, 2021 |

Over the summer, Virginia Distillery Co. added three new offerings to their line of Courage & Conviction single malts, each drawn from stocks used in the core Courage & Conviction blend. If that wasn’t evidence enough that the distillery has really ramped up their single malt production, we now have the latest bottling: Courage &…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Rye and Port Cask Finish Rye

By Drew Beard | November 11, 2021 |

Earlier this month, we reviewed the reborn Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon, which died an untimely death, along with the standard Old Scout Bourbon, when the distillery ran out of sourced MGP stock in 2016. That wasn’t the only casualty of Smooth Ambler’s shortage. There was also an Old Scout Rye (MGP’s beloved 95/5 mashbill)…

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Review: Nashville Barrel Co. Single Barrel Rye, Bourbon, and Rum

By Drew Beard | November 10, 2021 |

Earlier this year, David introduced you to Nashville Barrel Co., a new, non-distilling producer based out of Nashville’s Railyard District that offers an impressive portfolio of single barrel whiskeys and rum, as well as a small batch rye, the second batch of which thoroughly impressed us over at Drinkhacker HQ. In addition to their own…

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Review: Compass Box Artist Blend, Glasgow Blend, and Orchard House (2021)

By Christopher Null | November 9, 2021 |

Compass Box never seems to slow down its efforts, and when it’s not releasing new spirits, it’s revamping old ones. The Great King Street collection dropped between 2011 and 2014, launched to celebrate the preferred whisky styles of the people of Edinburgh and Glasgow (at least according to a book published in 1930). In 2021,…

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Review: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Pittyvaich

By Christopher Null | November 7, 2021 |

The Jonnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare series continues with this fourth installment, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Pittyvaich. As with the prior Ghost and Rare releases, this limited edition is blended with “irreplaceable ‘ghost whiskies’ from Scotch whisky distilleries that have long since closed.” The centerpiece of this one is Speyside’s…

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Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Caribbean Rum Cask

By Christopher Null | November 5, 2021 |

Stranahan’s has long built a reputation for its 100% Colorado-born single malt whiskey, to the point where it has recently begun branching out into special edition releases. The latest is this “Distillery Exclusive,” a 5 year old malt finished in Caribbean rum casks for an undisclosed length of time. Ready to dive in? Here goes:…

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Review: James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2021 |

With James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Gatlinburg, Tennessee-based Ole Smoky Distillery takes another step away from its moonshine roots, with a real Tennessee whiskey — or Tennessee bourbon, as they call it — now on the market. The whiskey is sourced stock from unstated parts — though it has to be in Tennessee…

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