Whiskey

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).

Top Whiskey Posts:

The Top 10 Whiskeys of 2018
The Top 10 Whiskeys of 2017
All About Dusties: 1970s vs. 2018 Bourbon Tasted Side by Side
Top 10 Bourbons Under $20
What Grains are Used to Make Whiskey (And Why?)
From Barrel To Bottle: How Wood Aging Impacts Whiskey

Review: Dewar’s Special Reserve 12 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 23, 2008 |

A cut above standard grade Dewar’s, this 12-year-old blended Scotch is as smooth as they come. Honey is brightest on the palate, and a smoky, tobacco-laden aftertaste lingers on the finish. Light and almost crisp (imagine biting into a fresh apple), this is a whisky that’s best straight up, without water or ice. At just…

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Original Recipe: The Thorny Toad

By Christopher Null | January 13, 2008 |

Try one of these if you’re a fan of bitter drinks like the Negroni. The Thorny Toad 2 oz. Irish whiskey 1 oz. Punt e Mes splash Absinthe 3 dashes Angostura bitters Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Adapted from the Blackthorn Cocktail, from the classic Savoy Cocktail Book.

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Review: Old Whiskey River Bourbon 6 Years Old

By Christopher Null | December 26, 2007 |

Looking for a bourbon you can knock back — the better part of bottle, really — and never notice you were drinking it? Meet your match. Old Whiskey River is perhaps the smoothest whiskey I’ve ever had. I was shocked to see it was 86 proof. It could have been iced tea for all I…

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Review: Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon (2007)

By Christopher Null | December 20, 2007 |

You’ll know it by the little horse and rider on the stopper and the grenade-shaped bottle. At $45 a bottle, you’ll often find this in the lockup at your local liquor store. As bourbons go, it’s unique: All bottles are single-barrel bottlings, which means that a glass will vary from state to state and store…

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Review: Bulleit Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 28, 2007 |

I love the Bulleit guys. I have honestly never met friendlier people in the course of my travels. Gracious, honest, and plain spoken, I’d drink Bulleit even if it tasted like swill just because I think it would make me a better person. Fortunately, Bulleit’s “Frontier Whiskey” is plenty good going down the hatch. Bulleit…

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Review: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2007 |

This is a classic sipping bourbon. Once you get through the alcoholic heat (splash some water in the glass; at 100 proof it needs it), you’ll find a rich, oaky flavor, some maple syrup, some vanilla, and a nicely sweet finish. The vague herbal notes are interesting, and picking them out — sage? rosemary? it’s…

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Recipe: The Turkey Trot Cocktail

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2007 |

Need a pick-me-up to go with all those Thanksgiving leftovers? Try this — utterly holiday appropriate — little concoction. The Turkey Trot 1 1/4 oz. bourbon 3/4 oz. cranberry juice 1/4 oz. Licor 43 Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cranberry. Add more bourbon for…

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Review: Wild Turkey American Spirit Bourbon 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 10, 2007 |

I came to Wild Turkey’s latest bottling, American Spirit, with much excitement: It’s a 15-year-old bonded bourbon, 100 proof, produced in small batches, and limited to 24,000 bottles worldwide. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, there’s not much excitement once it hits the glass. This is an easy-sipping bourbon, but its vanilla, caramel, and woody flavors…

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Review: Russell’s Reserve Rye (2007)

By Christopher Null | November 1, 2007 |

There’s a dearth of good, affordable rye whiskey on the market. While I swear by Old Overholt, I welcome competition in the form of Russell’s Reserve (from the same folks that make Wild Turkey), a rye that, at $25, isn’t as cheap as Overholt but isn’t in the stratosphere like some high-end bottlings. Russell’s is…

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Review: Chivas Regal 25 Years Old

By Christopher Null | October 27, 2007 |

Chivas Regal is one of the old reliable names of blended scotches. You probably cringe when you see, oh, Cutty Sark on the bar at a private event, right? But Chivas, yeah, that’s a name you can can behind for a shot or two. This month, Chivas Brothers rolls out an ultra-high-end 25-year-old blend, inspired…

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