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: Hand Barrel Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 29, 2024 |

Take a bottle shaped like a barrel and cover it in camouflage paint, then fill it with Kentucky bourbon. Boom, you’ve got Hand Barrel Bourbon, a limited edition product designed to celebrate American veterans, with a significant 10% of proceeds going to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation charity. Proprietor Jim Hand provides ample production information…

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Review: Bulleit American Single Malt Whiskey

By Drew Beard | March 22, 2024 |

While plenty of smaller, craft brands have been flooding the market with American Single Malt (ASM) whiskey over the last few years, the big boys of American whiskey have been releasing their own expressions at a comparative trickle. Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s hopped on the ASM train last year, and now Bulleit has joined…

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Review: Tincup Bourbon Fourteener Release No. 2

By Christopher Null | March 21, 2024 |

Tincup’s Fourteener series (a 14 year old Colorado bourbon) got its start at the end of 2022, and as promised it’s back with a second edition, Release No. 2, which is bottled in honor of Quandary Peak, one of the 58 mountains in Colorado known as Fourteeners, due to their height topping 14,000 feet. For…

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Review: Old Pepper Bourbon, Rye, and James E. Pepper Bourbon (2024)

By Christopher Null | March 20, 2024 |

Like many American whiskey brands of late, the Old Pepper/James E. Pepper brand has gone through all kinds of changes since we first encountered it in 2013. At the time, the brand was a relaunch of an ancient label that hadn’t been produced since 1958 (or 1961, depending on who you trust), taking advantage of…

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Review: Heaven Hill Heritage Collection Bourbon 18 Years Old (2024)

By Christopher Null | March 19, 2024 |

  Heaven Hill’s inaugural Heritage Collection release in 2022 was such a standout that it earned a spot on our Top 10 Whiskeys of the year list. The 2023 follow-up — a 20-year-old corn whiskey — didn’t quite impress the same way, but its unique composition was a bit of an oddity that at least…

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Review: Waterford Distillery Heritage Hunter and Organic Cuvee Gaia

By Drew Beard | March 18, 2024 |

Waterford continues to expand its diverse portfolio of terroir-focused Irish whiskeys. Today we’re taking a look at a recent addition to the Arcadian Farm Origin Series which, like last year’s peated offerings, showcases “maverick farming” with a focus on heritage grains. The second offering is an all cuvee expression of Waterford’s Organic Gaia. Let’s check…

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Review – Nine Irish Whiskeys from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission

By Drew Beard | March 17, 2024 |

New Hampshire is a thirsty state. For nearly a decade now, we’ve periodically covered the NHLC’s acquisition of single barrel American whiskey and tequila. Now, through a partnership with Bord Bia, Ireland’s Agency for Food and Drink, the Granite State is getting access to a wide selection of unique Irish whiskeys. Per NHLC: The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) and…

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Review: The Glenlivet Rum & Bourbon Fusion Cask Selection

By Christopher Null | March 17, 2024 |

The Glenlivet continues its parade of unusual and unexpected whiskies with its new Fusion Cask Selection, which it describes as “a category-first innovation,” selectively finished in “bespoke casks that are uniquely crafted by fusing dismantled first-fill rum and bourbon barrels.” If this sounds at all familiar, you might be recalling Amrut’s Fusion release, which has…

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Review: Dewar’s Double Double Aged 21 Years Old Mizunara Oak

By Christopher Null | March 16, 2024 |

Dewar’s Double Double Aged has been a standout from the brand for years, with all of its expressions — the youngest 21 years old — earning solid marks here. With this new release, Dewar’s is releasing its first specially finished expression, a version of the Double Double 21 year old with an extra Japanese mizunara…

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Review: Savage & Cooke Core Whiskeys 2024 – American Whiskey, Cask Finished Rye, and Cask Finished Bourbon

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2024 |

At the end of 2023, Savage and Cooke rebranded its permanent lineup, revamping its core whiskeys, ditching the avant garde photography, and formally changing its name to Savage & Cooke instead of Savage and Cooke. I already miss Margaret Pattillo‘s remarkable label pictures; the new text-only labels are about as far from the original designs…

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