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: Penelope Bourbon Architect, American Light Whiskey, and Barrel Strength Batch #8

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2022 |

  Light whiskey is having a mild renaissance of late, including this latest from Penelope, which was distilled from corn by Seagrams Indiana in 2008; aging was completed in second fill oak barrels for 13 years. Thoughts follow, along with a look at the latest Barrel Strength Batch from the company, batch #8, and a…

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Review: Kentucky Owl The Wiseman Straight Rye Whiskey

By Drew Beard | June 5, 2022 |

After Stoli Group took over, Kentucky Owl Rye became the more affordable (but still pricey) offering from this cult Kentucky brand. If you lived anywhere but the Bluegrass State (where even the bourbon was exceptionally scarce), it was the only Kentucky Owl product you had much of a chance at finding. We reviewed a few…

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Review: Ardbeg Ardcore

By Christopher Null | June 4, 2022 |

Ardbeg Day 2022 is upon us, and as always the chaps in Islay have a special release in store for Ardbeg Committee members. Ardcore is a celebration of all things punk, made with roasted black malt that is “incinerated to hair-raising levels.” It’s the first usage of black malt by the distillery, which Friend of…

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Review: Coperies Single Malt Whisky Francais

By Christopher Null | June 2, 2022 |

Coperies is a new brand from Cognac-maker Merlet, which says it leverages centuries of knowhow at creating brandy to create this pot-distilled single malt whisky. Made with French barley in the Charentes region and aged in French oak barrels, this whisky is as French as you can get. There’s no aging information, but let’s not…

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Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A122 (January 2022)

By Christopher Null | May 30, 2022 |

After a pair of killer releases in 2021, can the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof series keep the magic going with this first release for 2022? Good news: EJBP Batch A122 is a surprising delight, with plenty of trademark fruit and spice throughout the experience. Things kick off with an aromatic punch of nutmeg and cloves,…

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Review: Waterford Distillery The Cuvee

By Drew Beard | May 29, 2022 |

Ireland’s Waterford Distillery splashed on the whisky scene in 2020 with its terroir-focused Single Farm Origin releases, a slew of which have hit the shelves since we first looked in on them. Their Organic Gaia release shortly after was the distillery’s first blend of distilled barleys from various farms, although it was limited to only…

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Review: Amrut Bagheera Indian Single Malt Whisky

By Drew Beard | May 28, 2022 |

Last summer, Indian whisky-maker Amrut released this special edition single malt, dubbed Bagheera. Bagheera also happens to be the name given to the black panther character in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (who appears to be skulking around in the foreground on the label). That, along with a gilded image of the grand Mysore Palace…

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Review: Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 17 Years Old Spring 2022 Edition

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2022 |

The first bonded Old Fitzgerald release for 2022 is here, and it’s an old one: At 17 years of age, it’s the oldest Old Fitz in the series to date, the next oldest being a 16 year old that was only made available at Heaven Hill’s distillery in 2020. As always, this bourbon is designed…

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Review: Milam & Greene The Castle Hill Series Batch 2

By Christopher Null | May 26, 2022 |

Texas-based Milam & Greene keeps making waves, its latest bottling being the second limited edition bourbon in its Castle Hill Series. Like Batch 1, this is sourced stock from Tennessee (unstated, but Dickel). Again the 26 barrels that go into the blend are all at least 13 years old. (M&G breaks down their ages to…

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Busting Myths One Pour At a Time: The New York Irish Whiskey Festival Returns After Two-Year Hiatus

By David Tao | May 25, 2022 |

Among North American audiences, Irish whiskey is poised for a moment in the sun. The fast-growing category’s U.S. sales were up over 16% in 2021, and by some estimates, the spirit could overtake Scotch’s stateside footprint within the next decade. As with most boozy trends, event organizers have taken note, their progress only temporarily slowed…

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