American Single Malt Whiskey

American single malt does not officially exist (yet) as a legally defined category of whiskey in the United States, but producers generally adhere to the same regulations observed in Scotland. It is produced at a single, U.S. distillery from 100% malted barley, distilled to 160 proof, and bottled at no less than 80 proof. American single malt is often aged in used cooperage, like its counterparts overseas. On the other hand, “American straight malt” – which is a legally defined category – must be aged in new oak containers for a minimum of 2 years, echoing the rules for other categories of American whiskey. Today, American producers continue to experiment with barrel regimens for this emerging category.

Top American Single Malt Whiskey Posts:

A Visit to House Spirits in Portland, Oregon
Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey Sauternes Finish
Lost Spirits Distillery Abomination “The Sayers of the Law”

Review: Union Horse Distilling Rivalist Single Malt and Reunion Rye

By Christopher Null | February 12, 2024 |

You’ll find Union Horse Distilling in Lenexa, Kansas (near Kansas City), where it’s been putting out whiskeys of all stripes — bourbon, rye, single malt, and more — for 14 years (plus vodka). This is our first encounter with the operation; today we look at two of the company’s current five releases. Bottles are hand-numbered…

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Review: Balcones Cataleja

By Christopher Null | February 6, 2024 |

Waco’s Balcones Distilling recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and to mark the occasion it, what else, released a new whiskey. Cataleja is a new, limited edition single malt that head distiller Jared Himstedt says is “one of the most complex and unique whiskies we’ve made.” Here’s how Cataleja, Spanish for spyglass, is produced. Made with…

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Review: Lost Lantern Fall 2023 Single Cask Releases

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2024 |

Indie bottler Lost Lantern‘s latest set of releases focus on old friends from America, with four distilleries returning to the fold. Alongside sequels from Balcones Distilling (TX), Smooth Ambler (WV), New Riff (KY), and Corbin Cash (CA) is a new bottling from what Lost Lantern says its most-requested new partner, Andalusia Whiskey Co. (TX). All…

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Review: Cedar Ridge The QuintEssential Special Release – Portside

By Drew Beard | February 2, 2024 |

We’ve been keeping tabs on Iowa’s Cedar Ridge for a while now, most recently covering their QuintEssential Signature Blend, a solera style vatting of their American single malt aged for two years in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in up to 20 different cask types. Today, we’re looking at a special release of Cedar Ridge…

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Review: New Riff Sour Mash Single Malt Whiskey

By Drew Beard | December 16, 2023 |

American Single Malt is only just now on the verge of becoming an official category, but Kentucky’s New Riff has already begun applying their trademark tinkering to the style. And they’ve been doing it for a while, apparently. The distillery is no stranger to unique malted whiskeys, delivering impressive bourbon and rye expressions over the…

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Review: Boulder Spirits American Single Malt The 10 Essentials

By Drew Beard | November 22, 2023 |

With an official American single malt designation due any day now, Colorado’s Boulder Spirits should be well-positioned to take advantage of the recognition, as their portfolio has been crowded with the style for years. We got our first taste in 2022 with a duo of single malts that were admittedly still a bit rough around…

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Review: Westland Outpost Range – Colere 3 (2023)

By Christopher Null | October 25, 2023 |

Seattle’s Westland has dropped a series of new whiskeys over the last few years, focusing on local woods, peat, and barley strains. Colere is the single malt that explores an ever-changing series of barley varieties “bred outside the commodity system.” We somehow missed Colore 2 last year but are working overtime to see what the…

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Review: McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey PX Cask Finished and Oloroso Cask Finished

By Drew Beard | October 24, 2023 |

McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt, famously the first American single malt ever produced, was bottled at just three-years-old for decades. Recently, however, the distillery appears to have started leaning hard into older stocks, releasing a six-year-old expression last year and then following that up this year with two higher proof, limited edition finished expressions, a first…

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Review: Grand Teton Private Stock American Single Malt 7 Years Old

By Christopher Null | October 20, 2023 |

  Idaho-based Grand Teton Distillery makes a pretty impressive bourbon (plus lots of vodka) and now it’s following the masses into that rising American whiskey category — American single malt. This expression is made from 100% Idaho-grown malted barley and is (wisely) aged in used bourbon barrels instead of new barrels for a whopping 7…

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Reflections on a Craft: An Interview with St. George Distillery’s Lance Winters

By Drew Beard | October 13, 2023 |

Today, there are over 2300 craft distilleries operating across the country, but back in the 1980s, when St. George got its start in northern California, there were barely a handful. The distillery’s founder, Jörg Rupf, was one of the godfathers of the craft distilling movement, but his passions were initially pretty narrow, focusing on eaux-de-vie…

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