Best Whiskeys to Drink in 2021 don’t get left behind! Your friends will be like damn he’s on his game! Learning about whiskey is fun! Here are the top ten whiskeys to knock back!
There’s so much variety when it comes to whiskeys, and there’s a bottle for every taste preference and price point. And finding whiskey nowadays is not that hard, each with its own unique identity and character.
No matter what kind of whisky you are looking for, whether for the perfect pair with a cocktail or a smooth sipper, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best whiskeys available.
Best Whiskeys of 2021
1. Best Overall Whiskey: Four Roses Single Barrel
The Kentucky made bourbon Four Roses is the perfect bottle of whiskey. It is affordable and offers various different tastes and expressions to choose from, and it tastes great by itself or mixed with a cocktail. And its number one position is not just mere claims.
Mike Vacheresse, the owner of Travel Bar in Brooklyn, N.Y., loves the Single Barrel expression. “Four Roses Single Barrel is the benchmark for me for all other bourbons in terms of proof, flavor, and cost,” he says. “Its high rye mash bill gives [it] a pleasant spicy note, and it has a big mouthfeel and an incredibly smooth finish.”
Master Distiller Brent Elliott at Five different yeast strains and two mash bills, combining them in a total of 10 different ways to create ten different recipes to create the flagship bourbon.
2. Best Irish: Redbreast 12-Year-Old
Although cheaper Irish Whiskeys are available, Redbreast is considered one of the best Irish. It’s made from a mash bill of malted and unmalted barley – a single-pot Irish whiskey instead of a blend. The whiskey ages for 12 years in a combination of ex-sherry and bourbon casks, which infuses into the whiskey the rich sherry spice and sweet vanilla flavors. The Redbreast is produced at one only one distillery in copper pot stills.
3. Best Japanese: Hakushu 12-Year-Old
Japanese whiskey is always particularly very costly and limited, especially from Suntory. But Our Best Japanese whiskey comes from the Hakushu distillery in the Japanese Alps. This 12-year-old whiskey features hints of apple and unripe melon, with a little smoke. Lynnette Marrero, bar director for Llama Inn and Llama San NYC, calls it “delicious, grassy, a little smokier than other Japanese whiskeys.”
4. Best Barrel-Proof: Stagg Jr. Bourbon
Barrel-proof whiskeys take you as close to drinking directly from the barrel as you can get with often over 60 percent ABV. The higher proof provides an amplified range of flavors and the pureness of unaltered whiskey. The honorable mention as best in this category is the Stagg Jr, which is part of Buffalo Trace’s annual Antique Collection. This collection also includes the George T. Stagg bourbon, a younger and often easier to obtain version, but still just as good.
5. Best Peated Scotch: Laphroaig 10 Year Old
Peated Scotch is Scotch that has been infused with flavors by drying the malted barley used in the mash bill, using peat as a fuel source. And amongst the peated scotches, the Laphroaig, distilled in Islay, Scotland, is one of the most phenomenal. It has been described as acrid, medicinal, and saline. It is aged for ten years, but even older expressions exist.
. “Stagg Jr. is so unfairly under the radar,” says Vacheresse. “Whiskey drinkers are blown away when they are introduced to a few different batches side by side.” This bourbon is bottled at a barrel proof of 128.6, yet it drinks fairly easy with notes of caramel and candied cherry throughout.
6. Best Rye: Pikesville Straight Rye
Two rye types dominate the whiskey market now; rye made from a 95 to 100 percent mash bill and the Kentucky style mash bill that contains just above 50 percent rye (which –fun fact; is the minimum requirement to be classified as a rye whiskey)
Our pick for the best rye whiskey goes to Pikesville, which is a Kentucky-style rye, originally made in Maryland and is now made in Kentucky by Heaven Hill. “Pikesville is my favorite rye because it provides a great symphony of flavors from the rye spice, baking spices, the high proof (110), and maturation from the six years in the barrel,” says Paul Gonzalez, lead bartender for the Allegory Bar at D.C.’s Eaton Hotel. “The strong taste of cherries, vanilla, and baking spices give it a really fun take on a cherry Coke.” Try this in a classic cocktail like a Manhattan.
7. Best Scotch: The Balvenie DoubleWood
The Balvenie scotch stands out among the slew of available Scotch, with their different styles and flavors as one of the best. The distillery that makes the Balvenie was an early adopter of cask finishes with its DoubleWood 12, which they age in former bourbon barrels and finishes the aging in sherry casks.
Pamela Wiznitzer, a consulting bartender, says, “The beauty of this bottle really shines in the notes that explode from the second aging in Oloroso sherry barrels.” “That rich, round finish gives this scotch a bit more chewiness and lasting linger that I love with every sip.”
8. Best Sherry Cask Scotch: The GlenDronach Allardice
Unlike traditional Scotch, which is distilled in sherry cask at the last part of the aging process to add spice, and dried fruit flavors to the whiskey, in addition to former bourbon barrels, the GlenDronach exclusively ages the Allardice in these flavor-infusing barrels. The 18-year-old whiskey is aged completely in Spanish Oloroso sherry butts, which delivers one of the best full-flavored sipping experiences. Lead bartender at Elixir Saloon in San Francisco, Daniel Burns, says, “The 18-year-old Allardice may not be the most famous single malt in the world, but it is perhaps one of the most perfect,” “Its deep sherry notes and flavors of toasted nuts and jammy fruit last seemingly forever on the palate.”
9. Best Canadian: Lot No. 40 Whisky
Lot No. 40 whiskey comes from one of Canada’s lesser-known whiskey brands. Lot No. 40 is a 100 percent rye whiskey, distilled in small batches in a single copper pot still. The Hiram Walker distillery makes the whiskey in Windsor, Ontario. It features subtle notes of spic, but is an overall smooth sipper, with caramel and cocoa notes that show themselves in the palate.
10. Best Bourbon: Wild Turkey 101
Making bourbon is pretty straight forward. You need a mash bill of at least 51 percent corn, age it in new charred oak containers. And it has to be produced in the U.S.
Wild Turkey 101 is our pick for the best bourbon because it is a reasonably well priced (not too expensive) bourbon, provides flavor and proof well above your average 80-proof bottle.
“The high proof provides the burn that makes you respect it,” says Gonzalez. “The iconic flavor of baking spice and toasted pecan, with a pleasant funkiness, sets it apart from a lot of other bourbons in its class.”
And this rounds up our list of the top 10 best whiskeys to drink. Grab your friends for a get together and walk them through this list! Drinking whiskey with friends is a time honored tradition. Enjoy the moments and drink responsibly or don’t!