Cheat on Bourbon With These 5 American Whiskies
Bourbon is an American tradition and has more of a cult following than most spirits on the market. And while the sweet, brown nectar of the gods amassed this following for good reason, there are plenty of other American-made whiskeys that are just as tasty as your favorite bottle of bourbon. If you’re looking to change up your home bar game or want to treat a bourbon enthusiast to something new and exciting, these five American whiskeys are sure to excite the palate, both neat and in cocktails.
Hudson Whiskey Single Malt ($43 for 375mL)
As the first single malt whiskey to be distilled in the Hudson Valley, this bottling is pretty darn special. Hudson Whiskey starts with 100-percent whole-ground malted barley, which is then pot-distilled in small batches and aged in new charred American oak casks. It’s bottled at 92 proof to preserve the whiskey’s depth and character, which gives it a deep, woody aroma with notes of vanilla wafer and spice on the palate. We suggest sipping this stunner on its own with just a couple drops of water to open it up.
Wyoming Whiskey Outryder ($60 for 750mL)
Because this whiskey is crafted from two different mash bills that were distilled in November 2011, it’s unlike any American whiskey out there. Crafted from non-GMO Wyoming grains, the amber liquid is bottled in bond at 100 proof. On the nose, you’ll experience baking spices like cinnamon and allspice along with brown butter. Tasting notes of clove, freshly baked rye bread and orange blossom honey elongate into a spicy finish with hints of butterscotch. It’s excellent served neat and mixed in cocktails.
Westward American Single Malt Whiskey ($80 for 750mL)
This brand new bottling (launching fall 2017) from craft distillery House Spirits brings together two great American traditions: whiskey and craft beer. Westward single malt is made from Pacific Northwest two-row barley that’s fermented with American ale yeast and double pot distilled. The liquid is matured to taste for up to five years in new charred American oak barrels, so it experiences Oregon’s dry, warm summers and cool, wet winters. The resulting whiskey is rich and smooth with just the right amount of spice on the palate.
New York Distilling Co. Ragtime Rye ($44 for 750mL)
Inspired by pre-Prohibition saloons where ragtime music and rye whiskey reigned supreme, this bold American straight whiskey is slightly spicy and will warm you from the inside out. It’s distilled from New York state-grown rye and aged in full-size barrels to cultivate its uniquely robust flavor and long, smooth finish. Perfect for everything from cold-weather gatherings to backyard barbecues, it’s easy to enjoy this whiskey neat or in a classic cocktail like the Brooklyn.
Firestone & Robertson TX Blended Whiskey ($40 for 750mL)
Fans of fragrant whiskeys with sweeter noses and honeyed palates will love this bottling from Fort Worth-based distillery Firestone & Robertson. When they set out to create this blend, the distillers wanted a spirit that was more complex than most of the American whiskeys they had sampled in the past. The final product has pleasant notes of vanilla, oak and pear on the nose with flavors of honey butter, caramel, banana and coffee on the palate. The smooth, sweet finish has just the right amount of oak that can stand up in cocktails like a Boulevardier.