Food & Drink

The 5 Best Whiskeys to Drink Straight from the Bottle

Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Whiskey is really the only alcohol that you can drink straight out of the bottle. Spirits like gin and vodka are meant for mixing, and are actually improved by other ingredients. Whiskey, on the other hand, is often best sipped straight; and if it’s enjoyed while camping, at an outdoor concert or barbequing with friends, a nip right from the bottle can not only heighten the spirit’s flavor, it can also heighten the drinking experience overall. But not every bottle makes for optimal straight-sipping. Here are the five best whiskies to drink from the bottle.

George Dickel Superior No.12 ($31)

With a rich vanilla smokiness and hints of brown butter and maple, Dickel No. 12 is incredibly smooth sipped straight. Housed in an elegant bottle with a long, slender neck, this golden dram is one of those rare spirits that you can drink and actually enjoy straight from the bottle. Not only is it lightweight and easy to grip, the neck of the bottle feels comfortable in your hand as you tilt it back. This is the perfect straight-from-the-bottle sipper for backyard barbeques, pig roasts or casual patio hangouts.

Basil Hayden’s Rye Whiskey ($52)

Brilliantly spicy, this new whiskey from Basil Hayden’s is the perfect travel companion. If we were going to bring a whiskey on a scenic trip to the countryside, this is the spirit that we’d pack in our luggage. It’s luxuriously smooth, with notes of dried stone fruit, brown sugar and white pepper. Every sip is intoxicatingly rich (and long-lasting) with no need for ice, mixers or even a glass. While at first the brown paper packaging seems like a nuisance, it actually functions almost like a bib when drinking straight from the bottle, collecting dribbles of whiskey that manage to escape from your lips.

W.L. Weller Special Reserve ($43)

Pappy Van Winkle fans, take note. This wheated bourbon is cheaper (if you can find it on a liquor store shelf) and just as tasty as the cult spirit. And it’s perfect for drinking straight out of the bottle. Elegantly rounded, squat and lightweight, the bottle is as easy to transport as it is to sip on. Its long, elegant neck fits ergonomically into your hand. Exceptionally smooth and bottled at a whopping 90 proof, this bourbon stands out amongst Pappy Van Winkle substitutes. Its robust flavor makes this bourbon exceptional on its own.

Kings County Distillery Straight Bourbon ($26)

This Brooklyn distillery’s small, instantly recognizable, hip flask-shaped bottle is practically begging to be taken—and enjoyed—on the go. Not only can it fit into the back pocket of your Levis, this miniature bottle comes equipped with a screw top to prevent spillage while traveling, and ease of accessibility when you need a nip from the bottle. The bourbon doesn’t need any acroutromants to be enjoyed; sipped straight it is delightfully full bodied, with rich, creamed corn sweetness and hints of vanilla. We can’t think of a better bottle to keep nestled in the inside pocket of your jacket.

Stillhouse Clear Corn Whiskey ($26)

Clean, clear and easy on the palate, this unaged whiskey is housed in a completely unique vessel. There’s absolutely no glass involved here. Instead, Stillhouse Clear Corn Whiskey is packaged in a shatterproof, easy to toss back, resealable metal tin. You literally could throw this whiskey across the room, pick it up, and drink it with no problem. If you’re an avid camper or outdoors person, this is the spirit that you’ve been searching for. It’s packable, indestructible, accessible and 100-percent quaffable.