Kevin,I have been a reader of your blog for the last few years. First of all thanks for taking the time to do it. I have a question that I thought you might have some opinions on, and might be interesting for your readers as well.First a small bit of background, I live in DC and some friends and I have been organizing small (15-20 attendee) Scotch tastings about every 6 months, we’ve been picking regions and having 4 or 5 different scotches to sample (usually 2 or 3 $40-$50 bottles and 1 or 2 $70-$90 bottles). It’s been a lot of fun, and I think we and our friends have gotten too snooty for our own good, and the good of our pocket books.So, for this next time around we decided to be a little cheap/patriotic and have an American whiskey tasting. Myself and a few of my roommates have begun some private research, and I have had real difficulty finding whiskies that stand out. Do you have any recommendations? I’d just like to find a few whiskeys that are complex enough to discuss as well as enjoy.Thanks so much for your time,Nathan C.
- Maker’s Mark is one of my favorites…and different than most Bourbons in that it uses wheat and no Rye.
- Bulleit is a fantastic Bourbon at a good price.
- Buffalo Trace and it’s slightly more expensive older brother Eagle Rare are both fantastic whiskies.
- Stranahan’s (Colorado Single Malt) is really really good.
- Jim Beam Black is a great whiskey for the price
- Russel Reserve and Russle Reserve Rye are tops and I suggest that you include a rye whiskey in the tasting.
- If you DO choose only one Rye – select Sazerac…the 6 year old. It is amazing and I use it a lot.
And don’t give me crap for leaving your favourite off the short list . . . there are so many American whiskies available that this was not meant to be an exhaustive list of excellent whiskies – but it was a list of readily available, priced right whiskies that anyone looking to explore American whiskies should try.
Of Course there are a number of other American Whiskies I enjoy – Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old Family Reserve; Four Roses, Bernheim, Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden, Old Forrester – are among my favourites, but availability can be sporadic or, to be completely honest, didn’t spring to mind immediately.
Anyway, feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments for the good of Nathan, his friends and other American Whisky drinkers.