Whisky Advocate

Learn the Basics of Barrel Proof Whiskey

Although whiskey has just four simple ingredients: water, grain, yeast, and oak, it can get complicated. To understand the term ‘barrel proof,’ for instance, you must understand the oak barrel’s role—to house the whiskey as it matures, imparting pleasurable flavors and also eliminating undesirable ones. Then there’s proof, which is simply a measure of alcohol content equal to twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. For example, a 100 proof spirit is 50% alcohol.

Although it is not part of the federal government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, the term ‘barrel proof’ is officially defined. In 1979, the Federal...

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A Quick Guide to Irish Whiskey Blends

Irish whiskey is a rich and diverse style, encompassing many grains, techniques, and flavors. The whiskey often hits its apex through blending with this rich palette—and right now might be considered the golden age of Irish blends .

An Irish Whiskey Blend for Every Taste

If you want to get deep into the fundamentals of Irish whiskey, check out Instant Expert . For a quick-and-dirty summary of the different whiskeys that go into blends, and where they typically originate, use this guide.

The Four Types of Irish Whiskey

Legally, Irish whiskey can fall into one of four categories.

Single Malt...

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Ardbeg Drum, Teeling 29 Year Old Single Malt More New Whisky

With many new whiskies to look forward to this week, there’s one that will be out of reach for everyone but a single lucky (and wealthy) bidder.

Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson has collaborated with chef Massimo Bottura to create a one-of-a-kind 49 year old whisky that will be available only via a Sotheby’s online auction from april 25-maj 9. The lot will also include dinner for two at Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and the proceeds will benefit his non-profit community organization Food For Soul. The Dalmore L’Anima 49 year old (“l’anima” is Italian for “soul”) is a...

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Rare Whiskies to Be Auctioned—Sight Unseen

Bidding has opened on Hart Davis Hart’s mobile-only auction of fine and rare spirits , which the Chicago-based wine auction house claims will be the largest spirits-only auction in U.S. history . Just over half of the 1,656 lots are American whiskey, roughly a third are scotch, and the remainder are Japanese and other world whiskies and miscellaneous spirits. Hart Davis Hart (HDH) predicts the mobile-only auction will realize $1 million–1.6 million over the two day sale mars 14-15. Bids must be placed using the HDH app or website, with no in-person bidding.

Online auctions can be a great way...

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Essential Whiskey Cocktail: Sazerac

When we think about cocktails, the base spirit usually comes to mind first. But the Sazerac began with its bitters.

In the late 1700s, Antoine Amédée Peychaud immigrated to New Orleans from Haiti, bringing with him a recipe for bitters. When he opened a pharmacy in the 1830s, he began serving his bitters medicinally with sugar and cognac.

“Eventually people began asking for Peychaud’s bitters about town,” says cocktail historian Elizabeth Pearce , author of Drink Dat New Orleans. “One place [that had them] was the Sazerac Bar, located in the 100 block of Royal Street.” This bar combined the...

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Meet our 2018 Top 20 Sweepstakes Winner

Blake Borah estimates he had about 50 bottles of whisky in his Harlem studio apartment before adding three more when the 36 year old was selected as the winner of Whisky Advocate’s 2018 Top 20 sweepstakes. For Borah—who is the beverage director at New York City restaurant Barn Joo —a love of whiskey started in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky when he got a job bartending at The Oakroom in the Seelbach Hotel .

“They had a very nicely curated bourbon and whiskey selection. This is when I was first starting out, and I was just doing bartending, so I...

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The Must-Grab Whiskies When Visiting Canada

If Canada isn’t yet on your must-visit list, it should be. Not only is the country home to some of the best spots for whisky tourism— many just a short jaunt across the border —Canada also keeps some of its best bottles for the home market. Take a trip and scoop a few up—use these suggestions to make your shopping list. (Prices in Canadian dollars.)

Canadian Classics

Start here for prime examples of Canadian-style whisky.

Canadian Rockies 21 year old —92 points, $110 Lush, creamy corn whisky from Highwood Distillers, Canada’s last privately owned traditional distillery. With a maple leaf...

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How to Taste Butter Flavors in Whisky

Picture the cool creaminess of butter slathered over fresh bread, browning to a sizzle in a hot pan, or dripping from a glistening ear of corn. A slightly oily, mouth-coating quality is the calling card of a buttery whisky, but the tasting experience can span the aromas and flavors of butter as well.

The buttery textural sensation that appears in many types of whisky is derived from diacetyl, a compound that arises naturally from yeast activity during fermentation that can accumulate due to the action of bacteria in the washback. Distillers aim to keep the level of diacetyl in check:...

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These Seared Sea Scallops Are a Perfect Match for Coastal Scotch

Scotland’s coastal regions are home to some of the country’s finest single malt whiskies: from Old Pulteney, crafted in the far north of Scotland and influenced by the North Sea, to the Orkney Islands-based Highland Park, to the eight operational distilleries on the isle of Islay. The influence of the coast and the bodies of water beyond is inescapable, leading to whiskies that show a range of salty and briny flavors . And—because salt enhances and amplifies flavors—these whiskies are especially suited to pairing with food.

“Coastal scotches like Old Pulteney pair well with this scallop dish because of the...

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Eight Sand Blended Bourbon, 40 Year Old Scotch More New Whisky

It’s a mixed bag of whisky and whiskey this week.

First up, MGP Distillery has unveiled a new brand called Eight & Sand. The whiskey is a blended bourbon, which includes both straight bourbon and other unspecified American whiskeys. It’s hitting shelves in a dozen states for $30.

Want to taste whisky from a long-dead distillery? Littlemill 40 year old, distilled in the waning days of the 1970s, is available from Loch Lomond Group . Just 250 bottles are being released, including 23 coming to the U.S. for the hefty, but round, price of $10,000.

Two new whiskies from Germany are...

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This Is A Golden Age for Irish Whiskey Blends

Irish whiskey lovers are luckier than ever. More blended Irish whiskeys have appeared in the last five years than in the previous 50. The transformation of blended Irish whiskey from a lifeline thrown by the few surviving distillers of Ireland to the life force driving forward one of the most thrilling whiskey-making nations is a truly remarkable feat. Irish pot still whiskey and Irish single malts deserve the love of aficionados, but for Ireland, the blend is savior, champion, protector, hero, and guardian angel.

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Irish Whiskey

Unlike their Scottish counterparts, Irish blenders often...

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List of Craft Whiskey Acquisitions

Making whisky is an expensive business, and many small distilleries who start out independent turn to bigger partners for help growing their production, distribution, and other business moves. Selling a stake in their distillery—or being acquired outright—doesn’t make these people sellouts, but it does open the door to questions .

Buyouts, Partnerships, and Majority/Minority Stakes in Independent Whiskey Distilleries and Brands

This list will be continuously updated as new acquisitions and other business partnerships occur.

Black Button Distilling —Rochester, NY

Sold minority stake to Constellation Brands in februari 2019

Wyoming Whiskey —Kirby, Wyoming

Formed strategic partnership with Edrington Group in...

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An Irish Whiskey Blend for Every Taste

Our 2018 Whisky of the Year proves that blends deserve to be taken seriously, and in the field of Irish whiskey, there are an array of options. From advanced aging to inventive finishes, there is enough diversity within Irish blends to fit almost any palate. Below, we highlight 19 blends that cater to single malt fans, cocktail champions, and curious sippers alike. What’s more, most of these picks register below $50 making the leap a bit easier to take.

The Artful Ascent of Irish Blends

For Pot Still and Single Malt Fans

Ideal for everyday sipping, these whiskeys allow you...

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You Need to Start Drinking Whisky Aperitifs

The term “aperitif” comes from the Latin word aperire, which means “to open.” The practice of having a pre-dinner drink to stimulate your appetite maj date back to ancient Egypt; most certainly, Europeans were enjoying aperitifs by the 16th century, when medicinal spirits infused with roots, herbs, and spices became popular. These ingredients were believed to get the digestive tract moving, and some studies suggest they do, in fact, increase food consumption and make food aromas more enticing. So there is some science to support enjoying drinks with ingredients such as vermouth, herbal liqueurs, or bitters to heighten your dining...

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New Glenmorangie, Angel’s Envy Sherry Finish More New Whisky

We made it! januari is over, and as the calendar turns to its shortest month, there are new whiskies to anticipate.

Glenmorangie has unveiled the tenth release in its Private Edition series. Allta (“wild”) is a whisky whose barley was fermented from wild yeast found in the fields near the distillery—a first for Glenmorangie. Cultivating and using wild yeast is an unusual step for modern scotch distillers generally, although custom yeasts are very common in American whiskey. Glenmorangie Allta is priced at $99 and available in limited amounts.

Angel’s Envy has announced a new bourbon finished in oloroso sherry casks....

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6 Great Under-the-Radar Whiskies

These days, you can spend all your free time reading, thinking about, and discussing whisky if that’s what you want to do. Between social media, websites and magazines like Whisky Advocate, and other outlets, there’s more whisky talk to consume than time in the day. It might be hard to believe there are any truly great whiskies that still remain under the radar—known and appreciated by only a few people.

Believe it or not, however, there are such whiskies! The reasons why are numerous. majbe the whisky is from a region of the world, like, for instance, India , often...

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The Best Scotch Distillery Tours For Every Occasion

According to the latest figures, over 1.9 million people flocked to visit over 40 Scotch whisky distilleries open to visitors in 2017. And there’s more to come, as both new and established distilleries welcome whisky lovers with larger venues, new experiences, and greater access. Peak months are juni to augusti, so make sure you leave enough time to check out the latest visitor experiences on your whisky vacation itinerary.

Best Insider Tour

Bowmore Vaults Secrets Tasting Tour Behind-the-scenes access to Bowmore Distillery, including the traditional floor maltings and a peek inside the thick-walled vaults that protect the casks from the...

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