Whiskey, also known as the nectar of the gods, has been a popular staple in the British Isles, with its history dating back to the 15th century. The popularity of whiskey hit a low in the late 20th century but has continued to grow ever since. It continues to grow every year and in 2009 Scottish brewers managed to export a whopping 1.1 billion bottles to consumers around the world! Clearly, they were doing something right.
Malt, Grain or Irish?: Let’s set the stage first
Single malt whiskey consists of malted barley, which enhances the aroma and flavour, and is aged in oak casks. The name reflects the fact that the entire process uses malt from a single distillery, rather than blending together whiskeys made of grains from different sources.
Grain whiskey is produced using grains other than malted barley. It yields a sweeter bourbon-style American whiskey which is commonly made of corn or maize.
Scotch whiskey is well known for its robust single malts, but this kind of whiskey is available worldwide. If you look in the right places, you will find Irish, Japanese, and even Indian single malts. The most popular whiskey in Ireland and Scotland is blended. It is made from a mix of grain spirits and malt.
If you are a whiskey connoisseur, a beginner or are just someone trying to experiment with different kinds of whiskey, we give you a full low-down on the best whiskeys of 2019.
1. Bowmore Darkest 15-Year whiskey
This dark amber scotch is a smokey mix of dried fruits and coconut flavours. Balancing the peat and sherry, it has hints of vanilla and wood. With a slightly tough finish, this whiskey is still as smooth as you’d like it without being overpowering
2. Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey
This bourbon is cherished for its cherry spice and chocolate hints of flavour. It is a great tasting bourbon at an amazing price. Reviewed as the “best bang for the buck”, this American whiskey promises to deliver. With a smooth and gentle taste, it is perfect for that post-dinner drink.
3. Bulleit Bourbon 10-year-old
This Kentucky-style bourbon comes with a peppery rye flavour and a little extra 5% ABV. The whiskey has a spicy and rich mix with a fruity-cinnamon aftertaste. Bulleit is best drank from the flask and also mixes well in smoky cocktails. It is a whiskey that yells macho, whether you like it or not!
4. The Macallan Single Malt
This sherry wood matured single malt is a highly balanced whiskey. With notes of fresh apple blossom and golden syrup, it has a medium and firm palate. With a solid oaked after taste, have it straight up or inculcate it in a delightful cocktail.
5. 15-Year-Old Speyburn whiskey
This single malt is a great option for someone looking for hints of dark chocolate, notes of spices, and vanilla. Good for that daily post-dinner drink, this whiskey has a warm finish with a creamy exit.
This rich smoky and candied flavoured Irish Whisky has a warming smoothness to it. With hints of earthy chalk and pepper in it, it makes for a perfect cocktail base. Try it plain with water or simply on the rocks with your favourite cigar.
6. Glen Garioch 12 Year Old
This single malt binds the dryness of cheese with the malt’s sweet fruitiness and enhances its barley flavour. This golden-amber liquid has a warm finishing and tastes of malt and salted caramel. A must-have for someone looking to taste perfection!
7. Jameson Irish Whiskey
This Irish whiskey is well-known for its pear and vanilla flavour notes. Highly revered and renowned in the whiskey connoisseur circle, it is said to be extremely smooth and slightly fruity. With an aftertaste of butterscotch and milk chocolate, this one’s a must-have in your whiskey cabinet!
8. Monkey Shoulder
Monkey Shoulder is best known for its orange zest and spicy and floral flavours. Rated as one of the best Blended Scotch Whiskies, it is said to be one of the smoothest and easiest to drink. With a lingering after taste, it is best had with ice or water, it can also be used well in cocktails.
9. Teeling Irish whiskey
This Irish whiskey is renowned for its sweet, apple and grain flavour notes. The spicy mix comes with a hint of lemon, curd, and chocolate. Try this smoky whiskey for a slightly Moorish and sweet finish.
You can also pair these amazing whiskeys in cocktails, or try them on the rocks. We hope we have provided you with enough information for you to go play with your tastebuds!
We were personally inclined towards the Irish counterparts for that smoky texture and sweet aftertaste. That was our pick, what was yours?
Head to the shop section on our website to order your favourite bottle and get it delivered to your doorstep. You can also download the Liqroo app for those deliveries and orders!