The Spirit of America: Top Five Whiskies from Across the Pond

Glass of American Whiskey on the rocks

It’s July Fourth – Independence Day – and, as someone with a penchant for fine spirits, I’ve developed quite an appreciation for American whiskey. While we may debate the merits of a Scottish whisky versus the Stars and Stripes whiskey, there’s no denying the exceptional quality coming out of the States. Here’s my personal list of the top five American whiskies that have won over this discerning palate:

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon A perennial favourite, Woodford Reserve never fails to impress. With its rich amber colour and complex flavour profile, it offers notes of dried fruit, mint, and cocoa. The warm, satisfying finish lingers just long enough to make you crave another sip. It’s become my go-to for a sophisticated Old Fashioned.

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Bourbon The distinctive horse-and-jockey bottle stopper is just the beginning. This bourbon boasts a smooth, nuanced taste with hints of vanilla, caramel, and spice. It’s a delightful sipper that holds its own against many Scotch single malts.

Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye For those who prefer a spicier kick, this rye whiskey is a revelation. Its bold flavour profile includes pepper, cinnamon, and a touch of citrus, balanced by a subtle sweetness. It’s a splurge, but one that’s well worth it for special occasions.

Old Elk’s Blended Straight Bourbon With four times the typical malted barley, it offers a wonderfully balanced profile. Expect sweet vanilla and caramel on the nose, with a hint of clove spice. Aged for five years, it delivers a robust yet smooth taste, marrying spicy rye notes with classic bourbon character. It’s a thoroughly modern take on an American classic – definitely one to watch.

Balcones Texas Single Malt Breaking away from Kentucky, this Texan whiskey proves that great American whiskey isn’t confined to one state. Its unique flavour profile, influenced by the hot Texas climate, includes notes of stone fruit, cinnamon, and toasted bread.

Whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or a curious novice, these five American offerings are sure to impress. They’ve certainly changed my perception of whiskies from the colonies. Cheers to the special relationship, indeed!