Average price: $46. The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
To showcase the rich depth of options on offer, VinePair tasted dozens of bottles to determine the best on the market right now. Arriving in an unconventional, new-age bottle, this is a rich and approachable whiskey.
From aged single malts to cask-finished pot still expressions, here are the 12 best Irish whiskeys for 2020, tasted and ranked.
The nose is like inhaling literal fire and the palate (if you can even call it that) is something close to industrial floor cleaner. The palate is lively and fresh, with a spiced finish. Made from 95% rye and 5% malted barley in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, Geroge Dickel Rye Whiskey is the only rye that goes through the charcoal mellowing known as the Lincoln County Process that is the key to being able to call a spirit a Tennessee whiskey.
Rather drink a single malt? Not only is it affordable, but a smooth body and calm palate make it easy to put down as a shot, over a rock, dropped into a beer, or in a mixed drink (what we’re saying is it’s easy to drink no matter how you take your whiskey). The palate shows a lively mix of ripe stone fruit and nut flavors, with the sherry cask influence fully presenting itself on a lingering sweet and savory finish. Whisky Marketplace US is an advanced whiskey search and price comparison engine. While the majority are budget bourbons (being affordable and delicious seems to be as American as, well, bourbon), we worked to find other types of whiskies as well, for those that want a little variety on their liquor shelf.
Average price: $56. Scotch is by far the hardest category to find a bottle under $20. If you’re looking for something that’s a little craftier, check out the whiskey winners of The Manual Spirit Awards 2018 or The Manual Spirit Awards 2019. A blend of malted and unmalted barley, this whiskey is triple-distilled before it embarks on a long aging journey, beginning with nine to 12 years in bourbon and sherry casks. This “triple casked” whiskey matures in new oak, former Tennessee and bourbon whiskey barrels, and sherry casks before bottling. The result is a dizzying but enjoyable mix of leather, fresh fruit, nuts, earth, and spice notes. A bit rarer than Old Overholt, but well worth it if you happen upon it on the shelf, Wild Turkey’s 81 Rye is sweet on the front before displaying the characteristic rye spice notes. Black pepper and other spice notes make for a flavorful, somewhat intense whiskey that goes perfectly in pretty much any rye cocktail you can think of. Better for cocktails than straight, it’s a formidable Canadian whisky for the price. There are cheaper whiskeys with age statements on this list, but this bottle is worth the splurge for special occasions.
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