Drinking whiskey neat can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start, and not all drams are created equal. If you’re over taking shots at the bar, or maybe just want to try your hand at drinking whiskey neat, here are five of the best whiskeys that are easy sippers.
Evan Williams 1783
Evan Williams 1783 has a lower proof and has been recently reformulated by Heaven Hill to create a smooth sipper or an easy cocktail ingredient. At about $20, this is a solid mid-shelf whiskey that can perform neat and goes often overlooked despite its slick new packaging.
Some of the tasting notes include toffee, honey, a little bit of rising bread buttery biscuits and faint pepper. The bump in proof over its previous iteration is actually welcome here, adding plenty of complexity to savor.
Find Evan Williams 1783 at a Total Wine near you.
Knob Creek Small Batch 100 Proof
Knob Creek Small Batch 100 Proof features plenty of oak and a higher proof if you want to try an easy drinking, higher proof expression.
The tasting notes include lots of caramel and cinnamon, and the bourbon is reasonably priced and can be found for less than $50.
The Knob Creek portfolio is actually quite large, so if you find yourself a fan (and we’re sure you will), there are plenty of directions to head after the Small Batch. Knob Creek’s Single Barrel Reserve offers higher proof and a varying profile based on the single barrel its drawn from, while other bottlings like their 12yr offer more age for a few dollars more.
Russell’s Reserve 10 Year
Russell’s Reserve 10 Year delivers a great combination of age, proof and tremendous value. It is bottled at 45% ABV, with notes of cinnamon and vanilla. Usually priced at about $40, Russell’s Reserve brings solid quality for the price. It may be tricky to find in some parts of the country, but should return to shelves soon as the global glass shortage works itself out.
Jack Daniel’s Bottled in Bond
Jack Daniel’s Bottled in Bond was previously exclusively available only abroad via travel retail. Now that this expression is finally available in the U.S., it is definitely worth finding and drinking neat.
The flavor has a little bit of ethanol here at 50% ABV, but it’s pretty mild. Lots of buttercream, cornbread, toffee, banana split, honey roasted peanuts and creamy cocoa surface on the back palate.
At about $30 a botte, Jack Daniel’s Bottled in Bond is a no-brainer buy. Find it at a Total Wine near you.
Maker’s Mark wheated mashbill delivers a sweet, caramel-forward profile that’s easy to drink neat or in a cocktail. You can’t go wrong with a modestly aged, proofed and priced wheated bourbon for less than $30 a bottle.
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