This year, World Whisky Day is taking place on Saturday 18 May, and people across the globe are being encouraged to try a dram and celebrate what the event’s official website calls “the water of life”. I can imagine the kind of hangover people are incurring today, because for one to finish a dram of whiskey…. I can’t just imagine.
World Whiskey day is celebrated every third Saturday of May every year, so if you missed out just be alert next year at around this time. World Whisky Day dedicated to making whisky fun and accessible for everyone, rather than exclusive or prescriptive.
The success of the celebration depends on how much whiskey is brought because ideally everyone is supposed to come with a bottle of whiskey to share with friends so by the time the celebration is complete you would have ‘downed’ a dram of whiskey, of course, that is if you have so many friends.
In the 2019 edition, these were the best Whiskeys that were good enough for the event
1. Bourbon Whiskey – W.L. Weller Antique 107
If you know about bourbon, you’ve probably heard all about Pappy Van Winkle. It’s a very rare, crazy expensive bourbon that people gloat about trying. Well, you might be happy to learn that Weller Antique 107 is a wheated bourbon that is made at Buffalo Trace just like Pappy. It’s more or less the same recipe as Pappy, made at the same facility as Pappy and a whole lot less. Pappy purists will tell you it’s not at all like Pappy, but we don’t care and we love it.
2. Scotch Whisky – The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old
It’s really hard to pick just one Scotch whisky for this list so we chose one we go back to again and again. It’s not overly expensive (unlike some Scotches), but it’s seemingly perfect in every way. Part of the appeal is the extra aging the whiskey gets in Sherry casks from Jerez, Spain. This imparts an extremely smooth flavor with the expected oak and vanilla as well as subtle dried fruit flavors and a hint of spiciness.
3. Japanese Whisky – Suntory Toki
Japanese whisky and the Japanese whisky highball have become really popular in the U.S. in the last decade. A perfect substitute for fans of Scotch, Japan has been winning awards for its whisky prowess for years. One of the best low-cost options is Suntory Toki, a blend of whiskies from Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chit. It’s sweet, rich, smooth, and full of vanilla, caramel, and even subtle ginger flavors. Sip it on its own or mix it into a highball.
4. Irish Whiskey – Bushmills Black Bush
Picking a favorite Irish whiskey is like choosing a favorite child. There are so many great ones and we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But we fell in love with Bushmills Black Bush. Perfectly suited for sipping, Black Bush is smooth, rich, and full of vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and dried fruit flavors.
5. Canadian Whiskey – Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
There’s a reason this was named as the best whiskey in the world a few years ago by whiskey expert Jim Murray. Even though it’s extremely reasonably priced, it’s an outstanding whiskey. Rich, buttery, caramel flavors make way for a subtly spicy finish.
6. Rye Whiskey – Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey
Shoreham, Vermont’s Whistlepig has become a big name in the whiskey world in the last decade. This is especially true in the rye whiskey industry as the brand has racked up numerous awards. Its flagship rye is its Straight Rye Whiskey. It’s 100 proof, aged for 10 years, and, like all good ryes, starts off with a nice oaky, vanilla, and toffee flavor that progresses into a spicy, peppery finish.
7. Tennessee Whiskey – George Dickel Superior No. 12
Fans of Tennessee whiskey get really annoyed when you refer to it as bourbon. Because, well, it’s not. Bourbon has specific rules including the fact that it must be made up of at least 51 percent corn. Tennessee whiskey is made in Tennessee (duh) and is produced using the Lincoln County Process of filtering it through charcoal. George Dickel No. 12 is 90 proof, but smooth with hints of vanilla and caramel. All in all, a great slow sipping whiskey.