Enjoy Authentic American Whiskeys This Holiday Season

Words: Crush

Get the most out of this season’s trendiest drink, authentic American Whiskeys, Rye Whiskey and Bourbons, with these tips from Master Distiller, Dave Pickerell.

American Whiskeys

Why are American Whiskeys becoming so popular?

The names Tennessee Whiskey, American Rye Whiskey and Bourbon conjure up images of speakeasies and Hollywood glamour for good reason – distilling whiskey has been an American tradition for hundreds of years.

Distinctive due to their iron-free water, unique corn, wheat or rye mash blends and ageing in new oak barrels, American Whiskeys are soaring in popularity worldwide as a new generation of adults looks to drinks that are less sweet, more robust, and always authentic. The reemergence of the cocktail culture is also driving demand for American Whiskeys, which give new generation cocktails a complex, robust heart.

To get the most out of American Whiskeys, master distillers recommend you simply enjoy them with friends and take time to appreciate the art that is traditional American distilling.

How to enjoy American Whiskeys

“There’s no ‘right way’ to drink American Whiskey,” says Dave Pickerell, a Master Distiller also known as America’s ‘Mr. Whiskey’. “The right way to drink it is any way you like it.”

However, he does have some suggestions on ways to fully appreciate the rich, full-bodied taste and flavour complexity of American Whiskeys:

  • Taste the spirit neat first. ‘Nose’ it and taste it for the first time at room temperature. Look out for subtle notes of oak, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and fruit. American Whiskeys typically feature corn to yeast notes, along with subtle caramel and vanilla notes from the barrel. Bourbons tend to be slightly sweeter and Rye Whiskeys tend to be spicier.
  • After that, add a few drops of water or an ice cube to see how the taste changes. How you should drink it depends entirely on your palate.
  • For those who want a sweeter, yet equally complex and robust drink, several American distillers now also offer Whiskey infused with honey, maple syrup or cherry.

American Whiskeys

Follow distilledspirits for great ideas on ways to infuse authentic American taste into your summer braai, how to host a home American Tennesse whiskey tasting or a festive season cocktail party.

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