Whiskey is the prime drink of the working man, the businessman, everyone in between, and everyone beyond. It finds its way to every demographic, no matter what their preference is—you want to know why? It’s evolved over the years. If you’re looking for your next favorite whiskey, or you’re not a whiskey drinker and want to find that perfect introductory bottle, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start with our top three picks for whiskey.
Booker’s has always been a crowd favorite, and their small batch reminds us all why. When you don’t see a brand in constant advertisements, you start to forget them. When you pop into a pub for the first time in ages, and you see Booker’s on the shelf, you can’t help but smile. Their bourbon brings you all the flavors, packed into the punch of a single bottle—can you handle it? – Get a discount when entering “14-R” at checkout.
We all know Jack has what it takes to turn your Friday night into the good time you’ve been hoping for. Jack Daniels has a wide variety of different whiskeys, but one of the most unique flavors out of their lot comes in Sinatra Select. When you go with a Sinatra, you’re getting a uniquely smooth ride—it’s fresh pavement and new tires. It goes down easy, taking you with it down the highway. – Get a discount when entering “14-R” at checkout.
Single malt whiskey brands come and go, and then there’s Ranger Creek. (Personally, I never go without having a bottle of .36 on my shelf.) Brewed the way that only a Texas distillery can, .36 Straight is a scotch-style whiskey that blows their competition right out of the water. It’s hand-crafted and boasts one of the most unique flavors of any whiskey on the market. FourteenRobots.com’s top pick for the perfect whiskey for any occasion—Ranger Creek’s .36 Straight Bourbon.
What Do I Look For In a Whiskey?
There’s a process that most whiskeys follow: sweetness at the lips, bitterness at the tongue, dry, smoky residual effect in the throat. When you throw back a shot or a glass of whiskey, you’re letting it take control and deliver an air of comfort and relaxation. Not everyone is big on the burn, some hate even the slightest hint of sweetness in their whiskey, so when you pick up a bottle or read a description line, here’s what to look for.
For the sweetness lovers, you’ll want to look for ingredients like caramel, toffee, or at least the flavors/extracts of them. This is going to give you that little zing on your lips and carry on right through to the very base of your palette, delving your senses into unique and sweet flavors, while still delivering the buzz.
Light whiskeys give you a slightly sweet taste, the same sweetness you can find in fruits like apples and pears. The burn has less of a residual effect, described as a “clean finish.” All that means is when it’s gone, it’s gone. You get a very minute smoky feeling, while the rest of it dies out within a minute or so after swallowing.
Then you get to full-on smoky whiskeys. For those of us who dive into the pool in the dark, the thrill-seekers, you go straight for smoky whiskeys. Part of the fun of trying new smoky whiskey brands is the plunge—throwing a shot back without taking a whiff from the bottle is exciting, while introducing you into an entirely different world than the one you were just standing in. It leaves more of a burn and smoky residue in the back of the throat, and that’s what some of us are after.
Whiskey on the Rocks
For those of you who enjoy alcohol in its purest form (whatever comes out of the bottle, stave off the mixers and juices and such), splashing a few ounces of whiskey over an ice ball chills it to the core, and intensifies all of those attributes and flavors in your favorite brand and flavor profile.
Scotch comes in a couple different types depending on how it’s made. Scotch is a richer flavor than standard whiskey, distinct and sharp on your tongue. Scotch is best enjoyed with a big ball of ice, (made specifically for scotch drinkers), and goes down nice and smooth.
In the family tree, bourbon is the fun uncle of the family. Bourbon contains at least 51% corn, and fills out the rest with rye or wheat, and malted barley. It’s distinct and dry, so for you smoky lovers out there, bourbon is a great bet.