Table Talk: Liza Weisstuch

April 24, 2015

Our database of whiskey reviews has been growing by leaps and bounds, and it wouldn’t be possible without our every-expanding roster of experts: The Distiller Tasting Table. Liza Weisstuch, a long-standing spirits writer and professional, speaker and insider is just one of the newest members of the table, and we couldn’t be happier.

How long have you been in the spirits industry?
I’ve been writing about spirits and cocktails since 2004.

When did you really start to delve more specifically into whiskey?
In 2005 I took a trip to the American Whiskey Trail in Tennessee and Kentucky. Going to “ground zero” of the American whiskey industry for the first time piqued my interest in every aspect of the spirit – from its history and how that plays alongside the history of this country, to production and aging, to the personalities behind the hooch.

Is there an inherent trait that draws you to whiskey?
I love solid single malts and bourbons and other whiskies for the same reasons I love a Beethoven symphony, a Duke Ellington composition or a Clash album: so many different elements come together to form a complete, harmonious whole.

Any ‘dream’ bottles that you’d love to be able to taste some day?
I’d love to do a vertical tasting of George T. Stagg releases from a range of different years (such as the 2013 and 2014 releases).

There’s been a boom in world malt productions, is there something new hitting the market that you’re particularly interested in?
The much deserved buzz around Swedish whisky really established a standard for global whiskies from places without a known whisky heritage. I’m kinda smitten by Sullivans Cove from Tasmania. And I once tried something from Germany and, given that country’s rich history of brewing and distillation, I can’t wait to try more!

Any Current Favorites?
Kavalan. Any of the expressions.

Given that the costs of world malts can often be prohibitive, is there a more wallet-friendly bottle sitting at the top of your go-to list these days?
In general, if you look beyond the marquee name brands, the kind that have high-budget marketing built into their price tags, you can find some exquisite single malts for less than half the price of your monthly phone bill. For instance: the bright, elegant Benriach 12 Year; the fruity, slightly dark chocolate-y Benromach 10 Year, and the lightly-peated, sweet Bunnahabhain 12 Year.

Anything else you’d like to add for those of us who are just beginning the whiskey journey?
Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a “right” way or a “wrong” way to drink whiskey. If you like it with ice, drink it with ice. If you like it neat, drink it neat. There’s just one rule that’s cardinal: take your time, drink it slow and savor every last drop.

Cheers to that!

You can find all of Liza’s reviews in the Distiller app!

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