Whiskeys Made From Experimental Grains

You love your corn, barley, rye, and wheat whiskeys, but what about whiskeys made from experimental grains? It's time to give rice, oat, and sorghum whiskeys a try!
Apr 25, 2017
  • 10
    10 High West Silver Whiskey Western Oat
    83
    Vanilla & Sweet
    This barely aged (five minutes is barely aged) whiskey is comprised of a mash bill of 85% oats and 15% malted barley. They use their used rye barrels in the brief aging process. The oats are sourced from Alberta, Canada and the whiskey is non chill-filtered. There will be a more aged version of this whiskey when the product has aged to their liking.
  • 9
    9 EDDU Silver Brocéliande
    84
    Floral & Fruity
    Guy le Lay founded the Distillerie des Menhirs in 1986 to produce a Brittany version of apple brandy. 12 years later, the le Lay family decided to begin producing a whisky based on Brittany-grown buckwheat, creating the EDDU ("buckwheat" in the Breton language spoken in Brittany) brand. Their EDDU Silver Brocéliande is the world's only whisky distilled from a 100% buckwheat mash. Aged in barrels made from oak from the Brocéliande forest in Central Brittany. Note: This is currenlty only available in Europe.
  • 8
    8 Vinn Whiskey
    84
    Vanilla
    Vinn Whiskey is distilled from rice, with fermentation begun by jiuqu, a starter similar to the Japanese koji used in making sake. The distilled spirit is then aged in new, American oak barrels at a level #4 char.
  • 7
    7 Dry Fly Triticale
    84
    Sweet & Rich
    Triticale is what happens when a species of wheat and a species of rye are crossed together to form one grain, as was first practiced in late 19th century Scotland. The folks at Dry Fly in Washington state, led by Don Poffenroth and Kent Flieschmann, got their hands on some seeds and distilled it. It's perhaps the only whiskey on the market made from this rare hybrid seed.
  • 6
    6 Corsair Oatrage
    85
    Rich & Sweet
    Why make just plain oat whiskey when it can be oat-rageous? Here, Corsair Master Distiller Darek Bell used malted oats, coffee malt (typically used for beer brewing) and 6-row barley in the mash bill. It's distilled twice and ager several months in new charred oak.
  • 5
    5 Koval Single Barrel Oat
    86
    Herbal & Sweet
    Koval is a distillery in Chicago that produces a variety of spirits and liqueurs with a focus on whiskey. This grain-to-bottle distillery uses 100% organic oats sourced from the Midwest for this whiskey. It is aged for 3-4 years in 30-gallon new, charred barrels from Minnesota.
  • 4
    4 Queen Jennie Sorghum Whiskey
    87
    Sweet
    Named after the "Queen of Bootleggers" Jenny Justo, this whiskey is distilled from 100% Wisconsin sorghum and aged in small charred oak barrels from Minnesota. It is bottled at 80-proof.
  • 3
    3 Kikori Whiskey
    87
    Floral
    Launched in 2015 by Soh Spirits (owned by Ann Soh Woods), Kikori Whiskey is produced in Kumamoto, on the island of Kyushu in Japan, and distilled from 100% rice. It is aged at least 3 years in a combination of American oak, French limousin, and Spanish sherry casks.
  • 2
    2 Corsair Quinoa Whiskey
    87
    Full Bodied & Sweet
    Based in Tennessee, Corsair is a distillery known for its renegade approach to making whiskey. One of Darek Bell's many experimental whiskeys is this one, which is made from both malted barley and red and white quinoa seeds (80% and 20% respectively.)
  • 1
    1 Jim Beam Signature Craft Triticale Bourbon 11 Year
    91
    Vanilla & Sweet
    This is one half of the final Jim Beam Signature Craft release, which included six different bourbons in three two-bourbon batches. Each of the six highlighted the incorporation of an unusual grain in the bourbon realm. Here, Jim Beam and master distiller Fred Noe deserve credit for turning to triticale, a hybrid grain of rye and wheat. While several experimental craft distillers have turned to triticale in recent years, Beam did so over a decade ago for this release which has been aged for 11 years. Note: This is sold in 375ml bottles only.