Great Whiskeys For Highball Cocktails

The weather is warm, it's time to relax with a great highball. The only question left is which whiskey to use?
Aug 10, 2016
  • 10
    Four Roses Yellow Label is a Kentucky straight bourbon and is the entry-level bourbon for the brand. Four Roses has two separate mash bills they can use for their bourbons. One is labeled recipe "B" and is 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley. The other is recipe "E" and is 75% corn, 20% rye, and 5% malted barley. Both mash bills are utilized for this bottling. Additionally, Four Roses uses up to five different yeast strains for their bourbons. All are used here. Over time, the Yellow Label bottle has changed with the label losing the yellow color. Beginning in spring 2018, the name for this product is simply "Four Roses Bourbon".
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    Spicy & Sweet
    Tullamore D.E.W. Original is a blended Irish whiskey comprised of single malt, grain, and pot still whiskey. It's triple distilled and aged in three types of casks: refill barrels, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. D.E.W. are the initials of a Mr. Daniel E. Williams, a gentleman that worked for Tullamore back in the late 1880's. He made his way up the ranks from shoveling barley to Distillery Manager to owner. He stamped his initials on the bottles as a sign of quality and they have remained since.
  • 8
    This 86-proof product sits in between their 80 proof Green Label and 100 proof White Label. Though it used to have an age statement of 7 years in the 90's, it is still between 4-7 years of age. The cost of around $15 puts it at a standard go-to.
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    Fruity & Sweet
    The Famous Grouse got its start just as most blended Scotch whiskies got started--by wine & spirits merchants. They would create their own blend to sell to their customers and the most popular ones have withstood the test of time. Famous Grouse was created by Matthew Gloag in 1896 and the bottle still bears his signature. The Edrington Group owns this brand now, along with Highland Park and The Macallan.
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    Fruity & Vanilla
    Also known as Dewar's 12 Year Double Aged, The Ancestor is comprised of whiskies from over 40 malt and grain distilleries. The heart of the malt component hails from Aberfeldy, the distillery Dewar's built back in 1896. Dewar's states on their bottles that the blend goes through a double aging. After the blend has been made, it then spends more time, around 6 months or so, in oak barrels to properly marry the blend together. Note: As of autumn 2022, Dewar's 12 Year has been reformulated and packaged with updated labels and a clear glass bottle.
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    Fruity & Vanilla
    Produced about 60 miles north of Belfast in the town of the same name, Bushmills is a blended whiskey comprised of triple distilled malted barley and grain whiskey aged in ex-bourbon barrels. (SRP $29.99)
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    Sweet & Full Bodied
    Suntory Whisky Toki is a blend of selected malt and grain whiskies from the Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita distilleries. Unlike their previous blended expressions that focus on malt from Yamazaki as the key component, Toki highlights Hakushu malt aged in American oak and balances that with grain whisky from Chita distillery. Single malts from Yamazaki that have aged in American and Spanish oak complement the blend.
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    Sweet & Vanilla
    Haig Club is a single grain whisky distilled at the Cameronbridge Distillery and is made from a mash bill of 90% wheat and 10% malted barley. After distillation, it is aged in a mix of first fill, refill and rejuvenated bourbon barrels for 6-7 years. Though single grain whiskies are the working horse of many blends, they are rarely bottled to shine on their own.
  • 2
    Fruity & Spicy
    The Great King Street is a line of blended whiskies from Compass Box. The Artist's Blend is the first in the series and is comprised of over 50% malt whisky from both the Highlands and Speyside. First fill ex-bourbon, first fill European oak Sherry butts, and new heavily toasted French oak are all employed in the aging of this blend.
  • 1
    Sweet & Rich
    Grain whiskies are the base for most blended whiskies throughout the world. Nikka has decided to use the column still (aka Coffey still) rather than the more modern continuous stills to retain more character to their final product. It is quite unusual, however, to bottle and sell this product instead of using it for blending. The grains used here are primarily corn with a splash of barley.