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
    10 Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon
    82
    Sweet
    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".
  • 9
    9 Tullamore D.E.W.
    84
    Spicy & Sweet
    Tullamore D.E.W. Original is a blended whiskey comprised of single malt, grain, and pot still whiskey. It is aged in both 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
    8 Evan Williams Black Label
    85
    Tart
    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.
  • 7
    7 Famous Grouse
    85
    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.
  • 6
    6 Dewar's 12 Year The Ancestor
    85
    Fruity & Vanilla
    Dewar's 12 Year 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.
  • 5
    5 Bushmills Original
    84
    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. The oldest licensed distillery in the world (1784), it is one of four in all of Ireland. Those numbers will soon double as new distilleries have their spirits aged long enough to sell to the market as whiskey.
  • 4
    4 Suntory Whisky Toki
    88
    Sweet & Full Bodied
    The word "toki" represents the connection of time in Japanese, and this new expression embodies how tradition meets innovation to move forward. 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 focuses on malt from Yamazaki as the key component, this one highlights Hakushu malt aged in American oak and balances that with grain whisky from Chita distillery. The blend is completed by adding single malts from Yamazaki, that have aged in American and Spanish oak.
  • 3
    3 Haig Club Single Grain
    89
    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
    2 Compass Box Great King St Artist's Blend
    89
    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
    1 Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
    91
    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.