The Best Weeknight Whiskeys

Weeknight whiskeys are those solid bottles of whiskeys we can drink as-is for any occasion. They are also affordable picks for whenever we get an urge for a cocktail. These crowd pleasers will do on any day that ends in the letter y. And they’re all under $40.
Oct 17, 2018
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    12 Highland Park Magnus
    83
    Oily
    Introduced in September 2017, Magnus is named in honor of Highland Park's founder, Magnus Eunson. He was a direct decedent of the Vikings who settled on Orkney hundreds of years ago and he made whisky long before Highland Park was officially founded in 1798. This no-age statement single malt was aged in a high proportion of American oak first-fill sherry casks as well as ex-bourbon barrels. This is exclusive to North America. Bottled at 40% ABV.
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    11 The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve
    83
    Fruity & Sweet
    In 1824, farmer George Smith was one of the first to obtain a distiller’s license. Neighbors hiding illicit stills from the law resented Smith's new freedom. They reacted by threatening to burn down Smith’s distillery – with him in it. Smith retaliated by openly carrying two pistols. The neighbors cowered and he got busy creating the iconic Glenlivet whisky. This new expression is a tribute to Smith and the techniques he used to produce whisky. Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, distills his spirits using the same lantern shaped stills designed by Smith. Whiskies aged in traditional oak casks and first-fill American oak casks are blended based on flavor for this NAS whisky.
  • 10
    10 Woodford Reserve Bourbon
    85
    Full Bodied & Rich
    Distilled at its namesake Woodford Reserve Distillery located in Versailles, Ky. (formerly called Labrot & Graham Distillery), this Kentucky straight bourbon was first introduced in 1996. It is also known as "Distiller's Select". This high-rye bourbon has a mash bill containing 18% rye. It is made from a combination of pot still and column still whiskey. The bourbon is aged between 6-7 years and carries no age statement. Bottled at 45.2% ABV.
  • 9
    9 Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year
    85
    Fruity & Vanilla
    Glenmorangie, founded in 1843, is home to the tallest stills in Scotland. Aged 10 years in American oak barrels, The Original serves as the flagship for the distillery. The casks used for the single malt are only ever used twice. The Original also serves as the base for their Extra Matured whiskies that spend 2 more years in a variety of wine barrels such as Sauternes and Port.
  • 8
    8 Jameson Black Barrel
    84
    Fruity
    Jameson Black Barrel is a whiskey comprised of (a high proportion of) single pot still and grain whiskey aged first in a mix of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon. The whiskey is then aged in extra charred ex-bourbon barrels, hence the name. The age of the whiskey ranges from 8-16 years of age.
  • 7
    7 Monkey Shoulder
    86
    Fruity & Sweet
    The name Monkey Shoulder originates from an injury that the maltmen (those that hand turn the grain in a malthouse) would get as it would leave one arm hanging. This blended malt whisky is comprised of three single malt distilleries: Kininvie, Glenfiddich, and The Balvenie. The trio gets acquainted in a tun for three to six months before being bottled on site.
  • 6
    6 Auchentoshan American Oak
    87
    Fruity & Vanilla
    Hitting the market in May 2014, Auchentoshan American Oak, a triple distilled single malt, is aged in 1st fill American oak ex-bourbon barrels. As such, this would be an excellent stepping stone for bourbon drinkers who would like to give scotch a try. This will be a permanent bottling to the brand's line-up and will replace Auchentoshan Classic as the entry level whisky in their portfolio.
  • 5
    5 Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
    89
    Sweet & Rich
    After its initial aging in oak barrels, Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey is further aged in casks that previously held Flor de Caña rum. The blended whiskey is currently sourced from Cooley Distillery, a distillery previously owned by the Teeling family now owned by Beam. It is then further matured in Teeling's own warehouses. The Teeling Whiskey Co is expected to begin producing its own whiskey in late 2014. It will be Dublin's only working distillery.
  • 4
    4 Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye
    91
    Spicy & Full Bodied
    Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye Whisky is distilled at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario. Its production is overseen by master blender Dr. Don Livermore. The whisky is made in a 12,000 liter copper pot-still and is 100% rye--90% Canadian rye and 10% malted rye. This whisky is a bit of a re-make of a re-make. Originally distilled at Joshua Booth's farm near Millhaven, Ontario at the end of the American Revolutionary War, Lot No. 40 was created as a tribute to Joshua by Mike Booth his great-great-great-great grand-nephew back in the 1990s. Lot No. 40 is bottled without an age statement at 86 proof.
  • 3
    3 Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack
    91
    Fruity & Sweet
    Gentleman Jack was first introduced in 1988 and after tweaking the recipe slightly, reintroduced in 1990. The difference between it and Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 is a second pass through the sugar maple charcoal filter after its maturation in new, charred oak barrels. Gentleman Jack is bottled at 40% ABV.
  • 2
    2 Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey
    91
    Sweet & Fruity
    First introduced into the market in 2005, this is the first wheat whiskey released in the US. The mash bill is predominantly winter wheat with corn and malted barley taking supporting roles. Recently (Spring 2014) this whiskey has gone from having no age statement to having one of 7 years, quite the reverse of what large whiskey brands are releasing.
  • 1
    1 Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
    92
    Fruity & Sweet
    Four Roses Small Batch is a straight bourbon that is comprised of 4 of the 10 recipes Four Roses employs. They use an equal measure of both of their mash bills (60% corn, 35% rye, 5% barley and 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley). They also use yeast strains which highlight both a light and spicy profile along with a rich and fruity one. It is bottled at 45% ABV.