Collins Cocktails have a very long tradition. They go back to at least the early 1800s and quite possibly even longer than that. The sour cocktail originated in England and initially was made with a Gin base. But over time, the principle of the Collins recipe became its own cocktail category.

The template for Collins Cocktails

Collins cocktails are classic, refreshing, sparkling drinks. The template for Collins Cocktails is simple. -All you need is a base spirit, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water. Some also refer to this as the Collins mix.

The base spirit: The first Collins Cocktail, the John Collins, was first made in London. And with Gin being a traditional English spirit, it's no wonder that this original was based on Gin. A popular option for Collins drinks is either Dry Gin, Dry London Gin, or Old Tom Gin. 

The lemon juice: Some of the early recipes used a combination of lemon and lime juice. However, today's formula for a Collins Cocktail only asks for lemon juice. And to get your drink perfect, always squeeze fresh lemons and don't go with storebought juices. The difference is remarkable.

If you want to experiment a bit, go with fresh lime juice, which is slightly more sour than lemon. Or, if you want a bit of bitterness, give grapefruits a try.

Collins Cocktail

The syrup: As for the sweet part, a good, old simple syrup will work a treat. You can buy simple syrup at the grocery store, or alternatively, you can use your own homemade simple syrup. It's easy to make, and you can incorporate a little twist on your Collins cocktails by using flavored syrup. Scroll down for some recommendations on this.

The effervescence: That's the crucial part of making any Collins drink. It needs that refreshing fizz. Therefore, don't use a bottle of soda that you have had open for a few days already. -Always make sure there's enough carbonation left to bring that freshness into your drink. 

The perfect ratios for Collins Cocktails

One of the first written down Collins recipes is the Tom Collins from Jerry Thomas Bartender Guide, published in 1887. 

He asked for 0.75 tbsp of sugar, 3 dashes of lemon juice, 2 dashes of lime juice, 5 lumps of ice, a cup of Gin, and a bottle of soda. -He also advised drinking the cocktail immediately because otherwise, it would lose its flavors. -Just on a sidenote.

Over time, the ratios changed with modern mixology always trying to reach the perfect balance in a drink. And today as well, there's still some slight variation, depending on personal taste and the base spirit you pick. But my preferred formula is 2 parts Gin, 0.75 parts lemon juice, 0.5 part syrup, and 1.5 parts soda water.

Difference between a Collins and a Fizz

Because the components of a John Collins and a Gin Fizz are the same, I quickly want to point out the two differences:

For one, a John Collins usually is a 14-ounce drink, whereas the Gin Fizz traditionally is an 8-ounce cocktail. Second, while the Gin Fizz is shaken with ice, then strained into a glass without ice, the Collins can be either shaken or stirred and gets served over ice.

Typical garnish for Collins Cocktails

The standard garnish for Collins cocktails, like the John or the Tom Collins, are a Maraschino cherry and a lemon wheel or peel. So, if you want to keep it traditional, that's the way to go. 

And please, don't save on the cherries. If you use them to garnish your drink, opt for authentic or homemade Maraschino cherries, not the cheap replacements. They have such an artificial taste that it will spoil the whole cocktail.

Collins Cocktail Garnish

Alternatively, citrus fruit like orange or lime makes a nice garnish. And berries, a mint sprig, or even some pretty flower garnish goes well with a Gin-based Collins cocktail, too. 

Members of the Collins Family

What started with John and Tom is now a whole Collins clan. The Collins template is extremely versatile and works with almost every base spirit.

And because the concept of the late John Collins - the bartender this time- was such a winner, they all got named accordingly. 

Whiskey based Collins cocktails:

Other base spirits:

Shake or stir Collins Cocktails?

You don't shake cocktails that have a fizzy component. Or, to be more precise, you should not add the carbonated element to your cocktail shaker. However, Collins Cocktails aren't drinks you usually would stir in a mixing glass either. 

That means you can shake the other three ingredients with ice. Then strain them over ice into your Collins glass and top everything up with the soda water. 

If you don't have a shaker, here's a list of things that work as an alternative. Or, you check out our recommendations for cocktail shakers and the best cocktail shaker sets.

The Collins Glass

Collins cocktails even have their own signature glassware. A Collins glass is cylindrical in shape and looks very much like a highball glass. It's higher and more narrow, though. 

The ratio of height to diameter for a Collins glass is between 2.5:1 and 3:1. An example size would be 6.75in high and 2.5in in diameter - or in cm that's 17cm high and 6cm wide. The average capacity is between 10 to 14 oz - that's about 300 to 420ml.

Using flavored syrup in Collins Cocktails

If you want to create your own version of a Collins Cocktail, you can replace the simple syrup. For instance, floral sweeteners like homemade elderflower syrup or butterfly pea syrup work great with Gin-based Collins cocktails. -The butterfly pea also adds a bit of magic to your drink because it changes color.

Raspberry Collins

Fruity syrups made from fig, raspberry, or pink dragon fruit also go well with Gin, while pineapple syrup and passion fruit syrup are a fantastic addition to a Rum-based Collins. And another classic choice would be agave syrup for the Tequila-based Juan Collins.

The options are endless because the Collins template is so versatile. So, there's a lot of room for being experimental.

Inventor of Collins Cocktails

I also quickly want to mention the origin of the Collins cocktails. The general opinion is that the concept of mixing citrus juice, sugar, Gin, and soda had been around before the early 19th century. 

But it was then, in 1810, that a bartender with the name John Collins decided to name the drink after himself. He served the drink regularly at this watering hole, and people picked up on it. However, because Old Tom Gin was so popular in the 19th century, many also referred to the drink as Tom Collins. If you want to know more about this, you can read the whole story in the article about the difference between the Tom and the John Collins.

There's quite some confusion going on regarding the Tom Collins cocktail and the John Collins cocktail. Some say it's two names for the same drink, but that's not quite right. Others say one is based on Gin while the other is made with Whiskey. But that is not entirely correct either. So what is the difference between a Tom Collins and a John Collins?

Tom Collins vs. John Collins

The Tom Collins is a drink made with Old Tom Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water. The John Collins, in turn, is a mix of Dry Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water. If you want to take a peek at the recipe for one or both cocktails, you can find them here:

Tom Collins
John Collins

Now one might think that sounds pretty much like the same thing. And I can't argue with that. It does. Other cocktails don't change their name just because you use a specific type of Gin

That's also the reason why some people, at one point, started to refer to the John Collins as a mix of Whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water instead. And to make the chaos perfect, the John Collins cocktail existed before the Tom Collins did. But what lead to this confusion?

The difference between Tom Collins and John Collins explained

How the whole thing came about is best explained by looking at the history of both drinks, which starts in the home country of Gin, the United Kingdom. 

The combination of Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and water most likely had been around long before either John or Tom Collins had played a role in it. Yet, in the 1810s, the London bartender John Collins named a cocktail made with these four ingredients after himself. He managed to establish the name, at least for a while.

In the 19th century, the so-called Old Tom Gin was quite popular and the typical ingredient in a John Collins. So people started ordering a Tom Collins instead of a John Collins. That new nickname became so famous that Harry Johnson, a barkeeper from the United States, used it in his book Bartender’s Manual, published in 1882. 

The John Collins today

The book became a success, and that sealed the deal. The John Collins was now the Tom Collins. But with mixology becoming more and more important during the 20th century, the story behind the drink and its name resurfaced. 

People became more aware again that Tom actually referred to Old Tom Gin. So, Tom Collins was the name when the recipe included Old Tom Gin. John Collins was the name when you would use any other type of Gin. And depending on who you ask, that is still the case today. We also like to stick to that old custom.

However, distinguishing between the two drinks is a bit complicated, indeed. -Even more so because the Old Tom Gin is not regulated or clearly defined. Therefore, some people now refer to the drink made with Gin -regardless of the type- as Tom Collins and use the name John Collins for a riff made with Whiskey.

Other members of the Collins cocktail family 

Collins-style cocktails, in general, refer to a category of drinks made with a base spirit, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water. And basically, you can use any liquor and mix it with the other three ingredients. That's why the Collins family became pretty big. For instance, a Bourbon-based version would be a Colonel Collins, or an Irish Whiskey-based is called a Mike Collins. 

If you want to get to know the whole clan, you can check out the article on Collins Cocktails here.

Homemade Irish Cream might not be the fanciest of things. The Whiskey liqueur has a bit of an old-school vibe to it. But it's sweet, it's tasty, and it's a real crowd-pleaser. There's no shame in having a soft spot for the classics.

And the best thing about homemade Irish Cream is that you can use your favorite Whiskey. You can try getting it as close to being a Baileys copycat as possible, or you can make your very own version. -If it's intended to be a gift, and you know the favorite Whiskey brand of the recipient, that's even better.

What is Irish Cream

Irish Cream is made mainly from Whiskey and cream. And these two components get refined with spiced cocoa and vanilla, added sugar, and some other flavoring. On average, Irish Cream has an alcohol content of about 15-20%.

Some think Irish Cream has a long tradition in Ireland. But in fact, it sprung from the mind of three British guys in the 1970s and was given the name Baileys.

If you want to know more about the liqueur in general, you can read this article about Irish Cream or that of how Baileys was invented.

Ingredients for homemade Irish Cream

To get the best homemade Irish Cream, you have to invest a little money into the ingredients. Not too much, because you also don't want to waste top shelf Whiskey by mixing it with cream. But use ingredients you would like to drink without flavorings masking their taste.

Whiskey

The first Irish Cream ever was made with Jameson Whiskey. So if you want to go with the product that kicked off the whole concept of Irish cream, Jameson Irish Whiskey it is. Otherwise, as I said, go with something you like. Only remember that you want the Whiskey to have a bit of an alcoholic bite because it has to cut through all the sweetness and richness from the other ingredients.

The cream part

The guys who dreamed up Baileys went with single cream for their first shot. Single cream has a fat content of about 18%. That's pretty low, but still, 1.5x the fat content of half and half. 

The overall fat content of Baileys is over 15%. And it's safe to say half and half won't achieve that. So they won't do, at least if you're not on a diet. I like to go with a cream containing at least 20% fat. -Which is still not enough to get to the 15%, but there's more fat coming.

Flavorings for your homemade Irish cream

Again, the initial flavorings were sugar and some cocoa powder. That's not getting you the perfect Irish cream, though. You will also need vanilla, a bit of coffee powder, and sweetened condensed milk. -This is where the sugar and the additional fat are coming in. 

Ways to enjoy Irish Cream

You can enjoy your homemade Baileys neat, straight, or on the rocks. It's as delightful cold on a hot day as it is warm, out of the bottle on a cold winter day.

It works a treat in a coffee, for instance, you can turn a regular Irish Coffee into a Baileys Irish Coffee. Or you can spice up a regular hot chocolate, as well. 

And you can also create sweet and rich dessert cocktails with your homemade Irish Cream, for instance, the Chocolate Martini or a Screaming Orgasm - sounds more bizarre than it is. And then, there are some evergreen shots like the B-52 or the Baby Guinness. Those are especially popular during St. Patrick's day. 

Irish Cream

Irish cream

An easy way to make your favorite creamy Whiskey liqueur at home.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: irish cream
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 140kcal
Cost: $7

Ingredients

  • 7 oz light cream
  • 4 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  • First, mix a tablespoon of the cream with coffee, and cocoa powder
  • Then slowly stir in the remaining cream - I don't use a blender because I like a smooth but still liquid consistency. I don't want the cream to become thick and stiff.
  • Now, add the Whiskey, vanilla extract, and condensed milk.
  • Fill in an airtight sealable bottle and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
  • Shake the bottle before drinking.

Nutrition

Serving: 40g | Calories: 140kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Baileys is a mix of Irish Whiskey, cream, chocolate and vanilla aroma, and some other additional flavors that are kept secret. It's a real treat when enjoyed on the rocks and it also works great in dessert cocktails like the Chocolate Martini. 

But what appears to be a product with a long Irish tradition is actually an invention from the 70s that didn't look to promising at first. And it's not even Irish when it comes down to it. So what's the story behind Baileys?

What is Baileys

Baileys Irish cream is a cream liqueur with a base of 50% cream and about 40% Irish Whiskey. The remaining 10% are sugar and flavorings like vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. The exact composition is a big secret, of course.

Baileys has an alcohol content of 17% and 140 calories per 1.5 oz serving. That equals about 40ml. The taste is rich, creamy, and slightly boozy, and you definitely get those chocolate and vanilla flavors.

The story behind Baileys

You can't tell the story behind Baileys without telling the story about Irish cream in general. With Baileys being the first brand on the market, it's simply inevitable. So how did it all happen?

How it began

As mentioned, Irish Cream doesn't have a long Irish tradition, but its two main components of it do. Whiskey was invented in Ireland some time during the 13th or 14th century, dairy products always made up a large part of Ireland's economy. But Baileys only has 50 years on its back. 

It all started in 1971 with Tom Jago, who had been working for Gilberts of Ireland, a subdivision of the British company International Distillers & Vintners (IDV) at the time. 

He got the task to think up a new product for the international market because the Irish government wanted to get away from relying almost exclusively on agriculture. Therefore, they promised generous subsidies to those releasing new products internationally. Naturally, IDV wanted to benefit, as well.

But Jago - who also is responsible for other alcoholic beverages like the coconut-flavored Malibu - had no sparking idea. So he was joined by consultants David Gluckman and Hugh Seymour-Davies. The pair had just started out with their independent business a few months prior. 

Whiskey and cream

However, Gluckman had worked with Kerrygold (a renowned Irish dairy brand) before. And in a flash of inspiration, it was him who threw together Irish Whiskey and cream. -Which seemingly must have been quite disgusting. Still, there was something to this odd mix, and he and Seymour-Davies didn't give up.

They bought Cadbury’s Powdered Drinking Chocolate and some sugar and added this to their initial mix of Jameson Whiskey and single cream. And surprisingly, it kind of worked, so they introduced the idea to Tom Jago.

How Baileys became what it is today

After the three men agreed to move forward with the product, a long and painful period of market research followed. With the Irish caring so much about their Whiskey, the creamy mix might not go down too well. And it didn't! 

The male test group found it girly, and the female test group found the drink resembled a medicine called Kaolin & Morphine, a drug to cure an upset stomach. And a test with two bottles of Baileys in a local pub also seemed to produce no results because no one bought them. -Until two policemen did.

Today that would be far from sufficient market research, but in the 70s, the two police officers were good enough. Even more so when it turned out that the management of IDV didn't care about market research and gave the product a go just because they liked it. Imagine... 

More months of searching for the right marketing strategy and tweaking the recipe to perfection followed. And finally, in 1974, Baileys was released. And within no time, Baileys became a real hit. So much that within only five years, 75 competitors entered the market.

RA Baileys

If you want to read the whole story, you can find it in the article about the invention of Baileys by David Gluckman in the Irish Times. 

How Baileys got its name

Some people think - and write online- that Baileys is a product of R & A Bailey & Company. That is because it used to be written on the bottles for a long time. However, that's nonsense. It was just a marketing gag. 

The name Baileys itself was something that sprung to the mind of Seymour-Davies and Gluckman when they were standing in front of a restaurant with the name Baileys Bistro. They spontaneously decided to go with it, and Tom Jago agreed. The R & A came along when the marketing department of IDV decided the brand needed more authenticity to it. 

Substitutes for Baileys

With 75 competing products on the market within the first years of its release, the list of possible substitutes for Baileys is sheer endless. You will have a hard time finding a supermarket that doesn't have at least one Irish cream liqueur on offer. Here's a list with the best budget alternatives for Baileys.

And if you should somehow manage to find that one place where there's no Irish cream available, an alternative would be Amarula. It's a cream liqueur from South Africa made from the marula fruit. But from my experience, that's usually harder to get than Baileys or other Irish cream liqueurs. 

Another viable alternative is using chocolate liqueurs like those from Mozart. But what's easy and a lot more cost-efficient is to make your own Irish cream liqueur at home. You only need cream, condensed milk, Whiskey, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder for your homemade Irish cream.

Cocktails with Baileys

Initially, Baileys was a cozy drink to share with friends or family on cold winter evenings. However, I think, Baileys on the rocks makes a perfect summer drink, as well. 

And you can find it in typical dessert cocktails like the Mudslide or the Chocolate Martini. Another infamous representative of Baileys cocktails is the Screaming Orgasm, a mix of Baileys, Vodka, Amaretto, coffee liqueur, milk, and half-and-half.

But what Baileys is more famous for than for cocktails is layered shots. The B-52 or the Baby Guinness are real crowd-pleasers. And then there's crazy stuff like the Cement Mixer, a combination of lime juice and Baileys. Sounds gross? The taste is actually alright, but still a wild experience.

Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's are two of the most popular Whiskey brands in the United States. And that certainly is already reason enough to check how both these American Whiskeys compare.

Jim Beam vs. Jack Daniel's: both are giants in the American Whiskey market and have a seemingly indestructible fanbase all across the globe. But have you ever wondered what the differences between those two are? If so, let me help. I will show where those two famous Whiskeys differ.

That includes comparing the regions where the Whiskeys come from, the various versions, their bottling proof, and reputation. If you're looking for a thorough comparison between Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's or want to purchase either one as a gift, you've come to the right place.

Here is my comprehensive breakdown of two of the biggest Whiskey producers in the United States. 

Looking at the key differences: Jim Beam vs. Jack Daniel's

First, let's have a closer look at the main differences between the two Whiskey brands in this short summary of Jim Beam vs. Jack Daniel's.

Jim Beam

Jim Beam is standard Bourbon Whiskey from Kentucky. And not only is it one of the most famous Bourbon brands but also the best-selling Bourbon in the world. And even that doesn't directly translate to best-selling Whiskey worldwide, Jim Beam still outperforms brands like Bulleit, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, and Evan Williams. 

The biggest market for Jim Beam is, of course, the US. But also in Europe, especially in Germany and Australia, the Kentucky Bourbon is selling very well. The main reason for this is the value you get for your money. You receive a decent quality Whiskey with quite a small price tag.  

The brand Jim Beam was established in 1795. And what many people don't know, the first Jim Beam distillery was not founded by a family actually named Beam. Instead, the founder of the Bourbon Whiskey brand was a German called Johannes Boehm. However, in an attempt to make his name more English-friendly, he changed his name to the more Anglo-American version Beam. 

And another widely unknown fact is that the Whiskey's name was not Jim Beam right away. Initially, it was named “Old Tub.” It took until 1943 to rebrand it to Jim Beam, to honor not only the family but especially Colonel James B. Beam, who sadly passed only a few years later. 

Jim Beam Bourbon was managed and produced by the Beam family for seven generations. But in 2014, Jim Beam was sold to a Japanese group called Suntory, most famous for their Japanese Whisky. And Suntory has more to offer. It is a gigantic privately held company owning many different spirits brands. And by acquiring Jim Beam for $13,6 billion, the portfolio of spirits became even more enormous. 

Santory's brands include: 

Jim Beam tasting notes

Pouring classic Jim Beam Bourbon into your glass reveals its clear and deep golden to copper color. It only turns cloudy when adding ice to it. And the nose is sweet with notes of vanilla, caramel, corn, and oak, complemented with a slight breeze of fresh-cut hay.

Overall the taste of a Jim Beam is relatively thin, almost watered down. Its flavor is not as bold as that of its competitors. But it still carries detectable notes of vanilla, corn, and oak. And it also has shows hints of spice and pepper to it as well as a subtle sweetness from the corn. The finish is dominated by toasted oak and sweetness. And again, vanilla, corn, and also caramel shine through.

The Jim Beam Lineup

Starting with only one product in 1795, Jim Beam today offers a whole variety of products. Check out the options of Jim Beam that are available at the moment.

Jim Beam White Label

Jim Beam White Label

ABV: 40%
Age: 4 years
Tasting notes: Vanilla, oak, and subtle notes of tropical fruits
Price: $18

Jim Beam White Label is a solid budget Bourbon. It's a decent entry-level option for people new to Bourbon, as the affordable price and the low ABV make it pretty approachable. However, considering the weak taste, there are better options for just a few dollars more.

The nose with notes of corn and light fruity notes is quite typical for a Bourbon. And the usual Bourbon flavors of oak and vanilla can be found, too. But overall, this spirit lacks complexity and has harsh alcohol notes even though it is only 80 proof.

Jim Beam Green Label

Jim Beam Green Label

ABV: 40%
Age: 5 years
Tasting notes: Caramel, vanilla, and port
Price: $40

Green Label is aged a bit longer than the classic White Label offering. Also, it's much smoother and more complex than the standard bottling of Jim Beam. The smell shows notes of caramel, vanilla, and hints of pepper, and on the palate, you get more vanilla notes, port, and subtle spice.

Altogether this spirit is not overly complex but a great everyday Bourbon. But the increased quality comes along with a higher price point.

Jim Beam Black Label

Jim Beam Black Label

ABV: 43%
Age: 6 years
Tasting notes: Oak, vanilla, pepper, and smoke
Price: $22

Jim Beam Black label's smell is intriguing. Light oaky notes mix with aromas of candied apples and vanilla custard. The taste is way less complex, though. The Bourbon is comparably thin in taste with strong notes of oak.

Apart from the oaky notes, you can also taste some typical vanilla and caramel. And even though it certainly doesn't taste bad, the flavor profile is just a bit more one-dimensional than the nose suggests. The finish has more oak, vanilla, and pepper, plus a smoky note that lingers quite long.

Jim Beam Rye - Pre-Prohibition style

Jim Beam Rye Pre-Prohibition style

ABV: 45%
Age: 4 years
Tasting notes: Grains, Caramel, butterscotch, citrus, and spice
Price: $23

Don't be fooled by the "Pre-Prohibition" on the bottle label. Jim Beam Rye - Pre-Prohibition style actually tastes like a regular Rye Whiskey. The nose is quite sweet and reminds a bit of Old Overholt's Rye. Notes of caramel, butterscotch, and toffee dominate the aroma.

On the palate, it's a different story. You can taste (raw) grains, vanilla, and quite some spice. But just like some other Jim Beam products, the spirit lacks complexity and follows more simple flavor profiles.

Jim Beam Devil's Cut

Jim Beam Devil's Cut

ABV: 45%
Age: 6 years
Tasting notes: Grains, Caramel, butterscotch, citrus, and spice
Price: $22

The Devil's Cut has a deep caramel-colored spirit dominated by a wooden aroma. Hidden behind that, you can also taste caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. For some, the strongly pronounced wooden notes might be too much. And I also think, even though the taste of wood is the whole point of this expression, it is a bit overwhelming.

On the palate, the wood is less pronounced. You get strong caramel notes and hints of spices like cinnamon. It's a beautiful fit for people who are into wood-forward spirits. For everyone else, this might not be an ideal choice.

Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece

Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece

ABV: 50%
Age: "Extra aged"
Tasting notes: Grains, Caramel, butterscotch, citrus, and spice
Price: once $190, now: $450+

The Distiller's Masterpiece is aged for an extended time. However, Jim Beam doesn't say for how long exactly. What we do know is that its deep reddish-brown color is coming from an additional aging step in ex Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

As you would expect at this price point, the aromas and flavors of this premium Bourbon are complex. The nose shows spicy notes with dark fruit, cinnamon, nuts, and sweet caramel. On the palate, you clearly can taste the sherry coming from the sherry cask aging. You can also taste dark fruit, spice, marmalade, and even cocoa.

Overall, this is a beautiful Whiskey. Considering the steep price point (now), I would choose another Bourbon, though.

Jim Beam Signature Craft

Jim Beam Signature Craft

ABV: 43%
Age: 12 years
Tasting notes: Caramel, vanilla, oak, and cinnamon
Price: $52

Bottled and released in 2015, this premium Bourbon from Jim Beam is barrel-aged for 12 years. And this extended time in the barrel helped this Jim Beam expression. The small-batch release is full-bodied with a comparably complex flavor profile. 

The nose is typical with notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and oak. On the palate, you get a slightly more complex profile. Caramel, vanilla, spicy cinnamon, and oak dominate the taste.  

Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask

Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask

ABV: 43%
Age: 5-6 years
Tasting notes: Corn, cinnamon, oak, and caramel
Price: $60

The Signature Quarter Cask by Jim Beam is best enjoyed neat, and I recommend adding neither ice nor water to it. The dilution changes the flavor balance, but not for the better, and you end up with less sweet corn and more spice and oak. 

The price is a bit hefty, but still, this Bourbon is a good choice. -Especially if you prefer a dry, oaky, and vanilla-forward Bourbon. If you are an avid fan of the brand, this bottle is almost a must-have. If not, it is still a nice addition to your Whiskey collection. Should you be uncertain about it, go ahead and test in a Whiskey bar first before purchasing a whole bottle.

Jim Beam Single Barrel

jim beam single barrel

ABV: 47.5%
Age: Not stated
Tasting notes: Rye spice, apples, and vanilla
Price: $39

Jim Beam Single Barrel is a highly unusual release from the famous Whiskey brand. While most of their releases are quite similar in flavor profile, this one stands out. You can smell a bit of ethanol, but besides that, the spirit is intriguing, complex, and simply a great Whiskey to sip.

The nose is full of apple, rye, vanilla, and that bit of ethanol. Once you sip it, the ethanol is completely gone, though. Instead, you get a balanced mix of caramel, rye spice, and oak. The finish is sweet with more vanilla and caramel. 

Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost

Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost

ABV: 40%
Age: 1 year
Tasting notes: Vanilla, smoke, and charcoal smoke
Price: $18

Considering its price point and the fact that it is a large volume White Whiskey, Jacob's Ghost is a good option. It is creamy and smooth with floral notes and hints of vanilla. It also has a slightly smoky taste to it.

And compared to other white Whiskey in that price range, Jacob's Ghost performs quite well. The smooth and creamy taste makes it better than most competitors in that range.

Jack Daniel's

Time to get to Jack Daniel's. The brand is world-famous for its Tennessee Whiskey made from sour mash. The term "Tennessee Whiskey" got recognized by the government as a specific type of Whiskey in 1941. Therefore, the spirit is neither Rye nor Bourbon and not required to follow the guidelines for these types of spirits. 

Instead, they invented their very own distillation process. Plus, they managed to have the method recognized as a distinct variety. However, technically, Jack Daniel's still remains Bourbon, and the North American Free Trade Agreement lists it as Straight Bourbon, as well. 

Nevertheless, representatives and spokespersons of Jack Daniel's keep claiming it is not a Bourbon. In private, though, they probably would admit that their product does indeed tick all the boxes for being categorized Bourbon. 

After the distillation, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey undergoes a special procedure called the ‘Lincoln County Process.’ It means, for six days, the Whiskey drips in large vats through specifically made charcoal. This charcoal is obtained from burned maple wood and impregnated with high-proof Jack Daniel's Whiskey (140 proof).

Then, the Whiskey matures in new and charred oak barrels for approximately 4 to 7 years before being bottled at 40% ABV. At least since 2004. Before that, the famous Tennessee Whiskey had an ABV of 43%. 

Jack Daniel's tasting notes

The nose of Jack Daniel's is quite pleasant and sweet. The fruity notes of banana and apricot mix with vanilla and oak. In the background, some hints of corn add more aroma to the mix. Overall, a pleasant way to prepare you for the first sip.

On the palate, you get that typical Jack Daniel's mix. Meaning, something pretty unusual and thin, with a relatively low ABV, but somehow still fun to sip. That's especially remarkable when you consider the low price point. When tasting the Whiskey, you are greeted by a wave of sweet corn and banana flavors. Then, more sweetness and notes of vanilla and nuts follow. In the background, you can even taste hints of spice, cinnamon, and maple.

The finish counters the sweetness with some oaky and bitter notes. A strong contrast that unfortunately brings down the overall experience. What stays is the fact that Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey is a solid product with some fun flavors.

The Jack Daniel's Lineup

The lineup of Jack Daniel's might not be as expansive as the one from Jim Beam, but they still have a considerable selection. So let's check out what the distillery from Tennessee has to offer.

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7

ABV: 40%
Age: 4 -7 years
Tasting notes: Banana, Apricot, Vanilla, and oak
Price: $15

I already described the flavors and aromas of the standard Jack Daniel's bottling above. And this release is no exception: it's a solid Whiskey with sweet and fruity aromas and flavors. The finish is relatively dry and takes away from the otherwise beautiful flavor profile. 

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye

ABV: 45%
Age: NA
Tasting notes: Vanilla, smoke, and charcoal smoke
Price: $25

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye is just as solid as its standard bottling. But, considering the higher price point, one might expect a bit more from it. The nose is slightly more spicy than that of sour mash Tennessee Whiskey. But it still has fruity notes of banana and some oaky notes. 

The flavors on the palate are similar, with a touch more sweetness to it. Notes of marshmallow mingle with spice notes, banana, oak, and some char. It certainly is a great Rye for Jack Daniel's fans as it holds some of the typical flavors you know from the Old No. 7. 

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select

ABV: 47%
Age: 4-7 years
Tasting notes: Banana, vanilla, oak, and caramel
Price: $50

The Single Barrel Select clearly builds on the base of their iconic No. 7. You get some similar notes in the nose of banana or banana bread, caramel, and toasted oak. 

The palate shows more notes of caramel, together with dried banana and oak. -A restrained but elegant flavor profile with just a trace of ethanol. And although bottled at 94 proof, the spirit actually doesn't feel strong. In a blind tasting, I might have estimated it around 80 proof.

The finish also is pretty straightforward: a hint of spicy pepper complements the more pronounced charred oak and sweet brown sugar notes.

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye

ABV: 47%
Age: 4-7 years
Tasting notes: Vanilla, smoke, and charcoal smoke
Price: $50

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye comes at a steep price point. Especially because the spirit has no official age statement and, frankly, the company doesn't have much experience producing quality Rye Whiskey. However, the result is quite promising and certainly an above-average Rye.

The nose has fruity notes of cherry and banana complemented by hints of spice, vanilla, and oak. In the beginning, the palate feels quite one-dimensional. Lots of banana notes mixed with cherry and caramel. Later on, you get more oak and typical Rye spices.

Overall, it's a rather fruit-forward and unusual Rye Whiskey at a relatively high price point. But when looking for something new and extraordinary to try, it isn't the worst option.

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel 100 Proof

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel 100 Proof

ABV: 50%
Age: 1 year
Tasting notes: Vanilla, smoke, and charcoal smoke
Price: $50

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel 100 Proof is rich and creamy with a flavor of corn, caramel, and banana. And it was my favorite amongst their Single Barrel offerings until the Barrel Proof (see below) was released. Especially on the palate, it really benefits from the higher ABV. 

The full-bodied Whiskey is dominated by rich vanilla and oak notes and carries a delicate underlying trace of cherry and wood. Only in the back of your throat can you taste some bitter notes that bring the experience down a little. Overall, it's an aromatic spirit with a decent depth of flavor.

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel - Barrel Proof

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof

ABV: 64%
Age: NAS
Tasting notes: Banana, cherry, apple, vanilla, and cinnamon
Price: $65

Bottled at full proof directly from the barrel, this Jack Daniel's is a powerhouse when it comes to richness and taste. Already on smelling it, you're confronted with a bold variety of aromas: Sweet caramel, fresh banana, banana bread, cherries, apples, vanilla, cinnamon, and also woody hints from oak.

And the palate delivers what the nose is promising. It is a bold and rich Whiskey. The sweetness of caramel, honey, and banana mixes with vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and nutty notes. And due to a high ABV of 64%, the spirit has quite a bite to it. But not in an unpleasant way.

Probably my favorite Whiskey made by Jack Daniel's. 

Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack

Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack

ABV: 40%
Age: 4-7 years
Tasting notes: Vanilla, smoke, and charcoal smoke
Price: $30

First released in 1988, Gentleman's Jack is much more mellow than the standard release. The reason is that the Whiskey is undergoing the charcoal mellowing process twice before aging. And to make it even smoother, it's mellowed once again before finally getting bottled at 40% ABV. 

Gentleman Jack has a super smooth texture and is really easy to sip. The flavor profile is simple yet well-balanced, with just the right balance between caramel, oak, and vanilla. But the smoothness comes at a price. Also, for seasoned Whiskey and Bourbon drinkers, Gentleman Jack might be a bit boring. If you're new to Bourbon or Whiskey in general, it's an excellent choice to get used to the flavors without being overwhelmed by complex flavors and harsh alcohol notes.

Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select

Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select

ABV: 45%
Age: 4-7 years
Tasting notes: Fruity, caramel, nougat, and oak
Price: $150

The Sinatra Select release is a pricy bottle of Whiskey mostly meant for fans of either Jack Daniel's or Franky. Its nose is strong and fruity with notes of apple, mango, and orange, but there are also some more classic aromas like vanilla, buttercream, and wood.

On the palate, it is a tad bit rough. That isn't bad, but I would have expected a better balance. It holds notes of nut, caramel, vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and orange. The mouthfeel itself is pretty nice and rich. It almost feels like its a 100 proof. 

Overall the Sinatra Select is nothing really new. It has some upsides and downsides without being unique. And to be honest, spending 100$ on this is most likely not worth it. Considering that currently, it sells for as much as $150, I do not recommend buying a bottle unless you're a big fan of either brand or artist.

Other Products

Besides the Whiskey listed above, Jack Daniels also released some flavored, lower ABV liqueurs. To not leave them unmentioned, here are their other products:

Jim Beam vs. Jack Daniels - What's your preference?

Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's are two of the most famous Whiskey brands worldwide. Jim Beam is a Bourbon, and Jack Daniel's officially is classified as Tennessee Whiskey. Technically, though, both products are Bourbon Whiskeys even though Jack Daniel's undergoes some special treatment. 

Both brands have a raving fanbase, and choosing between Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's is a matter of personal preference. Both standard releases are not exactly what I call a perfect choice for sipping, but great spirits for beginners. But if I had to pick a favorite from all releases, I would opt for Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof. 

Which one is your favorite? One from Jim Beam or one from Jack Daniel's? 

Jim Beam vs. Jack Daniel's FAQs

Is Jack Daniels better than Jim Beam?

It depends on your taste buds. Jack Daniel's is softer and more mellow, whereas Jim Beam is a bit rougher and more fruity.

Is Jim Beam a good Whiskey?

For its comparably low price point, Jim Beam is a great Whiskey. It's one of the most popular Bourbons for a reason. It has a fresh and fruity taste and works great in many Whiskey cocktails.

Is Jack Daniels good for beginners?

Jack Daniel's has a smooth and mellow flavor. Therefore, it is perfect for beginners and people who don't like harsh and alcoholic notes.

Is Jim Beam top shelf?

Jim Beam is not considered a top-shelf Whiskey. But the low price point and its approachable flavor profile make a great Bourbon for beginners.

When someone asks you if you would fancy a Green Tea Shot, you might expect to encounter that someone in a spa or perhaps in a juice bar or other wellness and health focussed places. And I'm not saying you won't get offered a Green Tea Shot there, but probably of a different kind. Because the one we're talking about here is not necessarily aimed at improving your immune system. Some might argue it's quite the opposite, in fact. But for compensation, it might lift the spirits a little, and that's beneficial to your well-being in its own right. At least from time to time.

So, unlike the famous representatives of the immune boosters like ginger and turmeric shots, a Green Tea Shot won't be on the menu after wellness but at a bar or after dinner.

Now, what is a Green Tea Shot?

The Green Tea Shot is an invention of Jameson, one of the oldest Whiskey brands from Ireland, and therefore also known as Jameson Green Tea. So consequently, the main ingredient is Jameson Whiskey. And the shooter with a color somewhere between yellow and pale green becomes a distinct fruity touch through the addition of peach liqueur and lime juice.

It's an especially suitable option for St. Patrick's Day parties, with its greenish color and Irish roots. And just like the St. Paddies celebrations spread out into the world, the Green Tea Shot did, too. It's a common serve in US bars, with prices for a shot ranging between USD8 to USD12. But because it's fruity and so easy to drink, it's a crowd favorite regardless of the time of the year.

What is a Jameson Green Tea made of?

Of nothing too fancy and extravagant, to be honest. So you won't make the bartenders and home mixologists flip out about it. But that's not the purpose of this shot. It also doesn't pretend to be of the luxurious kind with its somewhat nondescript color - which can vary depending on the ingredients and measurements you use, by the way.

So, the original ingredients of a Jameson Green Tea are:

Jameson Irish Whiskey: you can use any other type of Whiskey, like Bourbon or Scotch, of course. Just don't opt for a too-smoky one if you intend to create a crowd-pleasing Green Tea Shot.

Peach Schnapps: the clear grain spirit with added peach flavor, is one of the top-selling schnapps types in the US and known for its intensely peach-forward fruitiness.

Sweet and Sour Mix: A mixture of equal parts lemon and lime juice combined with a bit of simple syrup, shaken with ice. You can buy it pre-mixed in liquor or grocery stores. Usually, it's worth using fresh ingredients because they make the difference between good and great. However, in this case, you end up sacrificing the green color when you use fresh lemon and lime. So that's up to you.

Lemonade: either unsweetened, if you prefer your Green Tea Shot a little more on the sour side, or something sweet like Sprite if you want some extra sweetness.

Taste of the Green Tea Shot

Peach Schnapps is intense, so expect to get something quite peachy. If you don't like the taste of peach schnapps in general, you might not be the biggest fan of a Jameson Green Tea, as well. But if you enjoy it, the Green Tea Shot is a brilliant choice when it comes to shooters. The flavor of the Whiskey will also come through. So you can expect somewhat of a sweet and sour Whiskey taste with a noticeable peach aroma to it.

Green-Tea-Shot, Jameson Green Tea

Green Tea Shot

A fun, easy-to-make party shot made of Whiskey and Peach Schnapps.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Jameson, Peach Schnapps, Shot, whiskey
Servings: 1
Cost: $1

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 0.5 oz Jameson Whiskey (any other Irish Whiskey works, too)
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1 splash Lemonade (Sprite, 7Up, or something unsweetened)

Instructions

  • Optional: Put your shot glass for a few minutes in a freezer.
  • Add the Whiskey, the Peach Schnapps, and the Sweet and Sour mix to your cocktail shaker. As opposed to our usual approach of using fresh ingredients only, we go with the Sweet and Sour Mix because, otherwise, we won't achieve the typical green color of the Green Tea Shot.
  • Shake everything vigorously for a few seconds and strain in your chilled shot glass.
  • Top everything up with a splash of lemonade. Cheers!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

You can also turn the Green Tea Shot into a cocktail if you like the overall flavor but dislike the idea of drinking shooters in general, or at least too many of them. Just stretch the shot recipe with some extra lemonade. It will dilute the alcohol taste and make it easier and more enjoyable to sip.

Are Green Tea Shots good for you?

A Green Tea Shot sounds like it would indeed be beneficial for your health. However, as long as we're still talking about the Whiskey-Peach-Liqueur-Shot, it's not necessarily helping your health.

Do green tea shots get you drunk?

Considering the overall ABV of between 15% and 20%, Green Tea Shots will, of course, eventually get you drunk. How many you can drink before you get seriously tipsy depends on your height, weight, gender, and, naturally, on your preferred size of a shot.

Why is it called a Green Tea Shot?

Because if you follow the original recipe introduced by Jameson Whiskey, you get a drink that resembles the color of Chinese green tea. Apart from that, the two have nothing in common, though.

How much does a Green Tea Shot cost?

When you order it in a bar or restaurant in the US, you can expect to pay somewhere between USD8 and USD10. When you make them at home, a shot should cost you around USD1.

For many, an Old Fashioned cocktail is the epitome of a perfect Whiskey drink. It's strong, it's bold, and it highlights your base spirit. But what is the best Whiskey for an Old Fashioned? This guide will help you find the perfect base for your Old Fashioned cocktail: From single malt Scotch to Bourbon to Rye, we've got you covered. So grab your glass, and let's get started on finding the best Whiskey for your Old Fashioned. Cheers!

Bourbon or Rye for Old Fashioned

There are many debates on what is the best alcohol to use for an Old Fashioned cocktail. Ultimately you can use any spirit: Rum, Gin, and even agave spirits like Tequila or Mezcal. Two of the most common choices are Bourbon and Rye. But what are the differences in taste? And which one is the most common choice?

Bourbon is a type of Whiskey made from corn and has a sweet, vanilla taste that is perfect for an Old Fashioned cocktail. And Rye is a Whiskey made from rye grain. It has more spicy and peppery notes, which work beautifully in an Old Fashioned cocktail, as well. It just will be more on the spicy side compared to one made with Bourbon.

Yet the most common choice for an Old Fashioned cocktail -in the US- is Bourbon. And that is mainly because Bourbon has a sweeter taste and is more popular than Rye overall. However, in other countries like Canada and the UK, Rye is the typical choice for Old Fashioned cocktails.

So, which is the better choice for making an Old Fashioned cocktail? Of course, ultimately, that depends on your taste preference. But if you prefer a sweeter drink, then Bourbon is the right option for you.

Best Bourbon for Old Fashioned

There are many different Bourbons on the market, but when it comes to Old Fashioneds, I recommend using a full-bodied one with a complex flavor profile. Some of our favorites include Bulleit Bourbon, Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon, and Larceny Small Batch Bourbon. These Bourbons have all aged for many years, and as a result, they have a rich taste that is perfect for making Old Fashioned cocktails. But let's check them one by one.

Eagle Rare 10 year Bourbon

Eagle Rare Bourbon

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 45%
Taste: Oak, vanilla, orange, and spice
Price: $45 per 750ml bottle

Eagle Rare 10 year Bourbon is another Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey made by the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It has a mash bill of 75% corn, 15 % malted barley, and 15% rye. At least these are the estimated values.

As the name suggests, Eagle Rare is aged for ten years in new charred oak barrels. And it has a complex and woody flavor profile, with notes of vanilla, toffee, and oak. It kind of feels like the flavors could be pronounced even more if the spirit would be just a tad stronger.

Eagle Rare is best enjoyed neat, but it benefits highly of the added sugar and bitters in a Bourbon Old Fashioned. So if you're looking for an aged Bourbon on a budget, give the Eagle Rare Old Fashioned a shot.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 45.2%
Taste: Oak, sweet vanilla, caramel, and leather
Price: $45 per 750ml bottle

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon is has been aged in two different oak barrels. For this, the Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select is aged in a second, fresh, and highly-toasted oak barrel. The Bourbon ages for one additional year in those barrels before the Double Oaked Bourbon is bottled.

One would expect that the oaky notes are far more pronounced than they actually are. In fact, the extra aging not only adds delicate notes of toasted oak. It also brings out some sweet aromas and flavors. That results in a Bourbon with a complex and diverse profile.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon is a splendid choice for a Bourbon Old Fashioned cocktail. The sweet and oaky flavor just pairs brilliantly with the orange and bitters in the cocktail. In combination with the Bourbon's smooth finish makes for a delicious drink. And even if you're not up to mixing a cocktail, this double-aged spirit is also great on its own.

Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 45%
Taste: Maple, oak, and nutmeg
Price: $24 per 750ml bottle

Bulleit Bourbon is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey distilled and bottled in Loretto, Kentucky. It is made from a mash of corn, rye, and malted barley and aged for four years in charred oak barrels.

It has a medium amber color and a really smooth and clean finish with a slight toffee note. And Bulleit is a mildly spiced Bourbon that also carries some sweet oak notes.

And Bulleit Bourbon also is an excellent Whiskey to sip neat. It's bold and complex with lots of flavors. However, as with most spirits, the combination with sugar, aromatic bitters, and cherries lifts the taste to another level. The balanced spiciness also shines through without taking away from the other notes in the drink.

Larceny Small Batch Bourbon

Larceny Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 46%
Taste: Vanilla, (spiced) cherries, caramel, and oak
Price: $20 per 750ml bottle

Larceny is a craft Bourbon made in the heart of Kentucky. The mash bill is unknown to the public, but connoisseurs expect it to include corn, wheat, and malted barley. It is bottled at 92 proof and is available in 750ml and 50ml bottles. It's one of the few Bourbons that include wheat as a secondary grain.

There aren't that many competitors who produce wheated Bourbons. Makers Mark is the most famous one and the greatest competitor. But while Makers Mark emphasizes the unique character of wheat in the mash bill, Larceny created something that appeals to a broader audience. As a result, many people criticize the taste of Makers Mark. Yet, there's hardly any complaint about the taste of Larceny.

The notes of spicy cherry in the spirit make it a beautiful and unique fit in an Old Fashioned cocktail. Also, it's one of It's also quite aromatic, with slight notes of spice and fruit. Larceny Bourbon has the typical deep amber color that develops during the aging time in the barrel.

Elijah Craig Barrel-Proof

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 60.1%
Taste: Vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, pepper, and cinnamon
Price: $70 per 750ml bottle

This release is a barrel-proof Bourbon from a mash with 78% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye. The high ABV (120.2 proof) allows the flavors to meld together and fully mature. And deep mahogany in color, this Bourbon aged 12 years in new and charred oak barrels.

It is exceptionally smooth with a long, lingering finish. Elijah Craig Barrel-Proof is perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks. A bold and boozy Bourbon with an enormous variety of flavors. And even though it's hard to believe, it also makes a delicious Old Fashioned cocktail.

Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 50%
Taste: oak, caramel, vanilla, and citrus
Price: $50 per 750ml bottle

Four Roses Single Barrel is a premium Single Barrel that is super smooth and full-bodied. Bourbon for making an Old Fashioned cocktail on a budget. It's smooth and mellow with a rich flavor with the iconic Bourbon aromas of vanilla, toffee, and oak. But it also has notes of oaky caramel to it.

Overall the taste is well-rounded. And thanks to its mellow flavor, Four Roses Single Barrel is not just great for mixing it into cocktails. But as with every Single Barrel, there is variation depending on the barrel your Bourbon is coming out of.

The flavors of Roses Single Barrel are fruity and sweet with notes of vanilla, cocoa, baked apples, and honey. And this well-developed flavor profile makes a superb fit for an Old Fashioned. The sweet and fruity flavors combine well with the sugar and Angostura bitters and lead to a complex Bourbon Old Fashioned.

Best affordable Bourbon for Old Fashioned: Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 45%
Taste: Brown sugar, dark fruit, and toffee
Price: $22

The Buffalo Trace Distillery is one of the oldest and most recognized distilleries when it comes to Bourbon. It got named after its location on the route where buffalos used to cross the Kentucky River. Some of the finest Bourbon has been produced here for over 200 years. And Kentucky Straight Bourbon is the signature product of the Buffalo Trace brand.

When used in an Old Fashioned, the combination with sugar and Angostura bitters release even more flavor. The hints of brown sugar, molasses, and toffee in the flavor profile add a nice touch to the cocktail. That certainly is one of my favorite Bourbon options when it comes down to making some Old Fashioneds.

Whether you're looking for a budget-friendly Bourbon for your next party or want a delicious sipping Bourbon that won't break the bank, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a brilliant pick. And probably the best cheap Bourbon option for making an excellent Old Fashioned.

Best Rye for Old Fashioned

The Rye Old Fashioned has been around for decades. It includes Rye Whiskey, sugar, bitters, and water. And the Rye gives the drink an extra spicy flavor that pairs well with the sweet sugar and cocktail bitters.

For the garnish, you can use an orange slice or a cherry. The orange slice brings some color to your drink, and the essential oils pair well with the Rye Whiskey flavor. Add a cherry as a fruity and sweet garnish for your Old Fashioned.

When choosing a Rye for your Old Fashioned, you'll want to look for one that's well-rounded and smooth. So let's have a look at our favorites.

Whistle Pig Rye 10 years

Whistle Pig 10 year Rye Whiskey

Region: New England / Canada
ABV: 50%
Taste: Orange, pineapple, peppermint, and vanilla
Price: $65

Whistle Pig Rye 10 years is an extraordinary Whiskey. It's made from 100% rye grain, and it's aged for ten years in oak barrels. That gives it a unique flavor that you hardly find in other Whiskeys.

The Whistle Pig distillery was founded in 2007. And until 2015, they only imported Canadian Rye which was then finished and bottled in Vermont. In 2015 they started to produce their own Whiskey, as well. But until now, this is not part of the 10-year-old expression. So, if you want to try it, look for their "farmstock" offerings.

The taste of this Rye Whiskey is remarkable and really interesting. Already with the first sip, you get so many fruity flavors of orange and pineapple. But despite the fruity notes, this Rye isn't overly sweet. Instead, notes of peppermint, wood, and some slightly spicy notes.

And it's that unusual fruity flavor profile that makes this Rye so exceptional when used in an Old Fashioned. The sugar helps unfold more flavors and aromas, and the cocktail bitters are perfect to balance it all while creating an even more complex flavor profile.

High West Whiskey Double Rye

High West Double Rye Whiskey

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 46%
Taste: Vanilla, oak, and honeysuckle
Price: $28

High West Whiskey Double Rye is a blend of two different types of Straight Rye Whiskey. One is aged for two years, the other for nine years. The depth of flavor is relatively shallow, especially when compared to some other bottles from this list. But this Double has some serious spice notes. If you're looking for a Whiskey to make a spicy Old Fashioned, the High West Double Rye is probably a great option.

Sipped neat, the taste is a bit muted. It almost tastes a bit diluted, and you only get some light notes of vanilla, oak, and some sweetness from honey and honeysuckle. But mixed in an Old Fashioned, the flavors are slightly more pronounced, and the spiciness is more balanced. Simply put, a fantastic Rye for making some spicy cocktails.

Wild Turkey 101 Rye

Wild Turkey 101 Rye Whiskey

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 50.5%
Taste: Grain, spice, mint, oat, and apple
Price: $25

When looking for a quality Rye Whiskey, you can't go wrong with Wild Turkey. The distillery has more than 40 years of experience in making Rye Whiskey. And that reflects in the quality of their spirits. Sipping Wild Turkey 101 Rye neat, you instantly are confronted with intense grainy and spicy notes. Once that initial spice level fades, the more delicate notes of the Whiskey shine through.

Fresh minty notes alongside oatmeal and apples come through. In the background, you can also taste very slight oaky notes. The finish is rather typical for a Rye Whiskey. Oaky notes take over as the spiciness fades out. Overall, the 101 is a perfect example of a quality Rye Whiskey.

It feels like Wild Turkey 101 Rye has just the right amount of alcohol. The 101 proof is bold and boozy enough to fill your throat with spice, but it's not too strong and overpowering. In combination with sugar, orange peel, and Angostura bitters, the spirit creates a delicious and spicy Rye Old Fashioned.

Woodford Reserve Rye

Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 45.2%
Taste: subtle peppery spice, honey, apple, and vanilla
Price: $37

Woodford Reserve Rye is made with a mash of only 53% rye (it needs at least 51% for legally being called Rye) and also shows a whopping 33% corn in the mash bill. That might not lead to a groundbreaking new and unique flavor. But it creates some untypical sweetness, though.

That Woodford Reserve Rye carries less spiciness doesn't come as a surprise. Instead, the spirit shows some typical Bourbon notes, coming from the high proportion of corn in the mash bill.

Due to its unique flavor profile somewhere between a Rye and Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Rye truly makes for a delicious Old Fashioned. And with the addition of sugar and cocktail bitters, the different flavors are enhanced and create a wonderful and complex Whiskey cocktail.

Willet Family Estate Four Year Rye

Willet Family Estate Rye Whiskey

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 56.6%
Taste: Raisin, mint, spice, and caramel
Price: $70

Willet Family Estate Four Year Rye is a blend of Willett high rye mash bill and Willett low rye mash bill. And although the Rye Whiskey doesn't look that special on paper and "only" is aged for four years, the resulting spirit is excellent. An exciting rye whiskey, superbly distilled, with a complex aroma and flavor profile.

Here and there, you can find some floral and botanical notes. In combination with sugar and aromatic cocktail bitters, this spirit unfolds its whole array of flavors. -A superb option for making a Rye Old Fashioned.

Best affordable Rye for Old Fashioned: Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey

Region: Kentucky
ABV: 50%
Taste: Vanilla, light caramel, and oak
Price: $19

Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey is a fabulous and budget-friendly Rye for classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned. Its flavors are aromatic and peppery, yet, they also show intense and sweet vanilla notes. Tasting and "chewing" it a bit longer will bring out some additional notes like Graham cracker, peanuts, and candy.

Old Overholt is a good choice for cocktails that call for Rye Whiskey, and it's also an exquisite mixer for cocktails like the Manhattan or Old Fashioned. At around $19 - $20 per bottle, Old Overholt is one of the most affordable Rye Whiskeys on the market. If you're looking for a cheap, budget-friendly Rye to use in Old Fashioneds, Old Overholt is an excellent choice.

Best Scotch for Old Fashioned

When it comes to making the perfect Scotch Old Fashioned, there are a few things you need to know. Scotch is a type of Whiskey made from barley and water. It is then distilled and aged in oak casks for a minimum of three years. Scotch is typically smoky and peaty in flavor, which is a delight for everyone enjoying drinks with some smoky notes.

But there are a few things to look for when choosing the best Scotch for your Old Fashioned cocktail. As not all Scotch Whiskies have a smokiness to them, you'll probably want to find one that has a sufficient level of smoky notes. Second, you'll want to find a Scotch that works well when sipped neat. Using it as the base in an Old Fashioned will only enhance its flavor, so choose a Scotch you love, and you'll love the Old Fashioned version.

Only a few Scotch Whiskies fit the bill perfectly and are excellent choices for making an Old Fashioned. The Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch and Balvenie Double Wood Scotch 12 years are just two of them. So here's our list of the best Scotch for making an Old Fashioned.

Laphroaig 10 Years

Laphroaig Scotch 10 year Whiskey

Region: Islay, Scotland
ABV: 50%
Taste: Peaty smoke, sea salt, oak, and malty sweetness
Price: $60

Laphroaig 10 Years is a classic Scotch that aged for ten years. It has a smoky, peaty taste and is perfect for making Scotch Old Fashioneds. At least if you prefer your drinks on the smoky side.

Laphroaig is one of the few distilleries that still malt their barley in-house. Visiting their distillery, you can't miss out on their famous malting floor. If you're looking for a classic smoky Scotch, Laphroaig 10 is a great option. It's definitely on the smoky side but not as smoky as a Lagavulin 16. And on top, Laphroaig is also one of the more affordable single-malt Scotches.

Mixed in a Scotch Old Fashioned, the smoky, peaty flavor truly enhances the drink. The light notes of salt and oak are also a little more pronounced when combined with sugar and bitters. Laphroaig 10 Years is a brilliant option for those who want to enjoy a sophisticated yet "inexpensive" (compared to other single-malt Scotch) Old Fashioned with delicate smoky notes.

Balvenie Double Wood Scotch 12 years

Balvenie Double Wood 12 years Scotch

Region: Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 40%
Taste: Apricot, honey, and oak
Price: $69

The history of Balvenie Double Wood Scotch 12 years started in 1993. Back then, the double aging method, performed in two different types of barrels, was more of an experiment. An experiment that also lends the spirit its name "Double Wood." More than twenty years later, it's fair to say that this experiment was highly successful.

Balvenie first ages their Scotch in ex-Bourbon barrels for 12 years. After that, the spirit ages again for nine months in former Oloroso Sherry casks. The result is filtered, colored, and bottled at 40% alcohol. A few percent more would have been nice to emphasize the flavors more, but we will not complain.

The flavors are mild, with delicate notes of apricot and honey. Then, in the finish, more intense wood notes and dryness. The oak provides a slight tingling sensation on the tongue without making the Whisky give up its mild character. A completely different profile compared to Laphroaig. Also, when used in an Old Fashioned. The flavors are balanced well, not too bold, and not too overpowering. -A delicate and easy to sip Scotch Old Fashioned.

Aberlour 14 years

Aberlour 14 year Single Malt Whiskey

Region: Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 40%
Taste: Malt, peach, and pineapple
Price: $69

Aberlour 14 years is a Scotch Whisky that originates - as the name suggests- in Aberlour, Scotland. It is distilled in pot stills then aged 14 years in oak casks. It shows quite some similarities to the Balvenie Scotch mentioned above. Both are from Speyside, both bottled at 40% ABV, and both aged in Bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry casks. However, Aberlour uses new and unused Bourbon barrels.

The flavor profile of the Whisky also shows similarities. Soft aromas of vanilla, caramel, and malt dominate the taste. Balanced by distinctive oak spice and accompanied by a few roasted and peppery tones and a slight chili spiciness on the tongue.

Aberlour 14 years is a great Scotch to use in an Old Fashioned. It has a lot of flavor and complexity that pairs well with the other ingredients in the drink but without overly peaty and smoky notes.

The best Old Fashioned Whiskey...

…is the one that suits your tastebuds best. Bourbon, Rye, and Scotch are all highly different in aroma, flavor, and taste. My recommendation is to experiment with the different types of Whiskey first. And once you know if you prefer a Bourbon, Rye, or Scotch Old Fashioned, you can start to dig deeper. Do you have a favorite Whiskey to make a Whiskey Old Fashioned? Let me know in the comments.

The Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is produced at Miyagikyo distillery in Sendai, Japan. The "Coffey" part in the name goes back to the two-column stills used to distill the Whisky. They were imported from Scotland back in 1963. Those particular two-column stills are so-called Coffey stills - a distinct and patented design for stills developed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830.

And because using those vintage stills is something worth mentioning, the Whisky proudly includes the unusual term "Coffey" in the product name. Most grain Whisky manufacturers do not use column stills for their distillation but continuous stills because they are more efficient. However, Nikka decided to go with the traditional way to add more character to their Whisky.

Also, grain-based Whisky is the most blended Whisky all over the globe, no matter where you go. That means most producers would blend the final result with another product to create a "better" balanced Whisky. But thankfully, Nikka decided otherwise and produced an exquisite single-grain Whisky. And the unusual approach and unique taste make this product quite successful.

Looking closer at the mash bill of Nikka Coffey Grain, you'll see that it's mostly made of corn. But Nikka also added just a bit of malted barley to it to create a unique flavor profile. And in combination with the Coffey still, the flavors are very different from most other Whiskys you can find on the market.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky bottle

Category: Single Grain
Country: Japan
Producer: Nikka
ABV: 45%

What does it taste like?

Nikka Coffey Grain is often nicknamed Japanese Bourbon. Yet, that comparison does not do justice to the product because the Coffey Grain Whiskey is more than a Japanese variant of the typical American corn Whiskey. Coffey Grain showcases the characteristic sweetness and vanilla ar of corn. But it also contains hints of peaches, honey wine, cinnamon, and candy. But let's examine the aromas and flavors step-by-step.

In the nose, you'll get aromas that are close to Bourbon. A lot of vanilla and corn but also hints of chamomile.

Once you take the first sip, you'll get more vanilla combined with fruity sweetness. Flavors like peaches, melon, and grapefruit come through, and also notes of candy and biscuits.

The finish and aftertaste are full of corn notes. So even though this spirit is not a Bourbon, Bourbon lovers might find it highly interesting and agreeable.

Why does Nikka use a Coffey still?

Nikka uses an imported Coffey Grain still because it keeps more of the characteristic aromas, notes, and flavors in the Whisky. The newer continuous stills are way more efficient. But at the same time, they also strip out much flavor out of the spirit. The result of the former is a spirit full of character that's might not be for everyone. However, those who appreciate it will be pleasantly surprised by a sweet and complex flavor profile.

Nikka produces their Coffey Grain Whisky at Miyagikyo Distillery. That is the first and also larger distillery Nikka owns. The founder of Nikka, Masataka Taketsuru, is married to a Scottish woman and decided to bring Scottish stills to Japan to be able to produce high-quality Whisky according to Scottish standards.

This level of attention to detail reflects in the choice of barrels used for aging the Whisky, as well. All casks are made on-site from fresh and new oak.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey FAQs

Why is it called Coffey Grain Whiskey?

The Japanese Whiskey is named after the still type used to produce the Whisky. A Coffey still is a particular kind of column still designed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830.

What is Nikka Coffey Grain made of?

The mash bill contains mainly corn but also a bit of malted barley. Nikka Coffey Grain is a single grain Whisky.

Is Nikka Coffey Grain rare?

Nikka Coffey Grain is not a very rare Whisky. But because its origin lies in Japan, it might be hard to get to other parts of the world.

Is Nikka Coffey made in Japan?

Yes, Nikka produces their Coffey Whisky in one of their distilleries in Japan, at Miyagikyo Distillery in Sendai, to be precise.

Milk Punch is a popular drink served during the festive season throughout the Deep South of the United States. Ordering one in a restaurant or bar in New Orleans will get you a rich, creamy, milk-based drink with some seasoning on top. At first sight, you could almost confuse it with Eggnog.

And indeed, Eggnog is very closely related to this milky beverage. The main difference is the addition of eggs which is why this drink is sometimes even called egg milk punch. And just like Eggnog, the Milk Punch has a long history, and its roots lie in Great Britain.

History of the Milk Punch

The earliest evidence of the Milk Punch appears in a recording from 1688: William Sacheverell's travelogue contains a short and casual mention of the drink from his time on the Scottish island Iona.

More than 20 years later, in 1711, the recipe book Dr. Oliver's Almanac got released and featured a proper Milk Punch recipe. Also around that time, the first variants that resembled Eggnog were created. And the word of this new beverage spread fast so that during the further course of the 18th century, the Milk Punch quickly reached its peak in popularity. The main reason for this was its long shelf life. 

In an age when shelf-stable foods were rare and unavailable to many because shelf life could not be increased artificially, the mixed drink based on milk was a very welcome beverage. Even the British Royals loved to drink Milk Punch from time to time. Milk Punch has been supplied to the royal family by Nathaniel Whisson's company since 1838.

Today the rich and smooth drink is still widely popular in the Deep South of the United States. Especially in New Orleans, this creamy beverage is ubiquitous. And also, the people in Ireland do love a good Milch Punch. Only that the Irish version is called scáiltín and consists of equal parts milk and Whiskey and often gets refined with butter, sugar, honey, cinnamon, and cloves.

What is clarified Milk Punch?

The classic Milk Punch looks opaque and creamy. In modern craft cocktail bars, however, you can find more and more often a clear variant, the so-called clarified Milk Punch.

The addition of acidic ingredients causes the milk to flocculate. After the Milk Punch has sat for a while, it can be filtered. The result is a see-through, clarified Milk Punch.

The best thing about this mixed drink is that you can store it for several months, and it won't go bad. So, you can either drink your Milk Punch directly or keep it in the fridge for later.

How to make a classic Milk Punch

When you think about something called Milk Punch, the first thing that comes to mind probably is a warm, comforting winter drink served on cold days. But in fact, this milk-based cocktail is shaken on ice like most other cocktails, and the only thing that'll bring some heat is the Bourbon in it.

All you have to do is put all ingredients, except garnishes like nutmeg and star anise, into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the drink until the cocktail is chilled, then strain it into a rocks glass.

Now, it's time to add some spicy garnish. And freshly grated nutmeg and star anise or a cinnamon stick make your milk punch not only prettier but also add some beautiful aroma and spice to the cocktail.

Ingredients for making Milk Punch

Even though the recipe for a Milk Punch is simple, there's still room for interpretation and personal preferences. Besides milk, the base is usually 2 oz of strong liquor. Typically it is a combination of two ingredients - either a mix of Brandy and Bourbon or dark Rum and Bourbon.

A bit of syrup and two dashes of vanilla extract make the recipe complete. Now all that's left is the garnish part, and as mentioned above, you need a bit of freshly grated nutmeg and some star anise to make this cocktail look amazing.

If you want to add a bit more depth of flavor, replace the standard simple syrup with a Demerara syrup. This dark and flavorful syrup is a beautiful addition, especially when you use dark Rum in your liquor base.

Milk Punch cocktail

Milk Punch

A rich and creamy cocktail composed of milk, Rum, and Bourbon.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon, rum
Servings: 1
Cost: $3

Ingredients

  • 3 oz Whole milk
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Demerara syrup
  • 2 dashes Vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch Grated nutmeg
  • 1 Star anise

Instructions

  • Add milk, syrup, vanilla extract, Bourbon, and Rum into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake until the drink is well-chilled and then strain into a rocks glass.
  • Grate nutmeg on top and garnish with a piece of star anise. Alternatively a cinnamon stick works too.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The history of Peanut Butter Whiskeys started in 2018. Steven and Brittany Yeng decided to create this exceptional flavor combination. The idea was to bring the famous Peanut Butter and Whiskey shot Steven served at this bar into a spirit. The result is a sweet and intensely flavored liquor based on Whiskey.

But opinions were, and still are, divided. Discerned Whiskey drinkers mostly detested the new spirit due to its sweetness and lack of Whiskey notes. But others, mainly non-Whiskey drinkers, loved the sweet and easy-to-drink liquor. But let us put opinions aside and focus on facts. Skrewball was an immediate success. And not only did the brand sell many cases of their peanut butter-flavored Whiskey, they unintentionally created a whole new niche in the liquor market.

In the past few years, various Peanut Butter Whiskeys have been released by other brands. And here is a list of the options currently available.

Best Peanut Butter Whiskey brands

It all started with Skrewball. But by now, there are so many Peanut Butter Whiskeys on the market. I start this list with the original and then cover the other brands, making this the ultimate list of Peanut Butter Whiskey brands.

Skrewball

Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $25
Produced by: Skrewball

The idea for making Skrewball came from Steven Yeng. As a true peanut butter lover, he created a mixed shot he sold at his bar name "Peanut Butter Whiskey". It quickly became a crowd favorite - by far. Encouraged by this success, he developed a peanut butter flavored Whiskey with the help of his wife, Brittany.

Legally, Skrewball isn't a Whiskey as it is too weak. The liquor only contains 35% ABV and would need at least 40% to be officially classified as Whiskey. It has the sweet taste of peanut butter, toffee, and caramel. And due to this sweetness, it feels like drinking a liqueur rather than a real Whiskey.

SQRRL Peanut Butter Whiskey

SQRRL Peanut Butter Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $17
Produced by: Beam Suntory

SQRRL sounds like a fancy brand created by newcomers to conquer the Peanut butter Whiskey market. But there is a lot of tradition behind the company behind this hip and trendy liqueur: SQRRL Peanut Butter Whiskey is produced by Beam Suntory. And if that doesn't ring a bell, Suntory is very famous for its excellent Japanese Whisky. And the Beam part is coming from Jim Beam, the prominent American Whiskey.

So they know what they are doing, at least on the Whiskey part. And indeed, SQRRL certainly is one of the better options. The amber-colored spirit produced in Illinois is less sweet than most alternatives and has a more complex taste. And the taste of peanut butter gets complemented by notes of roasted nuts and chocolate.

That SQRRL is taking a step back from the overpowering sweetness and peanut butter flavor may sound counter-intuitive. But actually, it is a clever move.

Skatterbrain

Skatterbrain PB Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $20
Produced by: Universal Brands

Skatterbrain is distilled and distributed from Minnesota by Universal Brands. Looking at the branding and the product, it seems rather obvious that they tried to mimic the branding and positioning of Skrewball. The design, name, and also product are eerily similar. But I am not here to judge their marketing. I want to talk about their product.

Skatterbrain is also a low ABV whiskey-based liqueur, just like Skrewball. It was released in 2020 and is priced slightly lower than its main competitor. The taste is even sweeter, almost artificially sweet. Also, there isn't much of a Whiskey note in it, but you get a harsh alcoholic bite in this sweet liqueur. To me, this is not as good as the original, so only buy it if you can't get your hand on the better options.

Sheep Dog

Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $15
Produced by: Sazerac

Sheep Dog is another Peanut Butter Whiskey brand that was released in 2020. The Whiskey is owned and sold by the Sazerac company that produces the Sazerac de Forge Cognac and Sazerac Rye Whiskey. However, It appears like Sheep Dog is only there to secure a share in the growing Peanut Butter Whiskey market.

The product homepage is a simple one-page site with only the most basic info on the spirit. Also, the bottle and label design look like they could profit from slightly more attention to detail. The liqueur itself is sweet like most other Peanut Butter Whiskeys. However, the taste is a bit different.

Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey has a more evident Whiskey note. But unfortunately, this positive aspect is overshadowed by another. It has quite a sour, acidic bite to it. I can't put my finger on it, but something makes this liqueur taste somewhat unpleasant.

Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey

Ole Smoky PB Whiskey brand

ABV: 30%
Price: $17.50
Produced by: Ole Smoky

Ole Smoky is more famous for their Moonshine, but lately, they started offering a large selection of flavored Whiskeys. Besides the Peanut Butter Whiskey, they also have Mango Habanero Whiskey, Salty Caramel Whiskey, Root Beer Whiskey, and many more creative takes on flavoring Whiskey.

The base for these liqueurs is a two years barrel-aged corn Whiskey. Opening the bottle, you can immediately smell notes of peanut butter. And there are also hints of popcorn, honey, and cookies.

The spirit is super smooth with intense notes of peanut and vanilla. You can also taste some oaky notes from the barrel and even hints of licorice. And even though the liqueur contains less alcohol than most other Peanut Butter Whiskeys, it tastes a bit more refined.

Hard Truth Peanut Butter Whiskey

Hard Truth Peanut Butter Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $29
Produced by: Hard Truth Distilling

The dark golden-colored Hard Truth Peanut Butt Whiskey is based on straight Bourbon. And this classy base is also reflected in the flavor of the liqueur. Aromas of oak, vanilla, and caramel define the nose of Hard Truth PB Whiskey.

The taste is rich with strong notes of roasted peanuts and honey. Then, the omnipresent vanilla and oak are perceivable together with a distinctive salty note. This change in flavor from sweet to salty enhances the peanut butter character.

Hard Truth's version of a Peanut Butter Whiskey comes across as more mature. Less sweetness, more complex flavors, and oaky notes from barrel-aging make this liqueur more approachable for seasoned Whiskey drinkers. Usually, it is hard to find. However, if you do, I recommend buying it.

Barrel & Banter Peanut Butter Whiskey

Barrel & Banter PB Whiskey brand

ABV: 35%
Price: $20
Produced by: Barrel & Banter

This take on a Peanut Butter Whiskey is particularly polarizing. Lovers of sweet representatives find Barrel & Banter Peanut Butter Whiskey too strong and alcoholic. And also, sweetness and the Peanut Butter flavor are far less pronounced.

The result is a better-balanced Whiskey that may, however, not be agreeable with the folks loving leading brands of peanut-butter-flavored Whiskey.

This liqueur is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. That way, you can taste the different flavors and enjoy the smoothness of this sip. You may even notice a unique flavor coming from the grains used to make the base spirit. Barrel & Banter pride themselves on only using local grains - for this expression, but also for their other products.

Blind Squirrel Peanut Butter Whiskey

Blind Squirrel Peanut Butter Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $18
Produced by: Universal Brands

Blind Squirrel is from the same company that produces Skatterbrain. It is slightly cheaper than Skatterbrain but similarly sweet. The aroma of this liqueur is heavy on Whiskey and roasted peanuts. And when you let it sit in the glass and swirl it around for some time, you can also smell vanilla and hints of cinnamon.

What you also see is that the consistency is very thick and syrupy. The taste is also quite sweet with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, syrup, and salted peanuts. Altogether this flavor profile tastes like deconstructed peanut butter with too much sugar. It even has a slightly artificial taste of saccharin to it.

Overall, it's an affordable alternative for a sweet version of Peanut Butter Whiskey. So if you like Skrewball and are looking for a budget-friendly alternative, give this one a go.

Two Trees Peanut Butter Whiskey

Two Trees Peanut Butter flavored Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $20
Produced by: Two Trees distillery

Just like Ole Smoky, Two Trees produces many different flavored Whiskey. They have nine different flavors in total, with Peanut Butter Whiskey being one of them. The other versions include a Salted Caramel Whiskey, Carolina Peach, Michigan Cherry, Crisp Apple.

The process they use to create their Whiskey is quite innovative. Instead of aging it in wooden barrels, they mimic the process artificially. What usually would take years, they try to achieve in just one day. Furthermore, Two Trees does not distill their Whiskey themselves. They only toast and char wood which they then use for treating the spirit.

The resulting product is more on the dry side. Rather a Whiskey with notes of peanut butter than a Peanut Butter Whiskey liqueur. You can taste classic Whiskey notes, vanilla, and oak. But you also get sweet notes of peanut butter, brown sugar, and caramel. And yes, you can taste that the spirit does not mature for a long time. Yet, the sugar combined with the flavoring masks it well.

Coastal Creek Peanut Butter Whiskey

Coastal Creek PB flavored Whiskey brand

ABV: 30%
Price: $22
Produced by: Total Wine & More

Like Ole Smoky, this is another low-ABV Peanut Butter Whiskey. Coastal Creek is a private label product exclusively sold by "Total Wine & More". The base is a slightly aged Bourbon, and the spirit ages for six months before being blended with a natural peanut extract.

The first impression of Coastal Creek Peanut Butter Whiskey is dominated by a strong peanut butter fragrance. And the taste is also quite peanut forward but complemented with vanilla, molasses, and caramel. The finish is also strong on peanut flavors with a subtle hint of Bourbon Whiskey.

Copper Still Chocolate Peanut Butter Whiskey

Copper Still Chocolate Peanut Butter Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $20
Produced by: Copper Mountain Beverages

Although this is not a full-on peanut butter flavored spirit, I decided to include it in the list. The base spirit is an Indiana-produced Bourbon of 45% ABV blended with dark chocolate and natural peanut butter flavoring.

The aroma is full of roasted peanuts, caramel, and chocolate. By letting it sit in the glass for a while and swirling occasionally, you can also detect a spicy cinnamon note as well as toasted oak. The taste is rich and sweet with vanilla, caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate notes. However, the liquor has a harsh burn to it from the Whiskey. That also leads to a sour taste in the peanuts and some hot cinnamon burn.

Shepherd’s P’Nutty Peanut Butter Whiskey

Shepherd's P'Nutty Peanut Butter flavored Whiskey brand

ABV: 35%
Price: $20
Produced by: K.D. Distilling Co

After all the hype about Peanut Butter Whiskey, many large and famous companies started producing their own ones. And while K.D. Distilling might not ring a bell to you, I believe Buffalo Trace might. Buffalo Trace owns the oldest continuously producing distillery in the United States and was operating since 1775. In 1992, though, the distillery was sold to the Sazerac company.

And if you now think that you read Sazerac before in this article, you are right. They produce two other Peanut Butter Whiskeys. The first one is Sheep Dog, and the other is Rams Point. I can only guess why they put out three products in a niche market. But to me, it feels that their first shot, Sheep Dog, was just a product to participate in the market immediately. That also would explain the lack of attention to detail I mentioned before.

Shepherd’s P’Nutty is my personal favorite of the three. Unlike many other Peanut Butter Whiskeys, the peanut flavor isn't omnipresent. Instead, it carries well-balanced flavors of vanilla, caramel, and peanuts. It's still a sweet spirit with a thick consistency, but it is pleasant. Therefore, among the sweeter representatives, Shepherd's P'Nutty is one of the top choices.

Bird Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey

Bird Dog PBW brand

ABV: 40%
Price: $19
Produced by: Bird Dog

Bird Dog is known for its different flavored Whiskeys. So, it did not come as a surprise when they finally launched their Peanut Butter Whiskey back in 2020. In total, Bird Dog sells thirteen differently flavored spirits. But as this list is about PB, I only talk about that one here.

The base of this liquor is a Bourbon made from corn, barley, and rye. After aging in white oak barrels, the spirit is infused with flavoring (including genuine peanuts) to achieve the iconic peanut butter taste.

Bird Dog's version is a rarity as it comes at 40% ABV. Almost all other Peanut Butter Whiskeys out there are either 30% or 35% ABV. No wonder this one also has a slightly stronger Whiskey burn than most others. But not in an unpleasant way. And, don't worry, it still has the sweet and sugary taste of peanut butter in it.

PB&W Peanut Butter Whiskey

PB&W Peanut Butter flavored Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Price: $25
Produced by: Old Elk Distilling

PB&W is one of the early contenders of the original Skrewball brand. And for a change, it's one of the few brands that do not use animal-related branding. The Old Elk distillery, located in Fort Springs, Colorado, also produces blended straight Bourbon Whiskey and Dry Town Gin. -But if they used their own product as a base for PB&W is unknown. In general, they provide little information on the base spirit. All I can find is that the base is a blended premium Whiskey.

The peanut flavoring of PB&W Peanut Butter Whiskey is complex, consisting of three different peanut flavors. When poured, the aroma reminds of roasted peanuts, vanilla, and caramel with some sweet Whiskey notes shining through. The consistency is thick and syrupy, like with most Peanut Butter Whiskeys. PB&W is sweet with typical caramel and vanilla notes, accompanied by an intense salted peanut butter flavor and a hint of apple.

Rams Point Peanut Butter Whiskey

Rams Point PB Whiskey brand

ABV: 35%
Price: $15
Produced by: Sazerac

Rams Point is the third product distributed by the Sazerac company. And next to never finding Rams Point and Sheep Dog in the same store indicates that those two should serve a similar market. And indeed, both liqueurs are in the very same price category at $15.

The aroma is a bit more complex and balanced when compared to Sheep Dog. You can taste notes of vanilla, butterscotch, peanuts, caramel, and even coconut, and even find more delicate flavors like honey and orange or orange marmalade in it.

Overall, it's a good and affordable alternative but not the best one from Sazerac. So, if you can, go for Shepherd's P'Nutty instead.

Final Verdict

Peanut Butter Whiskey is not a traditional Whiskey. It's more like a sweetened and flavored liqueur with more or less of a Whiskey base. But even though the market for Peanut Butter Whiskey is young and growing, there's already heavy competition. Led by the success of the original inventor, Skrewball, this niche has potential.

If you prefer the sweeter versions, try the Shepherd's P'Nutty or SQRRL brand and compare it with Skrewball. If you think you are more into a Whiskey forward interpretation, start with Hard Truth's Peanut Butter Whiskey or the one from Two Trees distillery.

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