Best American whiskey: It's time you looked beyond Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam

Best American whiskey brands in India: Sip it by itself or over a large ice cube. Either way, it's time you caught up with the rising popularity of American whiskey

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When Jack Daniel’s briefly unseated iconic Scotch whiskies as the UK’s largest selling whiskey a few years ago, it didn’t just send shockwaves. It’s part of a bigger trend worldwide where American whiskies have seen a tremendous rise. Most mixologists will tell you that Bourbons work best for cocktails and are also easier to drink. One reason why many first-time whisky drinkers and millennials gravitate towards brands like JD and Jim Beam. It’s the same thing I heard during a whisky flight at the Collection, at the Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru, one of India’s only luxury whisky bars. Talking of whiskies, if you are a rum lover, here's everything you need to know about rum: Dark or white for you? And if you want to know more about Japanese whisky, here's our beginner's guide to the best Japanese whiskies you should buy right now.  

I remember the first sign I spotted at a small town in Tennessee: ‘Some things you won’t find in Lynchburg: Mobile coverage, McDonalds, Walmart’. Lynchburg has been home to Jack Daniel’s and one of America’s most visited distilleries since the 1860s.  American whiskey can trace its origins to Moonshine, a widely used term during the Prohibition years (1919–1930) when bootleggers thrived and backyards were production centres. Immigrants brought their recipes from Europe and Moonshine — that primarily used mashed corn, was a popular spirit in the 19th century.

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louis hansel

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select

A  favourite among Bourbon aficionados,  JD’s Single Barrel Select is bottled at 94-proof (47 per cent ABV). This whiskey layers subtle notes of caramel and spice with bright fruit notes and sweet aromatics. Bourbon fans will tell you that it’s a richer version of the classic JD. It’s less sweet and more potent than the brand’s other bestseller, No. 7. 

Price: Rs 5,000


Michter’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon

One of America’s oldest distilleries with a history that dates back to 1753. Michter’s prides itself on being a small batch distillery that relies heavily on the highest quality American corn. This Bourbon is nuanced, mellow and earthy 

Price: Rs 5,000

Also read: Best summer cocktail recipes with gin, vodka, scotch and more

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Wild Turkey 101

Jimmy Russell has been the face of Wild Turkey even before Hollywood star Mathew McConaughey was named Creative Director for the brand in 2016.  Master Distiller Jimmy Russell is the longest-tenured active master distiller in the world;  he’s been crafting Wild Turkey 101 for over 60 years with a high rye content that’s aged in American White Oak barrels with the deepest char for more character. 

Price: Rs 2,550

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Maker’s Mark Private Select

it’s not just the red wax topper that set this quintessential Kentucky whisky (the brand opts for the Scottish whisky spelling unlike most other American whiskies that use ‘whiskey’) apart. Private Select is the brand’s premium offering and is crafted by adding 10 custom wood-finishing staves to each barrel and then aged in their limestone cellar. 

Price: Rs 6,000


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