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Our favorite whiskeys for 2024, ranked

The best whiskeys for 2024

Thimo van Leeuwen/Unsplash

While we enjoy our fair share of gin, vodka, mezcal, tequila, and even cognac, there’s nothing we love more than whiskey. Bourbon, Scotch whisky, Japanese whisky, American single malt whiskey, rye, and even Irish whiskey. We love it all.

We enjoy our whiskey neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail like an old fashioned or Manhattan. Luckily, there are myriad options available to fit any palate. There are classic standby expressions, limited releases, and everything in between. We couldn’t be more excited to see what 2024 has in store for us. Especially when it comes to whiskey.

Whiskey
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Why whiskey?

The simplest answer is that whiskey is our favorite spirit because of its nuanced, complex flavor and the fact that there are so many different types of whiskey to choose from. As a side note, while American and Irish whiskeys have an ‘e’ in the word, the rest of the world omits it. Keep that in mind as we mention single malt Scotch and other, worldly whiskies.

Our five favorite whiskeys for 2024

Garrison Brothers
Garrison Brothers

Garrison Brothers Guadalupe Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

If you haven’t been paying attention to the American whiskey scene in the last few decades, you might have missed the emergence of Texas whiskey. While Balcones gets a lot of the press, Garrison Brothers out of Hye, Texas has become a big name since it released its first batch of whiskey in 2010. One of its best is its annual release of Guadalupe Texas Straight Bourbon. This unique, sweet, complex almost dessert-like whiskey is a potent 107 proof and was matured for four years in charred American oak barrels before finishing for an additional two years in ex-port casks.

Sagamore Spirit Sherry Finish Rye Whiskey
Sagamore Spirit

Sagamore Spirit Sherry Finish Rye Whiskey

While bourbon will always be known as America’s “native” spirit, rye whiskey has made a resurgence in the last few years thanks to brands like Sagamore Spirit out of Baltimore. Its Sherry Finished Rye Whiskey begins as the brand’s classic four-year-old rye that’s aged for an extra eighteen months in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. The result is a complex sipper with notes of candied almonds, cracked black pepper, vanilla, and dried fruits. It’s a spicy, sweet-sipping whiskey and the perfect way to start your 2024.

Ardbeg
Ardbeg

Ardbeg An Oa Single Malt Scotch Whisky

If you’re a fan of single malt Scotch whisky (especially peat-smoked whisky), you’re probably already a big fan of Ardbeg. Our favorite Ardbeg expression is its Ardbeg An Oa. Named for the Mull of Oa which overlooks the Kildaton Coast on Islay, it’s matured in multiple different barrels including Pedro Ximénez, charred virgin oak, and ex-bourbon casks. The result is a decadent, slow-sipping whisky with notes of candied orange peels, maple candy, vanilla, oak, and robust peat smoke.

Widow Jane
Widow Jane

Widow Jane The Vaults Bourbon Whiskey

Widow Jane is an exciting whiskey brand. You can’t go wrong with its classic ten-year-old expression, but if you really want to go for it in 2024, you’ll grab a bottle of its limited-release Widow Jane The Vaults. This small batch blend of old and rare whiskeys from Indiana and Tennessee was matured for a minimum of fifteen years before being finished for an additional three months in air-seasoned casks. It’s known for its nose of cinnamon, dried cherries, orchard fruits, and vanilla and a palate of molasses, honey, dried fruits, brown sugar, and spices. It’s a great, warming sipper for a cold night.

Powers Irish Rye
Powers

Powers Irish Rye Whiskey

When you think of Irish whiskey, you probably don’t think of rye whiskey. But one sip of Powers Irish Rye Whiskey will change that notion. Using traditions from the 1800s, this complex whiskey is made with a mash bill of 100% Irish rye. The result is a memorable whiskey that begins with a nose of cherries, vanilla, oak, and spicy rye. Sipping it reveals notes of orange peels, mint, cloves, vanilla, butterscotch, and peppery rye spice. The finish is sweet, spicy, and very warming on a cool night.

Pick the right whiskey for you

Picking a whiskey is a difficult task. There are so many different types of whiskey, including bourbon, rye, Scotch, Irish whiskey, Japanese whiskey, and many other versions. It can seem a bit overwhelming at first. The key is to learn what aromas and flavors you enjoy before picking a whiskey. You wouldn’t want to do it at random, or you’ll end up potentially buying a bottle you don’t even like. If you prefer sweeter whiskey, get a bottle of bourbon. If spice is your thing, get a rye whiskey. Looking for complexity and nuance? A single-malt Scotch whisky is for you.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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