American Whiskies to Celebrate Independence Day
Happy 4th of July to our friends across the pond! Although an American holiday, this date holds significant weight for both Ireland and the USA. Immigration to the States from Ireland took off in the 1720s and by 1790, almost half a million were of Irish ancestry or birth. And with the arrival of immigrants, came the idea of whiskey-making to American shores. And so, to celebrate the day we’ve put together a few of our favourites.
A Quick Look at American Whiskies
Bourbon is distilled from a mash made primarily of corn (at least 51%) and must be made in the US. Kentucky accounts for 95% of the world’s supply, but new distillers are popping up around the country each year.
Sour Mash whiskey uses the bourbon recipe but starts the mash with leftovers from a previous batch, much like the starter in sourdough bread. This process gives the whiskey a sweeter, deeper flavour to the final product.
Rye is similar to bourbon in that the mash must be made primarily or rye wheat (at least 51%). The remaining mash bill usually winds up being a blend of corn, wheat or barley. Not to be confused with Canadian Rye where these rules don’t apply. Rye whiskies tend to be peppery, spicy, and somewhat savoury as compared to bourbons.
Tennessee Whiskey is made in a similar fashion to bourbon, but the difference is in the barrel aging. Known as the Lincoln County Process, fresh whiskey is filtered through or steeped in charcoal chips before the whiskey goes into a barrel to age. This mellows the whiskey’s character and adds toasted oak notes to the whiskey.
Be sure to read on, pour yourself a glass of your favourite spirit and enjoy!
From the distillery of the same name. This is a great bourbon at a reasonable price. Inspired by the ancient buffalo who carved paths through the wilderness that led American pioneers and explorers to new frontiers.
This deep amber whiskey has a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. Pleasantly sweet to the taste with notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak, toffee, dark fruit, and anise. This whiskey finishes long and smooth with serious depth.
ABV: 40% | €42.00
This stunning, small batch rye won a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011 and again in 2013. The content of rye is 95% with some 5% barley malt. Bulleit Rye is ideal for classic American whiskey cocktails such as a Manhattan. Russet in colour, with rich oaky aromas. The taste is exceptionally smooth, with hints of vanilla, honey, and spice. Finish is crisp and clean, with long, lingering flavours.
ABV: 45% | €47.95
Winner of Master Bourbon Super Premium in 2020 by the American Whiskey Masters. Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is masterfully crafted and carefully aged for no less than ten years. The rareness of this great breed of bourbon is evident in its complex aroma, as well as the smooth and lingering taste. Eagle Rare is a bourbon that lives up to its name with its lofty, distinctive taste experience. Bold, dry, oaky flavours with notes of candied almonds and very rich cocoa. Dry and lingering on the finish.
ABV: 45% | €50.00
Carefully selected from barrels that were matured in the same warehouses E.H Taylor was responsible for building. This small batch bourbon is named after Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, known as the "Father of the Modern Bourbon Industry". He was an incredibly important figure in bourbon's history from the 1800s who owned a whole host of distilleries and innovated production methods which are still used today. This is a great, full-flavoured bourbon with tastes of caramel corn sweetness, mingled with butterscotch and liquorice. The aftertaste has a soft mouthfeel that turns into subtle spices of pepper and tobacco.
ABV: 50% | €142.31
Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon is named in honour of their founder Reverend Elijah Craig, who they call "The Father of Bourbon". He kept a warehouse where he stored barrels and one day experienced a devastating fire. He used the charred casks regardless and found they imparted a lovely character.
This highly rated bourbon has a smooth and velvety texture with plenty of fruit and caramel toffee flavours. Generally very highly regarded amongst bourbon enthusiasts as a sipping whiskey.
ABV: 47% | €125.00
Heaven's Door is an award-winning collection of handcrafted American whiskeys co-created with iconic musician and artist, Bob Dylan. The Double Barrel is comprised of a unique blend of three different whiskeys. The double barrel finishing process utilises hand toasted, new American Oak barrels for a secondary ageing worthy of another year's wait. Double Barrel's higher proof balances perfectly with the complexity of its favour with notes of caramel, oak, citrus, and spice.
ABV: 50% | €137.00
A limited edition bottling of Jack Daniel's that celebrates each of the seven master distillers to have overseen production. As the first in the series, this bottling has the man himself on the label: Jasper Newton Daniel. More commonly known as Jack Daniel. A superbly smooth whiskey with notes of sweet caramel, vanilla, and oak. The perfect balance between soft, sweet, mellow, and spicy as well as slightly smoky.
ABV: 43% | €103.00
A nod to the style of whiskey that was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Sour mash whiskey refers to the leftovers from the previous batch which are then added into the new batch. Michter's Sour Mash whiskey boasts flavours of warm toasted burned sugar notes with spice, sweet, smoky fruit, candied cherries, and honeyed vanilla.
ABV: 43% | €70.00
Tincup American Whiskey is the brainchild of Colorado-based Jess Graber, who has been distilling for more than 30 years. Made from a blend of two great American whiskeys, “High rye” bourbon, distilled and aged in Indiana, and a small amount of Colorado single malt whiskey, each aged in #3 charred oak barrels. This high rye whiskey mirrors a powerful and spicy bourbon style with fresh water from the Rockies. Best of all, the cap also works as a cup!
ABV: 42% | €40.00
A great tasting bourbon that uses an unusually high proportion of rye grain in the mash bill (18%). What also marks out Woodford Reserve is the use of triple distillation and the inclusion of pot still whiskey. All this makes for a flavoursome and smooth whiskey with a range of flavours from bold grain and wood to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit and floral notes. Can be mixed in high-end cocktails or drunk straight with a little ice.
ABV: 43.2% | €43.00
We hope you enjoyed our blog post and are able to find the perfect drink to celebrate the 4th of July. You can find our full range of bourbons, rye whiskies, and American spirits on Irish Drink Shop. And if you still can’t find that perfect drink, then be sure to contact us and we’ll be delighted to assist!
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