Taster's Club's Best Sipping Whiskeys From Our Bottle Shop
We recently sent a survey to our Taster’s Club members to find out more about what you like, what you want more or less of, and what’s important to you in your membership. Many answers revealed that you love slow-sipping whiskey and that the flavors are the most important quality for you. But, to be honest, we already knew how much you love the flavor characteristics of our bourbon and whiskey, which is why we’re always searching for the absolute best sipping whiskey out there.
Based on your answers, we gathered a list of our top whiskey recommendations, so let’s see if your favorite made the list.
First, a Little About Whiskey
There are many types of whiskey around the world. Scotland is the biggest whisky producer, with about 97 distilleries in several different regions producing 700 million liters of whiskey per year. But whiskey is made in over 25 countries worldwide, each with its own production methods, traditions, ingredients, and flavor characteristics. We feature whisk(e)ys from Scotland and beyond, each with its own unique story to share.
Best Sipping Whiskey for the Aromas- Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt
For centuries, single malt whiskey has been considered solely the domain of Scotland. But relative newcomers to the industry are proving that great single malt can be made outside those borders. From Japan to India, Taiwan to New Zealand, regions from all over the world are expanding the notion of what single malt can be by making whiskeys that express the unique characteristics of their own place. Westland is doing just that in America—producing single malts that honor tradition but offer something new and worthwhile at the same time. Here, where Bourbon has been king for generations, they’re leading an entirely new category of single malt whiskey that is distinctly American.
To produce their whiskeys, they adopt the same basic raw materials and processes used for generations in the whiskey-making of the old world, but instead of replicating the results, they work to create whiskeys that reflect the distinct qualities of the time, place, and culture in the Pacific Northwest.
Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey is Westland’s interpretation of one of the world’s most popular styles of single malt whiskey. While the practice of maturing whiskey in sherry casks isn’t as long-standing as peated whiskies, it has become a standard of old-world sensibilities. Barley notes balance the sherry character, and the sweet notes linger on the palate with maple syrup and dark chocolate holding throughout.
Why we chose it
Each of the whiskeys in Westland’s Heritage Collection exhibits the fundamental intention of the Westland house style that emerged in their early days: a balanced, barley-forward whiskey that honors tradition but also moves it forward in a new way. We love that they’re made from 100% malted barley, fermented with a unique Belgian Saison Brewer’s yeast, and matured in sherry casks —leading to new and distinctly American flavor profiles.
No Caramel Color, Non-Chill-Filtered
Honey-dipped oatmeal raisin cookies, maple syrup, banana pancakes
Kiwi, maple syrup, raisins, sweet cookies, pastries, stewed yellow fruits
Long linger on the palate with tones of maple syrup and dark chocolate holding throughout
Best Sipping Whiskey for the Flavors- Redbreast 12-Year-Old Single Pot Irish Whiskey
One of our curator’s favorite whiskeys, Redbreast 12-Year-Old Single Pot Irish Whiskey, is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley and then triple distilled in copper pot stills. It’s bursting with the flavor complexities and the distinctive qualities of Pot Still whiskey. Matured in a combination of Bourbon seasoned American Oak barrels and Oloroso Sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts, the Redbreast sherry style is a treat from the first aroma all the way to the last drop. In addition, the Cask Strength expression gives a glimpse of Redbreast 12 in its natural, full-flavored taste.
The Redbreast brand is owned by Irish Distillers, which might sound familiar. That’s right; it operates in the Midleton distillery where various brands are made, including Midleton, Paddy Powers, and the best known, Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Why we chose it
We love that the dried fruit notes from its time in ex-sherry casks complement the rich, cake-like aromas thanks to the ex-bourbon barrels. This is excellent as a neat pour to be sipped and savored slowly.
Rich, golden honey-amber
Dried and ripe fruits, yellow raisins, clementine skin, peach, and dried mango
Creamy at first, followed by nutmeg, pepper-spicy, and nutty flavors
Finishing spicy and dry
Best Sipping Whiskey for the Complexities- Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye Whiskey
Crafted in one of the few distilleries to remain dedicated to the art of rye whiskey, Rare Breed Rye is a blend of non-chill filtered rye. It is barrel-proof, meaning it’s uncut, bottled directly from the barrels. Wild Turkey Distilling Co. has been crafting its whiskey at the top of Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, for over 75 years, perfecting its craft among master distillers who have over a century of experience.
This bourbon is a unique blend of Wild Turkey 6-, 8- and 12-year-old Kentucky Straight Rye. This special blend gives the product a rich, exceptional flavor that's remarkably smooth, despite its high alcohol content. It offers hints of light oranges and mint, with tones of sweet tobacco that will remind you of your grandfather's pipe. However, it doesn’t just carry “older” flavors. It’s full of the sweetness of caramel, vanilla, apple, cinnamon, toasted grains, licorice, and a little corn mash. Its finish is long, warm, and nutty and lingers in the mouth with notes of hot peppers and well-toasted whole wheat bread.
Why We Chose It
We love that it’s straightforward and drinkable but still interesting and flavorful. It offers slight savoriness and breadiness, complemented by an intense sweetness that builds the longer you sip it. This Rare Breed offers a delightful sipping experience, perfect for just about any occasion.
Deep auburn color
Caramel apple and vanilla
Leather, figs, and dates are well-balanced by touches of roasted nuts, nutmeg, vanilla, and honeyed oak
Sweet, fruity finish
Best Sipping Whiskey for the Ingredients- Penelope Four Grain Toasted Series Barrel Strength Bourbon
The story of Penelope Bourbon is one of small beginnings- literally! It was inspired by the birth of founder Mike Paladini’s new baby named (you probably guessed it) Penelope. It’s a spirit that embodied the daily joy of celebrating life’s pleasures – big and small.
Penelope Bourbon Toasted Series explores new and unique expressions of their signature four-grain straight bourbon whiskey made from a mashbill of corn, wheat, rye, and malted barley. After maturing in charred new American oak barrels, Penelope Bourbon is finished in new, freshly toasted barrels, all with different custom chars and toasts – making each bottle unique.
Why We Chose It
We love that Penelope Bourbon is remarkably smooth and flavorful. Well-balanced and well-composed, it’s perfect for sipping neat or over ice.
Rich fruit syrup, followed by sweet and savory grain, and citrus peel
Smoky followed by citrus peel, fruits, caramel, ethanol, robust smoke, and oak notes.
Balanced, sweet, and smoky with savory grain.
Best Sipping Whiskey for the Packaging/Bottling- Lucky Seven "The Jokester" 6-Year-Old Bourbon
Lucky Seven Spirits was founded by best friends Michael Lahalih and John Pals. Both bourbon fans and cinema enthusiasts, the pair settled on the moniker Lucky 7, named after the legendary Stage 7 of the Warner Brothers lot, where countless classics such as Casablanca were filmed. Since the giant stage got a reputation for producing so many hits, it got the nickname “Lucky Stage 7.”
The pair sources and blends rare bourbons, only using the finest juice they can find and releasing them as limited editions. As befits the Hollywood and movie history that permeates Lucky Seven, they have also created a series of short films that accompany each expression. The luxurious decanter bottles include several nods to Old Hollywood and real 22-karat gold.
The Jokester’s bottle, label, design, and cork are all noteworthy. The bottle itself is a very high-quality decanter from France. It’s decorated with 22-karat gold stamping throughout, including the Lucky 7 brand signature harlequin pattern raining down the back of the bottle. The high-quality cork from Portugal looks cool and classy with the gold stamped cap made from lovely beechwood. Finally, the front label is an industry-first peel-back label that reveals tasting notes from Lucky 7’s Master Blender and a QR code you can scan to watch the short film the brand named after the release.
Why We Chose It
We love the cinema-inspired story behind the brand, and this fun, interactive bottle has been one of our very favorites from the first time we featured it in our Clubs. Beautifully balanced and complex, this bourbon is bottled at 95 proof and has won a Double Gold Medal at the 2020 edition of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Brilliant notes of dried cherry and cranberry, vanilla cordial, and baking spice.
Remarkable creme brûlée tone with notes of Rum-raisin, a heavy shot of baking spices, and pecans.
The finish is bright and spicy with berries and toasted sugar.
Our main goal is to curate awesome spirits, deliver them straight to your door, and teach you all about them. But we really love when we find a whiskey that has exceptional qualities in one category or another. So now we’d love to hear from you- what are the most important characteristics you look for in your whiskey?