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Top 10 Whiskey Brands: Worth The Shot

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-05-31
The list of top 10 whiskey brands is more of a combination of personal preference and market performance of different brands. It is important to understand that although there is a preconceived notion that the more expensive the whiskey brand, the better taste it has.

Generally true, more affordable brands should not be discounted because some of the brand names actually come from the same producers of higher end brands. Whether mixing with your favorite cocktails or sipping it plain, here are some of the more popular brands worth the shot.

10Bushmills 1608


This is part of the top 10 whiskey brands because first and foremost, it boasts of 400 years of classic Irish whiskey production technique. With its smooth and superior flavor, it presents a truly unique experience that delivers certain creaminess in your mouth. This is attributed to the barleycorn malt that transforms to a crystalline-like material after roasting. This represents a blend of Bushmills malt whiskey with a touch of Irish grain whiskey that complements the crystallized malt. Dried fruit notes, honey, and toffee-like smoothness with a hint of vanilla make the experience all worthwhile.

9Tyrconnell 10 year Single Malt


One of the few whiskies in commercial distribution that has been named after a famous racehorse of the Irish Derby, it is the reason why it makes use of the racehorse painting. This whiskey features 100% malted barley, but without the peat smoke. Because of this, drinkers are treated to a sweet, complex, and unctuous whiskey that can suit the palate of any whiskey aficionado. Lightly perfumed bouquet of grain, apple, pear, and citrus notes are what tickles your senses as you take a sip of this masterpiece.

8Greenore Single Grain


As one of the top 10 whiskey brands in the market today, it features 93% corn that has been imported from France. This is because corn is not native to Ireland due to its cold climate. To complement the corn, 7% of malted barley is added to the mix. Compared to other Irish whiskies, this brand is produced using column still, which is responsible for the lighter as well as softer distillate. The nose is treated to fragrances of fresh corn with vanilla wafers after being bottled at 40% abv after staying in bourbon barrel for eight years.

7Jameson 18 year


What makes this quite distinct is that no pronounced sting of alcohol can be detected on the nose. The scents of warm vanilla notes, caramel, honey, green apple, dried lemon peel, and cinnamon dominates the senses. The whiskey successfully coats the mouth with flavors of vanilla, molasses cookies, caramel, apple pie spice, and umami, resulting in a pretty complex mixture that is truly a treat to the palate. More oak flavors emerge towards the end together with freshly roasted hazelnuts before it completely evaporates on the tongue.

6Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt


This is a good example of blended aged whiskies. It features a 4-year, 6-year, and 8-year old whiskies which accounts for its vibrancy, depth, and overall wonderful taste. Successfully blending all of these components together is what lands it in the top 10 whiskey brands in the market. The nose is treated to smokiness with underlying sweetness that is accurately described by many as toffee-like smell with sugar, creosote, and hints of chocolate mixed into the flavor. Drinkers will appreciate the lingering, peaty, and mysterious finish.

5Michael Collins Single Malt


Hints of malt sugar, vanilla, peaches, and ripe apricots are what will welcome the nose with this smooth, simple, but elegant whiskey brand. There are no pretensions, the producers of this whiskey simple do what they do and do it well. It may not be considered as stylish, but it is surely warming, comfortable, and to a certain extent even utilitarian. Gentle oak, orange peel, and vanilla will be felt on the palate before reaching a typical Irish blend finish that leaves a touch of chocolate as it evaporates.

4Tullamore Dew


This features a grain and Irish malt mixture that leaves a slightly briny character, which is reminiscent of the Irish coastline. Undeniable presence of caramel, brown sugar, and oak can be detected from the whiskey that the palate can detect subtly. Consistent with many Irish blend whiskies, it leaves a seemingly ephemeral finish that is characteristic of its classic blend. It remains as one of the most recommended whiskies in the market today with a considerably affordable price tag.

3Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey


Produced by the only independent distillery in Ireland, this Cooley product enters the top 10 whiskey brands primarily because of the benefits provided by 200-year old granite warehouses that result in that distinctly Irish blend. The whiskey is distilled in 3,000 liter copper pots before it is placed into bourbon casks where it will be allowed to mature to enhance its taste, flavor, and smell.

2Glenlivet Scotch Whiskey


This represents one of the 15 strategic global brands that belong to Pernod Ricard. It has the distinction of being only the second whiskey to reach the sales milestone of what is equivalent to about 6 million bottles annually. This alone is a testament and should provoke any whiskey aficionado to give it a try. Considered as the number one brand in the dynamic U.S. whiskey market, it has gained a significant share in the European, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Asia-Pacific markets as well.

1Maker’s Mark Whiskey


The aging process for this whiskey takes anywhere from six to seven and a half years before undergoing testing to confirm its readiness for the commercial market. The producers are one of the few that practice barrel rotation from the upper to the lower levels of their aging warehouses. This allows the temperature to even out for the duration of the aging process. With the upper levels being exposed to higher temperatures, the rotation will allow the bourbon in the barrels to acquire a uniformed taste and quality. It is known in the market for its square bottle with red wax seal.

Regardless whether you are a whiskey aficionado or simply enjoy an occasional sip or cocktail every now and then, considering these top 10 whiskey brands make the experience more valuable.

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