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World Whisky Day 2024 Is Here, Celebrate With These Whiskies


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This Saturday (May 18) is World Whisky Day and while there are some distinct differences between whisky, whiskey, and Scotch whisky, what is generally understood is that all can be enjoyed on this day. Below, I’m going to feature some of my favorite whiskies and whiskeys along with others I hope to sample one day.

Before we get into it, I don’t profess to be an expert on spirits. I began the Spirit.Ed column to educate myself and our readers on the history of cocktails, spirits, beer, and wine and I’m still learning new things daily.

Case in point, the term whisky applies to spirits made in Scotland, Japan, or Canada, while whiskey applies to spirits made in the United States and Ireland. Adding to this, bourbon can only be made in the United States and must feature a mash bill of 51 percent corn before other grains are introduced. Further, Kentucky bourbon, as you might get from the name, can only be called as such if it’s made in the state.

Enough nerding out about that for now. Let’s get into the history of World Whisky Day.

The holiday was officially established in March 2012 by University of Aberdeen student Blair Bowman, who was 21 at the time. According to Whiskey Partners, Bowman was studying in Barcelona and remarked that whiskey didn’t have a global holiday as other adult beverage so he took it upon himself to enact a website to get the ball rolling.

“When I was in Barcelona it was World Gin Day and I saw it was a global trending topic on Twitter, which I think was still fairly new back then. I thought it was an interesting concept that was obviously popular so I wanted to find out when World Whisky Day was. I Googled it and couldn’t find anything about it. World Gin Day had a great website with ideas of things to do on the day and places that were celebrating it,” Bowman shared as reported by Whiskey Partners.

Bowman’s initial World Whisky Day celebration was a success, so much so that the Scottish Government, Scotland’s tourism board, and other organizations stamped it as an official holiday taking play on the third Saturday in May annually.

Bowman’s focus was primarily Scotch whisky to my understanding but the event is meant to include other whiskeys and whiskies hence why this roundup will be a little all over the place.

Pour yourself a good dram this weekend and happy World Whisky Day. Cheers!

NOTE: This post will continually be updated until 5:30 PM ET.

Photo: Getty


#WorldWhiskyDay: World Whisky Day 2024 Is Here, Celebrate With These Whiskies 
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1. Angel’s Envy

Angel's Envy

Source:Angel’s Envy

Two years ago, I booked a tour of the Angel’s Envy experience in Louisville which was cancelled due to a freak ice and snowstorm. I was bummed that I never got to experience the tour but I’ve been a fan of Angel’s Envy for years, especially the brand’s rye expression. It’s really tasty stuff neat or mixed but I think the unfettered way for this brand is my favorite way to sip.

Learn more here.

2. Ardbeg

Ardbeg

Source:Ardbeg

Ardbeg is one of the oldest Scotch whisky distillers and certainly has its fair share of fans who enjoy the range of its core expressions along with the higher-end exclusives. Having sipped a lot of Ardbeg over the last few years, I can safely say that this is the brand that taught me how to appreciate Scotch in all its big, bold flavors. While I’ve made a mean Old Fashioned or two with Ardbeg Ten, I prefer to sip this whisky neat or on a big rock.

Learn more here.

3. Benriach The Sixteen

Benriach The Sixteen

Source:Benriach

As I like to be transparent, I haven’t tried Benriach yet but hope to correct that soon. I do have friends who sing the praises of the brand. What I can tell is that the Speyside single malt Scotch whisky has been around since 1898 and has won several awards.

Learn more here.

4. Cedar Ridge

Cedar Ridge

Source:Cedar Ridge

Iowa probably doesn’t come to mind when it comes to bourbon and rye whiskies. Cedar Ridge aims to change that perception behind its core releases, and limited edition annual releases. I’m a fan of their small batch straight bourbon expression which was a flavor bomb of a neat pour that mellowed and bloomed on the rocks. This is a fantastic summer stunner.

Learn more here.

5. Crown Royal

Crown Royal

Source:Crown Royal

After a recent media trip, I found a greater appreciation for Crown Royal, a brand I grew up with. Now that I’m older, I appreciate the craft and commitment to consistency this Canadian whisky embodies. It is great neat, on the rocks, or in tasty cocktails.

Learn more here.

6. Glenglassaugh Portsoy

Glenglassaugh Portsoy

Source:Glenglassaugh

Glenglassaugh is a brand I’ve had some experience with since starting the Spirit.Ed column and everything I’ve sampled thus far has been enjoyable. With roots tracing back to 1875, Glenglassaugh Portsoy expression salutes the neighboring village of the same name of this peated single malt.  This is another one I haven’t tried but I’ll remedy that soon.

Learn more here.

7. Jameson

Jameson

Source:Jameson

Zach Johnston, a spirits writer who is one of the reasons I decided to take on this column, once wrote that Jameson Black Barrel is the best cocktail base of the entire lineup of Jameson products. I tend to agree but I even enjoy this as a neat pour or on the rocks. This is an Irish whiskey for bourbon lovers. While the relatively low proof of 80 might concern some, trust me when I say you won’t notice.

Learn more here.

8. Mercer+Prince

Mercer+Prince

Source:Mercer+Prince

Mercer+Prince is a Canadian whisky from the mind of ASAP Rocky and features its own set of whisky glasses as part of the cool-looking bottle. In all fairness, this is a whisky best for mixing and does fine with ginger ale, ginger beer, tonic water, or light fruit juice on the rocks.

Learn more here.

9. Proper No. Twelve

Proper No. Twelve

Source:Proper Twelve

Proper No. Twelve was first established in 2018 by UFC fighter Conor McGregor with the help of master distiller David Elder, who once worked for Guinness. The Irish whiskey blend is aged for around three years and comes in at 40 proof, which means its best as a cocktail base because it’ll get a little lost over the rocks. It’s a fine neat sipper for those still learning to appreciate this style of spirit.

Learn more here.

10. Waterford

Waterford

Source:Waterford

Waterford Whiskey specializes in producing its Cuvée Concepts range and is introducing its latest flagship, The Waterford Cuvée: Koffi. The blend of whiskies features bottle and carton artwork from French artist Nathanaël Koffi hence the name. This brand is for peat lovers. 

Learn more here.



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