Tasting Notes: American Whiskeys

Along with bourbon (corn-based, aged in charred barrels) and rye (made mainly from its namesake grain) are wheat-based and other corn whiskeys, as well as ones made from malted barley.

Dry Fly Washington Wheat Whiskey

Dry Fly Washington Wheat Whiskey
_($49.95; 750 ml)
_ A subtle mix of honeyed vanilla and savory brine, balanced by delicate wood and wheat. Mint and cold tobacco on a long, complex, food-friendly finish. Death's Door White Whisky
_($34.99; 750 ml)
_ This unaged wheat-based distillate from Wisconsin smells hay-like at first and then reveals fennel aromas, with a creamy palate and pepper and cumin flavors to round it out. St. George Single Malt Whiskey
_($70; 750 ml)
_ Lovely quince and honey aromas pave the way in this California whiskey to an explosion of pineapple and coconut flavors on a base of pine, cedar, and vanilla. Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey
_($39; 375 ml)
_ A discreet nose of strawberry-vanilla lollipop leads to aniseed, cherry, chocolate, and ripe peaches. Though the flavor is not as rich, it holds together well. _Tasting notes by Flavian Desoblin of New York's Brandy Library Back to American Whiskey »_
Todd Coleman

McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt

McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt
_($50; 750 ml)
_ Smoky and Scotchlike, this peated whiskey from Clear Creek Distillery has sweet, delicate vanilla undertones, with a well-balanced flavor and a nice, long finish. Jefferson's Presidential Select Bourbon
_($89.99; 750 ml)
_ Marzipan, then grilled pineapple, coconut, and chocolate in this woody bourbon from Louisville's late, legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery. _Tasting notes by Flavian Desoblin of New York's Brandy Library Back to American Whiskey »_
Todd Coleman
McKenzie Rye Whiskey

McKenzie Rye Whiskey

_($39; 750 ml)
_ An initial aroma of fresh apple lapses to green banana and grass. Strong wood flavor and a sweet winelike finish. From Finger Lakes Distilling, this whiskey is great on ice. Angel's Envy Bourbon
_($49.99; 750 ml)
_ Straightforward vanilla and cherry with a hint of smoke and coconut on the nose. In the mouth, it's a peach and mango blast. Round, elegant, and creamy-despite a bit of heat. Evan Williams Single Barrel (2001)
_($24.99; 750 ml)
_ Pecan pie and apple over banana and butterscotch on a rich, sweet nose. Great balance with a delicate length; a bourbon for sipping from Heaven Hill Distilleries. Parker's Wheated Bourbon
_($79.99; 750 ml)
_ Wheat, instead of rye, along with the corn makes this cask-strength bourbon soft and sippable; notes of candied orange, white chocolate, mango, and smoke. _Tasting notes by Flavian Desoblin of New York's Brandy Library Back to American Whiskey »_
Todd Coleman

Breuckelen Whiskey

Breuckelen Whiskey
_($39; 750 ml)
_ Banana and caramel aromas dominate in this wheat whiskey from a new Brookyn distillery. It tastes of mint and eucalyptus, with a sweet, assertive smokiness. Woodstone Creek Single Peated Malt Whiskey
_($118; 750 ml)
_ Made, like Scotch whisky, from barley malted over smoking peat, this meaty-smelling Cincinnati whiskey opens up to a palate with a hint of wine-cask sweetness. Berkshire Bourbon
_($39.99; 750 ml)
_ Tropical fruit salad: grilled pineapple, mango, guava, vanilla, and banana aromas in this Massachusetts bourbon. Assertive herbal, citrus, and spice flavors. _Tasting notes by Flavian Desoblin of New York's Brandy Library Back to American Whiskey »_
Todd Coleman

Edgefield's Hogshead Whiskey

Edgefield's Hogshead Whiskey
_($32. 50; 750 ml)
_ A port-wine nose and a sweet, smoky palate with notes of cherrywood and vanilla. A Scotch-on-steroids benchmark for American single malts. Prichard's Double Barreled Bourbon
_($72; 750 ml)
_ A perfect bourbon: Barreled twice in charred oak, it's rich but not overwhelming; a rare balance of chocolate, vanilla, clove, and coconut aromas and flavors. Corsair Artisan Distillery 100% Rye
_($45; 750 ml)
_ A fragrant, exotic fruit punch of a Kentucky whiskey that brings lemon, mango, pineapple, banana, and mint to the nose, with a flavor that's round and candy-like but balanced. _Tasting notes by Flavian Desoblin of New York's Brandy Library Back to American Whiskey »_
Todd Coleman

High West Bourye

High West Bourye
_($65.99; 750 ml)
_ At first tight and hot, this blend develops luscious aromas: bergamot, blackberry, vanilla, coconut, cloves. A ryelike start in the mouth, followed by rich bourbon characteristics. Four Roses Small Batch
_($29.99; 750 ml)
_ From a big, 123-year-old Kentucky distillery, this lovely, flowery, fruity bourbon shows almost like a great white wine from Burgundy, with a round and velvety palate. Balcones Brimstone Corn Whiskey
_($53; 750 ml)
_ Gunpowder meets barbecue, an explosive recipe for this powerful, yet well-balanced blue corn whiskey from Texas. It's delicious with a couple of ice cubes added, too. Copper Fox Rye Whisky
_($45; 750 ml)
_ Apple and pear, then cherry and peach aromas. This one-third malted barley spirit from Virginia tastes first of sweet vanilla, but smoky, spicy rye takes over. _Tasting notes by Flavian Desoblin of New York's Brandy Library Back to American Whiskey »_
Todd Coleman