Are you a fan of the bold and intense flavours of aged whiskey? Or are you a regular drinker, and you enjoy your drinks neat? If yes, then smooth whiskey is just for you!
In America, people of all age groups enjoy a glass of whiskey, and from stats, it is clear that nearly 75% of whiskey drinkers are below 50 years old.
Stats are not very clear on how many of them are beginners or how many like to drink straight, but they are high in number for sure. Hence, for all of them, a smooth whiskey is the best.
We have picked some of the smoothest whiskies just for you. But before that, let’s discuss what makes a whiskey smooth and what it means by drinking straight!
What Makes A Whiskey Smooth?
The term “smooth” in the alcohol industry has many meanings. From mild, gentle, light to sweet, it can be anything. But our focus here is, “what makes it smooth?”
Whiskey can be smooth because of its sweet flavour or soft texture. But whether your whiskey is sweet or gentle depends upon the grain chosen for distillation. For example, wheat produces spirits that are soft and sweet.
Another way whiskey can become smooth is by blending. Blending is a process to prepare a well-balanced drink. Some manufacturers add sweeteners, flavouring, and blending agents to smoothen the alcohol and reduce its alcoholic burn.
Some whiskies can be lightly smooth, which can be achieved by distilling to a high proof. A higher proof shall produce a milder whiskey and vice versa.
Last but not least, maturation and filtration also play a vital role in smoothening the drink. Whiskeys that mature in an oak cask are smoother. The longer the whiskey spends in the cask, the softer it becomes.
If you filter whiskey through charcoal, heavier oils, large molecules, and impurities are removed, leaving behind a smoother whiskey.
What is the Meaning of Drinking Straight?
Drinking straight has several meanings. The answer depends upon what you are drinking. If you are drinking straight whiskey, you are drinking it neat (without adding anything).
On the other hand, if you are taking straight vodka, you are drinking chilled vodka. So if you enjoy your whiskey or bourbon without adding anything, it means you are having a straight drink.
Smoothest Whiskey To Drink Straight
If you are wondering: what is the smoothest whiskey in the world? Balvenie DoubleWood is our choice for the smoothest whiskey to drink straight in the world because it is classy, smooth, and a great way to start drinking whiskey. This 12-year-old whisky is an unbeatable taste for anyone who loves their whisky.
It ages in an ex-bourbon cask, which gives it a versatile flavour. If you sniff it, you can experience a spice-like, frosty and nut-like flavour. You can taste a hint of nuts, vanilla, dried fruits, cinnamon, and nutmeg after sipping.
Because it has a very rich finish that remains on your tongue, you will love to drink it straight.
The GlenDronach Allardice
If you like fruity notes, then The GlenDronach Allardice is just for you. The GlenDronach Allardice is a scotch that has been aged for eighteen long years and has tastes of pineapple, brown sugar, and rum. You can also taste honey, blueberry, hazelnut, blackcurrant, and maple syrup.
The drink gets these versatile flavors from the way the distillery leaves it for maturation. The distillery matures the Allardice solely in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and not in an ex-bourbon cask.
And the result is a smooth drink full of flavours that is perfect for drinking straight.
George Dickel Bottled in Bond
This 13-year-old whiskey was born in Tennessee. It should be taken straight. The drink has many flavours and is aged for 11 years in a barrel.
The drink is filtered with maple charcoal, which makes it smooth. After this, it is left to age. If you sniff a glass of it, you can quickly identify the pungent odor of candied pecan which has been spiced.
It has a fruity taste with a mix of vanilla, blood orange, cinnamon spice, baked apple, and candied pecan.
This excellent bottle of 12-year-old whiskey comes from Japan. It is one of the more expensive whiskeys, but its exotic aroma and versatile flavours are worth the money.
Its smoky aroma of cut hay, barrel char, toasted barley, and chopped almonds makes it one of the best whiskey to drink straight.
It also has a rich, grassy, herbal, fruity palate, making it the perfect drink to be consumed alone.
Affordable Smooth Whiskeys Good Enough To Drink Straight
If you wish to enjoy a big glass of straight whiskey without burning a hole in the pocket, then you can go down to an affordable segment without compromising on the smoothness or the flavours.
Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whiskey
This whiskey is full of flavours and delicious that which makes it the perfect drink to have straight. It is soft, smooth and has notes of frosted mini wheat.
When you sniff it, you get a strong aroma of crème brûlée and just a sniff of burnt toffee. As soon as you drink it down, you taste some ash and soft smoke, typical with scotches.
These flavors are so mild that they don’t overpower the other flavours.
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey
This whiskey is an excellent Irish whisky, a complete blend of pot whiskies that have been distilled thrice made from barley (both unmalted and malted).
The drink is exceptionally complex, yet easy on the tongue. Its colour is like bright honey with hints of cinnamon, pears, apple, nutmeg, and white pepper.
It has a creamy finish, and when you drink this whisky straight you will be delighted to find the many flavors exploding at a time.
The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey
This drink comprises 100% malted barley and is distilled thrice in stills made of copper. It is aged in sherry casks of ex-oloroso. Its maturation process gives it a creamy, tangy and nutty taste, which makes the drink very smooth.
You can taste flavours of cinnamon, honeycomb, and orange as soon as you gulp it down. These exotic flavours make it so tasty that it is good to go straight.
How to Drink the Smoothest Whiskey Straight?
Even if you drink a glass of smooth whiskey, you might not find it great on the first try. You can end up making faces, and that’s something no one likes!
Also, if you don’t drink your whiskey correctly, you won’t get the right taste. So, follow our tips and drink your smooth whiskey like a pro:
Don’t Be a Show-Off.
If you are just starting with neat drinks, don’t try to show off, you should play the underdog. Pour a tiny bit in your glass to start off.
Choose Your Glass Wisely
Also, be wise in selecting your whiskey glass. Select a glass with not a very wide mouth to hold the aroma while you enjoy your drink. We suggest Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass because it has a more petite mouth that’s perfect for holding the smell.
Learn to Swirl
Now after pouring some whiskey in the glass, swirl it. Swirl it gently so that you don’t spill it. Also, a slow swirl helps to enhance the drink’s flavour.
Don’t Add Ice
Don’t dilute your drink with ice or water if you wish to drink it straight. If you have picked any of the smooth whiskey mentioned above, you will not need to mix anything with it.
Let It Rest a Bit
Let your drink rest for a few minutes after you have swirled it. Let all the flavors blend, which will further enrich your experience.
Take the First Sip
After almost 10 minutes, pick up your glass and take a sniff. If you can only smell alcohol the first time, it’s completely normal. Try and breathe in, and this time, open your mouth while you sniff in. You will taste various flavours this time, maybe a bit of sweetness, floral, woodiness, and smokiness.
And There You Go!
Last but not least, drink your whisky! When you are drinking straight whiskey, be careful. Don’t take big swigs the way one might with beer. Try and take smaller ones.
When the drink is in your mouth, instead of gulping it immediately, let it stay in your mouth for a few seconds. You might be able to recognise many of the flavours now.
Finish your drink sip by sip and enjoy every drop of it like never before.
The smoothness of a drink is a perception rather than a definite quality. It indicates the amount of burn you feel when you gulp down the whiskey.
If you wish to drink straight whiskey, smooth whisky is the way to go. Don’t try stiff whisky without ice or water.
We hope our suggestions will help you to pick out the best whiskey for your next night out! Have fun, and do leave us your comments and suggestions!