10 Essential Whiskies Everyone Should Own (And Why)

Every whisky drinker starts out with a single bottle, but many of us quickly acquire more and more. Different whiskies suit different occasions, after all. If you’re looking to cover all the basic bases, but aren’t sure where to start, use this list as a guide.

1. A Versatile Mixer: Jameson

A quality drop suitable for long, cooling drinks on hazy summer afternoons, but sufficiently flavorsome for everyday consumption.

2. The Quintessential Blend: Chivas Regal 18 year old

A fine luxury that exemplifies the exacting skills of the blender’s discerning nose and palate. 

3. A Dependable Straight Bourbon: Evan Williams Single Barrel

For evenings when you crave sweetness, corn, oak, and complex spices as you marvel at the reddening skies.

4. A My-Oh-My Rye: High West Rendezvous Rye

An arrestingly powerful hit of spice and cinnamon for sipping or mixing.

5. A Dram with Universal Appeal: Highland Park 12 year old

A can’t-go-wrong whisky guaranteed to put a keen smile on every face.

6. The Power of the Pot Still: Green Spot

A thick, oily-textured revelation bursting with ripeness for contemplative drinking.

7. A Guileful Persuader: Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or

Enable recent converts to understand the influence of the finishing cask (while making them eternally grateful).

8. A Japanese Grand Master: Yamazaki 18 year old

You must be swift and decisive, for like the cherry blossoms, their presence in our lives can be ephemeral.

9. A Smokin’ Good Islay: Lagavulin 16 year old

Surrender your senses to the ardent call of peat-sweet smoke, rooted in the liquid from this elemental island.

10. A Trophy Whisky: Glenfarclas 40 year old

The one that cost a little more than you care to remember; an indulgent reward.

More From Whisky List

5 Great Irish Whiskeys to Try Now

Sample single pot still or some of Ireland’s inventive finishing techniques with one of these selections from the Fall 2022 Buying Guide.