What Is The Smoothest Whiskey To Drink To Drink Straight? - The Whisky Guide (2023)

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!

7 Smooth Sipping Bourbons To Drink ...

7 Smooth Sipping Bourbons To Drink 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.

See also Best Sipping Bourbon

Smoothest Whiskey To Drink Straight

Balvenie DoubleWood

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.

Suntory Hakushu

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.

See also What to Mix With Apple Whiskey?

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.

See also Wild Turkey Whiskey Review

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.

Final Words

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!


What is the smoothest whiskey to drink straight? ›

Smooth Whiskey To Drink Straight
  • Kessler Whiskey. 4.4 out of 5 stars. ...
  • Darby's Reserve Rye Whiskey. 3.8 out of 5 stars. ...
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey. 4.8 out of 5 stars. ...
  • Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey. ...
  • Jim Beam Black Extra Aged Bourbon Whiskey. ...
  • Darby's Reserve Rye Whiskey. ...
  • Powers John's Lane Irish Whiskey. ...
  • Slow & Low Rock & Rye Whiskey.

What is the smoothest type of whiskey? ›

What's The Smoothest Whiskey To Drink? 15 Best For 2023
  • George Dickel Bottled In Bond.
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey.
  • Knappogue Castle 1995.
  • Laphroaig 10 Year Old.
  • Redbreast 12 Year Old.
  • The GlenDronach Allardice.
  • Tomintoul 14 Year Old.
  • Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
Feb 7, 2023

What whiskey do people drink straight? ›

Some of the best whisky to drink straight is the Redbreast 12 Year for Irish Whiskey, Jefferson's Ocean Bourbon for those who are a fan of the style, and the Compass Box Great King Street (Artist's Blend) for those who are Scotch lovers.

What is the easiest whiskey to drink? ›

Best Whiskey for Beginners
  • Buffalo Trace.
  • Four Roses Bourbon.
  • Jack Daniels Black.
  • Tullamore Dew.
  • Suntory Toki.
  • Bulleit Bourbon.
  • The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14.
  • Johnny Walker Red.
Nov 4, 2022

Is Crown Royal smooth? ›

Rich and robust, delicately smooth and creamy with hints of oak and the sweet flavor of vanilla.

What is a good first sipping whiskey? ›

Some of the best sipping whiskeys for beginners include 1792 Small Batch, Woodford Reserve, and Knob Creek. If you're new to the world of whiskey, start with one of these, and you're sure to find a new favorite.

What is the number 1 whiskey? ›

Johnnie Walker Blue Label: Best tasting whisky

A popular choice for whisky novices and experts alike, Johnnie Walker takes the crown again and again for its unrivaled spirits. It's the world's most widely distributed brand of Scotch, which means it'll be a success no matter what occasion you bring it out for.

Is Crown Royal a good sipping whiskey? ›

If you enjoy a smooth, sipping whisky with just the right amount of bite, Crown Royal delivers. Crown is an elegant Canadian whisky and it's readily apparent why Crown drinkers are such a devoted group.

How do beginners drink whiskey? ›

Sip and Savor

This is best achieved by taking small, slow sips. Taking a small sip and letting your palate adjust to the whiskey with as little alcohol in your mouth as possible will slowly allow your mouth to adjust. Then you sip again, slightly larger, and keep tasting for the specific flavor notes.

Which whiskey is smooth and sweet? ›

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Matured in Bourbon and Sherry casks to produce a crisp, clean, mellow taste with sweet, spicy, vanilla tones, and a subtle finish. Very smooth and versatile.

How do you drink whiskey straight for beginners? ›

To drink whisky neat, pour two fingers of whisky into a tulip glass. The whisky is served at room temperature. This allows the full range of aromas to be released into the glass and the array of flavours to be deployed in your mouth and nose while drinking and after swallowing.

What is a smooth whiskey that doesn't burn? ›

Try drinking Irish whiskey. That's triple-distilled and typically a bit smoother than Scotch.

What is the smoothest bourbon or Scotch whiskey? ›

Bourbon tends to have sweeter, more mellow characteristics, with vanilla, oak, caramel, grain, nutmeg, and cinnamon notes. Scotch has a sharp, distinct flavor that's more of an acquired taste than bourbon. You'll find that blended Scotch is smoother and maltier with a spicy finish.

What whiskey doesn't give you a hangover? ›

Jameson Irish Whiskey

When it comes to the kind of whiskey for the least amount of hangovers, Irish whiskey is the way to go. This is because Irish whiskey is triple distilled.

Is Crown Royal considered top shelf? ›

Is Crown Royal top shelf? Crown Royal is a top shelf whisky; their finer varieties are as fine as any other whiskys in the world.

Can I drink Crown Royal straight? ›

Sure, you can sip on it neat: but this Canadian whisky is at its best in mixed drinks! The vanilla, brown sugar and oaky notes of Crown Royal work perfectly in cocktails of all kinds, from classic cocktails to modern mixed drinks.

Is Crown cheap whiskey? ›

Crown Royal is the best-selling Canadian whisky in America for a reason. It's not the cheapest but it's not the most expensive. It will do the job straight up or mixed. It's in that sweet spot for affordability and versatility.

What's the smoothest sipping whiskey or bourbon for beginners? ›

The 14 Best Bourbons for Beginners in 2023
  • Best Overall: Knob Creek. ...
  • Best Single Barrel: Four Roses Single Barrel. ...
  • Best Budget: Wild Turkey 101. ...
  • Best Sipper: Woodford Reserve. ...
  • Best Value: Old Forester 100 Proof. ...
  • Best Age Statement: Eagle Rare. ...
  • Best High Rye: Basil Hayden's. ...
  • Best Small Batch: 1792 Small Batch.

How do you enjoy straight whiskey? ›

We recommend trying whisky neat at first—no water or ice. Allow the whisky to express itself as its creator intended. It's perfectly acceptable to add water or ice if that's what you prefer. Master blenders dilute their whisky down to 20% ABV, to reveal flaws and subtle flavors.

What is the taste flavor of whiskey? ›

Some of the profiles that whiskey can have include smoky, fruity, nutty and chocolaty. No matter what, expect it to taste like alcohol because of its high alcoholic content. Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the US are leading whiskey producers. Other countries the world over also produce quality whiskey.

What are top 5 whiskeys? ›

Our Top Whiskey Picks
  • Best Overall: Uncle Nearest 1856 Tennessee Whiskey.
  • Best Sipping: Compass Box Hedonism.
  • Best Single Malt: Lagavulin 12-Year-Old Special Release 2020.
  • Best Non-Alcoholic: Spiritless Kentucky 74.
  • Best Wild Card: Penderyn Welsh Whisky Madeira Finish.
  • Best Japanese: Yamazaki 12-year.
Mar 1, 2023

What is the best selling whiskey brand? ›


Maker's Mark returns to the number one spot for the first time since 2019, beating Bulleit by the narrowest of margins. Both were house pour in 18% of the bars and second choice in around 11%.

Is Jack Daniel's smoother than Crown Royal? ›

Both Crown Royal and Jack Daniel's offer flavors unique to each of them with varying levels of smoothness. One's enjoyment over the other is a matter of preference. If you enjoy the uniqueness of flavor you get by blending whiskeys together and a milder taste, go with Crown Royal.

What type of whiskey is best to sip? ›

11 Best Sipping Whiskeys to Drink Straight
  • Westland Peated Whiskey.
  • Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye.
  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon.
  • Laphroaig Quarter Cask.
  • Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon.
  • Yamazaki 12 Year Old Whisky.
  • Bulleit Bourbon.
May 26, 2022

Is whiskey or bourbon better for sipping? ›

Bourbon tends to be smoother than whiskey, with a softer mouthfeel and an overall sweet-presenting flavor, making it a good entry-level sipper for those new to whiskey. Wheated bourbons have a mash bill with a high concentration of wheat, which creates an even sweeter taste.

What is a sipping whiskey? ›

Jun 27, 2022. “A small mouthful of a drink” is a sip in formal terms. To be considered a great sipping bourbon, the spirit must be something special on the palate, not just one note. It must be complex and resonate throughout the sip. The build-up from the smell, taste and lingering finish should complement each other.

Do you shake whiskey before drinking? ›

If a drink is made with all spirits, it's stirred, not shaken.

What is a really nice whiskey? ›

The best single malt Scotch is Oban 14 Year Old West Highland Single Malt Whisky. The best Irish whiskey is Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. The best Japanese whisky is The Hakushu Single Malt Japanese Whisky Aged 12 Years. The best Canadian whisky is Crown Royal Noble Collection Rye Aged 16 Years.

Why do people drink straight whisky? ›

It Makes You Feel Good

There's nothing like enjoying a nice glass of whiskey at the end of a long day (or week!). There's something about its smooth, warming flavor that just makes you feel relaxed and at ease. Relaxing with a drink in hand always seems to make everything feel just a little bit better.

Do people drink whiskey straight up? ›

A “neat” drink is a pure spirit, poured into a glass with no other ingredients added, not even ice. Whiskey is a very common spirit to drink neat, but that's different from a shot. A whiskey neat is usually two ounces, not chilled, poured directly into a NEAT glass.

What is a smooth whiskey without hangover? ›

Jameson Irish Whiskey

When it comes to the kind of whiskey for the least amount of hangovers, Irish whiskey is the way to go. This is because Irish whiskey is triple distilled.

What is the smoothest sipping liquor? ›

The best spirits to sip neat, without mixing with anything else, include whiskey, bourbon, Scotch, tequila, mezcal, gin and rum.

Which is smoother bourbon or Scotch? ›

Bourbon tends to have sweeter, more mellow characteristics, with vanilla, oak, caramel, grain, nutmeg, and cinnamon notes. Scotch has a sharp, distinct flavor that's more of an acquired taste than bourbon. You'll find that blended Scotch is smoother and maltier with a spicy finish.

What brands of whiskey are smooth? ›

“Speyside in particular is a great starting point as the whiskies here are beautifully accessible with notes of fruits and fresh floral aromas. It's home to half of Scotland's distilleries and brands such as The Glenlivet, Aberlour, Strathisla, Chivas, Glenburgie and Ballantine's. Cask type is another option.

What can I mix with whiskey to prevent hangover? ›

Drink plenty of fluids

Fortunately, dehydration is easy to avoid — just make sure to drink enough water. Drinking green tea, honey chrysanthemum tea, or soda water can boost alcohol metabolism and also prevent alcohol-related damage to the liver, according to a 2016 study ( 5 ).

What is the least harsh liquor? ›

Take a look at this list of the least-damaging alcoholic drinks from Legends at White Oak to help you drink consciously.
  • Red Wine. ...
  • Light Beer. ...
  • Tequila. ...
  • Gin & Rum & Vodka & Whiskey.
Mar 7, 2021

What alcohol is most relaxing? ›

People who drank red wine and beer, on the other hand, were more likely to report feeling relaxed. Almost 53% of people said they felt relaxed after drinking wine, and almost 50% did after having beer.

What tastes better whiskey bourbon or Scotch? ›

In terms of bourbon vs scotch taste, scotch is more intense with a distinguishable smokiness, while bourbon is sweeter. When it comes to the alcohol content, scotch is typically stronger and often bottled at 60-75% ABV while bourbon is bottled at around 40% ABV.

Which tastes better bourbon or whiskey? ›

Bourbon has a sweeter flavor than other styles of whiskey, with notes of vanilla, oak and caramel. Of course, there's a wide variety of different flavors between bourbon brands. One expert breaks bourbons into 4 major categories: grain forward, nutmeg forward, caramel forward, and cinnamon forward.


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