7 Excellent Bottles Of American Single Malt Whiskey To Drink Now

American Single Malt Whiskey is a category well worth exploring. These bottles are a great place to start.

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Seven different bottles of American single malt whiskey
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American Single Malt Whiskey is the newest category of American Whiskey, and the one most poised for growth. Unlike Bourbon and Rye, which are distilled from corn and rye and have long-established roots in U.S. history and culture, American Single Malt is history-in-the-making. It uses malted barley in the style of Single Malt Scotch, but then layers onto that a whole new bag of tricks from this side of the pond — adopting influences ranging from Pacific Northwest craft brewing, to Japanese plum liqueur, to Mesquite wood smoke, to Blue Ridge Mountain water.

“There are no ‘good old days’ in craft distilling — it’s the best it’s ever been right now,” says Joe O’Sullivan, the Master Distiller of Clear Creek Distillery and Hood River Distillers in Oregon that made America’s first Single Malt. “The ability to start with something brand new, with wide open possibilities –– we get to experience that in American Single Malt now.”

American Single Malt Whiskey only dates back to the early 1990’s, making it an infant spirit compared to Bourbon, which emerged in the U.S. more than a century earlier. The definition of American Single Malt currently working its way through legal approval is that it be made from 100% malted barley and distilled at one distillery. The barley can be imported, but the mash, distillation, and maturation (specifically in oak barrels) must take place in the U.S., with additional parameters for barrel size, proof and ABV.

American Single Malt Whiskey is a genre worth exploring. Whether you’re coming into American Single Malt as a Scotch drinker, a Bourbon drinker, a craft beer drinker, or even a Japanese whisky drinker, there’s something just for you among these seven whiskies.

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