As more cities and states throughout the United States (and around the world) are locking down, mandating that people only venture outside for legitimate emergencies, it makes sense that the whiskey drinkers of the world would want to stock up for the potential weeks of isolation in front of them. But that begs the question: what’s the best whiskey to stock up on?
If you’re like me, then you’ve got a few bottles of relatively good stuff on your shelves right now. Which is great in general, but you’re not going to be happy if you have to resort to using your expensive bottle of Lagavulin for a Kentucky Mule. You might appreciate having some choices in your selection, and at least one whiskey that you don’t mind using as a general-purpose booze.
In my opinion, there are three considerations:
First, you want something that’s a good generalist. Whiskey can come in all shapes and flavors, and there are some varieties that might have a distinct flavor profile that lends itself only to one specific kind of cocktail. Or, like the Lagavulin I mentioned, is really only acceptable when sipped neat. You’re going to want something that has enough flavors to contribute to the cocktail without going overboard.
Second, you’re going to want something that’s mass produced. Batch production whiskey, even when it isn’t that expensive, makes me a little sad when used in a less than ideal setting. Making a Kentucky Mule with Tahwahkaro is delicious, but makes me sad for all the effort that the distillers went to for something so unique to wind up used for something so mundane. In short: you’re going to want a whiskey you don’t care about mixing.
Last but not least, you want something cheap. If you’re stocking up you’re probably going to want a couple bottles at the very least, if not a couple good litres of the stuff. So getting something that’s easy on the wallet is paramount.
For me, there was only one whiskey that fit all those categories: Evan Williams Black Label.
All on it’s own, this is a solid bourbon. Good flavors that are the epitome of a sweet and delicious bourbon, but not so overwhelming that they don’t mix well. This whiskey is also mass produced, meaning that I’m not sad when I reach the last drop. And, of course, it’s damn near dirt cheap.
That’s just my selection, though. Your mileage and preference may vary. Feel free to chime in down in the comments section with your preference!