Pouring a glass of whisky
15 Best Whiskeys For Beginner Enthusiasts
Maker's Mark
The Kentucky Straight Bourbon from Maker's Mark uses wheat instead of rye, along with corn and barley, which give it a sweeter and more mellow flavor than its rivals.
At 90-proof, it's beginner-friendly, and the palate has a touch of spice, with classic bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla. You also get some fruits with a pleasant mouthfeel.
Buffalo Trace
Buffalo Trace is beloved for its good value. It's only a bit costlier than budget offerings but has more taste and versatility with a smooth, mellow character.
Offering plenty of complexity, it blends dominant bourbon notes like orchard fruits and toffee. It has the rich and deep flavors of an expensive bourbon with a long finish.
Basil Hayden
At 80-proof, Basil Hayden is one of the best low-proof bourbons that offers a taste of a higher-quality whiskey but with a mild and approachable character.
It's smooth and has a light body, making it beginner-friendly, with plenty of depth coming from a high rye percentage of 27%. It gives this drink a balance of sweetness and spice.
Black Label
Jonnie Walker Black Label is a blended Scotch whisky, a mix of single malt and grain whiskies made in Scotland, which offers more depth and flavor than budget offerings.
The blend of whiskies gives it a well-rounded character, with a profile of smokiness, rich malt, and subtle sweetness. It's great for sipping neat or making high-quality cocktails.
Glenfiddich 12-Year
Glenfiddich 12-year is a single malt made from malted barley. As an affordable aged single malt, it's a great starting point for trying a higher-quality scotch.
It offers notes of pear and apple and a hint of floral sweetness. The palate is smooth and mellow, with plenty of vanilla adding a gentle complexity without being overwhelming.