Whisky is a drink that takes a brave palate and discerning taste to enjoy it.
If you are among those who love to get a good sip of the finest brands out today. Listed below are 20 of the best brands that have been flying off the racks based on the data gathered by a Chicago-based market research firm, Information Resources, Inc (IRI).
1. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky is so popular that when one mentions whisky, this is the first thing that comes to mind. Under the law, this type of whisky should be aged inside new, charred oak barrels. This has been challenged when there came to be a shortage in oak barrels this year forcing some brand owners to reconsider the rules by allowing them to use used barrels.
However, Brown Forman, the owner of this iconic brand, lobbied to maintain that brand of quality. This explains why the brand remains to be of premium quality, which caused it to earn a very impressive $204,843,429 with a regular bottle priced at $20.38.
2. Crown Royal North American Whisky
This brand is definitely one of the most loved and best selling brands in the world. A taste of this drink immediately reveals why it has its loyal band of avid drinkers. On the nose, this drink has vanilla and caramel notes minus the alcoholic burn usually found in most whiskies. With a medium body, this drink is also light enough for mixing. It has a slightly sherried sweetness with hints of oak and brown sugar rounding out the flavour profile.
Crown Royal also has subtle hints of spice, chocolate and toasted oak making it highly recommended, especially for anyone who is looking for a smooth and classic Canadian whisky. A regular bottle goes for $23.24, which is why it earned an eye popping $173,478,779.
3. Jim Beam North American Whisky
Jim Beam prides itself for being a product of generations of fine craftsmanship given to every bottle. This beautiful blend is composed of a corn, malt, rye, barley, water on top of time and pride. A bottle costs $14.14, and with a very astounding following, they reached a total sales of $116,761,486.
This drink is aged in oak barrels for four years to create that smooth, mellow taste, which gives it that perfect hint of spice. It is not fancy, but it is definitely a solid brand to go for.
4. Fireball Whisky Specialties
This whisky originated from Canada in a whopping 66 proof, but it comes off more like liqueur or schnapps. This drink has been a popular choice in college bars thanks to its cinnamon and earthy flavours. Many find it to be an excellent choice for mixers, which is why keeping a bottle with you definitely comes in handy when you just need that soothing sip every once in a while.
Even at $11.01 a bottle, this drink reached an astounding $85,985,376.
5. Seagram’s 7 Crown North American Whisky
Seagram 7 is dubbed to be old school whisky that has a lot of flavours to surprise the palate. It first enchants you with herbal, honey, cola nut and caramel aromas. It has a smooth and delicate taste and a finish that has notes of cedar and brown spice. Typically, this drink is mixed with non-alcoholic beverages, such as cola and lemon lime to name a few. Seagram 7 raked in $66,510,496 in sales with a regular bottle costing $10.05 each.
6. Jameson Irish Whisky
This is a smooth triple distilled whisky with a full and floral nose and a hint of sweetness. It also has a thick palate with notes of orchard fruits and vanilla cream and it commences with a medium-length finish of honey and spice. Many find this to be a very good bottle for beginners and an excellent staple for your daily sip. A bottle goes for $23.07, which earned it a slamming $66,244,362.
7. Black Velvet North American Whisky
Whether enjoyed on the rocks or mixed, this brand is definitely great value when it comes to Canadian whisky. Black Velvet is considered to be a very approachable brand as it is smooth, light and very affordable. Today, the brand introduces several new flavours, which remains to be testaments to the fine quality whisky that it is. At $7.74 a bottle, Black Velvet earned an impressive $60,093,664.
8. Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky
Johnnie Walker is often equated to premium blend whisky and that is because it has that characteristic complex flavour. This brand boasts of 40 single malts and grain whiskies that are each aged for at least 12 years.
Johnnie Walker delights the palate by adding sweetness, a hint of smokiness, hints of butter notes and a mouthwatering blend of flavours. It has a semi-dry finish, which retains that balanced smokiness that is just enough to tingle the taste buds to let you crave for more. Just as sleek as its packaging, this brand definitely exudes elegance even to the last drop. A bottle costs $24.85, and its total sales reached a total of $59,302,628.
9. Maker’s Mark North American Whisky
This drink comes in a distinctive squarish bottle that is sealed in red wax. Compared to the other brands mentioned before, this is considered to be among the rising stars in the premium buorbons in the market. For those who do love their buorbon, they will definitely agree that this is up to pitch with other excellent brands. Many believe that this is infused with a reliably delicious blend of flavours that include notes of caramel, vanilla, honey and butterscotch.
At $24.95 a bottle with glowing reviews, it’s no wonder that this brand earned $50,701,325 in sales.
10. Southern Comfort Whisky Specialties
This drink really stands to its name, as it does give that warm and soothing feeling as it goes down. Known to be one of the most famous brands in the world, this drink is made with American grain spirit and peaches. It also makes as an excellent and affordable mixer for casual parties. A 750 ml bottle could go for $14.04 and it bagged a total of $42,547,903 in sales.
11. Evan William’s North American Whisky
Another brand with decades to its name and a throng of avid drinkers, Evan and Williams is also a name not foreign to rewards and accolades. It is considered to be among the top volume brands of American whisky. A regular bottle costs $9.73 and reached a total sales of $42,306,580. For Evan Williams, their Black Label comes in a characteristic deep vanilla and cherry, and it is also smoother than their green labels.
12. Jack Daniel’s Whisky Specialties
Jack Daniel’s Whisky is among the most popular brands that is a common fixture even in home bars. This drink is definitely a good daily treat best enjoyed on the rocks. It gives that oaky flavour with tones that is redolent of sweet caramel and spiced honey culminating in a slightly sharp finish. A bottle goes for an average of $8.61 raking in a total of $39,140.360.
13. Canadian Mist North American Whisky
This brand prides itself for having nature’s bounty become a significant part in creating this whisky. It is considered to be one of the world’s finest whiskys that is made from the fresh water of the Georgian Bay. This brand is known for its vanilla-chocolate aromas with notes of nut fudges and polenta revealed in a light to medium body.
It also gives a subtle sweetness with hints of dark fruit, caramel and vanilla. It closes with a refined and clean finish. A regular bottle costs $8.61. And with the huge following of avid drinkers, this earned them a cool $39,140,360.
14. Dewar’s White Label
This is one of those brands that boasts of a century old practice of exquisite rum. It gives a nose that is reminiscent of apple, peach, honey and wood. It also graces the palate with flavours, such as toffee, oak, vanilla fudge and a hint of smokiness. It has a good finish characterized by honeyed sweetness and cut herbs.
Many fell in love with its beautiful balance of sweetness that is both light and unimposing. A $750 ml bottle goes for a price of $17.12. And for this year, it earned a total sales of $30,943,950.
15. Canadian Club North American whisky
Known to be among the giant names in Canadian whisky, this drink is aged for six years to really infuse the flavours. This attracted a large following making this brand one of the top earners as it reached a total of $30,071,660 in sales. A 750 ml bottle goes for only $9.66 and it treats you to a mild and sweet taste that is redolent of rye, molasses and a hint of dark rum. Great on its own, but it also blends perfectly with other drinks for cocktails.
16. Kessler American Blended Whisky
This brand goes way back to the 18th century with a taste that is definitely for the books. This drink is most known for its smoothness, which is what they continually pride in their slogan – “Smooth as Silk”. A lot find this to be a good everyday man’s whisky. It is smooth on the palate without an unpleasant aftertaste.
To assure you of its quality, you can find Mr. Kessler’s photo and signature on every bottle. This means that the drink is distilled exactly according to the standards that is exacted way back. At $7.44, this drink is definitely a good steal and many are agreeing so as it earned the brand a whopping $29,819,678.
17. Seagram’s VO North American Whisky
The 17th spot is nabbed by this Canadian brand, which earned a total of $22,987,854 in the past year. At $11.98 for a regular 750 ml bottle, this whisky aged for at least 6 years is considered to be a classic treat after meals. It has a nose that is reminiscent of lemon curd, oak, dried apricot and spicy rye grains. And it caresses the palate with its medium body hinted with honey, coffee and caramel with a touch of panacotta and orange marmalade.
It has also a medium length finish that is both spicy and sweet.
18. Wild Turkey 101
Recipient of the Editor’s Choice award from the Whisky Magazine, Wild Turkey 101 is a balanced and robust drink that doesn’t disappoint. It is considered to be among the best sub-premium drinks in the market, as it is filled to the brim with rich flavours. It has rich notes of caramel, toasty oak and melted vanilla ice cream with a hint of zesty citrus.
It is also a versatile beverage, as it holds itself excellently on its own and also amazing in cocktails. This party of flavors reached a total sales of $20,814,088 priced at $20.42 for every 750 ml bottle.
19. Rich and Rare North American Whisky
Another Canadian whisky made its way into the top 20. It earned a lot of satisfied nods with its sweet aromas of vanilla buttercream, mocha and praline. It creates a soft and brisk entry that reveals a dry light to medium body. It also gives a smooth and oily texture and a pleasant mixing style. At $7.19 for a 750 ml bottle, you are really getting more than your money’s worth, which garnered it a total sales of $20,347,670.
Windsor is one of the long running Canadian Whisky brands that is also exported to the US market. It is a light and easy drink that is best enjoyed straight up. But mixing it has also impressed avid drinkers, as it definitely goes down smooth. Many find this to be agreeable because it gives a mellow taste minus the hangover.
The price is also something to beat as a 750 ml bottle goes for an affordable $7.14. This raked in a total sales of $18,951,542.