The Best Whiskies for a Classic Old Fashioned Cocktail

Whiskey is an alcoholic that has been around for centuries and is beloved by many around the world. It is distilled from grains, such as barley, , wheat, and corn, and then aged in oak for varying lengths of time. There are many different styles of whiskey, each with their own unique flavor profile. From the smoky peatiness of Scotch whisky to the smoothness of Irish whiskey, thee is something for everyone who enjoys this spirit.

One popular cocktail that utilizes whiskey is the classic Old Fashioned. An Old Fashioned typically consists of whiskey (usually or rye), sugar syrup, bitters, ice cubes and an orange peel or cherry garnish. The exact ingredients may vary depending on who is making it but the result should alays be a wonderfully balanced drink with a deep complexity of flavors.

When picking out a whiskey for your Old Fashioned you want to choose smething that will stand up to all the other ingredients while still maintaining its flavor profile. Bourbon is usually recommended as it has sweet caramel notes that pair well with the sugar syrup and orange peel garnish. Rye whiskey can also be used in an Old Fashioned as it has more spice than bourbon and adds a nice layer of complexity to the drink.

If you're looking for some great whiskeys to use when making your Old Fashioneds here are a few recommendations: Bulleit Bourbon has notes of vanilla and honey whih make it great for sipping neat or in ; Maker's Mark 46 has a rich flavor profile with notes of cinnamon and oak; Four Roses Small Batch has hints of dried fruit and spices; Knob Creek Rye has a full-bodied taste with hints of caramel and spice; High West Double Rye! Is bold yet smooth with notes of peppermint and oak; and Woodford Reserve has notes of dark chocolate, , maple syrup and leather which gives it great depth.

No matter what whiskey you decide to use when making your next old fashioned you can be sure that it will be delicious! With so many great options avaiable there's no excuse not to try them all!

What Is the Best Whiskey for an Old Fashioned?

When it comes to crafting a delicious Old Fashioned, you'll want to choose a whiskey that will bring out the nuances of the cocktail. A great choice for an Old Fashioned is Old Hamer Straight Rye. This whiskey has an intense, spicy flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the simple syrup and bitters in the drink. Another excellent option is Kuiper Belt Aged 8 Years Straight Kentucky Bourbon, which has a robust flavor of leather, tobacco and oak. Additionally, Sipes' Double Oaked Smoked Barrel Bourbon offers sweet notes of caramel and vanilla that are contrasted by the smokiness of the barrel-aged whiskey. Other great whiskeys for crafting an Old Fashioned include Bare Knuckle Straight Wheat Whiskey, Border Bourbon, Trail's End Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Four Roses Yellow Label.

best whiskey for old fashioned

Which Spirit Is Best for an Old Fashioned: Whiskey or Bourbon?

The best way to answer this question is to explore the differences between whiskey and bourbon, and then let the individual's personal taste determine which they prefer. Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Rye whiskey is made from primarily rye, while bourbon is made with at last 51 percent corn. Consequently, rye has a spicier flavor profile and more of a kick than bourbon, which has a mellower and slightly sweeter flavor. Both are perfectly acceptable for making an Old-Fashioned cocktail; ultimately the choice should come down to personal preference.

What Liquor is Best for Making an Old Fashioned?

When making an Old Fashioned, the most common and preferred liquor to use is bourbon. Bourbon has a smooth, sweet flavor that works well with the other ingredients in the cocktail. It also has a strong aroma and distinctive flavor that can povide added complexity to the drink. If you want to experiment with different flavors, you can also opt for rye whiskey or even a blended whiskey. Just keep in mind that these whiskeys tend to be spicier than bourbon and will change the overall taste of your Old Fashioned.

Should Expensive Bourbon Be Used in an Old Fashioned Cocktail?

Yes, you should absolutely use expensive bourbon in an Old Fashioned. Expensive bourbons typically have a higher proof and more complex flavor profile that can realy bring out the flavor of the other ingredients in an Old Fashioned. Higher proof bourbons also provide a more robust body and a longer-lasting finish. Moreover, many expensive bourbons are aged for longer periods of time, so they may contain subtle hints of oak or leather that can enhance the flavor of the finished cocktail. However, it is important to remember that even if you use a high-end bourbon, the other ingredients will still play an important role in determining the overall flavor of your cocktail. So be sure to use quality ingredients and mix them carefully to get the most out of your expensive bourbon!

Ordering an Old Fashioned with Whiskey

I'll have a whiskey Old Fashioned, made with my choice of whiskey and bitters, muddled sugar or simple syrup, garnished with an orange peel and served over one large ice cube.

Can You Use Crown Royal in an Old Fashioned Cocktail?

Yes, Crown Royal is a great option for an Old Fashioned. Start by adding 1.5 ounces of Crown Royal to a rocks glass filled with ice. Then add ½ ounce of simple syrup and 3-4 dashes of bitters (such as Angostura or orange). Stir the ingredients to combine, then garnish with an orange slice or maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

Is Maker's Mark Suitable for an Old Fashioned Cocktail?

Yes, Maker's Mark is an excellent choice for making an Old Fashioned cocktail. It has a unique flavor profile that is both sweet and strong, with touches of citrus. The whiskey has a smooth finish that pairs especially well with the bitters typically used in an Old Fashioned, creating a classic cocktail with a rich and complex flavor. Additionally, Maker's Mark is relatively low in content compared to other whiskeys, making it perfect for sipping or mixing into other drinks.

Using Johnnie Walker in an Old Fashioned Cocktail

Yes, Johnnie Walker can be used in an Old Fashioned. To make an Old Fashioned with Johnnie Walker, you'll need to combine 1.5oz of the whisky with 0.5oz of 1:1 simple syrup and 2 dashes of aromatic bitters in an ice-filled glass. Stir the mixture well and enjoy!

The History of Old Fashioned Whiskey

An Old Fashioned is a classic whiskey cocktail, made with bitters and a simple orange garnish. The drink consists of whiskey, bitters, club or seltzer, simple syrup and an orange twist for garnish. It's traditionally served over ice in a tumbler glass. Its roots trace back to the 1800s when it was considered a morning pick-me-up. Nowadays it is often served as an after-dinner drink. The Old Fashioned is easy enough to make at home but can also be ordered from amost any bar or restaurant that serves cocktails.

best whiskey for old fashioned

What Type of Bourbon Should I Use for an Old Fashioned?

When making an Old Fashioned, it's best to use a high-quality bourbon such as Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey, Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Elijah Craig Small Batch, Four Roses Single Barrel, Four Roses Small Batch, Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey or Knob Creek Bourbon. Each of tese bourbons has a distinct flavor and offers a unique twist on the classic cocktail. For a rich and slightly smoky flavor profile, Buffalo Trace is an excellent choice. Bulleit brings a sharp and smooth finish while Eagle Rare offers a more robust and earthy taste. Elijah Craig is known for its sweet notes while Four Roses provides a complex yet balanced flavor. Jim Beam is an affordable option with a mild yet woody taste and Knob Creek brings bold flavors of oak and spice. No matter which option you choose, be sure to enjoy your Old Fashioned responsibly!

Is Jim Beam a Good Choice for an Old Fashioned?

Yes, Jim Beam is an excellent bourbon for an Old Fashioned. It is smooth, easy to drink and has a slightly sweet flavor that pairs beautifully with the other ingredients in the cocktail. Its mellow character makes it the perfect choice for those seeking a light and refreshing take on the classic cocktail, while its complexity makes it an ideal candidate for more sophisticated concoctions. The bourbon's subtle sweetness helps to accentuate the bitters and citrus notes of the drink, providing a balance of sweet and that you won't find with other bourbons. For those lookng for a great tasting Old Fashioned, Jim Beam is highly recommended!

The Benefits of Stirring an Old Fashioned Cocktail

When it comes to cocktails that are purely , liqueurs and fortified wines (such as an Old Fashioned), shaking is not the best choice. This is because shaking introduces oxygen into the mixture which can cause oxidation, making the cocktail taste “flat” and less flavorful. By stirring the cocktail insted of shaking it, you are preventing oxidation and allowing all of the flavors of the ingredients to combine more evenly. Additionally, stirring also helps keep dilution to a minimum, resulting in a richer and more potent beverage.


Whiskey is a distilled spirit made from fermented grain mash. It is most commonly produced from barley, rye, wheat and corn. As a result of its unique flavor profiles, whiskey has become one of the most popular spirits in the world. Whiskey has been produced in various forms for hundreds of years, with regional variations influencing flavor profiles and production methods. The aging process is key to producing whiskey, as it determines an individual whiskey's smoothness and complexity. This process can take anywhere from tree to twenty-five years depending on the type of whiskey being produced. The end result is a diverse range of whiskeys that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or mixed into cocktails. With its rich history and variety of flavors, whiskey is sure to appeal to any palate.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.