Whiskey drinkers have never had it so good. Over the past decade or so, the number of varieties has exploded, presenting tipplers with a mind-boggling array of options. You can now drink bourbon that’s aged entirely on the ocean, a truly kick-ass rye, or Japanese single malts that beat the Scots in blind taste tests. All this poses a serious — if highly welcome — dilemma: What the hell should I drink? Fear not: Men’s Journal is on the case. In addition to putting our own taste buds to work, we recruited 18 top experts (listed here) from the wide world of whiskey — writers, bartenders, restaurateurs (and in some cases, all three) — who have collectively sampled over 1,000 bottles. Somehow, we narrowed them down to these 50, most of which can be found at any good liquor store and none of which should fail to please. So whether you’re looking for massive peat smoke for a frigid winter night, an easy weekend sipper on the rocks, or a budget bourbon for a pitcher of Old Fashioneds, we’ve got the perfect bottle for you.
Bushmills Black Bush Whiskey
This spicy blend is a favorite of Jack McGarry, a co-owner of The Dead Rabbit in New York. "Due to the heavy Sherry component,” Jack says, "the blend possesses wonderful Christmas cake notes of dried fruits and the prerequisite Christmas spices." Despite its festive wintertime flavors, its suitable for year-round consumption.
Credit: Photograph by Melissa Kirschenheiter