What Is The Best Type Of Whiskey? - Exclusive Survey

The grand world of whiskey can be a truly intimidating one to explore. There are so many great expressions of this distilled spirit on the market that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Part of the reason for this great variety no doubt relates back to the drink's long history.

According to The Scotch Whisky Experience, the earliest recorded mentions of whisky come from Scotland around the 1500s. Whiskey, or "aquavitae" as it was often called then, was so integral to the Scottish culture at the time that it was often included in rent payments. From Scotland though the drink would travel. The Distilled Spirits Council reports that this practice of whiskey-making would later spread to the colonies in the Americas as more Scots-Irish came to settle there. Dekanta says that Scottish inspiration would once again strike in Japan where brands like Suntory would produce their first whiskeys as well.

As whiskey traveled it took on its own influences and became an expression of each place that it settled. This created a massive variety of whiskeys that can help an experienced bartender (or home bartender) to spice up a whiskey sour, or just craft a standard old fashioned cocktail recipe.

We wanted to know what readers considered the best type of whiskey, so Daily Meal surveyed 626 of them to find out which of these spirits stands above the rest.

Bourbon whiskey is number 1

One of the things that makes whiskey so interesting is that its definition is fairly broad. White On Rice Couple says that a simple description of whiskey is distilled beer, and just like beer, whiskey can have a huge variety of ingredients used. It would seem that many Daily Meal readers prefer their whiskey on the sweeter side though, as 44% of respondents chose bourbon whiskey as their favorite.

The Manual says that Bourbon whiskey is an exclusively American spirit that requires a minimum of 51% of the mash bill to use corn. This gives whiskey a far sweeter taste than some of its competitors. Standing in contrast to bourbon both in flavor and in the survey standings is Rye. It was chosen as the least favorite with only 40 votes, and this may be due to its spicier flavor profile.

Coming in second and third place were the original progenitors of whiskey. Scotch whisky took home 26% of the vote, and was followed up by Ireland's version of the drink with 13%. The only remaining category was Japanese whiskey which only earned 8% of the vote to come in fourth place.