Liquor Laboratory

10 Best Whiskey for Highball To Elevate Your Experience (2024)

Best Whiskey For Highball

The Classic Highball is a refreshingly simple yet sophisticated cocktail that has won the hearts of many.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself pondering the perfect whiskey to elevate your Highball experience, you’re in the right place.

We’ve tried and tasted various whiskeys, and we’re here to share with you our top choices to help you find the best whiskey for Highball drinks. Read on!

Top 10 Best Whiskey for Highball

1. Suntory Hibiki Harmony Japanese Whisky

Bottle and a Glass of Suntory Hibiki Harmony Japanese Whisky

Average Price: Around $89.98/750ml (MiniBar)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV

Nose: Rose, Lychee, Caramel

Palate: Honey, Orange Peel, White Chocolate

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: Hibiki Harmony brings the elegance of Japanese whisky to any Highball glass. We like the delicate floral notes and the velvety texture, plus it’s reasonable price.

Hibiki Harmony is a must-try if you’re into a refreshing Highball cocktail. The pairing of Hibiki with water soda and ginger ale enhances its honey, orange zest, and sweet chocolate flavors.

“Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.” ~ George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright & Critic

Enchanting, flourishing, and understated, that’s how we can describe Hibiki Harmony overall. It’s an essence of luxury from the esteemed Suntory Distillery.

2. Compass Box Artist’s Blend

Bottle of Compass Box Artist's Blend

Average Price: Around $45/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV

Nose: Citrus, Vanilla, Honey

Palate: Orchard Fruits, Malt, Oak

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: Compass Box Artist’s Blend adds a vibrant fruity note to a Highball cocktail. We like how it enhances the citrusy zestiness of this classic cocktail.

Besides, its balanced flavors and smooth character make it a top choice for whiskey cocktails. Its robust character ensures it maintains its presence when mixed with soda or mineral water.

Crafting Highballs with Artist’s Blend provides immense enjoyment regardless of the season. Considering the overall experience, it comes at a reasonable price.

3. Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Bottle and a Glass of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky on a Table

Average Price: Around $69.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV

Nose: Coconut, Tropical Fruits, Banana

Palate: Vanilla, Toffee, White Pepper

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky’s tropical fruitiness and creamy vanilla tones add a delightful twist to the perfect Whiskey Highball drink.

For those seeking a unique flavor profile, this whisky is a must-try. It’s a single-grain whisky that pairs best with dried fruit, chocolate, and salty snacks.

Quick Fact: Primarily crafted from corn, the whisky undergoes distillation in a Coffey still and then matures in aged casks – encompassing a range of types, including re-filled, remade, and re-charred casks originally constructed from American oak.

4. Johnnie Walker Black Label

Bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label

Average Price: Around $38/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Smoke, Fruitcake, Oak

Palate: Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Citrus

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Johnnie Walker Black Label brings a smoky and complex element to Highball cocktails, making this Scotch a fascinating choice if your favorite style is deep and complex.

This Scotch provides the flexibility to experiment with carbonated mixers, each of which can accentuate distinct nuances. Johnnie Walker has been our preferred choice for this purpose.

Although this blended expression comes at a slightly higher price than the introductory Red Label, it adds character to cocktails, elevating the experience.

5. Wild Turkey 101 Rye

Men Drinking Wild Turkey 101 Rye

Average Price: Around $35.96/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 50.5% ABV

Nose: Spices, Caramel, Citrus

Palate: Rye Spice, Vanilla, Oak

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: If you prefer a spicy kick in your Highball, stir in Wild Turkey 101 Rye whiskey. It delivers with its bold rye flavors and robust spice notes.

Give this spirit a shot in your Highball as it pairs beautifully with citrus notes or even a garnish like a slice of pear or an orange peel.

Bartender Tip: Wild Turkey 101 Rye pairs well with rum (particularly Barcardi 151), to which you can create another cocktail called “Gorilla Fart.

6. Slane Irish Whiskey

Man Holding Bottle of Slane Irish Whiskey

Average Price: Around $37/750ml (Reserve Bar)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Apple, Citrus, Vanilla

Palate: Caramel, Spice, Nutmeg

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Slane Irish Whiskey provides a touch of spice to any Highball recipe, complementing its creamy texture. It’s a budget-friendly option without compromising on taste.

Aside from a Highball, this Irish whiskey tastes great on Irish Coffee, Slane & Soda, and Espresso Martini cocktails. But it pairs best with ginger ale, adding a stir in Highballs.

Also Read:

7. Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky

Hand Holding Bottle of Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky

Average Price: Around $31.99/750ml (MiniBar)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV

Nose: Basil, Green Apple, Thyme

Palate: White Pepper, Grapefruit, Ginger

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: We like how Toki’s herbal and zesty notes add complexity to our Highball. It’s a versatile choice that pairs well with various Highball mixers.

For an exciting twist on the traditional Highball, experiment with your garnish and try to incorporate more ice and soda.

It tastes great with any non-alcoholic mixer, like ginger ale, club soda, and simple syrup. They’re a perfect combination, an excellent alternative to beer.

8. Glenmorangie X

Bottle of Glenmorangie X and a Glass on Wooden Table

Average Price: Around $39/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Peach, Apricot, Vanilla

Palate: Honey, Almond, Citrus Zest

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Glenmorangie X lends a fruity and nutty character to a Scotch Highball drink, providing a delightful twist that’s sure to please any palate.

This whisky is perfect for a Highball, as its flavors harmonize beautifully with ginger ale or any other mixer. Adding a lemon slice to the glass with ice as a garnish will add a touch of brightness.

9. Paul John Nirvana Unpeated Single Malt

Bottle and a Box of Paul John Nirvana Unpeated Single Malt

Average Price: Around $29.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Nose: Honey, Apricot, Oak

Palate: Caramel, Cereal, Green Apple

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: For a mellow and smooth Highball experience, Paul John Nirvana shines with its honeyed sweetness and hints of fruit, making it a delightful choice.

The sweetness adds flavor to the Highballs, accompanied by the luscious vanilla notes that give a twist to the classic.

This is the first we’ve tried this whisky, and it’s surprisingly good. It’s a good value whisky, considering both the quality and experience.

10. Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey

Bottle of Maker's Mark Bourbon Whiskey and a Glasses Full of Ice

Average Price: Around $29.99/750ml (MiniBar)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV

Nose: Vanilla, Caramel, Oak

Palate: Butterscotch, Spice, Toasted Oak

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Maker’s Mark’s rich and caramel-forward profile brings a comforting warmth to any Highball drink, making this bourbon [1] an excellent choice for those who love bourbon.

“Whiskey’s charm lies in its versatility, from neat sips to Highball sips, it never disappoints.” – Liquor Laboratory

Besides, this bourbon boasts a slightly higher alcohol content. So, it excels in basic cocktail preparations, imparting an additional surge of both flavor and warmth to your drink.

Note: The star rating was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each product was evaluated on its overall quality, flavor profile, complexity, smoothness, and overall enjoyment.


Is Whiskey Highball good? 

Yes, Whiskey Highballs are a delightful and refreshing cocktail known for their simplicity and versatility. It’s a classic choice that can be enjoyed on any occasion.

What’s the best Japanese whisky for Highball? 

Suntory Hibiki Harmony Japanese whisky stands out as the best whisky for a Japanese Whisky Highball. Its elegant floral notes and velvety texture complement the cocktail or tall drink perfectly.

What is a whiskey Highball made of? 

Whiskey Highballs typically consist of whiskey, crushed ice, and a pour of soda water. It’s a straightforward yet delicious combination that allows the whiskey’s flavors to shine.

What makes a good Highball?

A good Highball sip balances the flavors of the whiskey with the soda water, creating a harmonious and refreshing drink. The choice of whiskey spirit and the quality of the soda water are key factors.

Is a Highball always a whiskey? 

A Highball doesn’t always have to be whiskey. Whiskey is the most common base spirit for a Highball [2], but you can opt for another spirit like rum, gin, vodka, or tequila, depending on your preferences.

What is whiskey Highball vs whiskey Lowball? 

A Highball is a cocktail made with whiskey, soda water, and ice, served in a tall glass.
On the other hand, a whiskey Lowball is typically served in a shorter glass (rocks glass or old-fashioned glass). It contains whiskey [3], ice, and sometimes a pour of mineral water or a cube of ice.

How do you choose the best whiskey for Highball?

To choose the best whiskey (bourbon or Scotch) for a Highball, consider your flavor preferences.
If you prefer a sweeter Highball, choose whiskeys with fruity or caramel notes. For a spicier kick, go for smoky blended Scotch [4] or rye whiskeys. It’s all about personal taste.

Should I use single malt or blended whiskey for a highball?

Both single malt and blended whiskies can work well in a highball, but blended whiskies are often preferred due to their smoother and more balanced flavor profile. However, some people prefer the added complexity of a single malt in their highball.

What are some specific whiskey brands suitable for highballs?

Some popular whiskey brands for highballs include Jameson (Irish whiskey), Johnnie Walker (Scotch whisky), Suntory Toki (Japanese whisky), and Maker’s Mark (Bourbon). These brands offer a range of flavors that can complement various mixers.

Should I use a specific type of mixer for my highball?

While soda water and ginger ale are traditional mixers for highballs, you can experiment with other options like cola, lemon-lime soda, or even flavored sparkling water. The choice of mixer can influence the overall flavor profile of the drink.

Key Takeaways

To make a Whiskey Highball, your choice of spirit can make or break the drink.

Upon trying various options (from bourbon and Scotch to Irish whiskey and Japanese whisky), one spirit stands out as the ultimate choice for taking your Highball experience to the next level: Suntory Hibiki Harmony Japanese whisky.

Its delicate floral notes, silky texture, and exceptional overall quality elevate classic Highball cocktails, adding delightful and refreshing flavors that will surely please anyone’s palate.

But while Hibiki Harmony takes the top spot, don’t hesitate to explore other whiskeys on our list. Each one provides a unique flavor profile that can enhance your Highball glass in its own special way.


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