Last Updated on June 26, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Are you a fan of whiskey’s intense and bold flavors or one of those whiskey drinkers that enjoy drinking it neat? If you’ve answered yes for both, then a smooth whiskey is perfect for you!
But what is the smoothest whiskey? We’re here to help you out.
Table of Contents
Top 15 Smoothest Whiskey You Can Drink Straight
1. Auchentoshan 21 Year Old
This single malt whisky has been triple-distilled and aged in American and Spanish sherry barrels for over two decades. It’s filled with flavors of gooseberry, honey, and creamy vanilla.
Auchentoshan’s signature smooth, delicate relish is also featured in this spirit. At first sip, you can get the light chocolate and green fruit taste with hints of old oak and sweets. Its finish is long-lasting with a real depth of character.
2. Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask
The Balvenie Caribbean Cask is a 14-year-old single malt whisky aged in traditional oak barrels. It was then finished in barrels previously used for Caribbean rum. The acquired taste of the spirit from the aging process features rich, creamy, and sweet toffee with hints of fresh fruits on the nose.
Also, this spirit features vanilla and sweet oak with fruity notes as you drink forward. You’ll surely love its soft and lingering finish– ideal for drinking whiskey neat.
3. Bushmills 21 Year Old
Bushmills 21-Year-Old is an Irish whiskey aged in former Oloroso Sherry casks and Bourbon-seasoned barrels for a minimum of 19 years. It then gets transferred to new Madeira casks for the final two years.
The tasting notes boast dark chocolate, nuts, toffee, and raisins. You can expect sweet, mint, and syrupy pipe tobacco on the finish. However, you may find it hard to get this excellent bottle as this is produced in limited numbers.
4. Crown Royal
This classic Canadian whisky is one of the highly recommended spirits if you’re looking for a smooth and more traditional whiskey. It is versatile and ideal for drinking straight, neat, or on the rocks, perfect for cocktails.
On the nose, it features caramel and light vanilla note. It offers an elegant bouquet with undertones of lemon zest and pound cake. You’ll love its long finish complemented with spice, toasted oak, and chocolate.
5. Glen Moray Elgin Classic
This medium bright gold whisky features light, fresh, nutty, and fruity on the nose. On the palate, you can get the flavors of gentle oak with citrus, lemon sponge, walnut, and grist. Then the tangy citrus and spicy fruitcake will linger on the finish.
Our spirit experts recommend putting a drop of plain water to make its flavors come out even more. This drink is perfect for unwinding, like watching a film or relaxing by the fire.
6. Glenlivet 12 Year Old
This 12-year-old double-matured single malt Scotch whisky from Glenlivet distillery is aged in American oak barrels. It imparts notes of sweetness and gives it its distinctive taste. With a mash bill of malted barley, this single malt whisky has a rich and creamy palate with a smooth finish.
Its delicate balance of dried apple and pineapple notes makes it a perfect gift for any special occasion or to treat yourself as an everyday dram to drink straight.
7. Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare
This 18-year-old Scotch whisky was made from American white oak and Oloroso sherry casks. It has a thick, fruity, and creamy flavor with the beautiful and elegant bottle, making it look prestigious.
The palate is tropical and creamy with hints of butterscotch, peaches, and yogurt, which may spice up your drinking whiskey experience. Then its finish features tangy oak and grapefruit with plenty of caramelized dark sugar on top.
8. George Dickel Bottled In Bond
George Dickel Bottled in Bond is a Tennessee whisky perfect for drinking straight. You can expect the many flavors resulting from its 11-year aging process. The drink is filtered with maple charcoal and maple syrup, adding a smooth and creamy taste.
After it has aged, it produces a distinct scent that can be identified by the presence of candied pecans. This fruit drink has a distinctive flavor with a combination of cinnamon spice, blood orange, and honey.
9. Jameson Irish Whiskey
Jameson, a world leader in Irish whiskey, is a traditional pot-still and grain spirit aged in American oak barrels. You can expect a light floral fragrance with spicy wood, freshly cut hay, and sweet notes as you drink straight.
The taste boasts a perfect balance of spiciness and nutty notes with hints of sherry, giving it a smooth and versatile flavor. Also, you can expect an exceptionally smooth finish with bites of spice and fruits.
10. Knappogue Castle 1995
Distilled at Bushmills Distillery in 1995, this drink is a superb classic Irish single malt whiskey. This whiskey is very aromatic with interesting notes of baked apple, barley sugar, honey, and boiled sweets. It also features a touch of pepper, caramel, and oak.
The palate boasts creamy sweetness with tropical fruit, biscuits, berry compote, and malted barley. The medium to short finish has notes of spice and dried fruits.
11. Laphroaig 10 Year Old
This smooth whisky from Laphroaig Distillery possesses the flavors of peat smoke and salt. The smoky aroma gives this drink a unique feel with hints of seaweed and sweetness. You’ll be surprised with its sweetness and its long and lingering finish.
Aged in ex-Bourbon barrels, it features a distinctive taste, which you can enjoy neat or with ice. This is a staple choice if you’re new to Scottish whisky. The rich flavor and character of this drink make it an ideal choice for both novices and seasoned fans.
12. Redbreast 12 Year Old
This best-selling single-pot whiskey features the traditional blend’s complex flavors. This drink is matured in a combination of American and European cask finishes, a delight to behold. This cask-strength whiskey features high alcohol content, adding intensity to its flavors.
This drink is made from malted and unmalted barley and boasts a spicy and fruity palate with toasted barley and wood notes. The balance of spice, sweetness, and toasted notes, makes a silky smooth whiskey with satisfying long, complex flavors that linger on the mouth.
13. The GlenDronach Allardice
If you’re a fan of fruity notes, the GlenDronach Allardice is for you. This Scotch whisky has been aged for 18 years and has a variety of flavors such as pineapple, rum, and brown sugar.
Unlike other types of whiskey, this drink is not aged in a Bourbon cask. Instead, it’s been stored in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. This whisky ensures that the drink has a smooth and creamy consistency.
14. Tomintoul 14 Year Old
The natural environment and the smooth ingredients used in Tomintoul 14 Year Old make it an ideal choice if you seek a gentle and smooth experience. This mellow and smooth drink has an inviting aroma full of sweetness with hints of orchard fruits and creme brulee.
You can taste the chopped almonds mixed with Danish cinnamon, citrus oil, and oat biscuits on the palate. Also, you’ll enjoy the warming, toasty layers of hazelnuts, mocha, and fresh grassy highlights on the finish.
15. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
When it comes to the smoothest whiskeys, no one would forget the Woodford Reserve American whiskey. Woodford Reserve distillery introduces this unique whiskey blend featuring over 200 distinct flavor notes, including bold grain, wood, sweet aromatics, and fruit and floral notes.
The finish is silky smooth, with a creamy feeling at first and a lingering warmth as it develops. The unique flavor breakdown of this bottle reflects its diverse tasting notes, giving you a unique experience in every sip.
What Makes Whiskey Smooth?
Whiskey can be smooth due to its soft texture, sweet flavor, the grains used for distillation, and the blending process. Also, high-proof whiskeys are known to achieve lightness. They have a higher proof during the final distillation stage, which results in a more mild flavor. But, expect a strong alcohol content.
Also, maturation  and filtration are essential factors that make a whiskey smooth. For instance, if whiskey is aged in oak casks, it becomes softer as it ages.
How To Drink It
Choose Your Whiskey Glass
Choose a not-so-wide glass to contain the aroma to fully enjoy your drinking whiskey experience. We suggest using Glencairn Crystal whiskey glass as it can perfectly hold the spirit’s smell.
Swirl The Whiskey
After pouring some whiskey into the glass, carefully swirl it to prevent it from getting spilled. This helps enhance the drink’s flavor and prevents it from getting too wet.
Don’t Add Ice
Don’t dilute your drink with water or ice if you want to drink straight. Instead, use smooth whiskey or any other type of liquor that you have picked.
Let It Rest
After stirring, let the drink rest for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors to blend and enhance the experience.
Take A Sip
After about 10 minutes, take a sniff. If you can still smell alcohol, it’s normal. Then, open your mouth and try to breathe in. You’ll taste different types of fruit and spices.
Which type of whiskey is smoothest?
Blended whiskey is the smoothest because, like blended scotch, it’s made by mixing malt whiskey and grain whiskey. The result is a more approachable and smooth spirit that most drinkers recognize.
What is the smoothest whiskey for beginners?
The smoothest whiskey for beginners is the Auchentoshan 21 Year Old. Its savory flavor with fruity, oak, and chocolate is perfect for beginners, whose not accustomed to strong spices.
A drink’s smoothness is a perception, not a definite quality. This is how much of a burn you experience when you consume it. But, speaking of smoothness, we recommend the Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon whiskey aside from Auchentoshan 21 Year Old. Both possess the quality, texture, and character a smooth whiskey should have.
If drinking straight is your forte, then smooth whiskey is the way to go.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.