Best Whiskeys for Making Old-Fashioneds and Manhattans

When you decide to take the time to make a classic cocktail, you want to use the best spirit for the job. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best whiskeys for making old-fashioneds and Manhattans so that you can do the job right. Take some notes, and indulge in a whiskey treat after dinner tonight.

The Manhattan

Made of rye whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and topped off with a maraschino cherry, the Manhattan oozes sophistication. We aren’t sure if it’s the delicate Manhattan glassware that does it or simply the name, but a refined drink deserves a refined whiskey.

Rye is the traditional choice for a Manhattan. Here are three ryes that work fabulously:

  1. FEW Rye: Respected for its Manhattan cocktail abilities, you’ll find fruity notes, such as apple and pear, in the aroma. The tasting notes include unripe banana and candied orange peel. The finish is perfectly spicy, with hints of orange.
  2. Rittenhouse Rye: With its deep mahogany color, Rittenhouse has an aroma of toffee and dried fruits and leaves your tongue wanting more as it finishes off with a lingering taste of maple and spices.
  3. Sazerac Rye: The notes start with the aromas of orange and clove, then move onto the tastebuds with rich flavors of molasses, apricot, and vanilla. Finally, the finish is spicy but not too spicy, as you’ll also taste sweetness, reminding you of dark fruit.

The Old-Fashioned

Even though it dates back to the 1880s, the old-fashioned is back and, dare we say, trendy? Connoisseurs of all ages are enjoying it, and the best bars and restaurants have the proof on their menus. Bourbon or rye are the preferred options for a traditional old-fashioned, mixed with bitters, simple syrup, Luxardo cherries, and the oil of an orange peel rubbed on the rim before adding it to the glass. With so many wonderful bourbons and ryes, it’s tough to choose, but we’ve tried to narrow it down to three choices:

  1. Angel’s Envy Rye: It’s one of the smoothest ryes out there and is known to leave its fans in awe of the velvety feeling on their tongue. Angel’s Envy has an aroma of citrus, caramel, and vanilla. The palate notes like a port and oak, and the finish is beyond smooth with just the right amount of spice.
  2. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon: This bourbon has a nutty smell, along with caramel and chocolate. The palate enjoys sweet vanilla, cherry, licorice, and cinnamon. The finish introduces flavors of honey, mint, citrus, and apple.
  3. Buffalo Trace Bourbon: Known for its beautiful, deep amber color, Buffalo Trace’s notes begin with a layered aroma of vanilla, molasses, and mint, followed by a wonderful experience for the palate with tastes of brown sugar and dark fruits. Many describe Buffalo Trace as a solid bourbon with a finish that’s smooth and long.

So there you have it; the best whiskeys for making old-fashioneds and Manhattans. Any of these six makes for a wise addition to your liquor collection, and you can enjoy them neat as well. When searching for the best, VS liquor is the trusted source for rare and hard-to-find liquor. Contact us or browse our online shop, where you can buy rare whiskey online, as well as many other spirits.