Got a thirst for whiskey? Here are four must-have brands you need to try

You don’t have to look very far to find whiskey lovers. Not only are global spirit sales up across the board, but there are currently more than 20 countries producing whiskey (America and Ireland spelling) and whisky (Scotland, Canada, and Japan spelling) while offering over 500 different brands. And they all feature their own style, character, and flavor.

From light and fresh to bold and smoky, there’s a whiskey or whisky out there with your name on it. And now that it’s summertime, it’s high time to shine a great big light on four must-have brands you need to try now.

1. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

This should really be no surprise. Jack Daniel’s is the top-selling American whiskey in the world and a go-to classic for farmers and ranchers everywhere. For more than 150 years, old No. 7 has been charcoal mellowed drop by drop and is the perfect drink for any at-home occasion — even if you simply need to wind down after a long day of baling hay.

2. Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

Somewhere in between notable brands such as Johnnie Walker, Seagram’s, Southern Comfort, Jameson, and Jim Beam is the quintessential needle in a haystack: Black Velvet Canadian Whisky. If it has velvet in the name, you’ve got a bottle of whiskey with a smooth and balanced flavor. This brand has been around for 65 years and comes in Original, Reserve, and Toasted Caramel flavor.

3. Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey

The name alone says, “Sign me up!” Available in 81 and 101 proof, this brand of real Kentucky whiskey has won many U.S. and national awards and is known for its rich, russet color and unmistakable blend of flavors that are hot, spicy, with nice hints of oak and honey. With so much punch packed into a single bottle, you’d think Wild Turkey would feature a high price tag. But it’s actually one of several bourbons and whiskeys that retail for under $30.

4. Pendelton Whisky

Pendleton Whisky may be a Canadian blend, but it was created to honor and celebrate the spirit of the American Cowboy. A high-end whisky, its Original version has hints of vanilla, honey, butterscotch, and custard for a medium balance and smooth finish. The 80-proof 1910 version smells of nutmeg, cloves, and hints of dry apple. And, of course, the Midnight flavor features musky notes of leather with warm cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a trace of ginger. Pendleton is also a big-time rodeo sponsor, just like the Original Windmill Ceiling Fan Company.

If you’d like to learn more about some of the best whiskey and whisky from around the world, go here to see the Top 20 brands from across the country. Three of the four spirits above are on that list. Also, and this is a big one, don’t forget about the Texas Whiskey Trail. This trail, which is broken up between North Texas, Hill Country, South Texas, and the Gulf Coast, gives whiskey and whisky lovers a chance to visit some of the best distilleries in the country.

They’ve created three membership levels that give whiskey and whisky lovers an entire year to travel the trail. Throughout the year, they’ll have chances to unlock achievements and earn rewards for their pursuit of the world’s best whiskeys.

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