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The Best Whiskeys For Beer Fans, According To Bartenders

Some things were just meant to be enjoyed together. Peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, Mario and Luigibeer and whiskey? Just go with it. We’re talking about a nice pint of lager followed by a rich, malty, corn-sweet bourbon. That’s a combination we could enjoy every day of the week (if it were socially acceptable and healthy to do so).

But while we’re all about pairing whiskey with beer, we’re also in the business of helping you become a better drinker. If you’re a person who enjoys beer and not whiskey, we want to find a way to get you on board with the distilled spirit. That’s why we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the best whiskeys for beer fans.

In some cases, these are easy whiskeys to pair with beer. In others, they’re finished in beer barrels. Either way, if you’re not sold on the whiskey-beer relationship they’re sure to help you bridge the gap.

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon

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Robert Björn Taylor, bartender and assistant general manager at ARRIVE Hotels and Restaurants in Austin, Texas

Wild Turkey 101 or Buffalo Trace. Why? Because it’s easy to pair with an assortment of beers thanks to proof and taste. Also, if you wanted something for your home bar these are affordable quality whiskeys great as a sipper while drinking a great beer.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded

Meredith Barry, executive beverage chef of Angad Arts Hotel in St. Louis

Old Grand-Dad Bonded. This whiskey might low in price, but it’s high in flavor and pairs so well with beer that it definitely makes sense for fans of lagers and pilsners to stock up on it.

Glenmorangie The Original

Rebecah Hunter, bartender at The Monarch Club in Detroit

Glenmorangie “The Original” Scotch Whisky. The floral notes of this scotch are comparable to the flavors of beer hops. I would venture to say that it is just as refreshing as a tall glass of beer on a summer night. Just pour over a single cube, sip, enjoy.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition

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Eva Al-Gharaballi, bartender at Datz in St. Petersburg, Florida

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition is an exciting twist on the flavors of a traditional Irish whiskey. This concoction of Jameson adds light citrus and hops flavor with a smooth mouthfeel after being finished in craft IPA barrels.

George Dickel Rye

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Rye double steeped iced tea #icedtea #ryewhiskey #georgedickelrye

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Drew Reid, bartender at W Aspen in Aspen, Colorado

I love some good ol’ George Dickel Rye while drinking a beer. A pull of this inexpensive iteration of American rye whiskey with a cold beer is a match made in bonfire-beer-drinking heaven.

Tullamore D.E.W.

Andy Barnett, owner at Barnett & Son Brewing Co. in Parker, Colorado

Tullamore D.E.W. is a great pick for beer fans. Toasted oak and vanilla flavors make it so smooth and approachable.

Glenfiddich IPA Cask

Tommy Ergle, bar manager at Dr. BBQ in St. Petersburg, Florida

I always tell an avid beer drinker that they absolutely have to try the Glenfiddich IPA Cask Finish Whisky. It’s a single-malt Scotch whisky that is finished in IPA casks. This finishing method results in a Scotch whisky that has incredible citrus notes with flavors of oak, green apple, and a finish with fresh hops.

This is an absolute must for someone who loves a good IPA.

Teeling Small Batch

Jeremy Allen, bartender at MiniBar in Los Angeles

Red Breast 12 or Teeling Small Batch. Both are complex Irish whiskies, but they have a familiar and approachable cereal flavor you get in malty beers and lagers. Where bourbon mash is Corn Flakes, these Irish whiskies are more Wheaties. To make whiskey, you make beer first, (and then distill) — these Irish whiskies still really show where they were derived from.

New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon

Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

New Holland has their Beer Barrel Bourbon and Rye which both make one hell of a boilermaker. Being aged in Dragon’s Milk barrels and then tasted alongside a beer really helps show the influence this particular method can have on a spirit.

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Mig Feliciano, head bartender and mixologist at Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles

I’ve always gravitated towards Irish whiskeys. I like the bright malty notes and candy pepper of a good Jameson or Tullamore DEW as an accent to my IPA or Pale ale. Also the sweetness of the whiskey pairs well with a cold bitter beer. An odd couple.

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