Wine, Spirits: What Qualities to Look For in Rare Whiskey

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The rarest forms of fine whiskeys have several unique aspects that give the whiskeys their excellent reputations. Any collector of fine spirits needs to know the best qualities to look for in a rare whiskey.

People who want the best liquor should know the multiple factors that play roles in its quality. Here are the traits to look for in a rare whiskey.

Proper Aging

How long a spirit has aged is one important feature to look for in a rare whiskey. Evaporation constantly occurs throughout a whiskey’s aging process, since the liquor’s barrels are not airtight, which allows the fumes to seep through.


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The constant evaporation gives the whiskey a smooth taste compared to the burning sensation of a recently brewed spirit. The age and type of whiskey you choose will ultimately depend on your preferences, but whiskeys aged for more than a few years are generally better quality.

The Right Temperature

Cheap whiskeys and expensive whiskeys are created at different temperatures. Cheaper whiskeys are made with higher temperatures, which hasten the aging process and produces a finished product more quickly. Conversely, rarer and more expensive whiskeys are made at lower temperatures for an evenly paced aging process to get the best quality and taste.


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The Clearest Water

The last thing anyone can taste when drinking whiskey is water, but water is still one of the significant components of knowing what qualities to look for in rare whiskey. Distilleries try to use water with the least number of particulates to make the purest whiskey for their consumers. Researching the methods a distillery uses to purify its water will make a difference between a basic tasting whiskey and a fine Scotch.

A Fine Cask

Whiskey is aged and stored in wooden casks. The type of wood used for the casks can affect the alcohol’s flavor, giving a woody taste. Some woods also cause more evaporation to occur and strengthen the maturation of the whiskey. Oak is the most commonly used wood for casks due to its high porosity and grain.


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Unique Packaging

Usually, it would be best not to judge a book by its cover. But it’s a good idea to note a whiskey bottle’s size and material—such as glass or plastic—as well as the label’s design. All of these features take time and effort, and the more defined they are, the more expensive and high-quality the whiskey most likely is. Some companies may also offer a particular whiskey with different variations that will look good as a part of a collection of rare whiskeys.

Liquor made to perfection is a rare item to find. Studying the whiskey production process is beneficial for collectors and consumers to ensure they buy the best-quality product.


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