12 Best Whiskey for Manhattan

Abbey Miller
Last Updated on
by Abbey Miller

Manhattan has been a popular drink since the 19th century and is a must-have in every bartender’s book. The Manhattan Club introduced the original, which had previously made cocktails for prominent people in business and club members. Combining bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters, it’s no wonder that this drink is an icon.

But have you ever wanted to mix up a Manhattan but can’t seem to decide which whiskey tastes the best? Well, we have the perfect selection of whiskeys for you. Below are reviews of the 12 best Manhattan cocktails served with our recommended whiskey.

1. Jameson Irish Whiskey

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Jameson is the most popular whiskey cocktail used in a Manhattan. It has a light, smooth taste with hints of citrus fruits and honey flavors. It also contains traces of cinnamon and caramel. Its light color makes this whiskey very versatile when mixing cocktails. Whether you serve it neat or on the rocks, its flavors will not overwhelm your cocktail drinks.

Combine it with sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters in a Manhattan cocktail, and you will have a smooth, flavorful, and strong drink. This whiskey is also a good choice when mixing bourbon drinks because it doesn’t overpower other ingredients in a cocktail.

2. Lost Republic Straight Rye Whiskey

Lost Republic Straight Rye Whiskey

We decided to suggest this whiskey because it’s special and limited. Lost Republic Straight Rye whiskey is produced in small batches. One of the owners of Lost Republic was a former wine maker that decided to try out producing whiskey. And what a good idea it was. They strive for a high-quality product using different methods such as air dried white oak barrels instead of kiln dried ones.

This whiskey has rye as the main ingredient which translates into a strong initial punch but also in a smooth finish. It’s not an aged whiskey. When you smell it, you’ll feel the aromas of cloves, raspberries, toffee, among others. When you taste the whiskey, you’ll sense white, red and black pepper.  

3. Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The Woodford Reserve Distillery makes this whiskey. It contains hints of vanilla and oak and has just enough bite to enjoy with your Manhattan. Woodford Reserve is a good choice for mixing up a Manhattan because it is smooth and delicious.

The Kentucky Bourbon combines corn and barley in a mash bill – an ingredient that gives off its particular flavor. Woodford Reserve has a smooth finish and has been a popular choice for cocktails, such as the Manhattan, because of its clean taste that goes well with sweeter drinks.

4. Jim Beam Red Stag

Jim Beam Red Stag

Jim Beam Red Stag was the first bourbon made commercially by Jim Beam Distillery to replace grain whiskey. They age this bourbon in charred new oak barrels, giving it a unique flavor that adds a spicy taste that can go well with your cocktail.

This whiskey provides a sweet aroma that is perfect for mixing up your Manhattan. It has hints of caramel and citrus fruits which are subtle but noticeable. The sweet notes blend perfectly with the slight bitterness that comes from the vermouth.

5. High West Campfire Whiskey

High West Campfire Whiskey

This High West Campfire Whiskey is a unique blend of rye, malt, corn, and barley that give it a smooth finish and hint of sweetness that goes well with your Manhattan. The High West Distillery in Utah makes this whiskey, then bottles it in Park City for an added kick.

High West Campfire whiskey is a perfect choice for mixing up your Manhattan because it is sweet on its own without being too sweet and has a good amount of subtle bitterness, which blends well with the vermouth. The whiskey is a delicate balance between the flavors, with a slightly tangy taste and smooth finish.

6. Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon

Hailing from Kentucky, Bulleit Bourbon is a great whiskey to enjoy while mixing up a Manhattan. It has a distinctive taste that is slightly sweet with a smooth finish. Bulleit designs its whiskey to give off a smooth, full-bodied taste. They use corn, which helps to give the bourbon its sweet aroma that goes well with your Manhattan.

It also has hints of vanilla and other spices and pepper to add flavor and strength so you can enjoy the drink as much as possible without slowing down your meal. Another significant feature of this whiskey is that it ages in used barrels from apple orchards.

7. Sazerac Rye Whiskey

 Sazerac Rye Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Distillery makes the Sazerac Rye in Frankfort, Kentucky, established in 1855. The distillery has been crafting some of the finest whiskeys since then to give whiskey lovers a remarkable experience with each sip they take.

Sazerac Rye Whiskey is better served on the rocks in a mixed drink, but if you are looking for a Manhattan variation, you can mix it with equal parts rye and dry vermouth. This rye whiskey has a smooth, mild, and well-balanced taste.

After all, it’s a mix of both sweet and spicy flavors. Sazerac Rye Whiskey goes down easy in your mouth with a subtle hint of fruit on the pallet.The Sazerac Rye Whiskey has a distinct taste that gives it an extra kick of spice without being too overpowering to the other ingredients mixed into the drink.

8. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

 Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey

This whiskey’s name is after Jack Daniel, the founder of Jack Daniel’s Distillery, and the company distills it in Lynchburg, Tennessee. They make it from a mash recipe that features wheat and rye. The whiskey has a smooth body and sweet flavor that goes well with your Manhattan.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey flavor has a powerful hit of caramel and oak flavors. Its aroma also picks up some hints of vanilla which blend nicely with the cocktail ingredients.

This whiskey blends to create an exquisite drink that perfectly balances smoothness, sweetness, saltiness, and bitterness. It is a superb choice, especially if you want to mix your whiskey with a different flavor profile.

9. Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon

Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon

This bourbon is another great choice for mixing up a Manhattan. It has a distinct flavor that goes well with the cocktail ingredients. Heaven Hill Distilleries make it in Kentucky and comes in a very elegant bottle with a classy label.

This whiskey is triple distilled and blends corn and malted barley with rye, where it undergoes the aging process in used barrels. The Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon gives off a pleasant aroma of honeyed vanilla intermingled with subtle hints of sweetness, which go perfectly in your Manhattan, making it the favorite among many whiskey drinkers.

10. Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a splendid choice for enjoying any time of the day. It gives your mouth a nice little kick with its bold flavor while still being smooth enough to drink. They make it from corn, rye, and malted barley at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, which started producing bourbon in 1869.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed has some of the most complex flavors, with hints of caramel and vanilla, and other spices that make up the taste of this whiskey and give it a pleasant aroma. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a splendid choice for mixing up your Manhattan because of its strong flavor.

11. Green Spot Irish Whiskey

 Green Spot Irish Whiskey

Green Spot Irish Whiskey is another great choice for mixing up a Manhattan. Its slightly sweet taste goes perfectly with favorite cocktail ingredients, especially fruits and vermouth.

This whiskey is from Irish barley, corn, and rye distilled and aged in copper pot stills. It’s a smooth whiskey that provides a pleasant aroma by giving off distinct notes of vanilla and caramel. The whiskey’s sweet flavor makes it perfect for mixing with manhattan.

12. The Balvenie DoubleWood

The Balvenie DoubleWood

The Balvenie DoubleWood Whiskey gives off a rich aroma that contains hints of vanilla, tangerines, and other spices. They taste sweet with a combination of American oak and European sherry casks. You can sip this whiskey primarily on its own, and it is perfect for cocktail enthusiasts.

These flavors go perfectly together in your Manhattan because of the sweet taste that blends smoothly with the vermouth. They make this whiskey in Scotland at The Balvenie Distillery, opened in 1892 by George Smith Bowman, an engineer there.


With so many great whiskeys on the market, there is no need to look further than the Manhattan whiskey cocktail. It incorporates flavors that blend perfectly together, and you can tweak it to suit your tastes.

The best thing about this cocktail is its distinctive taste that blends well with its ingredients but doesn’t overpower them or remove its unique flavor profile. You can add any of these great whiskeys to any recipe for a new twist on one of the country’s most beloved cocktails.

Similar whiskeys to try:

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Abbey Miller
Abbey Miller
Abbey grew up in a family with an appreciation for great beers, fine wines, and nuanced Scotch whiskeys. It's no surprise that she studied Hospitality Management and is now a professional working on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
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