8 Best Smokey Whiskeys

Abbey Miller
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by Abbey Miller

Whiskeys can be bold and intense or light and subtle. No matter what type you like, you can find a smokey whiskey that offers a hint of robustness that will tickle your senses. The smokey flavor enhances the taste and creates a more comprehensive and intriguing whiskey-drinking experience.

8 Best Smokey Whiskey

If you want to try smokey whiskey or already love it and want to find the best bottle, check out the eight best smoky whiskeys that will delight your palate.

8 Best Smokey Whiskeys

  1. Ardbeg Uigeadail
  2. Lagavulin Distillers Editon
  3. Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4/ 167ppm
  4. Laphroaig Lore
  5. BenRiach Curiositas 10 Year
  6. Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey
  7. Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve
  8. Stauning Smoke

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardbeg Uigeadail is a heavily peated whiskey with a dramatic depth of flavor that keeps you coming back for more. The bottle has a classic Celtic design and green glass. The smoky flavor in this whiskey is extreme and potent. The prominent smoke taste hits your nose before the whiskey ever touches your tongue, so it’s a comprehensive smokey experience.

After a few sips, as you settle into the smokey flavor, you can find notes of fruit, raisin, and sherry, adding a distinct sweetness that helps balance the intensity of the smoke. They achieve this sweet flavor by aging the whiskey in ex-sherry casks, creating a distinct succulence that mingles with the smoke to create a surprising and eccentric flavor.

Lagavulin Distillers Editon

Lagavulin Distillers Editon

This smokey whiskey option is aged substantially, creating a luscious and potent taste that is unforgettable. The double-aging creates a deep smokey flavor that penetrates your senses and envelopes you. It’s not for folks who like gentle flavors in their whiskey.

The second aging process happens in former wine aging barrels, adding a lavish taste beneath the smoky notes. The sherry wood creates a decadent flavor that is heavy and hearty.

Aged for sixteen years, the final product is bold but offers an even and mature taste. While some complex aging processes make little difference in the flavor, the sherry and raisin taste comes through in this Lagavulin, showcasing the intense process the whiskey has been on to achieve this spectacular taste.

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4/167ppm

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4/167ppm

The Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4/167ppm comes in a dramatic blackout bottle that communicates the intensity of this whiskey.

This whiskey distiller always likes to push the envelope, so they go all out with the smoke in this offering. They make this one by taking their Octomore 167ppm and maturing it for a second time in virgin French oak barrels.

Many smokey whiskeys on this list have underlying fruit and sherry notes, but this option has a woody, earthy foundation that creates a robust flavor. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is an ideal choice for people who want to immerse themselves in an intense smokey flavor.

Laphroaig Lore

Laphroaig Lore

Laphroaig Lore comes in a beautiful green bottle with a black label. It’s one of the newer whiskeys on this list, but still delivers the punch of smoke you’re looking for. Despite not being aged for as long as other bottles on this list, the Laphroaig Lore is beautifully smooth and rich with a briny, smokery finish that lingers.

The flavor is mildly medicinal with a brackish taste that is fascinating and memorable. It’s made by blending a handful of aged whiskeys into different barrels. They utilize first-fill sherry butts, first-fill bourbon casks, and refill bourbon casks.

This complex single-malt whiskey is powerful and has a distinct flavor that is hard to find elsewhere. The ex-Bourbon, European oak, and Oloroso sherry barrels create a breathtaking intensity, and the distillery themself consider this their richest whiskey.

The Famous Grouse Smoky Black Scotch Whisky

The Famous Grouse Smoky Black Scotch Whisky

An expertly blended whiskey, this option is super smokey and smooth. It has a savory yet sweet flavor beneath the delicate smokey notes, creating a well-rounded profile that is complex but also easy to enjoy.

With a peaty, aromatic flavor, it tastes like a $200 bottle of whiskey but is substantially more affordable, making it a rare treasure. One of the best aspects of this whiskey is how long the aftertaste lingers and how delicious it is.

The aftertaste is sweet and smoky with a smooth texture that will sit on your tongue until your next sip. People adore this smokey whiskey because it’s approachable but still complex and mature. It has a lavish and warm flavor that delivers the smoke on top of earthy and succulent notes. You’ll fall in love after one sip.

Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey

Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey

Most whiskeys on this list are European, usually Scottish or Danish, but this one is American! It has the classic brightness of American whiskey with a soothing aftertaste that mellows beautifully. This whiskey hails from Santa Fe, New Mexico, but offers the quintessential Scottish flavors of most whiskey.

The smokey flavor comes from mesquite smoking rather than peat, so the taste stands apart from the other smokey whiskeys on this list. It’s aged for two years in used American oak casks to create a lovely and rich depth of flavor.

The delicious flavor comes from an unusual smoking process, adding hints of spice and salt that come through at the end of every sip. If you’ve tried an array of smokey whiskeys and want to try something off the beaten path, this bottle is a brilliant option.

Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve

Hakushu Distiller's Reserve

As mentioned, most whiskeys here are European, but here is a Japanese smokey whiskey you should try! Japanese whiskey is often more delicate and intricate than other varieties, and this whiskey meets all those expectations but also delivers a sensationally smokey and herbaceous flavor.

This whiskey uses one of the Hibiki Blends from the House of Suntory, which involves a variety of herbs that create a sophisticated and luxurious flavor profile. The gentle and subtle smokey flavor is perfect for folks not ready for an in-your-face smokey whiskey that will overwhelm their palate.

The aroma of this whiskey is distinct, with notes of peppermint, melon, and even watery cucumber. But the taste is fruity and herby, with hints of yuzu, grapefruit, lemon, and thyme, finished with a light smokey taste.

Stauning Smoke

Stauning Smoke

With a name like Stauning Smoke, you know the whiskey is supremely smoky and sultry. It comes in a smoky-looking bottle with funky brown and grey colors and a stenciled image. It is a lightly peated whisky, using peated single malt for a clear and refined flavor.

The company uses locally-sourced ingredients for an authentic taste. It hits your tongue with a bright note and softens into a sweet, polished flavor that puts smoke at the forefront. It’s a Danish whisky with a contemporary flavor profile and is a prime example of a thoroughbred terroir whisky.

The smoky notes are elegant but robust, so you can enjoy the earthy, pungent, smoky taste without feeling overwhelmed. The distillers achieve this rich taste by double-distilling the whiskey in small flame-heated pot stills and then aging it in 1st Fill wine and spirits casks for a decadent experience.

Final Thoughts

Even if you love smokey whiskey, you may not love every bottle on this list, as the flavor profiles and boldness range significantly. Try two or three of these bottles to see which one excites and satisfies you.

Hopefully, these descriptions will help you choose a stunning bottle that suits your preferences!

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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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