Comfort whiskey is a drink that gives you comfort. Is it an official term like ‘comfort food’? Not quite, but the comfort factor for the whiskey consumer is still there.
Ireland and Scotland have some really smooth whiskies that make for excellent comfort products. Many of these have been matured in casks, the barrels more commonly associated with sweet wine. Look at Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength, made with triple-distillation and aged in sherry casks. It is among the smoothest Irish whiskies, thanks in large part to triple distillation.
Celtic Cask has various malt and pot still Irish whiskies, matured in an array of casks. Celtic Cask expression whiskies are frequently single cask products that go out of supply fast after launch.
Teeling 24 Year Old single malt whiskey is an excellent product made with double distillation. It sat in previously-bourbon containers for over 22 years, and then was matured in Sauternes wine casks for 2 years. The 2019 edition of the World Whiskies Awards conferred it with the ‘Best Single Malt’ honor.
Northern Irish whiskies also make for comfort products. Dunville’s 12 Year Old Single Malt is a very silky and recently relaunched Irish whiskey. It was aged in Pedro Ximénez wine casks, and packaged at the Echlinville Distillery.
American whiskies are very complex and diverse, with expressions of Pennsylvania rye, bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, and many more. The cask maturation of bourbon is generally less compared to its whiskey cousins from Scotland. That is partly because bourbon must legally be aged in freshly charred casks, and since the bulk of the whiskey maturation process happens in climates having much temperature variation, plus relative humidity. In many cases, the maturation setting makes the ABV (alcohol by volume) go up gradually during a long period.
New casks, considerable temperature variation, and high alcohol levels make the amount of wood extracted into several American whiskies high. This makes these products sweeter and full of flavor.
To confirm that the aforesaid-type whiskies do not become too woody in flavor, manufacturers frequently restrict the level of maturation these get. Therefore, very aged bourbon whiskies are extremely rare. These are ‘barrel select’ whiskies that do not have the quality of being as smooth as their European counterparts.
Anyhow, in the event you are seeking very silky American whiskies, think about choosing Makers Mark Cask Strength. It is what many perople describe as a ‘smooth-sipping’ bourbon.