Spirits & Liqueurs Other Whiskey

The Best High-Roller World Whisk(e)y

Image: Laura Sant

You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why.

Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.

  • Hibiki Japanese Harmony ($96)

    “This gorgeous bottle is such a delicate whisky with a little bit of floral and rosemary. I enjoy mine over a large cube of ice.”—Ryan Schaeffer, operational bartender at Four Corners bars in Chicago

  • Ichiro Malt & Grain ($108)

    “It’s high-quality whisky with a lot of layers—great neat or on the rocks.”—Sondre Kasin, principal bartender at Undercote in New York City

  • Teeling 24 Year Old Single Malt ($500)

    “The first time an Irish whiskey—you know, the people that invented whiskey—won the World's Best Single Malt. Only 1,000 bottles were made, but for that special person, a special once-in-a-lifetime bottle is worth that extra effort.”—Nathaniel Smith, creative director of bar and drinks at Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Minneapolis

  • The Yamazaki 12 Year ($229)

    “I know this it is hard to get and might even be a little overexposed at this point, but don't overthink it, it's wonderful stuff. If you're lucky enough to spot it on the shelves, buy two and keep one for yourself.”—Sean Hoard, bar director at The Mighty Union in Portland, Ore.

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  • Yellow Spot 12 Year Old Single Pot Still ($102)

    “This single-pot-still Irish whiskey is finished in a trifecta of American bourbon casks, Spanish sherry butts and Malaga casks to create a sweet yet complex flavor. ”—Travis Sanders, bartender at Pennyroyal in Seattle