4 Types of Whiskey to Make the Perfect Old Fashioned



Words By Kevin Morissette
Anybody who has ever made an Old Fashioned cocktail knows that the most important ingredients is the whiskey. The whiskey you choose will dictate the flavor profile and how well it mixes with other flavors in the drink. A good rule of thumb is that heavier whiskeys, like bourbon, will make the drink taste a bit further on the sweet side, while lighter whiskeys, like rye, will be more refreshing and slightly spicy. We're here to discuss four different types of whiskey: bourbon, rye, wheated bourbon and four grain bourbon. We'll help you decide which to use for your next drink so you can make a tasty cocktail!


Bourbon is made from mostly corn which creates a sweeter profile overall. The corn is mixed with other grains to make it smoother, but the corn base really influences the notorious sweetness in bourbon. For this reason, those that want their Old Fashioned to have that sweet flavor without needing to add much sugar, maple syrup or any other sweetener to balance out the flavors, bourbon may be your right choice.



If you like an even more caramel-like taste with hints of fig and cherries, rye might be more up your alley. Rye is made from at least 51% rye, and are aged in new charred oak barrels. Because of this, ryes are known for being spicier than bourbons, which makes them great if you like your old fashioned cocktails on the tart side. Rye whiskeys also have a distinct taste of pepper, clove, allspice and cinnamon mixed with citrus flavors, so if you're one for an extra kick in your cocktail, this might just be for you.



Wheated bourbon has a mellower, creamier flavor than many other bourbons and whiskies, but often has a sweeter taste as well, particularly when compared to rye or high rye bourbons like ours. Wheated bourbons also tend to be smoother and have fewer spicy notes. With their sweeter profile and smoother taste, these whiskies work especially well in an Old Fashioned due to the other ingredients added, including sugar and bitters. As a result, you get a tasty drink with rich tastes without being too powerful in terms of alcohol concentration.



Four grain bourbon, as its name suggests, is made from a blend of four different grains: corn, rye, barley, and wheat. This balance of these four staple grains can be exactly what your Old Fashioned needs. Four grain bourbon has a strong presence in the Old Fashioned, but it doesn't overpower. Instead, it offers complex notes of cherry and honey, along with subtle hints of vanilla and oak undertones. It works perfectly when mixed together with bitters and simple syrup, offering just enough sweetness to balance out any bitterness found in either ingredient.

Words By Kevin Morissette