Top 10 Whiskeys for Beginners [Crowdsourced From Whiskey Lovers]

We asked our tribe to recommend the best whiskeys that started them down the path to loving whiskey. They did not disappoint!

Check out the first of three Modern Rogue episodes featuring Daniel:

Whiskey for beginners we review in this episode include Monkey Shoulder, Highland Park 12, Glenfiddich 12, Jameson, Bulleit Rye, Elijah Craig Small Batch, Buffalo Trace, Macallan 12, Four Roses Single Barrel, Caol Ila 12 and Hibiki Harmony.

Check out the Instagram account @whiskey_marketing_school

** Can I donate a whisk(e)y for you to review in The Whisk(e)y Vault?
Of course! If you’re interested in making a tax deductible donation towards our whiskey selection, head on over to:

Whisky Donations

** What’s with the necklaces?

Rex is a whiskey mooch. His necklace is a manifestation of pure glory – forged from the irradiated bones of eagles and wolves. Also a tube sock.

See the origin story here:

Daniel is a whiskey sommelier. His necklace is a token of his sommelier level, and he trains whiskey sommeliers at The Whisk(e)y Marketing School in Austin Texas.

**A Whisk(e)y school?

Yup. Here are a few things we believe.

** You don’t have to be a snob to appreciate and love great whiskey.

Whisky and Whiskey (it depends on where it’s from) have been an important part of cultures around the world from time immemorial. Whiskey is a part of the very fabric of Western society, and in most places, is as common and accessible as beer.

Like Jazz and wine, snobs have predictably hijacked whiskey appreciation, spoiling our natural, common connection with it and creating a false dichotomy of “good whiskey” and “bad whiskey.”

It’s time to break through the emotional bias with facts and science. That’s what this school is about.

** The only valid definition of “good” whiskey is “whiskey you like to drink.”

Learning how to share your love of whiskey in a way that connects people to the history and the story has more to do with public speaking and storytelling than it does with facts and tests.

The best way to learn about whiskey and share that love is to drink whiskey and talk about it with friends. Study the history, find the stories, and discover the culture and the methods that have been developed over hundreds of years. That’s what you’ll do when you attend The Whisk(e)y Marketing School.

** You don’t need a marketing degree to learn how to share your love of whiskey with the world.

There’s an old saying, “In business, it’s not what you know… It’s who you know.”

Regardless the industry you’re in, most people are clumsy and ineffective when it comes to “networking” because they ignore a very important rule – Relationship First, Business Second.

There’s a tremendous amount of curiosity about Whisk(e)y today. It’s a great excuse for you to gather a group of people who want to have fun and learn something new. The Whisk(e)y School teaches you how to tap into that curiosity, and share your love of whisk(e)y in an unpretentious way. You’re demonstrating knowledge, expertise, and an engaging personality – things valued by every gatekeeper, in every industry.

Or would you rather hand out business cards and cross your fingers?

Learn more at


Adam D'Ambra says:

Up in the north east, Glenfiddich 12 is about 45-50$ a bottle.

Tristian Pohren says:

What’s a good alcoholic beverage for beginners with whiskey?
Because my birthday is next month I’m turning 21

Tigre Demon says:

To me it’s Talisker 15 years that brought me 😀

Leif-William says:

if you wanted to buy more of the hibiki whisky here is a link for you:) big fan by the way

Kate Mobley and her cats says:

fireball…. enough said

Nick says:

Recommended whisky for a cider drinker?

Bradley Place says:

Talisker 10 year is THE whisky that got me interested in building a larger collection.

mt Sanchi says:

wow when you descibed buffablo Trace, that sound like what i want in a whisky. Can i find that at Twin Liqueurs, or a Costco LS in Austin?

darkstar5871 says:

my first whiskey was a cask mates jameson. but i find myself liking bourbons more and more. and my personal, i want a whiskey now is makers mark. generic yes but its just good always.

cazza710 says:

i literally went Jack Daniels (entry pleb), Glenfiddich, Dalwhinnie, Talisker Storm, Bruichladdich. In the space of 2 months I basically went from whiskey pleb to drinking certified good intense shit. The Bruichladdich Islay is fucking insane and i love it

The Garden of Eatin says:

Okay, I’ve been getting into a bit of a bourbon rut, and I’ve never had any of these. Let’s give ’em a try. Starting with Monkey Shoulder.
This is the whisky for people who hate whisky, because there’s not much to put up with. I get the kind of creme brulee notes in the scent. I detect no flavor. None. “Like water” is the most honest thing these guys said about Monkey Shoulder. It burns a bit on the tongue, but not bad. I will give it “smooth.” Most colas are harsher than this whisky. So I guess I’m one of those who likes “tougher, more challenging” flavors.
I’ll concede, I know a 22 year old who claimed he “can’t drink whiskey,” and this is probably the whisky I’d pour for him. Probably in a sippy cup with two handles.

Dragos Cojocaru says:

What is your opinion of TX from Texas

More Than I thought says:

I’m looking for an intermediate whiskey, I’ve mastered the beginners whiskey. Advanced whiskey is too challenging.

Matthew Wallis says:

I got into whiskey with Oban 14

markkNL says:

So how exactly did the empty bottle of Caol Ila suddenly still have like 100ml of content left at 34:50 ?

Gorillaz Garage says:

Jack Daniels’s #1 whisky

Tony Phillips says:

Angels envy Kentucky straight bourbon is great. It’s finished in a port wine barrel.

klugyboy1500 says:

I’ve been watching this channel for a while now and it’s always informative and entertaining. I’ve been exploring and drinking whisky for about 2 years now and notice that things just taste different when I’m out as compared to the bottles I have at home. There is always much more alcohol in what I pour at home as compared to what I get at a bar or restaurant. I find that the drams I get while out are actually easier to drink and appreciate. Any thoughts…

cueball1959 says:

Buffalo Trace is a damn fine whiskey. Got it as a Christmas present a few years back.

Milos Lukic says:

I’ve just had my first glass of Laphroaig 10, I’m typing this from a pub. I freaking love it, I am definitely getting a bottle of this. Thanks guys, if it weren’t for you I would never have known that this type of whisky even exists. It’s like a whole new world has been opened up to me. I’m so excited right now!

Stephen Woolf says:

Who’s diving home ?? LOL

PrestigeliquidsWW says:

You guys have done alto of great work. You are giving me some inspirstion of how i would like to start my whisky page

Michael Greco says:

I began with the usual suspects: Jack Daniels, Jameson, Johnnie Walker Red and Black, and Chivas 12. It didn’t take me long to discover my preference for scotch (Chivas and JW Black).

One Christmas soon after I received a bottle of JW Double Black by accident (they meant to buy the normal Black). I loved the bit of smokiness in it and wanted more of that. So I set out to learn a little bit about scotch whisky, and I eventually learned that there are two types: single malt and blended. Since Black, DB, and Chivas are blends, I decided I wanted to try a single malt, and so I bought a bottle of Talisker 10 (still without knowing the differences between Highland, Lowland, Islay, Skye, Speyside, etc.)

While I really enjoyed the Talisker, I still craved smokier. I got to researching what made a whiskey “smokey,” and that’s when I learned about the process of peating malted barley. After searching for scotch distilleries that peated their whisky, I developed a small list of ones to try. I have since added Ardbeg, Laphroig, and Lagavulin to my temporary collection.

I have for a while now been searching for some of the less popular brands (at least for this area), such as Caol Ila, Bruichladdich, and Compass Box Peat Monster, but the liquor stores here just don’t seem interested in selling them. Perhaps I’m just not in an area with a large scotch following around here, but there is a positive in this: the lack of variety in the peated scotch has led me to explore other whiskies.

colin glen says:

the joke at 26 minutes was seriously funny.

readyfortheafterparty says:

Anybody else see that beard sparkle??

I says:

Hammer-goodness is subjective too

Ryan Emery says:

Monkey Shoulder was the first Scotch Whisky I fell in love with

Mark Miller says:

I picked up a bottle of 4 Roses single barrel (I had never had it before ), poured sum for 5 of my friends at a party everyone loved it !!!!

Zamil Warsi says:

Thanks to you guys and modern rouge that I have dis facination abt whiskies…I have recently even took up a job in duty free in retail for liquor. I hope I get to learn more with time.

austin snubby says:

I started on bullet bourbon, and got really hooked on George dickel no. 12. Got a highland park 18 on the way

Skit da i balla says:

“We’re thirty minutes in” at almost exactly 30:00. Well edited my friend.

Jason Kotsios says:

Came across your video while having a cigar with some Jameson Caskmates. Great video. Love it guys. Fun and informative. Thanks!

gund2281 says:

LMAO one thing I notice from this video, these guys are seriously cheap dates lol. By #3 you could tell they were both getting a bit more punchy. By the time they get to Elijah, they’re REALLY feeling it. Great vid though guys. Excellent list imo

Robert Pope says:

First whiskey I’ve ever tried was Wild Turkey 101. Turkey is a go to for me an one of Kentucky’s best

impero101 says:

Hey, I fell in love with whisky through Laphroaig. 😉

GrizzlySmoke 559 says:

You guys are very entertaining to watch. I don’t know how I stumbled on to your video but I’m glad I did.

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