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Best Whiskey For Shots – The 10 Best Choices

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Regarding taking shots, there are no hard and fast rules. However, sticking with a less expensive whiskey for shots is smart.

That being said, the cheaper the whiskey, the lower the quality. The lower the quality, the harsher the flavor. And when taking shots, you want to minimize the flavor as much as possible.

The goal is to get the alcohol into your system as quickly as possible, and a harsh taste will only slow you down.

In addition, cheaper whiskeys are usually made with fewer high-quality ingredients. So not only will they taste worse, but they’ll also be less enjoyable overall.

As a result, it’s best to stick with a mid-range whiskey when taking shots. You’ll save money in the long run, you’ll end up having a more enjoyable experience, and bonus, it will lessen any hangover you experience in the morning from the higher quality ingredients.

Best Whiskey For Shots

Whether you’re celebrating or just looking for a buzz, we’ve done the research into the best Whiskey for shots, so you don’t have to.

Jameson Irish Whiskey

jameson irish whiskey for shooting

Jameson Irish Whiskey is one of the world’s most popular whiskey brands. It is made from a blend of potstill and grain whiskeys, and it is aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels.

The result is a smooth, mellow whiskey with notes of vanilla, honey, and spice. Jameson is a great choice for shooting because it is not too strong or overwhelming.

Jameson is often considered the best choice when it comes to shooting whiskey. The smooth taste makes it easy to drink, and the high alcohol content ensures you’ll get a good buzz.

Best of all, Jameson is relatively inexpensive, making it a great value for your money.

Teeling Irish Whiskey

teeling irish whiskey for shooting
Image: Stefaan Lesage

Teeling Irish Whiskey is one of the best whiskeys for shooting. It is bottled at 46% abv, which is non-chill filtered, giving it a bolder flavor. The rum casks are particularly unusual, setting it apart from other Irish whiskeys.

Teeling is also a small batch, ensuring that each bottle is of the highest quality. When shooting whiskey, you want something that is bold and flavourful, and Teeling Irish Whiskey definitely fits that bill.

Redbreast 12 Year Old

redbreast 12 year old for shooting
Image: Sam

Redbreast is an excellent whiskey for shooting because of its smooth flavor and impressive pedigree.

92 points from Wine Enthusiast and double gold from the 2005 San Francisco Spirits Competition show that this whiskey is of high quality, and the fact that it is made with 100% pure pot still Irish whiskey makes it a unique option.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

buffalo trace bourbon for shooting
Image: Sergei F

If you’re looking for a fiery spirit to add to your arsenal, look no further than Buffalo Trace Bourbon. This rye-based whiskey is distilled in Kentucky and has a deep amber color.

Buffalo Trace is known for its spicy flavor profile, which is achieved by aging the whiskey in new, charred oak barrels.

The result is a bold spirit that packs a punch, making it ideal for shooting. When sipping Buffalo Trace neat, you’ll notice notes of vanilla, oak, and spice.

The high rye content also gives the whiskey a slightly sweet flavor that is well balanced by the other aromas and flavors.

It is also readily available in most bars and liquor stores for under $30 a bottle, so it won’t make for a costly night of partying.

Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey

maker’s mark bourbon whiskey for shooting

Maker’s Mark Bourbon is a good option for shooting whiskey. It retails for around $30 per bottle; despite its high proof, it has a smooth, easy-drinking flavour.

The bourbon is made without any rye in the mashbill making it less spicy than the rye-influenced whiskeys, with notes of spiced honey, cut fruit, and citrus peel.

have a sip. Barley malt, butterscotch, and vanilla bean will gradually bloom on your tongue. Wait a moment. The finish is of medium length with gentle caramel and dry oak spice.

Elijah Craig Bourbon

elijah craig bourbon for shooting
Image: Don Sniegowski

Elijah Craig Bourbon is a small batch of bourbon that is distilled, aged, and bottled in Kentucky. It is made from a traditional bourbon mashbill of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley. The result is a signature warm spice and subtle smoke flavor.

Elijah Craig Bourbon is a great option if you are looking for a good bourbon to take shots with. It has won numerous awards, including “Best Small Batch Bourbon” and a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

It has also received a 93 Point, “Excellent, Highly Recommended” rating at the Ultimate Spirits Competition.

Knob Creek Rye

knob creek rye for shooting
Image: Patrick Truby

Knob Creek Rye is another great whiskey for taking shots with. It is 50% ABV and has a unique spicy, smooth flavor that is perfect for cocktails. However, it has a steeper price tag of around $50 a bottle.

It has also won multiple awards, including a Gold Medal at the 2016 SIP Awards & International Spirits Challenge. If you are looking for a great whiskey to take shots with, Knob Creek Rye is a great option.

Angel’s Envy

angel’s envy for shooting

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a great option if you’re looking for a whiskey that’s smooth enough to take as a shot. It’s finished in port wine casks, which gives it a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other bourbons.

It’s aged up to 6 years in charred, new white oak barrels, adding to its complexity. And at 43.29% ABV, it has a higher alcohol content than most whiskeys, so you’ll definitely feel the effects after just one shot.

So if you’re looking for a delicious and smooth bourbon to take as a shot, Angel’s Envy is the way to go.

Johnnie Walker Black

johnny walker black for shooting

Choosing from the Johnnie Walker label is always a safe bet if you’re looking for scotch to take a shot with.

It’s blended with Scotch whiskies aged in oak casks for a minimum of 12 years from the four corners of Scotland. Their black label expression is the most affordable and easy to find.

Johnnie Walker Black Label has an unmistakably smooth, deep, complex character. The aromas of rich and tropical dark fruits and sweet vanilla melt into creamy toffee notes, resulting in a soft, warming smoke finish.

This spirit is an impressive blended Scotch whisky matured to perfection. When you want to impress your friends with a quality shot, go for Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky.

Pendleton Canadian Whisky

pendleton canadian whisky for shooting
Image: Peter Anderson

Pendleton Canadian Whisky is distilled from the most refined northern grains and cut with glacier-fed water from Mt. Hood, Oregon’s highest peak. The brand offers Original, Midnight, 1910 Rye, and Directors’ Reserve varieties.

Pendleton Canadian Whisky is a solid choice for taking shots because it is smooth and has a clean flavor. It is made with 100% Canadian rye and is aged for at least three years in oak barrels.

This gives the whisky its signature smoothness and flavor. It is also reasonably priced, so you can buy a bottle without breaking the bank.

When taking shots, you want a whisky that will go down easy and not leave a burning sensation in your throat. Pendleton meets these criteria, making it an excellent choice for shots.

Best Whiskey For Shots – Conclusion

In the end, it’s all about personal preference. Some people prefer to take whiskey shots with smooth and mellow bourbon, while others might enjoy the smokier flavor of scotch.

The bottom line is that you should drink what you like – just make sure you stick to one type of whiskey so you can get the most out of your shot

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

Just so you know, if you click on a product on and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

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