The world of whiskey is always changing and evolving, especially in a post-pandemic world. Through glass shortages and travel bans, whiskey brands prevail into an optimistic 2022, as tariffs drop and tourism begins again. Things are looking up. Using sales data from 2020/2021, as well as industry trend observations, we have a few predictions for the rest of 2022. We've found some of the best-selling whiskeys on the up-and-up, and we'll tell you what we think makes them special and what current trends we think they're riding. We've also got some great cocktail recipes you can make with them at home!
Johnny Walker Scotch
At the top of their game, Johnny Walker sold over 14 million cases in 2021. Their red label scotch is the most popular, although we foresee the Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend Blended Scotch trending this year. It's ultimately a blend of this century's finest whiskeys over the years, so it's the best of all worlds; many trending whiskeys in one.The Drink
A fantastic cocktail to pair with this delicious scotch is the classic Rusty Nail. It's a staple in the scotch world and so simple to make!The Recipe
- 2 oz Johnny Walker
- 1 oz Drambuie
- Lemon twist
Fill an Old Fashioned glass with moderate ice, add both ingredients, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye
Jack Daniel's frequently dominates the whiskey market. In 2021, they sold over 12 million cases and took the #1 spot for rye whiskey sales. The classic Jack Daniel's Old No.7 is the most popular but we predict that, following a single barrel exclusivity trend, Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye will take center stage. This bold rye holds notes of toasted oak and fresh fruit while offering a uniqueness that can't be replicated.
Single barrel (or single cask) consumer trends developed from a growing interest in individualism and exclusivity. Knowing each bottle is made from a single barrel and isn't blended all together means they're getting the purest and most personalized bottle possible. Everyone likes to feel special and enjoy a distinctive tasting experience.
Consumers have also struggled with the unprecedentedly high price tags for whiskey bottles. An appealing aspect of JD, including the single barrel edition, is the very reasonable price tag (only $40 a bottle at Chip's Liquor). Affordable luxury is trending.The Drink
This dynamic whiskey bodes well in a tangy Whiskey Sour. It plays on the fresh fruit flavors and the lime complements the smoky wood.The Recipe
- Egg white
- 2 oz Jack Daniel's
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
Dry shake the egg white, then add ice, whiskey, lemon, and syrup and shake—strain into a Coupe glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Jim Beam Bourbon
Jim Beam is a longtime showrunner in the bourbon world, selling over 10 million cases worldwide in 2021. It's best known for its original form Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon. It's revered for its sweet caramel-y flavoring and subtle woody char.The Drink
Most have never heard of it, but there's such a thing as the Texas Long Island Iced Tea, the classic recipe with whiskey added. As if it needed any more alcohol. Try it if you dare, but for a classy cocktail that really showcases a great bourbon like this, we prefer the Boulevardier. This 3-ingredient cocktail will highlight all the best parts of its bourbon star.The Recipe
- 1.5 oz Jim Beam
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- Orange twist
Stir the alcoholic ingredients with ice until cool, then strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Bulleit Bourbon is another best-selling bottle that's often voted as a fan favorite on sources like the Drinks International Annual Brand Report (which asks top industry people from the 50 best bars in the world to list their trending products) and Drizly's online sales. The 10-year edition is well worth consideration and seems to be getting the most consumer attention; it's just aged so nicely.
The numbers are in, and this bourbon is in high demand! The Bulleit brand sold almost 2 million cases last year, so it's super promising. This unique bourbon actually contains so much rye it's almost considered a rye whiskey instead of bourbon.The Drink
This drink pairs perfectly with a good ol' Old Fashioned. Simple cocktails like this give great quality products like Bulleit the platform to present its wonderful array of Christmas-y spices, apples, and vanilla tasting notes.The Recipe
- 2 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 sugar cube/0.25 oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Orange twist
Muddle sugar cube with a dash of soda water (or add simple syrup to glass) and add 2 dashes of bitters, until well blended, to a rocks glass. Add moderate ice and bourbon. Give it a quick stir and twist orange peel over the glass to catch perspiring oils. Wipe the peel around the rim of the glass and plop on top of the drink. Enjoy!
This Heaven's Hill creation is debatably a masterpiece and has great success and recognition. The Pikesville Rye is a dry and spicy whisky that won the gold in the 2021 International Wines and Spirits Competition!
The rye's popularity is expected to grow in the coming year as Heaven Hill takes advantage of whiskey tourism trends, expanding on their already-amazing distillery visitor center. Known for their world-famous immersive whiskey tours, they receive tourists from all over the world to try their delicious blends and have now added $19 million in extra features. They also invested $106 million into production expansion at every stage, so they'll be gaining massive visibility and distribution in 2022.The Drink
The Manhattan cocktail is the drink of choice for this spirit. It's a traditional rye cocktail that'll be elevated by the dynamic flavors of the Pikesville Rye (dry, spiced vanilla).The Recipe
- 2 oz Pikesville Rye
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 dash Orange Bitters
- Brandied cherry
Add rye, vermouth, and both bitters to a stirring glass with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a cherry.
Sometimes clichés exist for a reason, just like sometimes whiskeys are popularized for a reason - they're delicious and they offer drinkers something they want this year; whether it be exclusivity/limited editions, travel souvenirs, interactive experiences, or specific flavor profiles.
Trends are always changing, but Chip's Liquor is always keeping up.
Find all these promising star spirits here!