The climate a single malt ages in can have as much an impact on its final flavor as the cask it sits in. These whiskies, hailing from states like Virginia and countries as far as India, are classic examples of how hot summer temperatures can influence the aging process and flavors of single malt. Despite their modest ages, these whiskies showcase dense, rich character that balances pronounced fruit with strong spice.
Try one of these warm climate malt whiskies
Stranahan’s Colorado Single Malt—88 points, $55
Made in Denver, Colorado: Average temps 32°F (Dec) to 72°F (July)
Tastes like: Vanilla and brown sugar, plus a hefty dose of dried apricot and peppery spice
This Colorado single malt shows off textbook American oak-derived flavors.
Virginia Distillery Co. Cider Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky—92 points, $65
Made in Lovingston, Virginia: Average temps 35°F (Jan) to 77°F (July)
Tastes like: Fruity, savory, and autumnal, with a long oaky finish
Not a single malt, but a blend of Scotch malt and Virginia Distillery’s own single malt, matured in Virginia.
Kavalan Sherry Cask Single Malt—91 points, $185
Made in Yilan, Taiwan: Average temps 59°F (Jan) to 80°F (Aug)
Tastes like: Fruitcake, raisins, and toasted nuts, wrapped around a firm oaky core
First-fill sherry casks give this strapping whisky not only distinct flavors, but density and power.
Amrut Spectrum Single Malt (Batch 004)—94 points, $165
Made in Bangalore, India: Average temps 69°F (Dec) to 81°F (April)
Tastes like: Structured, with walnut skins, chocolate, and espresso, layered over silky dried fruits
Aged in casks assembled from multiple stave types, this is one of the most unique single malts in the world.
Paul John Kanya Single Malt—89 points, $250
Made in Goa, India: Average temps 79°F (Jan) to 86°F (May)
Tastes like: Concentrated, almost sticky cornucopia of ripe baked fruits and sweet spices like clove and anise
The first release in the distillery’s Zodiac series, this whisky is made with Himalayan six-row barley and aged around 7 years.
Balcones Peated Texas Single Malt—92 points, $80
Made in Waco, Texas: Average temps 44°F (Jan) to 89°F (July)
Tastes like: Big, structured, and dense, with strong smoke and a savory, barbecue-like character
Pot-distilled with peated barley from Scotland’s Highlands, the whiskey is then aged in Texas’s baking heat.