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The VinePair Podcast: Can Higher-Proof Spirits Court Whiskey Drinkers?

In recent years, a desire has grown among whiskey enthusiasts to drink spirits that are as close as possible to the liquid that comes out of the barrel once maturation is complete. As such, there is a widespread belief that anything else is inauthentic and watered down, causing many brands to put forth barrel-proof or cask-strength whiskeys, which have since evolved to single-rickhouse and single-barrel expressions. But the quest for more “authentic” spirits is not unique to the whiskey realm, with more drinkers in the tequila category requesting the higher-proof versions of their go-to liquors for the increase in flavor.

But are these high-ABV, knockout releases necessarily better than their proofed-down counterparts?

Spirits enthusiasts often have a fixation on authenticity, but what really makes one thing more authentic than another? As Adam points out, sometimes these spirits simply need to be watered down in order to make them palatable. Plus, not everyone wants to singe their senses with a 53 percent ABV tequila. But for those who do, the increased ubiquity of high-proof bottlings has made it that much easier to explore the raw expressions of the spirits we’ve come to love.

On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach discuss the rise of “still- strength” tequila and ponder whether tequila and other spirits can better appeal to whiskey drinkers by offering higher-proof bottlings instead of relying on heavily oaked expressions. Tune in for more.

Zach is reading: Your Favorite Import Beers, Now Brewed in the U.S.
Joanna is reading: Bollywood Movies Are Having a Wine Renaissance
Adam is reading: The Biggest Whiskey Brands Are Bringing Distilleries and Visitor Centers to a Downtown Near You

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The article The VinePair Podcast: Can Higher-Proof Spirits Court Whiskey Drinkers? appeared first on VinePair.

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