Around the world in 10 whiskies

As Mark Twain once said, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Apparently this sentiment still holds true. According to Esquire, the liquor’s continued popularity has caused it to pop up in ever-unusual places.  Forget the American South, Scotland and Ireland — a wide array of other countries are getting in on the boozy fun. Quality-whisky lovers can now drink their way around the world.

In Europe, France, Sweden and Spain are producing and selling whiskies to rival the Irish. In fact, France is the country that drinks the world’s most whisky per capita — one of the best being Brenne Estate Cask ($60), a sly little number started by a New York-based ballerina, Allison Parc. Brenne uses local grains and is aged in Cognac casks to create a terroir-influenced single malt.

Africa also produces a noteworthy single malt. Three Ships 10 Year Old ($50) is the continent’s first malt made at the only commercial distillery in Africa.

Move over tequila! Mexico has also embraced whisky-making as a national endeavor. Pierde Almas’s Ancestral Corn Whiskey from Oaxaca ($49) is made from red- and purple-colored corns making it a rich and complex product. Similarly top-shelf whisky can be found in the Caribbean — the area’s only product is Captain Don’s ($25) which is distilled from corn, sorghum, and maishi chicitu (a locally-grown rye), then aged in French oak barrels with Cuban tobacco leaves inside.

Further down under, Australia and New Zealand also produce tasty, albeit pricey versions.

And speaking of pricey — over in Asia the good stuff is created in both India and Taiwan. In Bangalore dessert-like Amrut Spectrum  will run you ($150) and is the perfect after-curry accompaniment. Taiwan’s Kavalan’s top products are valued in the $600 range. [Esquire]