If you’ve been to a bar or a liquor store any time soon, chances are you’ve seen a growing number of mixed whiskey drinks and flavored whiskies on the shelves.  It’s no accident:  young people in their 20s and 30s are increasingly turning to whiskey as their go-to alcoholic drink.

Changing lifestyles, changing tastes

Vodka was once seen as the ultimate party drink.  It could be mixed with anything, which appealed to people who like sweeter drinks.  Luxury brands and sleek bottles contributed to vodka’s slick, glitzy image and its association with youth and wealth.  In the 1980s, vodka was king.

Whiskey is making a comeback in popularity, however, with millennials who are interested in bring back the good things from the past.  The local character of whiskey and its infinite naturally-occurring nuances are more exciting to young people than novelty, artificially-flavored vodkas that border on silly.  Whiskey is grounded, yet classy.  It can be flavored and dressed up as a party drink, but it never feels corporate or sterile.  It’s an earthy, common-sense throwback to a simpler time.

Mass-produced whiskey versus the good stuff

Ironically, one of the things that has made whiskey so popular – its subtle differences based on the local flavor or harvest – is being ironed out by large companies who need to keep up with demand and provide a uniform taste experience for national consumers.  We’re lovers of whiskey, first and foremost – so we can’t in good conscience talk badly of any name brand.  But because whiskey is surging in popularity over vodka due to its gritty, down-to-earth, and varied character, we think all young whiskey lovers should taste test some small batch brands before buying yet another bottle of that same old household name.

Go on… take a sip of the good stuff.  And if you want a little more, we’ll understand.