One of the most common misconceptions about observing the laws of kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws known more commonly as “kosher,” is that it severely limits the options when drinking alcohol. And while this may have been true just a few decades ago, it couldn’t be farther from the truth today.
But perhaps we’re being a little presumptuous. There are many individuals who think that keeping kosher is limited strictly to food. This also could not be farther from the truth. While many may believe keeping kosher is limited to staying away from cheeseburgers, passing on the alcohol delivery shellfish and curtailing your intake of bacon, the fact is that a wine or a liquor can also be considered unfit for digestion, and like the rest of the kashrut laws, has a plethora of guidelines and codes that must be followed and observed. For example, a wine is not considered kosher unless it was been created by Sabbath-observant Jews during the production and bottling stages.
When it comes to liquor, many experts would argue it’s the kosher stuff that is actually the best tasting, especially when it comes to single malt scotch whiskey and small batch bourbon whiskey. This is because, basically, all single malt scotch whiskey and American-made small batch whiskey is kosher liquor.
Well, that’s not 100% true. If a single malt scotch whiskey is aged in a cask that at one point or another was used for sherry, than it immediately becomes non-kosher. But if this is not the case, than the single malt scotch is typically, if not universally, always kosher. Those who are more serious about keeping kosher will always check the label of their single malt scotch to see if it mentions sherry. This is why a large number of liquor stores that target a Jewish customer base will often have a tremendous selection of single malt scotch whiskey.
Also (and most important form this writer’s perspective), all American made whiskeys are typically kosher. Whether its rye, bourbon, Tennessee, or Kentucky whiskey, the manufacturing process almost always features oak barrels, which makes American whiskey a kosher liquor.