What separates a $500 whiskey from a $50 whiskey? Sometimes, it’s just a case of supply and demand, hype, or both. But quite often it’s that little extra something that separates the excellent from the sublime, the everyday from the once-in-a-lifetime, the “Damn, this is a nice whiskey” to “Oh my God, that’s the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted in my life!” One way you’re not going to figure it out is by sticking that top-shelf hooch into a mixed drink. To truly appreciate the subtle complexity of a great whiskey, drink it on its own. f you’re going to show off and spend a lot of money on whiskey, you might as well avoid looking like a damn fool while you’re doing it.