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22 Must-Try American Whiskey Brands

A view of several bottles of Basil Hayden's whiskey, on display at a local big box grocery store.

American whiskey is a diverse and flavorful spirit that has gained popularity worldwide. From smooth bourbons to spicy ryes, there’s a best American whiskey for every palate. If you enjoy rich, complex flavors with a hint of sweetness, you might find yourself reaching for a bottle of bourbon. On the other hand, if you prefer a bold, peppery kick, a rye whiskey could be your go-to choice. Whether sipped neat, on the rocks, or in a classic cocktail, best American whiskey is perfect for anyone looking to savor the depth and character of this iconic spirit.

Pappy Van Winkle

Pappy Van Winkle American Whiskey
source: pappyco.com

Pappy Van Winkle, a legendary figure in the world of American whiskey, stands as a beacon of craftsmanship and tradition. As we explore the best American whiskeys, Pappy Van Winkle’s iconic bourbons inevitably take center stage. Revered for their unparalleled quality and scarcity, these sought-after spirits are a testament to the artistry and dedication that define the pinnacle of whiskey-making. Delve into the allure of Pappy Van Winkle’s legacy, where history and flavor intertwine, captivating enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.


Basil Hayden

Basil Hayden
source: basilhaydenbourbon.com

Basil Hayden, a distinguished brand in the world of bourbon, boasts a history steeped in tradition and innovation. Known for its smooth and approachable flavor profile, this Kentucky-based whiskey stands out with its higher rye content, providing a unique twist to the classic bourbon taste. With origins dating back to the late 18th century, Basil Hayden continues to charm enthusiasts with its distinct bottle shape and golden amber hues, making it a cherished choice for those seeking a refined and delightful sipping experience.


George Dickel

George Dickel
source: georgedickel.com

George Dickel, an esteemed name in American whiskey, captures the essence of Tennessee craftsmanship and heritage. With a history tracing back to the 19th century, this iconic distillery is renowned for its meticulously crafted spirits and commitment to quality. George Dickel’s distinct charcoal mellowing process imparts a smooth and balanced character to their whiskeys, making them a timeless favorite among aficionados seeking a taste of authentic Tennessee whiskey tradition. Embark on a journey with George Dickel and savor the legacy of true Southern hospitality in every sip.


Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve
source: woodfordreserve.com

Woodford Reserve, a revered name in the realm of bourbon, epitomizes the art of small-batch distilling. Situated in the scenic bluegrass region of Kentucky, this distillery showcases a perfect harmony between tradition and innovation. With its copper pot stills and long aging process in charred oak barrels, Woodford Reserve crafts a rich, full-bodied bourbon known for its complex flavors and smoothness. Immerse yourself in the heritage of bourbon-making with every sip of Woodford Reserve, a true testament to the craftsmanship of America’s native spirit.


Angel’s Envy

Angel’s Envy
source: angelsenvy.com

Angel’s Envy, a celebrated bourbon brand, invites enthusiasts to experience a heavenly blend of tradition and creativity. With a unique twist on the aging process, this Kentucky distillery finishes its whiskey in port wine casks, imparting a distinct and luscious character to the final product. Crafted by passionate artisans, Angel’s Envy offers a velvety smoothness and delightful complexity that captivate the senses, making it a cherished choice for those seeking a truly divine bourbon experience.

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High West

High West
source: highwest.com

High West, a notable name in the world of whiskey, brings the spirit of the Wild West to life with its innovative blends and exceptional craftsmanship. Hailing from Utah, this distillery embraces the frontier heritage and pushes the boundaries of traditional whiskey-making. High West’s dedication to blending and aging techniques results in unique and flavorful offerings that pay homage to the rugged landscape of the American West. Embrace the adventurous spirit of High West and embark on a journey through their extraordinary range of handcrafted whiskeys.


Blanton’s

Blanton’s
source: blantonsbourbon.com

Blanton’s, a revered bourbon brand, holds a special place in the hearts of whiskey enthusiasts worldwide. As the first single-barrel bourbon ever commercially released, Blanton’s set a precedent for premium craftsmanship and personalized taste. Hailing from Kentucky, each bottle bears a distinctive horse stopper atop the cork, symbolizing the spirit’s elegance and excellence. Blanton’s is renowned for its rich, complex flavor profile and smooth finish, making it a cherished choice for connoisseurs seeking a top-tier bourbon experience.


Knob Creek

Knob Creek
source: knobcreek.com

Knob Creek, a prominent bourbon label, epitomizes the essence of classic American whiskey-making. Named after Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home in Kentucky, this brand pays homage to tradition and heritage. With a higher proof and longer aging process than most bourbons, Knob Creek boasts a robust and full-bodied flavor profile, delighting enthusiasts seeking a bold and authentic bourbon experience. Embark on a journey through the heart of Kentucky’s distilling legacy with each sip of Knob Creek, a testament to the enduring charm of true, small-batch craftsmanship.


Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel’s
source: jackdaniels.com

Jack Daniel’s, an iconic name in the world of whiskey, stands tall as a true American legend. Hailing from Tennessee, this renowned brand is characterized by its distinctive charcoal mellowing process, which imparts a smooth and mellow taste to its whiskeys. Jack Daniel’s boasts a range of expressions, from the classic Old No. 7 to single-barrel releases, catering to a diverse palate of whiskey enthusiasts. With a rich history dating back to 1866, Jack Daniel’s remains an enduring symbol of craftsmanship, tradition, and unparalleled quality in the realm of spirits.


George T. Stagg

George T. Stagg
source: buffalotracedistillery.com

George T. Stagg, an esteemed name in the world of bourbon, represents the pinnacle of bold and unyielding flavors. As part of Buffalo Trace’s renowned Antique Collection, this highly sought-after bourbon is released annually as a limited edition. With cask strength and extensive aging, George T. Stagg delivers a robust and intense taste profile, leaving a lasting impression on seasoned connoisseurs and collectors alike. Embrace the legacy of this exceptional spirit, where strength and complexity converge in a true embodiment of American whiskey mastery.


Michter’s

Michter’s
source: michters.com

Michter’s, a distinguished name in the realm of whiskey, embraces a rich history dating back to the 18th century. Known for its commitment to excellence and small-batch distillation, Michter’s produces a range of sought-after whiskeys, including bourbon, rye, and American whiskey. Their iconic expressions like Michter’s US1 Bourbon and Michter’s US1 Rye have gained popularity among enthusiasts for their balanced and flavorful profiles. With a legacy rooted in tradition and innovation, Michter’s continues to captivate drinkers with its exceptional spirits and timeless craftsmanship.

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Booker’s

Booker’s Bourbon
Source: bookersbourbon.com

Booker’s, a distinguished brand in the whiskey industry, stands out for its uncut and unfiltered approach. Named after Booker Noe, a renowned master distiller, this small-batch bourbon showcases a robust and intense flavor profile, appealing to aficionados seeking a bold sipping experience. In comparison to other brands, Booker’s sets itself apart with its high-proof expression and distinctive barrel strength, emphasizing its full-bodied character and rich complexity. As a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts, Booker’s continues to leave a lasting impression with its unapologetically powerful and flavorful offerings.


W.L. Weller

W.L. Weller
source: buffalotracedistillery.com

W.L. Weller, a respected name in the bourbon world, is renowned for its smooth and approachable flavor profile. Produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery, their whiskeys are known for their gentle sweetness, caramel, and vanilla notes, making them highly enjoyable for both seasoned connoisseurs and newcomers to bourbon. W.L. Weller is particularly famous for its wheated bourbons, where wheat serves as a secondary grain alongside corn, resulting in a softer, more mellow taste compared to traditional rye-heavy bourbons. Savor the delightful nuances of W.L. Weller’s creations, where craftsmanship and taste intertwine in every sip.


Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace
source: buffalotracedistillery.com

Buffalo Trace, an esteemed distillery nestled in Kentucky’s heart, carries a legacy steeped in history and craftsmanship. Recognized as one of America’s most iconic bourbon producers, Buffalo Trace offers a diverse range of spirits, from their signature bourbon to rye whiskeys and specialty releases. Embodying the essence of true Kentucky bourbon, Buffalo Trace captivates enthusiasts with its rich, complex flavors, earned through time-honored aging techniques and a commitment to excellence. Sip on a taste of tradition with Buffalo Trace, a distillery celebrated for its storied heritage and outstanding spirits.


Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark
source: makersmark.com

Maker’s Mark, a standout brand among America’s best whiskeys, boasts a distinctive approach to bourbon-making. With their use of red winter wheat in the mash bill instead of rye, Maker’s Mark achieves a smooth and approachable taste profile, setting them apart from traditional rye-heavy bourbons. The brand’s signature red wax-dipped bottles symbolize their commitment to handcrafted quality and attention to detail. Embrace the uniqueness of Maker’s Mark, a brand that combines tradition and innovation to deliver a truly exceptional and inviting whiskey experience in the world of American spirits.


E.H. Taylor Jr.

E.H. Taylor Jr.
source: buffalotracedistillery.com

E.H. Taylor Jr., an eminent figure in the whiskey industry, remains a revered name in the world of American spirits. As part of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, E.H. Taylor Jr.’s line of whiskeys captures the essence of heritage and craftsmanship. Known for its exceptional quality, the brand’s expressions like E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch and E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel have gained popularity among enthusiasts for their rich and complex flavors, offering a delightful journey through the legacy of this iconic distiller.


Eagle Rare

Eagle Rare
source: eaglerare.com

Eagle Rare, a distinguished bourbon brand, stands as a shining example of excellence in American whiskey-making. With a rich history and impeccable craftsmanship, Eagle Rare offers a sophisticated taste profile characterized by notes of caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak. Its velvety smoothness and balanced complexity make it a delightful sipping experience, best enjoyed neat or on the rocks to fully appreciate its flavors. Its complexity and refinement make Eagle Rare an alluring choice for connoisseurs seeking a timeless and memorable sipping experience.

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Bulleit

Bulleit
source: bulleit.com

Bulleit, a prominent name in the world of bourbon, has earned its reputation for blending tradition and modernity. This Kentucky-based company, which Tom Bulleit founded, offers a variety of premium whiskeys, including their well-known Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye. With a high rye content, Bulleit whiskeys exude a bold and spicy character, capturing the essence of classic American flavors. Bulleit continues to impress mixologists and whiskey connoisseurs alike with its consistent quality and distinctive flavor, making it a popular choice in the developing world of bourbon.


Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey
source: wildturkeybourbon.com

Wild Turkey, an iconic brand in the realm of American whiskey, boasts a legacy rooted in tradition and authenticity. Crafted in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, this renowned distillery is known for its high-quality bourbons with a distinctive mash bill containing a higher percentage of rye. The brand’s flagship expression, Wild Turkey 101, stands out for its robust and full-bodied taste, delivering a bold and flavorful experience. Embrace the spirit of the Wild Turkey, where time-honored craftsmanship and unparalleled dedication converge to create a true American whiskey classic.


Old Forester

Old Forester
source: https://www.oldforester.com

Old Forester, a historic bourbon brand, entices the senses with its unique and captivating flavor profile. Known for its rich and balanced taste, Old Forester boasts delightful notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, delivering a smooth and satisfying palate. The brand’s commitment to consistency and quality ensures that each sip of Old Forester exudes a timeless charm, making it a cherished choice for those seeking a classic and refined bourbon experience. Indulge in the taste of tradition with Old Forester, a true testament to the artistry of American whiskey.


Elijah Craig

Elijah Craig
source: elijahcraig.com

Elijah Craig, a revered name in the world of bourbon, stands as a testament to the art of exceptional taste. As one of the early pioneers in Kentucky distilling, Elijah Craig’s eponymous brand stands as a testament to craftsmanship and tradition. Known for its smooth and full-bodied flavor profile, Elijah Craig Bourbon offers a delightful journey through rich caramel, vanilla, and oak notes, embodying the classic allure of fine American spirits. Embrace the heritage of Elijah Craig, where passion and expertise converge in every sip of this distinguished bourbon.


Westland

Westland
source: westlanddistillery.com

Westland, a trailblazing brand in the world of American single malt whiskey, adds a touch of innovation to the time-honored tradition of whiskey-making. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Westland showcases a unique terroir-driven approach, utilizing locally sourced ingredients to craft their exceptional spirits. With a commitment to quality and flavor, their expressions like Westland American Oak and Westland Sherry Wood have gained popularity among enthusiasts for their rich, complex profiles that reflect the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Savor the essence of Westland’s ingenuity and passion in every sip as they redefine the boundaries of American single malt whiskey.


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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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