In the last few years, an explosion of small-batch, artisanal distilleries has made whiskey as popular as ever. But which are the very best whiskey brands today? Find out the 12 best whiskey brands in our comprehensive guide.
Whiskey is one of the most recognized spirits in the United States, enjoyed by millions of people every day. In fact, the whiskey industry is booming, with sales continuing to grow year after year. According to Distilled Spirits Council, whiskey sales in the US reached over 5 billion dollars in 2022.
If you are a whisker connoisseur, we know you've tasted some fine whiskeys out there. However, if you are a novice, finding a good whiskey brand may be difficult for you. To help narrow down your search, we've put together a list of the 12 best whiskey brands.
Table Of Contents
1. Four Roses
Four Roses is a beloved whiskey brand that was established in 1884. The brand was founded by Paul Jones Jr. Jones named his whiskey brand in honor of the love of his life. Legend has it that Paul proposed to a beautiful Southern belle who wore a corsage of four roses to the grand ball to symbolize her acceptance.
Since then, Four Roses has been producing premium-quality whiskey enjoyed by whiskey aficionados worldwide. The brand uses ten distinct recipes, each with its own unique flavors and spiciness, to create their signature bourbons.
- Small batch offerings
- Single barrel offering
- Unique mash bill that gives their bourbons a distinct flavor profile
2. Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey is a classic American whiskey brand that has been around since 1855. The company began its business by selling wines and spirits, but soon after, they started producing wild turkey bourbon.
Wild Turkey bourbon is made from a blend of rye, corn, and malted barley and is aged for at least five years in American White Oak barrels. The resulting whiskey is deep auburn in color with a taste of vanilla, caramel, toffee, and spice.
- Aged for longer periods of time compared to other bourbons
- A great choice for cocktails
- Bold and full-bodied flavor with notes of light smoke and toffee
3. Jack Daniel's
Jack Daniel's is one of the most famous whiskey brands in the whiskey world. The brand was launched in 1866 by Jasper "Jack" Daniels.
Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 was the brand's first whiskey. The whiskey was an instant hit, and it remains its flagship product to this day. The Jack Daniel's Old No. & is actually the best-selling whiskey of all time and can be found in nearly every corner of the world.
Apart from the Old No. 10, Jack Daniel's has produced other popular drinks, including Gentleman Jack, Tennessee Fire, and Tennessee Rye, among others.
- Uses a unique charcoal-mellowing process to create its whiskey
- Produces high-quality whiskey
- Uses a mash bill of 80% corn, 8% malted barley, and 12% rye
4. Knob Creek
Founded in 1992, Knob Creek is one of the best whiskey brands in the world. The brand prides itself in producing only the best whiskeys that are made using only the finest grains. Knob Creek ages its whiskey for over nine years, giving it a rich oak taste with hints of vanilla and caramel.
Knob Creek whiskey is often enjoyed on its own, but the drink is also a great ingredient for cocktails. The brand's robust flavor profile and high rye content make it an excellent base for several bourbon cocktails, including Rye Old Fashioned, Classic Manhattan, and Classic Old Fashioned.
- Aged for longer periods of time
- Produced in small batches to ensure quality
- Cocktail versatility
5. George Dickel
George Dickel is a Tennessee whiskey brand that has been producing extraordinary whiskey since 1964. Ever since it was established, the brand has been manufacturing and aging its whiskey at its very own distillery in Cascade Hollow. George Dickel Distillery is the second largest in Tennessee after Jack Daniel's.
George Dickel's good work is evident in the several awards and accolades the brand has received over the years. The brand's whiskeys have won numerous gold and double gold medals at prestigious awards like the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
- Cocktail recipes available
- Aged for atleast five years
- Produced at the Cascade Hollow Distillery
6. Crown Royal
Crown Royal is a Canadian whiskey brand that was founded in 1939. The brand was created by Samuel Bronfman to commemorate the 1939 royal tour of Canada.
Crown Royal was first introduced to the US in the 1960s. The brand quickly gained popularity among American whiskey drinkers and has since become the best-selling Canadian whiskey brand in the United States.
In recent years, Crown Royal has continued to expand its product line to include other popular whiskeys like:
- The Crown Royal Black
- Crown Royal XO
- Crown Royal Peach
- Aged in charred oak barrels
- Produces the smoothest whiskey
- Wide range of whiskeys available
7. Maker's Mark
Maker's Mark came to be in 1953 after Bill Samuels Sr. came up with a unique recipe for his bourbon whiskey. Samuel was inspired by a 170-year-old recipe used by his family to make whiskey. The recipe was a success, and it's used to date to create the brand's famous whiskeys.
Maker's Mark's whiskey is made in Marker's Mark distillery, which is located in Loretto, Kentucky. The brand produces its whiskey using the finest red winter wheat, corn, and malted barley. The Maker's Mark whiskey is aged in American oak barrels until it's ready.
- Aged to taste
- Makes perfect classic and modern cocktails
8. Angel's Envy
Angel's Envy is an American whiskey brand located in Kentucky. The brand was founded by Lincoln Henderson. Since its inception, Angel's Envy has produced a wide array of whiskeys for their esteemed clients. Their most celebrated whiskeys include:
- Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished In Prot Wine Barrels
- Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished In Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks
- Angel's Envy Rye Whiskey Finished In Ice Cidar Casks
- Sleek bottle design
- Cocktail recipes available
- Perfect for gifting your loved ones
Blanton's has been around since 1984. The brand was headed by Colonel Albert Blanton for a long period. During this time, Blanton asked master distiller Elmer T. Lee, to make him one of kind bourbon before he retired. Lee finally created the drink, and he named it "Blanton's Single Barrel." The bourbon, which was released a year before Lee retired, was an instant hit. Today, Blanton's Single Barrel is still enjoyed by bourbon lovers worldwide.
- Award-winning bourbon
- Premium-quality bourbon
- Perfect for all seasons
10. Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker is one of the most popular whiskey brands. The brand was founded by Johnnie Walker himself. Initially, Johnnie Walker sold brandy, rum, gin, and whiskey, but he later started selling whiskey exclusively.
Johnnie Walker has produced award-winning whiskeys that have been praised by whiskey lovers and critics alike. In fact, the brand has received Monde Selection's gold and grand gold quality awards several times.
- Suitable for all seasons and occasions
- Produces premium quality whisky
- Used in cocktails
11. Whistle Pig
Whistle Pig may be new in the whiskey-making business, but this Vermont-based whiskey brand has already established itself as one of the best whiskey brands around.
Whistle Pig was launched by Raj Bhakta in 2010, but it was not until 2015 that the brand released their first whiskey, the PiggyBack Rye. PiggyBack Rye was produced using 100% rye grain, and it was aged for six years.
In addition to PiggyBack Rye, Whistle Pig's other well-known whiskeys include PiggyBack Bourbon, The Boss Hog, and more.
- A wide array of whiskeys available
- Cocktail recipes provided
- Stylish bottles
Bulleit is another whiskey brand that is located in Kentucky. The brand has been producing top-quality bourbon since 1987. Bulleit bourbon is made using only the finest ingredients. The spirit is created from a blend of corn, rye, and barley malt. Bulleit bourbon is medium amber in color, and it has a sweet oak aroma.
- Cocktail and food pairings provided
- Suitable for all seasons
- A wide variety of bourbon offered
There you have it, guys! The 12 best whiskey brands available in the market right now. Whether you're looking for something smooth or spicy, these top-rated liquor brands are sure to impress. However, the best way for you to determine whether or not you like a certain whiskey brand is to try it yourself and make your own judgment call based on your experience with it.