America’s thirst for whiskey is strong, and shows no sign of diluting. U.S. whiskey sales are up 4 percent in the past year, with American whiskey, Canadian whisky, flavored whiskey, and one very famous Irish whiskey rising to the top of this year’s best-selling brands.
These are the top 20 best-selling whiskey brands in America, according to IRI Worldwide, a market research firm that measures off-premise sales such as those in liquor, grocery, and convenience stores.
Popular in the States as well as Latin America, Buchanan’s 12 Year is noted for its honey toast, spice, and fruit flavors.
19. Rich and Rare Canadian Whisky
What’s in a name? In the case of Rich & Rare, not much — the widely available whisky averages $6 a bottle. Nevertheless, this Sazerac-owned Canadian staple nabs a spot on the list.
This Beam Suntory-owned whiskey claims to be “smooth as silk,” which could contribute to its success in the American market.
From a distillery that’s considered a National Historic Landmark, it’s no wonder Woodford Reserve made this list. The small-batch bourbon has aromas of spicy wood, sweet grain, and fruit-forward and peppery flavors on the palate.
This household name rose to television fame with offbeat ads, but is better known today for its White Label blend, introduced over 100 years ago.
Claiming to be the only Canadian whisky that’s blended before aging in white oak barrels, Canadian Club, owned by Beam Suntory, gets its flavor from rye, rye malt, and barley malt atop a base whisky made with corn.
14. Canadian Mist Whisky
This blended Canadian whisky from Brown-Forman once claimed the title of America’s best-selling Canadian whisky. Despite competition, it’s remained among the ranks for its relaxed, casual branding and fair oak and vanilla notes.
For many years, Southern Comfort was a flavored liqueur with nary a trace of whiskey. It’s come a long way since Sazerac bought the brand from Brown-Forman in 2016. Today, the whiskey-based liqueur is still flavored with fruit and spice, but has a little more street cred.
With more rye in its malt bill and more booze in its bonnet, this 90 proof (45 percent ABV) bourbon continues to please American palates in a big way. Currently owned by Diageo, the Bulleit of today launched in 1987, but its history goes back to 1830, when current co-owner Thomas Bulleit’s great-grandfather, Augustus, bottled his first batch.
Claiming the title as the largest Scotch whisky brand in the world, Johnnie Walker — whether black, blue, or Jane — is a worthy legacy of its eponymous founder.
This approachable blend of whisky owned by Constellation Brands is a looker. Its black-and-gold label pops out to shoppers on the shelf, coming in at No. 9 on this list.
Heaven Hill distillers’ Evan Williams brands abound in American bars and liquor stores. The budget bourbon we’re partial to is its 100-proof Bottled-in-Bond (look for the white label).
Seagram’s 7 – appropriately at No. 7 – is perhaps best known for its signature drink, the 7&7 (1.5 ounces Seagram’s 7 Crown Blended Whiskey, 5 ounces 7UP, slice of lime). This blended American whiskey is owned by Diageo and is an American icon.
Sweet and spicy, Maker’s Mark arguably became the first “premium” whiskey when it launched in 1958, claiming to be easier drinking than other whiskey brands.
Jameson is the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world, with 90 percent of its production exported. This rapid growth is attributed to its sale to French parent company Pernod Ricard in 1988.
Fourth on the list in America, and best-selling bourbon in the world, Jim Beam has been producing its signature bourbon with the same proportion of corn, rye, and barley for more than 220 years. Today, it’s sold in 200 countries, with the U.S., Germany, and Australia topping the list of thirstiest nations.
Despite the fact that Fireball is not technically whiskey, and despite being recalled in Europe in 2014 for an antifreeze-adjacent ingredient scare, Fireball is burned into the top five as the No. 3 whiskey in America.
It’s safe to say most people know Jack. It tops the list, with $309,725,503 in sales. The Brown-Forman brand is not only the most popular whiskey in America, it’s the best-selling spirit, period, in the country, and the fourth best-selling spirit in the world.