In 2020, whiskey sales hit $10.8 billion in the U.S., while vodka lagged behind in second place with just $6.9 billion total sales, according to data from the Distilled Spirits Council. Viewing the data more closely, it also becomes clear that Americans are particularly patriotic when buying and drinking the spirit. Last year, dollar sales of American whiskey amounted to nearly double those of Canadian whiskey or Scotch, and nearly four times the total spent on bottles from Ireland. But which states love American whiskey the most?
To answer this question, VinePair examined data shared by the international insights firm Nielsen. More specifically, we dissected off-premise sales data for American whiskey in each state after the firm had converted each figure into a percentage share of all spirits sales for each region. (Nielsen compiled the data during the 52-week period ending April 17, 2021.)
While each of America’s 50 states can lay claim to at least one whiskey producer, the final data showed strong correlation between popularity of American whiskey and longstanding distilling traditions. Kentucky topped the list by quite some margin (surprise, surprise), with Indiana placing second, and Tennessee only narrowly missing out on a spot in the top five. On the other end of the scale, if you’re an avid American whiskey drinker looking for like-minded individuals, you’ll almost certainly want to avoid Idaho.
Find out where your state ranks in its appreciation for American whiskey in the map below.