Bourbon is currently more popular than ever before, and although for the longest time historic Kentucky distilleries have produced the lion’s share of quality whiskey, new “craft” distillers are starting to pop up all over the country. And some of them are making Bourbon so good, they’re giving the traditional producers a run for their money.
The problem is, there are also a lot of craft distilleries out there that are simply jumping in on the Bourbon trend, creating liquor that looks like Bourbon, but delivers very little of good Bourbon’s pleasure. On top of this, most great craft distilleries don’t yet have the distribution power to ensure you can find them in your local liquor store.
But you’re in luck, because we’ve identified what we believe to be the seven best craft Bourbons in the U.S. and we’re partnering with our friends at MOUTH so you can have them delivered straight to your door. We wouldn’t blame you if you grabbed a bottle of each.
Town Branch Bourbon
Town Branch is the first new distillery to open in Lexington, Kentucky in over 100 years, and although they’ve only been distilling since 2008, they already make a fine Bourbon. Aged for 4 years, the mash bill is almost 75% corn and that comes through in the Whiskey’s sweet aroma. It’s a great whiskey for drinking on the rocks.
Kings County Bourbon
Distilled in Brooklyn, New York, Kings County is the first distillery to open in New York City since prohibition. This is a Bourbon aged less than 4 years – we actually have heard the age is closer to 2 – so the nose of the whiskey is still much more grain forward than wood. There’s a bit of heat on the palate, which also gives away the whiskey’s youth, but also lovely flavors of vanilla, banana and burnt sugar. The packaging is also pretty cool.
Van Brunt Stillhouse Bourbon Whiskey
Another whiskey made in Brooklyn, NY, Stillhouse is produced by husband-and-wife team Daric Schlesselman and Sarah Ludington. This is a wheated Bourbon, meaning besides the majority corn which makes a bourbon, the remaining grain of wheat has been used to give this Bourbon a sweeter, smoother profile. And the wheat really shines through in this bottle. Notes of vanilla, spice and cinnamon are present as well as a bit of heat presenting itself when the whiskey is swallowed.
Yes this is a craft Bourbon for Columbus, OH, which actually makes quite a bit of sense when you realize Ohio and Kentucky share a border, and likely a love for good Bourbon. This Bourbon is pretty rare, in that it’s been spelted, which is a rare kind of wheat that was used a lot in the early 20th century, but fell out of favor many decades ago. The nose gives off aromas of cedar and pine with vanilla nicely blending into the mix. On the palate it is sweet and smooth, with flavors of caramel and wood followed by a bit of spicy rye at the end.
Hillrock Estate Solera Aged Bourbon
This Bourbon will make anyone fall in love with craft whiskey. Made by industry icon and former Maker’s Mark Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, this whiskey is a smooth as they come. Employing the Solera method allows for many different aged whiskeys to all be in the same bottle, benefiting the taste and complexity. There’s honey, ripe bananas, nougat on the nose, with cherries, oranges and honey on the palate. This is a complex whiskey that is sure to impress.
Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
Wyoming Whiskey is made by another former Maker’s Mark Master Distiller, Steve Nally. The influence of his experience is very apparent in the bottle. Like Town Branch, Wyoming Whiskey also allows its whiskey to age for longer than is normal for those in the craft community, with the average age in the bottle at around five years. This is a wheated Bourbon with a lovely floral nose and aromas of caramel. It’s a sweet tasting whiskey that finishes smooth with a bit of warmth, and tastes really nice on the rocks.
Garrison Brothers Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This is a whiskey for people who love their whiskey strong. It’s got an aggressive kick that delivers powerful aromas on the nose of wood and vanilla. There’s a good amount of heat when you drink it as well, but we would expect nothing less from a whiskey made in Texas. It’s a very interesting whiskey that is well worth your time.