Skip to main content

10 Fall-Flavored Whiskeys for a Not-So-Basic Autumn

We dig pumpkin carving, warm apple pies, raking the leaves, and a good corn maze — so what if we’re basic like that. Our moc-toe boots and flannel shirt may be basic, but at least our whiskey isn’t. Dudes who love autumn can spice up their season with these 10 fall-flavored whiskeys that bring hints of pumpkin spice, maple, and apple cider to the grain mash we love so dearly.

Spicebox Pumpkin Spiced Rye Whiskey
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“Think pumpkin pie in a glass,” says the Montreal brewers at Spicebox. That is, pumpkin pie without any sense of overly sweet or artificial flavoring. Only around for the holidays, Spicebox Pumpkin Spiced Rye Whiskey is made in small batches with vanilla, nutmeg, and (duh) pumpkin. Pumpkin spice is a flavor after their hearts (hence the distillery name); Canadian smugglers during the Prohibition era would disguise boozy contraband in barrels marked “spices.”

J. Seeds Apple Cider Whiskey
J Seeds Apple Cider Whiskey
J. Seeds Apple Cider Whiskey

Fall is for apple picking, and apple pie, and apple cider. Blending the best and most crisp apples from Washington with Kentucky whiskey, J. Seeds out of California was born from accidentally mixing homemade apple cider with whiskey. Simple but effective, and perfect for a hot toddy.

Smugglers’ Notch Maple Bourbon
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While maple syrup season technically runs from February through March, there’s something about the changing leaves and pecan pie slices of fall that suit the flavor of maple. Smugglers’ Notch Distillery mixes its gold-medal-winning straight bourbon whiskey with 100-percent Vermont maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels. Salivating yet? The result is a rich and spicy bourbon with smoky and spicy notes of cinnamon, vanilla, honey, and oak.

Crown Royal Salted Caramel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Crown Royal took its finest Canadian whiskey hand-selected by the master blender and infused the creamy and lush tastes of salted caramel into the golden liquor. Subtly salty and sweet, the flavor is indulgent and warm. Mix with Crown Royal’s Apple Whiskey and you’ve got yourself a caramel apple in a glass.

Ballotin Caramel Turtle
Ballotin Caramel Turtle
Ballotin Whiskey/Facebook

Fall means it’s acceptable to grow your beard out long enough to hide your chin pudge earned from calorie-rich pecan pies. Bring the indulgence of your favorite rich desserts to whiskey form with Ballotin Caramel Turtle, a blend of craft dark chocolate and fine amber whiskey with creamy caramel and rich pecan flavoring. Use as a replacement to your coffee sweetener (Ballotin is on the more candied side). Not that I’m suggesting drinking whiskey at work … and not that I’m not suggesting it …

Breckenridge Spiced Whiskey
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For all the fall spice and none of the candied sweetness, Breckenridge Distillery out of Colorado hand-infused its bourbon with spices and brown sugar for a whiskey made to sip on the trail as the aspens turn yellow, orange, and red. Breckenridge Spiced Whiskey blends a thoughtful selection of whole roots and winter spices with notes of white pepper and undertones of vanilla. The spice (and award-winning bourbon) will keep you warm as cooler weather sets in.

Rattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s a reason Rattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie corn whiskey walked away the winner of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The whiskey’s fresh-from-the-oven, sweet apple pie flavor is balanced at 70-proof with just enough tart bite to mellow the sugar and spice. Made with Iron Smoke Distillery’s artisan corn whiskey and upstate New York apple cider, the recipe is classic and simple with added cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar. Drink your pie calories and make Rosie’s Cream Pie Shots (Rattle Snake Rosie’s and a whipped cream top).

Sons of Liberty Pumpkin Spice Whiskey
World's Best Flavored Whiskey - Pumpkin Spice from Sons of Liberty

Craft distillers at Rhode Island’s Sons of Liberty Spirits Company smash 32,000 pounds of home-grown, roasted pumpkins to create a “genuine pumpkin flavor” for the seasonal and award-winning Pumpkin Spice Whiskey. Cinnamon, clove, allspice, sweet orange peel, and vanilla are added to the vat. Forget PSLs — the result is an 80-proof, rich mouthful of PSW (pumpkin spice whiskey). The creators were inspired by the huge assortment of fall beers but thought WTF, where’s all the fall whiskey?

Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Blackberry Whiskey
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The start of fall lands directly at the end of blackberry picking season, meaning a blackberry-flavored whiskey is the perfect spirit to transition you out of summer spritzers and into full-bodied whiskeys. Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Blackberry Whiskey is made from Colorado-grown blackberries and whiskey rested in charred American barrels (hello notes of vanilla, raisin, and oak). Intensely flavored, this fall-ready whiskey is a wonderful, deep purple shade (no artificial colorants, y’all).

Whiskey Girl Butterscotch
Whiskey Girl Butterscotch
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Imagine sipping a coffee spiked with Whiskey Girl Butterscotch corn whiskey at a harvest festival (it’ll make the maze less frustrating) or sitting with Grandma wearing an ugly turkey sweater as the bird cooks. Handcrafted from fresh, American-grown corn, red wheat, and barley, natural flavors are added to the twice-distilled whiskey bottled by Dark Corner Distillery in South Carolina. The result is a creative fall-flavored whiskey to make Hot Buttered Butterscotch and Butterscotch Coco cocktails.

Editors' Recommendations

Jahla Seppanen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Born and raised off-the-grid in New Mexico, Jahla Seppanen is currently a sports, fitness, spirits, and culture writer in…
Wild Turkey Releases Two New Limited Edition Whiskeys

Wild Turkey is one of those Kentucky whiskey brands that doesn't really need to expand its core lineup. After all, what it's known for is quality and affordability, two things that sometimes can be hard to find together. In other words, master distillers Eddie and Jimmy Russell can confidently rest on their laurels. But over the past few years expansion is exactly what the distillery has been doing, with the ultra premium Master's Keep series and additions to the Russell's Reserve brand. Now you can look for two more whiskeys with flags flying under the Wild Turkey banner, one from the aforementioned Master's Keep series, the other a new barrel-proof rye whiskey that is part of the Rare Breed lineup.

Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond is the fifth release under this banner of pricey, limited-release whiskeys. It's a 17-year-old bourbon, and the second Wild Turkey release to carry the BIB designation (the first was the 15-year-old American Spirit released over a decade ago, according to the brand). “With our own Master’s Keep Bottled In Bond, we took the historic process and protocol of aging for four years to the next level and allowed the liquid to rest for 17 years,” said Eddie Russell in a prepared statement. “We aged and perfected this rare, 17-year-old bourbon in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouses. This expression is a nod to the past, both our own heritage and the heritage of American whiskey-making as a craft.” Per the BIB rules, the whiskey is bottled at 100 proof, at least four years old, and is the product of one distilling season from one distillery. It's rich and delicious, with a creamy mouthfeel and strong notes of tannin, cherry, chocolate, and prune on the palate. This bourbon was bottled just in time -- it might have gone south after another year or two in the barrel. But as it is, it's a winner. It's not cheap at $175 for a bottle, but for those willing to spend some cash on a high-quality, older-than-usual bourbon, it's certainly worth it.

Read more
The 10 Best Whiskies For Boulevardiers

Looking to up your cocktail game during quarantine, but not sure where to start? Well, say you want bourbon (because yes, bourbon is as much a summer liquor as it is a fall or winter one), and you want something boozy (because quarantine). Well, we have just the thing for you.

One of the biggest cocktail fads of the last few years has got to be the rise of the Negroni. This classic Italian aperitif combines gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and an orange slice, resulting in a refreshing and bittersweet libation ideal for warm afternoons and evenings.

Read more
Big Whiskey News: Brown-Forman Early Times is Sold to Sazerac
Whiskey in a glass

Early Times whiskey is celebrating its 160th year -- not a bad run for any brand -- but it was announced this week that Brown-Forman is selling the brand to Sazerac. Brown-Forman, which has owned Early Times since 1923, is unloading the whiskey brand along with Canadian brands Canadian Mist and Collingwood -- so it's possible that this deal is more about those than it is about Early Times. More people drink Early Times than you might think, as the brand claims that it is "the seventh-largest unflavored whiskey in the United States available in markets around the world."

“Early Times and Canadian Mist have been valued brands in our portfolio for many years, and they each have played significant roles in our company’s history,” said Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman, in a prepared statement. “We are thankful to all the people who have distilled, bottled, shipped, marketed, and distributed these brands with care over the years.” Sazerac CEO and president also expressed his delight in acquiring what he called "iconic brands."

Read more