If you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just learning how to drink whiskey, some of the most popular whiskey brands can be found in the United States. And the whiskey market continues to grow at a rapid clip. While the industry’s bread and butter continues to pump out bottles from Kentucky, the U.S. whiskey market is projected to reach $20.75 billion in 2025, growing at 2.7% year-over-year.
According to a recent research study, U.S. consumption is trending toward more premium offerings, which explains why some whiskeys, like Pappy Van Winkle, are nearly impossible to find anywhere.
The good news is popular whiskies in the U.S. span the full range of affordable to expensive, and the quality is there at whatever price level a consumer seeks.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
When an American first learns about whiskey, there’s a good chance it’s a brand impression of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. It’s odd, in a way, because America prides itself on bourbon, but it’s Jack’s affordable price, iconic branding, and incredibly smooth profile that makes this a quintessential whiskey in America.
Jim Beam Bourbon
If it’s not Jack Daniel’s making its presence felt first, there’s a good chance it’s Jim Beam. A brand around since the late 1700s, Jim Beam is a staple on most bars thanks to its consistency and balanced approach to a palate.
The portfolio of Jim includes Booker’s, Basil Hayden’s, and Knob Creek, all incredibly popular and delicious whiskies in their own right.
Wild Turkey’s roots date back to the 1800s, but it was 1940 when it garnered its name. Then in 1954, Jimmy Russell joined the team as master distiller, a position he still holds today with his son, Eddie. Add to the experienced father and son duo actor Matthew McConaughey, who joined Wild Turkey as creative director several years ago.
The Wild Turkey brand is a quintessential bourbon brand with a great line of offshoots, like Russell’s Reserve, Rare Breed, and Longbranch.
The Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky could be the oldest continuously operating distillery in the United States. The distillery is a giant, majestic place, which has earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The base bourbon, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey, is perhaps one of the best bang-for-your-buck bourbons on the market.
Buffalo Trace’s portfolio includes incredible expressions like Col. E. H. Taylor, W.L. Weller, and Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve.
Four Roses is a unique distillery in that it creates all of its bourbons from up to 10 recipes. The distillery takes two separate mash bills and uses up to five yeast strains to create its recipes. Those
Old Forester claims to be the first bottled bourbon. True or not, the brand has a huge portfolio of bourbons available. The base is the 86-proof Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whiskey that is soft with vanilla notes.
The branding is subtle and streamlined, keeping the labels subtle and classic enough to accompany the liquid inside.
Another distillery that has earned a National Register of Historic Places designation, Woodford carries itself with a bit of an upscale vibe. The distillery claims more than 200 flavor notes are packed into the classic Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Whether a drinker can taste all of those is one thing, another is the ease in which the Woodford goes down.
Hudson Whiskey is one of the oldest distilleries in New York, and a recently released Four-Part Harmony, a four-grain bourbon aged a minimum of 7 years, the oldest aged whiskey released by a New York distillery yet.
Utah isn’t exactly known for being a booze-loving state. But High West Distillery is putting out some of the finest spirits west of the Mississippi. The American Prairie Bourbon is a gem of a bourbon.
But the whiskey that really shines through in the world of craft spirits is Campfire, a blend of Scotch, bourbon, and rye whiskey. The smoky, yet light whiskey is worth grabbing if you see it.
Balcones was one of the first whiskies outside of Kentucky to make whiskey drinkers step back and say, “Wow.”
Now, Balcones’ Texas Single Malt Whisky is still a bottle people strive to grab and try when they can. But the Waco, Texas-based distillery continues to offer a delightful line of spirits, ranging from Texas Rye to Texas Rum.
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