If you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just learning 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 pace. As the bread and butter industry continues to crank out bottles from Kentucky, the US whiskey market is expected to reach $20.75 billion in 2025, growing 2.7% year-over-year .
According to a recent study, American consumption tends towards more premium offers, which explains why certain whiskeys, like Pappy Van Winkle, are almost impossible to find anywhere.
The good news is that popular whiskeys in the United States run the gamut from affordable to expensive, and the quality is there no matter what price point the consumer is looking for.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
When an American first encounters whiskey, chances are it will be a trademark impression of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. It’s odd, in a way, because America is proud of bourbon, but it’s Jack’s affordability, iconic branding, and incredibly smooth profile that make it America’s quintessential whiskey.
Jim Beam Bourbon
If it’s not Jack Daniel who makes his presence felt first, chances are it’s Jim Beam. A brand that has been around since the late 1700s, Jim Beam is a staple in most bars thanks to its consistency and balanced approach to the palate.
Jim’s portfolio includes Booker’s, Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek, all incredibly popular and delicious whiskeys in their own right.
The roots of the wild turkey date back to the 1800s, but it was in 1940 that it received 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 that veteran 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 wide range of offshoots, such as Russell’s Reserve, Rare Breed and Longbranch.
Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky may be the oldest operating distillery in the United States. The distillery is a giant and majestic place, earning it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The base bourbon, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey, is perhaps one of the best bang for your buck on the market.
Buffalo Trace’s portfolio includes amazing expressions like Colonel EH Taylor, WL Weller, and Pappy Van Winkle’s family stash.
Whiskey Heritage Staples
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 an extensive portfolio of bourbons available. The base is the 86-proof Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whiskey which is smooth with hints of vanilla.
The branding is subtle and simplified, 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 has a somewhat upscale vibe. The distillery claims that over 200 flavor notes are packed into the classic Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon whisky. That a drinker can taste all of this is one thing, quite another is how easily the Woodford descends.
Tasty Regional Whiskeys
Hudson Whiskey is one of New York’s oldest distilleries, and a recently released Four-Part Harmony, a four-grain bourbon aged at least 7 years, the oldest aged whiskey released by a New York distillery to this day.
Utah isn’t exactly known for being a booze-loving state. But High West Distillery produces some of the best spirits west of the Mississippi. The American Prairie Bourbon is a bourbon gem.
But the whiskey that really shines in the world of craft spirits is Campfire, a blend of Scotch, bourbon and rye whiskey. The smoky but light whiskey is worth grabbing if you see it.
Balcones was one of the first whiskeys outside of Kentucky to have whiskey drinkers cringe and say “Wow.”
Now, Balcones’ Texas Single Malt Whiskey is still a bottle people strive to grab and try when they can. But the Waco, Texas-based distillery continues to offer a delicious range of spirits, ranging from Texas Rye to Texas Rum.