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Best Craft Vodka Distillery (2020)

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Russia and Poland were distilling vodka as early as the 8th or 9th centuries. Since those early days, it has become one of the world's most popular spirits, thanks in large part to its versatility in mixing. But vodka doesn't just belong in cocktails; while some distilleries compete to create the smoothest, clearest and sometimes most flavorless variation, others are embracing vodka by making it with local, high-quality ingredients (including potatoes, wheat, corn and even grapes) with minimal distillation to allow the natural flavors to shine. 

  • McClintock Distilling

    McClintock Distilling
    Frederick, Maryland

    Epiphany Organic Vodka from McClintock Distilling in Maryland begins its journey from grain to bottle as organic, non-GMO white wheat. The spirit is double-distilled through an 18-plate column still, then triple-filtered for a clean and smooth finish with notes of butter and wheat.
    Photo courtesy of McClintock Distilling

  • Spring44

    Spring44
    Loveland, Colorado

    This slightly sweet, creamy vodka from Spring44 is made from pure, unaltered Colorado Rocky Mountain spring water collected at an altitude of 9,000 feet. Spring44 also distills a vodka from locally sourced honey.
    Photo courtesy of Spring44

  • South Fork Vodka

    South Fork Vodka
    Grass Valley, California

    South Fork Vodka is a six-time distilled spirit that is 100-percent gluten-free and non-GMO. It has already become one of the most awarded vodkas in Northern California.
    Photo courtesy of South Fork Vodka

  • Middle West Spirits

    Middle West Spirits
    Columbus, Ohio

    OYO Vodka from Middle West Spirits in Columbus is made from Ohio-grown red winter wheat. The unfiltered vodka has a rich aroma and whiskey-like quality, perfect for sipping. The distillery also makes Honey Vanilla Bean, Barrel-Finished Honey Vanilla Bean and Stone Fruit versions.
    Photo courtesy of Middle West Spirits

  • Smugglers' Notch Distillery

    Smugglers' Notch Distillery
    Jeffersonville, Vermont

    Smugglers’ Notch Vodka is made from Idaho-grown grains and water from the Mount Mansfield watershed of Northern Vermont. The grain wash gets distilled in a four-column still and passed through a multi-stage filtration process for a smooth vodka with just a hint of sweetness. Smugglers’ Notch Distillery also makes an organic gluten-free vodka made from corn.
    Photo courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Distillery

  • Cold River Vodka

    Cold River Vodka
    Freeport, Maine

    Cold River Vodka is made from Maine-grown potatoes and water from the Cold River. This spirit is triple-distilled in a copper pot still, bottled onsite and individually numbered. The Blueberry Flavored Vodka is infused with wild Maine blueberries.
    Photo courtesy of Cold River Vodka

  • Bently Heritage Estate Distillery

    Bently Heritage Estate Distillery
    Minden, Nevada

    Source One Single Estate Vodka from Nevada’s Bently Heritage Estate Distillery is made from wheat and oats grown on the distillery’s own ranch and water from a local well fed by mountain snowmelt. The twice-distilled vodka is finished in copper pot stills and has a silky mouthfeel with notes of nuts and cereal.
    Photo courtesy of Bently Heritage Estate Distillery

  • The Industrious Spirit Company

    The Industrious Spirit Company
    Providence, Rhode Island

    The Industrious Spirit Company, the first distillery in Providence since Prohibition, makes their Structural Vodka from regionally grown, organic, non-GMO corn. The distillery cooks, ferments and double-distills the corn in small batches, then charcoal-filters the spirit at least 20 times for a clean, crisp finish and creamy mouthfeel.
    Photo courtesy of The Industrious Spirit Company

  • Rapscallion Spirits

    Rapscallion Spirits
    Ukiah, California

    Caryopsis Vodka from California’s Rapscallion Spirits is a smooth, clean and crisp vodka made from wheat. The distillery also produces a Raspberry Lemonade Vodka perfect for mixing on a hot summer day.
    Photo courtesy of Rapscallion Spirits

  • Cardinal Spirits

    Cardinal Spirits
    Bloomington, Indiana

    Indiana’s Cardinal Spirits crafts two different vodkas in their Bloomington distillery. Cardinal Spirits Vodka is made from Argentinian white grapes for a smooth, fruity spirit, while Pride Vodka is fermented and distilled from Indiana corn, with a portion of profits going to local LGBTQ organizations.
    Photo courtesy of Cardinal Spirits

The top 10 winners in the category Best Craft Vodka Distillery are as follows:

  1. McClintock Distilling - Frederick, Maryland
  2. Spring44 - Loveland, Colorado
  3. South Fork Vodka - Grass Valley, California
  4. Middle West Spirits - Columbus, Ohio
  5. Smugglers' Notch Distillery - Jeffersonville, Vermont
  6. Cold River Vodka - Freeport, Maine
  7. Bently Heritage Estate Distillery - Minden, Nevada
  8. The Industrious Spirit Company - Providence, Rhode Island
  9. Rapscallion Spirits - Ukiah, California
  10. Cardinal Spirits - Bloomington, Indiana

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning distilleries!

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Brian Christensen

Brian Christensen

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Wayne Curtis

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