Best Craft Whiskey Distillery (2017)


The American craft whiskey scene has really come into its own over the past few years, expanding beyond the traditional Tennessee and Kentucky bourbons to include ryes, single malts, blends and white whiskeys made with a combination of old-world and new-school techniques. 

  • Garrison Brothers

    Garrison Brothers
    Hye, Texas

    Garrison Brothers Distillery specializes in fine Texas bourbon made from 51-percent corn and aged in new white American oak barrels. Garrison Bros. only produces a few hundred barrels a year, and each year has its own distinct flavor profile based on variations in mash, production method and barreling strategy.
    Photo courtesy of Garrison Brothers

  • Balcones Distilling

    Balcones Distilling
    Waco, Texas

    When you pick up a bottle of Balcones whiskey, you'll notice it has been individually stamped in wax and labeled with a handwritten batch number. Balcones Distilling's whiskey lineup includes a Texas Single Malt, Baby Blue blue corn whiskey and Brimstone Texas Scrub Oak Smoked corn whiskey. Limited-release single-barrel whiskeys highlight unique variants and experimental whiskeys found nowhere else.
    Photo courtesy of Balcones Distilling

  • Nelson's Green Brier Distillery

    Nelson's Green Brier Distillery

    Nelson's Green Brier Distillery in Nashville specializes in American whiskeys an bourbons. Their product line includes three 108 Tennessee Whiskeys (single barrel, limited release and white) and five Belle Meade Bourbons (single barrel, straight, sherry, cognac and madeira-aged).
    Photo courtesy of Nelson's Green Brier Distillery

  • New Liberty Distillery

    New Liberty Distillery

    At New Liberty Distillery in Philadelphia, whiskey drinkers can choose between three Kinsey whiskeys (rye, bourbon and American), in addition to Cradle of Liberty White Whiskey, Pennsylvania Dutch Malt Whiskey, Melky Miller American, Maryland Club Bourbon and Melvale Rye.
    Photo courtesy of Lafayette Studios

  • Triple Eight Distillery

    Triple Eight Distillery
    Nantucket, Mass.

    Nor’Easter Bourbon from Triple Eight Distillery is distilled from a mash of corn, malted barley and malted rye that gets aged in barrels for four to eight years. The Notch is a single malt whiskey crafted from heirloom malted barley and aged in a variety of barrels, including used barrels from other distilleries and wineries from around the country.
    Photo courtesy of Triple Eight Distillery

  • Kings County Distillery

    Kings County Distillery
    Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Kings County Distillery, New York's oldest operating whiskey distillery, uses New York-grown grains and traditional equipment to craft its distinctive spirits. Kings County Bourbon starts from a mash of New York-grown organic corn and malted barley from the U.K., and after distillation, gets aged in charred virgin American oak. The Peated Bourbon meets American bourbon standards but gains an extra layer of complexity from exposure to peat smoke. The distillery also offers Barrel-Strength Bourbon, Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon and a unique Chocolate Whiskey infused with locally sourced cocoa bean husks.
    Photo courtesy of Valery Rizzo / Kings County Distillery

  • Rogue Spirits

    Rogue Spirits
    Newport, Ore.

    Oregon's Rogue got their start in beer, but they've since made their mark in the world of craft whiskey as well. This Newport distillery makes several varieties, including an Oregon single malt (smoked in-house), an Oregon rye, a chipotle whiskey and Dead Guy Whiskey, made from the same malts as the ale by the same name.
    Photo courtesy of Rogue Ales & Spirits

  • Still 630

    Still 630
    St. Louis

    Still 630 in St. Louis hand-crafts a variety of bourbons and whiskeys, including the white and un-aged Big Jake White Dog Whiskey, coffee-infused Big Jake Breakfast Brew, single-barrel RallyPoint Rye and double pot-distilled S.S. Sorghum Whiskey.
    Photo courtesy of Still 630

  • Bully Boy Distillers

    Bully Boy Distillers
    Roxbury, Mass.

    Bully Boy's American Straight Whiskey is inspired by balance – a balance between the sweetness of a bourbon and the bitter bite of a rye – achieved by using a mash of corn and rye, distilled and aged in charred new American oak. The Massachusetts distillery also makes an un-aged white whiskey using 100 percent hard red winter wheat.
    Photo courtesy of Bully Boy Distillers

  • Corsair Distillery

    Corsair Distillery

    Corsair Distillery specializes in experimental small-batch spirits, including an incredible lineup of whiskeys. Triple Smoke is made from malted barley divided in three and smoked using cherrywood, beechwood and peat before getting distilled and aged in new oak. Quinoa Whiskey is distilled from a combination of quinoa and malted barley for an earthy, nutty finish, while Ryemageddon is crafted from malted and chocolate rye.
    Photo courtesy of Corsair Distillery

We asked a panel of American spirits experts to nominate 20 of the best craft whiskey distilleries in the USA, and four the past four weeks, our readers have been voting daily for their favorites. Many of these distilleries work in small batches using locally-sourced ingredients. Many are family-owned. All take pride in crafting unique whiskeys worthy of sipping.

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

  1. Garrison Brothers - Hye, Texas
  2. Balcones Distilling - Waco, Texas
  3. Nelson's Green Brier Distillery - Nashville
  4. New Liberty Distillery - Philadelphia
  5. Triple Eight Distillery - Nantucket, Mass.
  6. Kings County Distillery - Brooklyn, N.Y.
  7. Rogue Spirits - Newport, Ore.
  8. Still 630 - St. Louis
  9. Bully Boy Distillers - Roxbury, Mass.
  10. Corsair Distillery - Nashville

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Emily Arden Wells (Gastronomista), Brian Christensen (Artisan Spirit Magazine), Liam Deegan (Barrel Proof), Laura Johnson (Distillerista) and Arthur Shapiro (Booze Business) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the American craft spirits industry.

Congratulations to all our winning whiskey distilleries!

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AlertThe Experts

Emily Arden Wells

Emily Arden Wells

Emily Arden Wells

Brian Christensen

Brian Christensen

Brian Christensen

Liam Deegan

Liam Deegan

Liam Deegan

Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

Arthur Shapiro

Arthur Shapiro

Arthur Shapiro