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12 Best Craft Bourbon Whiskeys Ranked (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on November 1, 2022 by Lydia Martin

The lion’s share of quality bourbon whiskey is produced by historic, big, and longest-time distilleries, but craft distillers are starting to come up with good-tasting bourbons. 

However, some craft distillers are simply jumping on the bourbon trend as it has become more popular. 

We managed to curate a list of the best craft bourbon, so you don’t need to waste your time and money. 

Top 12 Must Try Craft Bourbons 

12. Paul Sutton Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Paul Sutton Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Roughly $69.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Paul Sutton Kentucky whiskey is a BiB bourbon, one of the best craft bourbons in the market today. 

It is made using sweet mash bill and column distilled in small batches using their seven generations of experience; the result is a rich and bold whiskey. 

Paul Sutton Kentucky is a great whiskey made using the brand’s locally owned and operated farms.

They have continued their family tradition of producing craft whiskey for over one hundred years. 

11. Woodinville PX Sherry Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey

2 bottles of Woodinville PX Sherry Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey

MSRP: Roughly $54.95 (Website Store)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Woodinville PX Sherry cask bourbon has been handmade for over five years in Washington State.

It is aged in new charred casks and redefines craft bourbons by making it one at a time. 

PX stands for Pedro Ximenez sherry, a syrupy, sweet dessert wine from Jerez, and since it is a distillery exclusive, you can purchase the bottle in the distillery. 

Every bottle has a nice and rich flavor profile; you can enjoy it neat and on the rocks. 

10. Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey Aged 6 Years

Bottle of Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $53.26

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Bib & Tucker is one of the craft distilleries that produce premium quality, and their flagship bourbon is inspired by the turn of the century-bold and refined. 

The great whiskey is aged for at least six years in newly charred American white oak casks for amazing tasting notes and unparalleled smoothness. 

The bourbon bottle from the craft distillery has received multiple awards for its nice taste profile.

It has a nice blend of cinnamon spice, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and cherry on the nose and palate. 

9. Old 55 Single Barrel Bourbon Bottled in Bond

Old 55 Single Barrel Bourbon Bottled in Bond with glass and a corn

Average Price: Roughly $72.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Old 55 Bourbon is an Indiana-made bourbon, and it comes from Hoosier corn and wheat.

The wheated bourbon is distilled and aged in new wooden casks and stored in Newton.

Craft bourbon is a true midwestern whiskey, and they are one of the craft distilleries that stays true to the grain-to-bottle process. 

Old 55 Bottled-in-Bond bourbon has amazing tasting notes of oak, chocolate, maple syrup, rich toffee, honey, and a hint of cinnamon on the nose and palate.  

8. Chattanooga Bottled-In-Bond Vintage Series, Spring 2017

Bottle of Chattanooga Bottled-In-Bond Vintage Series, Spring 2017

Average Price: Roughly $50.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Chattanooga is a vintage-dated, single-season BiB bourbon crafted using a wide selection of unique bourbon mash bills.

It is at least four years of age and makes a nice sipper. 

The bourbon was barreled from January to June 2017, and the production process is an innovative approach- time-honored and showcases complexity in every sip. 

The cherry tobacco, hickory smoke, vanilla pods, clove, and allspice berries are notable on the nose. 

The bourbon has amazing sweetness and tasting notes of honey, spiced fruit, dark chocolate, malted vanilla milkshake, and tart berries on the palate. 

7. LAWS Four Grain Bourbon

LAWS Four Grain Bonded Bourbon Bottle with 2 glasses

Average Price: Roughly 58.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 47.5%

Why We Like It:

LAWS Four Grain bourbon is made from heirloom yeast, sour mash, 60% corn, 20% wheat, 10% rye, and 10% malted barley. 

It should be at least three years of age in wooden casks for a great flavor profile and tasting notes. 

On the nose, the orange blossoms compliment the dusty pepper, black tea, cinnamon, caramel, and a hint of honey. 

We like the hints of sweet tobacco, orange peel, pear, pekoe tea, cinnamon, spicy rye, and vanilla custard of the spirit on the palate.

6. Nelson Bros. Whiskey Reserve Bourbon

Nelson Bros. Whiskey Reserve Bourbon Bottle on Top of a Table

Average Price: Roughly $63.79 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 46.65%

Why We Like It:

Nelson Bros is one of the craft whiskeys you can enjoy neat, on the rocks, or as a cocktail.

It has an expert blend of straight bourbons and should reach at least four years of age. 

Nelson Bros are made from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley. We like the spice cake, baked apple, vanilla, cherry, and milk chocolate hints on the nose. 

The dried pineapple, cocoa, cherry, and banana bread are evident in every sip on the palate.

Also, the black peppercorn, lemon peel, and sweet tobacco on the finish are very notable. 

5. Woodinville PX Cask Finish Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $64.99 (Cask Cartel)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Woodinville PX Cask Finish bourbon is a straight bourbon aged for five years in charred barrels and finished for six months in Ruby Port. 

The port finish adds a viscous mouthfeel with amazing notes of dried plums, candied cherries, berries, and chocolate. 

The flavor profile of the bourbon is best for drinking neat and on the rocks.

On the palate, we like the traditional vanilla, caramel, allspice, and a hint of toffee on the whiskey.  

4. Starlight Double Oaked Carl T. Bourbon Whisky

Close Up Shot of Starlight Double Oaked Carl T. Bourbon Whiskey Bottle Label

Average Price: Roughly

Alcohol Content: 56.5%

Why We Like It:

Starlight Distillery is a family-owned distillery in Indiana, and it is farm-focused and makes various single-origin products. 

The whiskey is made from one part of 60% corn, 20% barley, and 20% rye, and one part of 51% corn, 9% wheat, 20% barley, and 20% rye. 

After aging in wooden barrels for five years, the whiskey is finished in French oak for a deep, bold, and rich taste.   

3. Van Brunt Stillhouse Bourbon Whiskey

Van Brunt Stillhouse Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Roughly $59.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 42%

Why We Like It:

Van Brunt Stillhouse is one of the nice craft whiskeys made from four grains: corn, wheat, rye, and malted barley. 

It has bold and full-bodied hints of chocolate, butterscotch, banana, and sweet cream. We like the spice pepper, maple, coffee, and nuts hints at the finish. 

2. Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey with watch and glass

Average Price: Roughly $44.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 44%

Why We Like It:

Wyoming Whiskey is made by Steve Nally, a former Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark, and it is a wheated bourbon with a lovely floral nose and taste. 

It is made outside of Kentucky, and the influence of his experience of making wheat bourbons is apparent in the bottle. 

Like the Town Branch, every bottle of Wyoming Whiskey is matured longer than the typical craft whiskey. 

On the nose and palate, Wyoming whiskey has nice vanilla, caramel, and butter with a hint of orange peel. 

1. Garrison Brothers Small Batch Whiskey

Garrison Brothers Small Batch Whiskey with barrel on the background

MSRP: Roughly $90.99 (Website Store)

Alcohol Content: 47%

Why We Like It:

Garrison Brothers bourbon is for people with a soft spot for drinking strong whiskey.

It has an aggressive kick and a powerful aroma of wood and vanilla with a good amount of heat. 

It is an interesting craft spirit made by Texans in Texas and the first distillery in Texas that became legal [1]. 

The whiskey is made from corn to cork and has springtime flavors of orange candy, lemon gumdrops, baking spices, and sugar cookies. 

What’s a Craft Bourbon? 

Craft bourbon is made by a distillery that is independently operated and owned.

It is not owned by whiskey giants and is crafted in small batches using ingredients from local farms. 

Generally, the craft bourbons came from distilleries with maximum annual sales of 100,000 proof gallons.

The bottles are not sourced and are physically distilled and bottled on-site. 

FAQs

What is the smoothest craft bourbon to drink straight?

Bib & Tucker is the smoothest craft bourbon to drink straight.

It has unparalleled smoothness and flavor profile that you can appreciate more when you consume it without mixers. 

What is craft bourbon made of?

Craft bourbon is made from locally grown corn, rye, barley, and sometimes wheat.

Since it is bourbon, distilleries should make it from at least 51% corn [2], and the remaining ingredients can be other grains. 

Key Takeaways

Not all good bourbons can be found on spirits giants because there are craft distilleries that produce hidden gems waiting to be recognized. 

Bourbons from Nelson Bros, Chattanooga, and Old 55 taste amazing, but Garrison Brothers get the upper hand for being the best craft bourbon. 

It has a nice blend of flavor and a good amount of heat. It is an interesting whiskey that is worth your money and time. 

Reference:

  1. https://www.esquire.com/food-drink/drinks/a37259436/how-one-man-brought-bourbon-to-texas/ 
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/04/5-rules-that-make-it-bourbon.html 

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