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10 Charcoal Filtered Whiskey Brands Listed (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on November 7, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Many beginners in whiskey are confused about the various facets of American whiskey, especially the Lincoln County Process, a distinct part of Tennessee whiskey.

To clarify, this process involves charcoal filtration. But what is charcoal filtration? And how does it improve the spirits? 

We have the answers here, including the best charcoal-filtered whiskey brands you may want to check out.  

Top 10 Whiskey Brands That Use Charcoal Filtration 

10. Prichard Tennessee Whiskey 

2 Prichard Tennessee Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: around $44 /750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: This 5th-generation whiskey produced in Prichard is gaining popularity due to its unique recipe. 

It is also very sweet and has a distinct flavor compared to other Tennessee whiskeys. 

This unique whiskey uses the best charcoal filter, which helps it maintain its distinct characteristics.

Due to its unique taste, many refer to it as one of the most delicious whiskeys in the world.

9. Ezra Brooks

Ezra Brooks Bourbon whisky bottle

Average Price: around $18 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: Ezra Brooks Bourbon is one of the most delicious and impressive charcoal-filtered spirits.

It’s made with Kentucky sour mash, aged in old-fashioned methods, and then bottled at 90 proof. It’s truly an authentic blend of bourbon.

It features an eye-catching caramel-like color and fruity and oak notes on the nose- with a nutty and oaky palate. 

We like its medium finish with caramel, nuts, spice, and grain notes. 

8. Uncle Nearest 

Uncle Nearest 1884 and 1856 Tennessee Whiskey

Average Price: around $59.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: The state of Tennessee has a lot of fine whiskey producers, such as George Dickel and Jack Daniels, along with Uncle Nearest. 

Uncle Nearest is part of the group that makes the Lincoln County Process, which is a filtration process that uses maple charcoal.

Uncle Nearest 1856 is a double-distilled whiskey aged for at least seven years, giving it the perfect amount of flavor.

7. Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey

man holding a bottle if Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey

Average Price: around $37.49 /750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: The process of making Clayton James whiskey begins with the fermentation of white corn. 

After that, it’s then distilled in a copper pot and goes through a charcoal filter. This creates a sweet and savory taste in the whiskey, which is quite impressive.

6. Davidson Reserve

Davidson Reserve Straight Tennessee Bourbon bottle

Average Price: around $44 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Davidson Reserve is a genuine small-batch Tennessee whiskey. The grains are sourced from local producers, ensuring the spirit has the best possible flavor. 

As Davidson Reserve uses the charcoal filtering process, it creates a salty-sweet aroma that’s not overwhelming. 

Overall, this is a thick and smooth spirit with a strong flavor profile that includes stone fruits, roasted nuts, and sweet and savory spices.

5. Collier & McKeel Tennessee Whiskey

Collier & Mckeel Tennessee Whiskey bottle with ice on top of a table

Average Price: around $54.99 /750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV 

Why We Like It: Another spirit that uses charcoal filtration is the Collier & McKeel Tennessee Whiskey. 

This is indeed a special Tennessee whiskey due to the aroma of maple and butterscotch– followed by hints of oak and spice. 

The finish is silky and creamy, with hints of honey and vanilla. It is distilled in a copper pot still –hand-hammered and aged in small barrels. 

However, it’s a bit more expensive than standard whiskeys.  

4. Rollins Tennessee Whiskey

Rollins Tennessee Whiskey Bottle wioth glass and cigar

Average Price: around $27 /750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: Rollins Tennessee Whiskey is a new addition to the state’s whiskey family. 

It’s made using the Lincoln County Process, which uses the finest charcoal filters to create a golden-colored whiskey with a distinct caramel aroma.

As one of the most awarded Tennessee whiskeys, Rollins Tennessee, is a great value for its taste and price. 

So if you’re looking for something new to try, we highly recommend this spirit brand.

3. George Dickel 

Average Price: around $43.98 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV 

Why We Like It: We like the George Dickel whiskies for their smooth and distinctive flavor.

Due to their unique aging process and charcoal filter, George Dickel whiskies appeal to whiskey lovers, especially the Barrel Select and the Classic 8 Whiskey,  

This unique blend of whisky uses a higher proportion of corn, which is more than most bourbons and yeast strains. 

This is a very interesting Tennessee whiskey, and we recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit different from their usual favorites.

2. Nelson’s Tennessee Whiskey

Nelson's Tennessee Whiskey Bottle on top of a wooden table

Average Price: around $24.99 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 61.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: The brand name of Nelson’s whiskey is derived from the number of years that the state of Tennessee has banned the use of alcohol. 

The authentic recipe for the whiskey is made with filtered sugar maple charcoal, particularly Nelson’s 108 Tennessee Whiskey.

Before aging whiskey in barrels, Nelson’s first filled 30-gallon containers with the spirit. This process ensures that the product is aged properly.

We like this dessert-like drink’s taste of brown sugar and butterscotch, not to mention its alcohol strength. 

“Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”

– Compton Mackenzie, Writer

1. Jack Daniel’s

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: around $30 /750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: Jack Daniel’s uses sugar maple wood in its production process. The wood is soaked in 140-proof whiskey to set hotness– reducing charcoal. 

New whiskey is then poured and stored in barrels using the help of pellets, creating an excellent spirit.

Jack Daniel’s spirits, like the Old No.7, Gentleman Jack, and Singe Barrel, use charcoal filtration.

So you can expect a more mature flavor, different from bourbon whiskeys within the US. 

What’s Charcoal Filtering?

During the whiskey’s production, it is soaked into the best possible charcoal filter before it goes straight to barrels for aging. This process is called the Charcoal Filtering Process. 

Before, Tennessee whiskeys [1] were distilled from their corn mash and stored using new oak barrels for years. 

But due to advancement and discovery to improve whiskey’s flavor, some brand uses the charcoal filtration process. 

What Does Charcoal Filtering Do To Whiskeys? 

As the name suggests, charcoal filtering uses charcoal. 

It acts as a natural filter to remove various compounds from the whiskey, which can modify its flavor, contributing to the maturation of the whiskey.

FAQs 

Should all Tennessee whiskeys undergo charcoal filtering?

Tennessee whiskeys must undergo charcoal filtering or the Lincoln County Process [2] according to state law. Every Tennessee whiskey must meet this requirement to be called a “Tennessee Whiskey.”

What alcohols undergo charcoal filtering besides whiskey?

Another alcohol that undergoes charcoal filtering besides whiskey is vodka. This alcohol is made from distilled and fermented grain (three times) and then undergoes charcoal filtering before bottling. 

Final Verdict 

If you’re a whiskey lover, this list might be just what you’re looking for. The Tennessee whiskeys featured here are some of the best made using the unique process of Lincoln County. 

As you can see, many whiskey brands use charcoal filters to enhance the flavor and aroma of their whiskeys.

But to start, we highly recommend Jack Daniel’s charcoal-filtered spirits. The flavors are satisfying – at a reasonable price. 

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190331192545.htm 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B97801282207640000

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