Liquor Laboratory

15 Best White Whiskey Brands in 2024 (Expert Picks)

Best White Whiskey

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Moonshine represents around 1% of American whiskey sales, but it does not necessarily refer to the illegal distillation of alcoholic drinks. The term is now used as a marketing strategy for most unaged white whiskey distillers.

This article is our quick guide to the best white whiskey brands our team has ever tried.

Top 15 Must-Try White Whiskey Brands

15. Platte Valley Moonshine

Platte Valley Moonshine

This product is the only aged white whiskey on our list uniquely presented in a ceramic crock. Although unnecessary, Platte Valley Moonshine has aged for three years using bourbon casks. It has the minimum 40% ABV for a whiskey with surprisingly smooth and exceptional corn flavor.

Drinking it straight with its vanilla, fruity, and light spice flavors is an enjoyable experience, but you can also experiment and have it on your favorite cocktail.

14. Pinckney Bend American Corn Whiskey

Pinckney Bend American Corn Whiskey, white whiskey brands

This award-winning Pinckney Bend American Corn Whiskey gives an idea of what working people in the 19th century used to drink.

It goes through a small-batch-making process and uses Ozark Plateau limestone aquifer water to bring its alcohol content down to 41.5% ABV.

It constantly works on maintaining the traditional white dog whiskey tradition while utilizing a combination of corn, rye, and barley mash.

This corn whiskey brand has a pure and adaptable flavor profile.

13. Popcorn Sutton

Popcorn Sutton

This product honors the name of Cocke County’s legendary moonshiner, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. Before his death in 2009, Popcorn Sutton sold his moonshine recipe to Jamey Grosser, a former racer who plans to establish a legal distillery [1]

Popcorn Sutton Whiskey has balanced sweet and spicy flavors resulting from a century-old moonshine recipe passed down through a generation of moonshiners. It is a clean and good white liquor that can replace vodka and gin in your favorite cocktails.

12. Virginia Lightning

Virginia Lightning with cocktail on desk

At 100-proof alcohol, Virginia Lightning Corn Whiskey makes a wonderful sipping whiskey that incorporates an old family recipe in its making process. The Belmont Farm Distillery prides itself on using a genuine solid copper pot still for its products, preserving the flavor of a fine fresh whiskey.

It is syrupy with no overwhelming alcohol smell that continues to the palate. The smooth and slight burn in the finish makes it an excellent mixer that goes well with various juice types.

11. Death’s Door 

Death’s Door on table with cocktail

This product is an 80-proof alcoholic drink that is one of the easiest white whiskeys to try for beginners. It utilizes a combination of 80% hard red winter wheat and 20% barley malt on its mash bill. 

This product starts with grains fermentation and uses champagne yeast. It is a double-distilled spirit that finishes in Minnesota oak barrels. The taste includes tequila, gin, and vodka traces with dark cherry flavor notes.

10. Ole Smoky Mountain 

Ole Smoky Mountain on desk

Ole Smoky set their legal distillery in Tennessee, particularly at the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, after years of making moonshine. One of their products is the White Lightnin’ Moonshine presented in a mason jar. 

Its sweetness from the distilled corn used during production makes it easy to drink straight or mix on a cocktail. The 100-proof alcohol will hit your mid-palate but finishes on a clean side, leaving a pleasurable experience.

9. XXX Shine Whiskey

XXX Shine Whiskey

This product from Philadelphia Distilling is a triple-distilled corn whiskey containing 44.4% ABV. It is an easy-to-drink white whiskey that meticulously cuts all the strong alcohol and astringent flavors from its distillation process. 

The drink has an unmistakable well-distilled corn smell, almost buttery and creamy to the nose. It comes as a pleasant drink that has a sweet entry to the palate with little spice and citrus hints.

8. Ole Smoky Blue Flame

Ole Smoky Blue Flame

Ole Smoky Blue Flame is not for the faint of heart. Bottled at cask strength, it features a 64% ABV that you may want to dilute with a few ice cubes before drinking. Despite its smooth sweet corn flavor, the drink still goes down with a hot burn. 

It tastes like the original moonshine mash recipe but still mixes well in a modern summer cocktail.

7. Bib & Tucker 

Bib & Tucker

This white whiskey from Kentucky utilizes the usual mash bill of bourbon, with corn, rye, and malted barley as its raw ingredients. It rested for 24 hours in ex-bourbon casks, then bottled at 46% ABV, giving you the pleasant fruity notes of the bourbon without the strong wood hints.

It is a smooth white whiskey that you can drink straight with honeysuckle, raspberry, corn sweetness, and spicy hints on the palate.

6. George Dickel 

George Dickel

George Dickel White Corn Whisky is one of the finest unaged whiskies on the market. It features the classic mash bill of 84% corn, 8% malted barley, and 8% rye with a bottle of 91-proof alcohol content.

The finishing process utilizes the Chill Charcoal Mellowing of Dickel, making this White Corn Whisky an ideal moonshine mixer. It is not harsh on the nose with corn and rich marshmallow, coconut, and vanilla notes.

5. Jeptha Creed 

Jeptha Creed with chocolates on table

This brand offers a variety of flavored white whiskeys with 60-proof alcohol content, such as Cinnamon Moonshine, Blackberry Moonshine, Apple Pie Moonshine, and Louisville Lemonade. However, its Original Moonshine variety is an 80-proof liquor featuring a four-grain mash.

It has a clear appearance and a nutty smell with fresh hay and white pepper notes. You can taste the corn on the palate and some almond hints that eventually build up to a long and lingering finish.

4. High West Whiskey

High West Whiskey

This unaged oat whiskey containing a mash bill of 85% oats and 15% barley malt is a product of Utah’s first distillery established in 1879. The presentation of the High West Silver Oat Whiskey is similar to the distillery’s traditional tall and slender bottles. 

This 40% ABV oat whiskey exudes a unique, elegant, and smooth character from the grains used. It is a clear and light spirit with smooth cocoa and coconut flavors.

3. Hudson New York 

Hudson New York

Although the Hudson New York Corn Whiskey has been discontinued, it still made its way to one of our top unaged whiskeys. It is a double-distilled unaged spirit made of 100% corn and bottled at 46% ABV without chill-filtering.

The price for a 375mL bottle was at a premium rate, but its smooth texture is worth every sip. Hudson New York Corn will remind you of a delicious buttered popcorn with a little heat towards the finish.

2. Troy & Sons 

Troy & Sons

The Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey brings in a product made of Crooked Creek Corn, pure Appalachian spring water, and backwoods stills. The heirloom white corn is an open-pollinated raw material that produces authentic and legal American liquor such as the Troy & Sons Platinum.

It has 40% ABV and a medium body with a great balance of flavors. The nose has a light floral smell with corn notes, while the palate is like tequila with vanilla and buttercream frosting tastes.

1. Buffalo Trace 

Buffalo Trace white dog

Buffalo Trace White Dog Whiskey comes from one of the most recognizable whiskey makers in the United States that constantly creates smooth distilled spirits. This unaged whiskey pays homage to the distilling style introduced by American explorers two hundred years ago.

With a high alcohol content of 62.5% ABV, this product will give you a slight burn but sweet aroma. The Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1 is rich with popcorn, toasted grains, and tropical fruit flavors.


What’s White Whiskey?

White whiskey is a raw and unaged whiskey emerging right from the distillation process [2].

Unlike the regular whiskey that goes through fermentation, distillation, and maturation processes, white whiskey tends to skip the last part, resulting in a clear-colored spirit like vodka. But is clear whiskey real?

Barrel-aging is the most crucial part of whiskey-making because it is where the liquor develops its entire flavor profile. It also helps microdistilleries earn income while they barrel-aged other liquor products.

Some people also refer to white whiskey as the “legal” moonshine because moonshine refers to illegally brewed alcoholic beverages. It started gaining popularity during the Prohibition Era.

Is White Dog The Same As White Whiskey?

Woodinville white dog with oak barrel

No, white dog is not the same as white whiskey. White dog is the completely unaged part of the whiskey-making process. And to be called just whiskey (not bourbon or Scotch), it must have at least touched or aged in barrels, even for at least ten seconds.

The term white dog was started centuries ago by America’s first explorers, who introduced the traditional distilling process to the United States. In essence, all whiskey started as a white dog after the first steps in the production process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is White Whiskey legal?

Yes, white whiskey is legal. The illegal production of distilled spirits refers to moonshining.

What does White Whiskey taste like?

White whiskey generally has a sweet taste with floral and fruity notes. Some brands are good for drinking straight, but some need a few ice cubes or other cocktail mixers.

What kind of whiskey is white?

White whiskey, also known as white dog or unaged whiskey, is a unique category of whiskey that skips the traditional aging process in wooden barrels, resulting in a clear appearance resembling vodka and a raw, intense flavor profile reflective of its grain mash.

Is white whiskey vodka?

No, white whiskey is not vodka. Although both are clear spirits, white whiskey is distinct in its production process. It starts as a grain mash, similar to traditional whiskey, but avoids barrel aging, preserving a bold, unaged character that sets it apart from the smoother qualities of vodka.

Can you drink white whiskey?

Yes, white whiskey is meant to be consumed, offering a versatile experience. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as a base for cocktails, the choice depends on personal preference. Some appreciate the raw intensity of white whiskey when sipped alone, while others explore its potential in mixed drinks for a unique flavor contribution.

What is the difference between white whiskey and regular whiskey?

The primary difference lies in the aging process. Regular whiskey undergoes maturation in wooden barrels, acquiring color, mellowness, and complexity over time. In contrast, white whiskey intentionally skips this aging stage, maintaining a clear appearance and presenting a robust, grain-forward flavor profile that showcases the essence of its grain mash.

What’s a good white whiskey?

Several reputable brands produce quality white whiskeys. Buffalo Trace’s White Dog stands out, known for its rich and grain-forward profile. Ole Smoky Moonshine offers diverse white whiskey options with different grain blends. The choice of a good white whiskey depends on individual preferences, with some favoring corn-forward flavors, while others might prefer the distinct characteristics of rye or barley-based options. Exploring various brands can provide a diverse and enjoyable tasting experience for those interested in the unique attributes of white whiskey.

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How do you drink white whiskey?

White whiskey provides a versatile drinking experience, offering multiple options for consumption. Whether you prefer it neat, on the rocks, or as a base for cocktails, the choice is personal and can cater to your desired flavor profile. Some enthusiasts enjoy the raw intensity of white whiskey when sipped neat, appreciating its unaged, bold character. Others may explore its versatility by incorporating it into cocktails, where its unique flavor can add a distinct twist to classic mixes.

What is in a white whiskey?

White whiskey, also known as white dog or unaged whiskey, typically comprises a grain mash that includes ingredients such as corn, rye, or barley. The process involves fermentation and distillation, but the key distinction is the absence of aging in wooden barrels. This lack of maturation results in a clear appearance, resembling vodka, and a raw, untamed flavor profile that reflects the essence of its grain components.

Is white whiskey aged?

No, white whiskey intentionally skips the aging process that traditional whiskeys undergo. While traditional whiskeys spend years maturing in wooden barrels, white whiskey remains unaged. This deliberate choice allows the spirit to maintain its clear appearance and intense, grain-forward flavors, providing a unique and bold alternative within the whiskey category.

Why is it called white liquor?

The term “white liquor” is synonymous with white whiskey due to its clear, colorless appearance. Unlike traditional whiskeys that develop amber hues during aging, white whiskey’s lack of interaction with wooden barrels preserves its clear quality. This clearness distinguishes it visually, and the name “white liquor” emphasizes its absence of color. It’s worth noting that in different contexts, the term “white liquor” may also refer to other clear spirits such as vodka or moonshine.

Is white whiskey really whiskey?

The classification of white whiskey as “really whiskey” can be subjective and a matter of debate among whiskey enthusiasts. While it undergoes initial whiskey production stages, including fermentation and distillation from a grain mash, its uniqueness lies in the exclusion of the aging process. Some argue that the essence of whiskey involves maturation in wooden barrels, while others appreciate white whiskey for showcasing the raw flavors of the grain mash without barrel influence. The consideration of whether white whiskey is “really whiskey” often depends on individual perspectives within the whiskey community.

Is Jack Daniel’s A bourbon?

Jack Daniel’s is not technically a bourbon; it is a Tennessee whiskey. While bourbon and Tennessee whiskey share many similarities, there are specific distinctions between the two categories.

Bourbon is a type of whiskey that must meet certain legal requirements to be labeled as such. These requirements include being made primarily from corn (at least 51%), distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged in new charred oak barrels, and bottled at no less than 80 proof. Bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States.

Tennessee whiskey, on the other hand, is a specific style of whiskey that is produced in the state of Tennessee and must adhere to additional regulations beyond those required for bourbon. One key difference is the Lincoln County Process, which involves filtering the whiskey through charcoal before aging. Jack Daniel’s undergoes this process, which imparts a unique flavor profile to the whiskey.

While Jack Daniel’s shares many characteristics with bourbon, such as being made primarily from corn and aged in new charred oak barrels, its production process and regional designation as a Tennessee whiskey set it apart from bourbon.

Does Jack Daniel’s have a bourbon?

Jack Daniel’s does not produce a bourbon. Instead, the distillery focuses exclusively on crafting Tennessee whiskey, with its flagship product being Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7. However, Jack Daniel’s does offer variations and expressions within its Tennessee whiskey range, including single barrel releases, flavored variants, and limited-edition bottlings.

While Jack Daniel’s may not produce bourbon, its Tennessee whiskey offerings are beloved by enthusiasts around the world for their smoothness, complexity, and signature charcoal-mellowed flavor profile.

Final Thoughts

The growth of white whiskey sales has seen a positive trend in recent years. Big names in the whiskey industry like Buffalo Trace and Jim Beam also responded with their unaged whiskey bottles. However, most makers are inclined to use corn as their raw ingredient for white whiskeys such as Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey and Hudson New York Corn Whiskey.

These products offer a pleasant and decent straight drinking experience. But some brands offer high-alcohol-proof spirits that you might want to have over a few ice cubes.


Yesterday’s Moonshiner, Today’s Microdistiller
What’s So Special About White Whiskey?

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