UPROXX: The Absolute Best Bottle Of Whiskey From Each Of The 50 States

Zach Johnston | Life Writer
UPROXX: The Absolute Best Bottle Of Whiskey From Each Of The 50 States

I get asked all the time, “What’s the best whiskey in (insert state name here) that you’ve ever tried?” It’s a tough question to answer because, folks, there’s just so much out there. None of us can get to it all. That said, I get to a whole lot more than most in my job as a critic, awards judge, and bourbon presenter.

Today, I’m going to do my best to answer that question by naming the best whiskey that I’ve ever tasted from each of the 50 United States. But before we dive into this mammoth list of whiskeys, let’s put up some guardrails. They are as follows:

  • The vast majority of these whiskeys are hyper-regional and will not be available nationwide. That’s kind of the whole point.
  • New and small whiskey scenes — think Hawai’i, Nebraska, New Hampshire, etc. — aren’t going to have bottles that even begin to compete with Kentucky, Indiana, or Tennessee. But that’s not the point either. This is about the best of what exists right now, sometimes in places where whiskey isn’t that big (and may never be).
  • Price isn’t a consideration. There are $30 bottles on this list next to $10,000 bottles. Some whiskey regions aren’t big or old enough to warrant high prices. Some (like Kentucky) obviously are.
  • Yes, I’m biting the bullet and picking only one whiskey from Kentucky even though I can easily list 100 you should try.
  • This is the best of what I have tasted. As I said, I’m lucky enough to taste a lot (I’m already well over 2,000 pours this year). But even I have blind spots. There could be local whiskeys that are so new (or so small) that I haven’t even heard of them yet.
  • Perhaps most importantly, each of these whiskeys must be made with whiskey produced in their home state. That means a local bottler using MGP of Indiana juice in, say, Kansas, Nevada, or California will not qualify as a Kansas, Nevada, or California whiskey even if the brand is marketed as one. The whiskeys on this list have to be fermented, distilled, and aged in their home state. I am making an exception for whiskeys with partial out-of-state whiskey in a blend. Still, this rule removes a massive swath of blender-created bottles from the mix.

That’s as specific as I can make a list like this so… let’s dive right in!


ABV: 66.25%

Average Price: $60

The Whiskey:

This Michigan whiskey is 100% wheat whiskey. The grains are 100% organic and grown locally around Michigan. The whiskey then ages for an undisclosed amount of time before it’s blended into a final product that looks to Irish whiskey for inspiration.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: There’s a clear sense of toffee and vanilla cake on the nose with a dash of woody winter spices, eggnog creaminess and nutmeg, and a light whisper of smudged sweetgrass.