The Best American Whiskeys of 2023 (That Aren’t Bourbon or Rye)

The Best American Whiskeys of 2023 (That Aren’t Bourbon or Rye)

Welcome to the The Spill Awards, celebrating the best in drinks for 2023. While you’re reading, please take a moment to subscribe to our spirited newsletter, The Spill

There’s a lot more to American whiskey than bourbon or rye. Besides the burgeoning category of American single malts, you’ve got wheated whiskeys, Tennessee whiskey and blended whiskeys. It’s usually in these margins where the interesting stuff happens (we love bourbon, but it’s a pretty defined flavor profile). It also opens up whiskey drinkers to regions beyond Kentucky — for example, you can find excellent American single malts in states from Washington to Texas to Virginia. During the past few years, we’ve seen these domestic whiskey producers get into interesting grains, peat or mesquite smokiness, and play around with barrel maturation (think coffee, tequila, Armagnac and more). These nine releases are the best American whiskeys of 2023, showcasing the excellence and breadth of non-bourbon, non-rye American whiskey.

The name’s certainly eye-catching, but this single-grain, cask-strength wheat whiskey from the Michigan-based distillery also has accolades: it won three major honors at last year’s ASCOT Awards (including Whiskey of the Year). A 100% wheat whiskey at 58.5% ABV, this limited-edition expression — which earned its name because Journeyman is located in a former 1800s corset and buggy whip factory — is bright, soft and toffee sweet with a wonderful jammy fruit note and a bit of spice on the finish.