Top 100 American Whiskeys for 2022

What a year!

When I look back on the 2022 American whiskey scene, I saw so much promise from craft distillers such as Frey Ranch, Boulder Spirits and JT Malek, while the once ugly word “blend” became a stalwart in American whiskey. New blenders like K. Luke and Nassif enter the market with blends worthy of every whiskey lover’s attention.

As I assessed the more than 800 American whiskeys tasted in competitions — San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the American Spirits Council of Tasters — at Blind Bourbon events, YouTube reviews and random tastes on my own time, I factored in aroma, taste and finish, as well as asking the question: “Does this product add something important to the American whiskey scene?” I suppose, you could put the latter in another question: Does it excite me?

This year, I had two rice whiskeys on the list, several blend of straights and a plethora of craft whiskeys that rarely get attention. Throughout the year, I spend a great deal of time seeking the next great distillery and blender in hopes that my discovery leads to somebody else enjoying it. Whether it’s Spirits of French Lick or Pacific Coast, craft brands have found their standing in the mass sea of liquor store shelves and they’ve won my palate for good. If somebody is anti-craft, my list is not for you.

25. Nassif Family Blended Rye, 110.86 proof
24. K. Luke Batch 2, 119.1 proof
23. Rabbit Hole Nevallier 16-year finished in French Oak, 115.8 proof
22. Booker’s 2022-2 The Lumberyard Batch, 124.8 proof
21. Smooth Ambler – Contradiction Rye, 105 proof
20. Bardstown Ferculum, 102.4 proof
19. Nashville Barrel Straight Bourbon, 121.2 proof
18. Elijah Craig Barrell Proof C922, 124.8 proof
17. Larceny Barrel Proof C922, 126.6
16. Smoke Wagon Uncut & Unfiltered Batch 163-6, 114.66 proof
15. Sweetens Cove Speyside Finish, 114 proof
14. Doc Swinson’s Tawny Port Finish Bourbon, 114.9 proof
13. Old Fitzgerald 17 Year, 100 proof
12. Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Batch 9, 112.5 proof
11. Pacific Coast Spirits American Single Malt Cask Strength, 114 proof
10. Boulder Spirits Colorado Straight Bourbon 5 Year, 133.8 proof
9. Old Ezra 7 Year Full Proof Rye, 114 proof
8. Four Roses LE Small Batch, 109 proof
7. Stagg (formerly Stagg Jr.), 131 proof
6. Booker’s 2022-03, Kentucky Tea Batch, 126.5 proof
5. Michter’s 20, 114 proof
4. Old Fitzgerald 19 year, 100 proof
3. George T. Stagg (BTAC), 138.7 proof
2. Jack Daniel’s Small Batch Coy Hill, 153.2 proof

1. William Larue Weller (BTAC), 124.7 proof

Article written by Fred Minnick 

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much whiskey is barely enough"

Mark Twain