World-renowned spirits critic and best-selling author Fred Minnick unveiled his Top 100 American Whiskey rankings yesterday and a Blue Blood bourbon — William LaRue Weller from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection — took the top spot with a limited edition Jack Daniel’s finishing a close second.
Deemed a leader in the bourbon and spirits industry by The TODAY Show, Men’s Health, Forbes and many others, Minnick blind tasted on his YouTube channel (12.20) and revealed the full rankings the following day. Covering the bourbon industry for 16 years, Minnick’s list reflects the trends of American whiskey with the growth of craft whiskeys and the blossoming category of blend of straights.
“When I started covering whiskey two decades ago, a brand like Colorado-based Bourbon Spirits would have never had a shot against the larger Kentucky and Tennessee distillers. But now with the innovation happening across the country and specialized whiskey making on small scale, craft distillers can compete at the highest level,” Minnick noted. “In addition, the blend of straight category (when straight bourbon is blended from multiple states or distilleries) is beginning to takeover liquor store shelves and their success in my list shows how good they are.”
Check out the reveal below:
Here’s the Top 25 for 2022:
25. Nassif Family Blended Rye, 110.86, $44.99 (Iowa)
24. K. Luke Batch 2, 119.1 (Mississippi)
23. Rabbit Hole Nevallier 16-year finished in French Oak, 115.8, $895 (Kentucky)
22. Booker’s 2022-2 The Lumberyard Batch, 124.8, $90 (Kentucky)
21. Smooth Ambler – Contradiction Rye, 105, $39.99 (West Virginia)
20. Bardstown Ferculum, 102.4, $199.99 (Kentucky)
19. Nashville Barrel Straight Bourbon, 121.2 (Tennessee)
18. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C922, 124.8, $60 (Kentucky)
17. Larceny Barrel Proof C922, 126.6, $60 (Kentucky)
16. Smoke Wagon Uncut & Unfiltered Batch 163-6, 114.66, $100 (Nevada)
15. Sweetens Cove Speyside Finish, 114, $200 (Tennessee)
14. Doc Swinson’s Tawny Port Finish Bourbon, 114.9, $79.99 (Washington)
13. Old Fitzgerald 17 Year, 100, $199.99 (Kentucky)
12. Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Batch 9, 112.5, $139.99 (Kentucky)
11. Pacific Coast Spirits American Single Malt Cask Strength, 114, $90 (California)
10. Boulder Spirits Colorado Straight Bourbon 5 Year, 122, $52 (Colorado)
9. Old Ezra 7 Year Full Proof Rye, 114, $79.99 (Kentucky)
8. Four Roses LE Small Batch, 109, $179.99 (Kentucky)
7. Stagg (formerly Stagg Jr.), 131, $99 (Kentucky)
6. Booker’s 2022-03, Kentucky Tea Batch, 126.5, $90 (Kentucky)
5. Michter’s 20, 114, $1,200 (Kentucky)
4. Old Fitzgerald 19 year, 100, $240 (Kentucky)
3. George T. Stagg (BTAC), 138.7, $99 (Kentucky)
2. Jack Daniel’s Small Batch Coy Hill, 153.2, $55 (Kentucky)
1. William LaRue Weller (BTAC), 124.7, $99 (Kentucky)
See the full list: fredminnick.com/2022/12/21/ranked-top-100-american-whiskeys-for-2022/
ABOUT FRED MINNICK
Minnick accumulated his Top 100 through tastings at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the American Spirits Council of Tasters, Minnick’s Blind Bourbon Live events and his own personal tastings. Many blends of straights whiskeys made the top 25, joined by two craft spirits brands — Pacific Coast and Boulder Spirits. The top 5 is rounded out by some of America’s most celebrated whiskey brands.
Minnick, who has appeared on TODAY, Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Discovery’s “Moonshiners,” CNBC, CBS Mornings and more, tasted more than 800 whiskeys in 2022 to determine the Top 100. Each whiskey was tasted for the first time in 2022 and assessed by color, nose, palate, finish and uniqueness of a product in its category.
Minnick’s next competition reveal is in April, where he and top tier tasters judge the ASCOTs.
Minnick – a co-founder of the American Spirits Council of Tasters, Bourbon+ Magazine and DWP’s Bourbon & Beyond – continues to grow his spirits empire through his Hermes Creative Awards Platinum-winning PodcastOne podcast The Fred Minnick Show, his Bourbon Pursuit Podcast, and his many books on the subject of spirits including his Wall Street Journal best-seller Bourbon Curious and more. In December, Minnick partnered with The Kentucky Distillers’ Association and The Bourbon Crusaders charitable organization to launch The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit, a six-day auction that raised more than $3.4 million for Western Kentucky rebuilding efforts and tornado victims.
For more information on Fred Minnick, visit fredminnick.com.
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