10 Bottles That Prove Some of the Best Bourbon Isn’t From Kentucky

Whiskey in glass next to bottle on wooden table

It’s a common misconception that Bourbon must be produced in Kentucky to be called Bourbon. But of all the regulations that govern the spirit, being distilled in Kentucky is not one of them.

Bourbon must be distilled in the United States, contain 51% corn in the mash, aged in new charred oak barrels, distilled to no more than 160 proof and bottled at 80 proof or higher. The corn-based mash gives a richer sweeter tasting whisky making it great for sipping but it is also great for cocktails. While the vast majority of Bourbon comes from Kentucky, stand-out offerings are being made across the U.S.

From Texas to Kansas, and even an Indiana Bourbon cut with water from the Pacific, here are some of our favorites.


18th Street Distillery Spirit Thief Selection Bourbon; $100, 95 points. Complex aromas include dried fig, dried cherry

Published on June 25, 2021
Topics: Buying Guide