Whiskey is a truly specific alcoholic beverage, primarily due to the complex procedure of making, fermenting, and storing it. That’s what gives it a unique charm and taste, which is loved by numerous fans worldwide.
Jack Daniel’s Old No 7 is one of the most popular and most commercialized Tennessee whiskeys. But it’s not the only one that proudly wears the Tennessee label. There are many other quality products, and we suggest the 15 best Tennessee whiskeys every spirit fan should try.
These are the best Tennessee whiskeys your palate will enjoy:
- George Dickel Single Barrel Select
- Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey
- Cascade Moon Edition 2
- Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select
- Chattanooga 111 Proof Bourbon
- Corsair Triple Smoke
- Heaven’s Door Straight Bourbon
- Sweetens Cove Blended Bourbon
- Corsair Dark Rye American Rye Malt
- Uncle Nearest 1820 Single Barrel
- Rollins Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey
- Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey
- Nelson’s Green Brier
- George Dickel Superior No.12
- Davidson Reserve Tennessee Small Batch Whiskey
In Single Barrel George Dickel, corn dominated over 8% rye content. The chilled process and filtration over sugar maple charcoal eliminates the bitterness after 9-year fermentation. That gives this whiskey the sweetness of applesauce, caramel, and vanilla. The finish is oaky with a scent of charred wood.
Although light, this whiskey is a bit syrupy, but with a few ice cubes and a pinch of orange, you’ll enjoy its full taste without that sticky feeling on your tongue. Beginners may hesitate to try it, but seasoned drinkers will enjoy the flavor of this small-batch whisky.
Heaven’s Door has a special recipe to give this spirit its uniqueness. Namely, three different rye blends mature separately for six years, after which they all sit together for at least another year. The process finishes with sugar maple charcoal filtration.
The result? An incredible whiskey in which dark cherry taste dominates. Many drinkers report it reminds them of cough syrup and Flinstones vitamins. It has a sweet finish with vanilla custard, brown sugar, and cinnamon aromas.
But there are seconds to the slight bitterness from 1-year fermentation in oak barrels, which allows the fruity and nutty taste to stay on your palate long after you take a sip.
This one comes from George Dickel as a separate brand for exclusive, high-end whiskeys. These spirits are fermented for at least 17 years, resulting in mellow, dry drinks. It’s a small batch of only 20 barrels, which, along with its unique taste, justifies the high price for this Tennessee whiskey.
Cascade Moon is so George Dickel, with caramel, dried apples, and orange candy at the nose. The first sip brings pleasant aromas of caramelized fruits and baking spices to your palate. The oak’s presence rounds out the overall feel of this elegant spirit, making it not too sweet yet not too smoky either.
It’s the crème de la crème among whiskeys from Jack Daniel’s distillery, made from a single barrel chosen from 100 similar ones. This premium-quality whiskey has 64.5% alcohol per bottle, but slight variations are possible, so each bottle has a unique taste. This spirit is more affordable than most other Tennessee whiskey.
At first, you will feel the rich aroma of barricaded oak and rye, with a hint of smoke and honey. The first sip reveals the taste of buttery caramel with traces of nuts, anise, and vanilla. This sweet spice dominates the palate as an aftertaste, with a touch of maple syrup sweetness.
But whiskey isn’t filtered but cask-fortified, which enables it to reach its full taste after a relatively short fermentation of only two years. Although immature in age, its full flavor stands side by side with bourbons older than ten years.
A blend of 75% yellow corn and 25% malt is responsible for the malty sweetness of Chattanooga 111, but the full recipe is a secret. Its smell will remind you of toffees, raisins, and butterscotch, but there might be a whiff of ethanol at first inhale. Its taste profile features chocolate, walnuts, and nutmeg, balanced with the earthy aroma of black tea and herbs.
As one of the rare whiskeys featuring a smoky taste profile, Corsair Triple Smoke really has an intense aroma. Not one but three malts are responsible for that, so this name comes from the mix of smoked peat, Beachwood, and cherry.
This malt mix brings a load of flavors to Corsair, from fruity and mint notes with a touch of peat at your nose to butterscotch fudge at your palate. They permeate on so many levels that you’ll probably have a different feeling of this flavor profile with each subsequent sip.
The Straight Bourbon will hook you with sweet caramel in the front, backed up with spices, brown sugar, and vanilla. And then, the result of 6-year fermentation comes to the foreplay at the very end, blowing you away with a splash of spicy tobacco and caramelized peaches; an unusual but rather tasty mix.
This whiskey is all you need for a relaxing evening with friends and good music. Maybe Bob Dylan? This award-winning singer is the brand’s owner, who’s actively involved in the entire production of Heaven’s Door Straight Bourbon, from blending to labeling.
This one is another limited batch of luxury whiskey with a dazzling aroma of caramel and apple and a hint of coconut in the back. As a mix of blends of different maturity and places of production, this Tennessee whiskey offers loads of flavors.
Despite that, some find this blended bourbon too mild, but only until a strong aroma of pecans, chocolate, and dark espresso kicks them in. In the end, there are no surprises: you’ll be left with smooth sweetness on your palate, making you want another sip.
One of the most loved craft bourbons in the States, a mix of two rye types and barley (no corn at all) is among the ‘youngest’ whiskeys on this list. The fermentation period of only eight months may not instill too much trust, but the manufacturer managed to achieve a full-mature taste by using small barrels.
Rye taste predominates, but you can really feel citrus, chocolate, and spicy in the back. They perfectly conceal a grassy note of most rye malts. A lingering chocolate and espresso finish comes as a cherry on top. And all that at a very affordable price!
According to the manufacturer, a lot of effort goes into this blend. And it pays off because the result is a rich, flavorsome whiskey loved by many drinkers. It’s something you want to drink with friends while recalling fond memories.
The 1820 whiskey brings chocolate, spices, and vanilla malt to your nose. It continues with a bolder chocolate taste with a hint of candied cherries. The best way to feel the flavor blast is to add a splash of water to your glass. When the primary taste vanishes, you’ll feel oak, dark fruits, and old leather lingering on your palate for a long time.
This dram is a traditional Tennessee whiskey at its best. The Rollins’ distillery produces only this product, and their secret is in not-experimenting; just pure local ingredients sitting in white American oak barrels until maturity.
The sour mash of corn and grains filtered through charcoal chips brings a recognizable taste of vanilla and caramel with a touch of herbs and spices. The maltiness is felt on the palate, with clove and cinnamon adding warmth and softness, leaving you with a pleasant aftertaste, just like real Tennessee whiskey should do.
If you’re a fan of more intense aromas, Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye is your thing. It’s hot on your nose with a blast of orange marmalade and pears, and it just dares you to try it.
The first impression might create resistance, but the first sip opens a whole new world of flavors.
Now Roaming Man is spicy on your palate, with a strong aroma of chocolate fudge, coffee, and cherries. A splash of citruses adds a touch of bitterness, which closes the entire sip with an aftertaste reminiscent of a bit of Cola with flowery notes.
Nelson’s makes a real piece of history, using the same family recipe since before Prohibition. Their product is wheat Tennessee whiskey, which is an excellent choice for cocktails, but also for drinking on its own if you like sweetened spirits.
This budget-friendly whiskey tickles your nose with gingerbread, mint, and dark fruits, with an unusual but catchy hint of new leather. As whiskey slides down your throat, cinnamon and brown sugar caress your palate. The sip ends with dark chocolate and allspice for a well-balanced sweet and spicy taste.
It’s another cocktail-friendly whiskey dominated by cherry taste, mild enough to suit even daily drinkers. Corn gives an excellent base for the sweetness to stand out, with vanilla and candied fruits aromas, and to “push” that rich sweetness toward the palate. It also lingers as an aftertaste with a hint of oak.
To avoid confusion, No 12 refers to the recipe number, not the years of maturity (this George Dickel whiskey is 8 to 10 years old). But that doesn’t lower its quality, considering that the manufacturer managed to pack a very good product into the price of only a few tens of dollars.
Davidson Reserve Tennessee whiskey features corn mash with a significant proportion of white cereal rye (25%). Made in small batches and filtered through maple sugar charcoal, this spirit matures after four years.
The fermentation period is enough to get brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla to the foreplay, followed by salty-sweet caramel and cherries. The end comes with more fruity aromas, so you might want to add some ice to your glass to feel these layers of flavors best.