Must-Try American Single Malt Whiskeys

Single malt whiskey made in the USA? Why not! Although this category is still under official consideration, we suggest you get acquainted with these whiskeys to catch you up to speed.
Jan 16, 2018
  • 10
    10 McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt
    80
    Sweet & Rich
    McCarthy's Single Malt Whiskey is produced at Clear Creek Distillery outside of Portland, Oregon. Master Distiller Stephen McCarthy, ever the spirits pioneer, wanted to make an American whiskey in the style of Islay Scotch, but give it a local spin. So he sourced peated malted barley from Scotland, distilled it in Oregon, and aged it in Oregon oak.
  • 9
    9 FEW Single Malt Whisky
    87
    Herbal & Spicy
    This single malt whisky is made with both un-smoked and smoked malted barley (with cherry wood as the wood source). It is a seasonal release with a small production (for the moment anyway). All grains are sourced within 100 miles of Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where the distillery is located. Though not required of a single malt made in the US, this is produced from 100% malted barley.
  • 8
    8 Whiskey Del Bac Dorado Mesquite Smoked Single Malt
    88
    Smoky
    Whiskey Del Bac Dorado is the flagship whiskey of family-run Hamilton Distillers in Tucson, Arizona. It is made from malted barley which is smoked using native mesquite wood, rather than peat. It's distilled twice in a 500-gallon copper pot-still and aged in American white oak barrels.
  • 7
    7 Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey
    88
    Oily
    The brainchild of Jess Graber and George Stranahan after a barn fire on Stranahan's property this 4 barley whiskey was the first to be micro-distilled in Colorado. Jess still works with the brand and George has since moved his Flying Dog Brewery to Maryland. This American Single Malt is made from 100% barley, which for this category is not yet required.
  • 6
    6 Westland American Oak American Single Malt
    89
    Vanilla & Sweet
    Westland American Oak American Single Malt is distilled in Seattle using 100% malted barley. The malted barley, 90% sourced from Washington State, is comprised of 5 different types: Munich malt, extra special malt, brown malt, pale chocolate malt, and Washington Select pale malt. Additionally, a strain of Belgian brewer's yeast is used. This matured a minimum of 36 months in Cooper's Select new American oak, Cooper's Reserve new American oak, and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels.
  • 5
    5 Hillrock Estate Single Malt
    90
    Sweet & Rich
    Hillrock Estate is one of the pioneering field to bottle distilleries to produce whiskey in Hudson Valley, NY since Prohibition. This whisky was made under the meticulous care of Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, formerly of Maker's Mark. It is made from barley grown in the fields at the estate, and malted in house, ensuring every aspect of this whisky is monitored on premise. They even custom-built a 250-gallon copper pot still for the job!
  • 4
    4 Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey
    91
    Spicy & Smoky
    This New Mexico distillery takes a decidedly Scottish approach to their single malt whiskey, yet is unmistakably American in its use of mesquite smoking, rather than peat smoking a portion of their malted barley. The whiskey spends a minimum of 2 years in new and used American oak barrels.
  • 3
    3 Deerhammer American Single Malt
    92
    Full Bodied
    This grain-to-glass distillery uses four types of malted barley and two yeast strains for their single malt. It is fermented with open top fermentation for 4-5 days before being double-distilled with a traditional direct-fire copper pot-still. This whiskey is aged at least 2 years in new, white American oak in Buena Vista, Colorado; the distillery's location. Availability limited to Colorado at this time.
  • 2
    2 Balcones Texas Single Malt
    92
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Balcones is known for its maverick whisky approach - playing with mash bills and wood finishes, using techniques unheard of 'til now. Balcones Single Malt is a Texas version of Scotch single malt whisky, made with unpeated 100% malted barley. That's nothing new. What distinguishes it from others is the aging process - combining small batches of the whisky aged in different sized barrels before blending them together to finish maturation in one big barrel. It's also non chill-filtered.
  • 1
    1 Westward American Single Malt
    93
    Sweet
    Released in August 2017, this is distilled at House Spirits in Portland, Ore. The American single malt whiskey is distilled from Oregon two-row pale malted barley which was fermented with ale yeast. It is double pot-distilled and aged in full-sized, new charred American oak barrels. Each bottling is comprised of several single barrels, typically five to six for each batch. The whiskey is non chill-filtered and bottled at 45% ABV.