Best Washington Bourbon

David Lawrence
• Wednesday, 02 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Nothing is quite as satisfying as a sweet and spicy Whiskey Ginger on a sunny porch or sipping a nice, strong Manhattan while the sun sets. Beer and wine took hold first in the state, but now new craft distilleries are popping up everywhere.

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Dedicated distillers are choosing local, organic ingredients and obsessing over the smallest of details. That dedication is apparent in the wide range of flavors and complexity now on the Washington whiskey scene.

This full-bodied bourbon whiskey has big vanilla notes with caramel, cherry and oak undertones. Jamie Bureau from Canon uses it in the delicious Alfonso XIII cocktail.

It gives you a warm sensation and has a sweet and spicy flavor with touches of vanilla and caramel. This rye whiskey is aged to maturity in small barrels and has a smooth and distinct flavor.

It's named after a historic battle that took place on of Bainbridge's seven fingers of land that extend into the Puget Sound. Our Favorite Washington State WhiskeysClose Error Message Refresh Close Modal Take your spirits journey to the next level when you create an account.

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Spokane, WashingtonLocated just across the state from J.P. Trodden, Dry Fly Distillery makes a noticeably more potent whiskey, clocking in at 101 proof. Portland, OregonThough at first it doesn’t seem like there’s much difference between these two Oregonian bourbons from Portland’s Eastside Distilling (the Oregon Baked is simply aged for 60 days longer in a heavily-charred oak barrel), the distinction is apparent in each whiskey’s flavor.

Both are sizable and mix well in cocktails, but there’s a touch more complexity to the Oregon Baked bottling. Bend, OregonThere’s nothing more Western than enjoying a nice glass of whiskey near a campfire, and this husky bourbon would be the star of that scenario.

The bourbon is named for the distillery owner’s brother, both of whom, he says, are “proud and lively, yet undeniably smooth.” Does that remind you of anyone ? Robert Park, Californian offense to Sonoma County Distilling Co., but we’d say “West of Kentucky” is a bit of an understatement for this bourbon, which is made almost all the way across the country.

Though it hails from an area known for wine, the somewhat hard-to-find bottling is a fine example of the liquid gold the West offers. Weller 12 Year comes close in taste to the famed Pappy Van Winkle.

It is a superbly rich bourbon with a complex flavor profile designed to excite even the tiniest taste buds. Weller sports a soft and extra smooth texture with just enough sweetness to offset the aromas of almond and lanolin.

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The wheat dominates the mid-palate, but it’s well layered, and it brings toasty vanilla and creamed corn flavors. Hudson Baby is the first New York-distilled bourbon, and it offers a special blend of malted barley and corn.

It’s uncommon to find a bourbon that features a marsh bill with 10% malted barley and 90% corn. The wax-coated seal on Maker’s Mark is there to hint at the abundant flavor profile inside.

It’s dry and long, offering palatable notes of oak, corn, and some more caramel. You can find a great deal on Maker's Mark bourbon by clicking here.

The flavor profile is dominated with sweet notes, partly owing to a special mash bill blend of barley, corn, and rye. In addition, the Still house Black bourbon has a pronounced coffee finish that lands as a great climax after the initial sweetness.

Harper is now back with its delicate flavor profile and balanced okay finish. Like many other popular brands, it provides a distinct sweet note with plenty of corn in the background.

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The distillery was among the first to introduce the sour mash technique, column stills, as well as copper fermentation tanks. On the nose, Colonel E.H. Taylor is quite okay and spicy with just a hint of plums and figs.

As you sip, the flavors bring buttery notes, a touch of orange peel, and some tobacco smokiness at the end. It contains the required 51% of corn, but the remaining mash bill is infused with exotic millet.

It is warming sweet, with plenty of fruits on the mid-palate and a cask char note at the end. True to tradition, this bourbon gives you a perfect balance of sweet and spicy notes.

The somewhat higher proof is there to provide Woodford Reserve a special edge and offset the notes of ground ginger, espresso beans, and toasty oak. What’s more, it has pronounced notes of cinnamon and mint that balance out the initial heat of the alcohol.

You may expect minute variations in the flavor profile, but the caramel and vanilla aromas dominate the mid-palate. The finish is where Blanton’s wins, with a subtle touch of pepper and grassy rye.

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Or, if you must drink it on the rock, make sure you made clear ice for your whiskey. Sporting the proud name of the master distiller Elmer T. Lee, this bourbon provides rich nuances of flavor that show off its premium heritage.

The sweetness on the nose introduces smooth maple syrup and brown sugar aromas that permeate this bourbon’s body. On the other hand, the mid-palate is defined by a silky succession of honey, marzipan, and orange peel notes.

In addition, Elmer T. Lee won’t leave you guessing at the end, since its finish is quite long with a hint of spicy charred oak. Taste-wise, the 86 proof features a complex and deep profile, partly owing to the prolonged fermentation process.

Aside from the oak-rich flavors, you get refreshing mint notes with just a touch of cigar box and candied orange. As such, it features spicy warm aromas and a smoky flavor profile with hints of leather.

Actually, Breckenridge is a mix of high-altitude Colorado whiskey (the distillery's home brew) and blends from Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky. This results in a specific flavor profile, dominated by nutty and toasty aromas.

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Master distiller Eddie Russell handpicks the colors sherry casks to finish off this well-aged bourbon (between 12 and 17 years). The first sip hits you with bold dried fruit aromas, followed by a touch of nuts and citrus.

Master’s Keep is exceptionally smooth, almost creamy, and the sherry casks provide it with a distinct savory character. Since it went around the equator and visited more than 30 ports, Aged at Sea is also a great conversational piece.

Its caramel aroma is comparable to that of dark rum, and the salty sea air contributes to the savory taste reminiscent of Islam Scotch. The 10 years in the barrel were more than enough for Michel’s to mature and develop a rich flavor profile.

On the nose, it provides immersive caramel corn and toasted wood notes with a hint of buttery toffee. This delicious and smooth bourbon has slight aromas of dark honey and brown butter.

But you’re sure to be surprised by its soft nuanced notes that hint at toffee and vanilla. This bourbon sports a medium finish with no burn at all and the flavors continue to develop from dry oak to black pepper.

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Black Maple Hill maintains an air of mystery about the distillery and the ingredients. You can get your hands on this small batch in California only, and it sports a rather spicy flavor profile.

It has almost no heat at all and the vanilla and caramel aromas dominate the flavor profile from beginning to end. However, that is a matter of personal preference, and it doesn’t make Evan Williams less desirable.

This bourbon is smooth from start to finish and an excellent choice for those just getting introduced to the exciting world of all-American spirits. This Elijah Craig bourbon is bottled right from the cask, which allows you to appreciate the uncut flavor profile.

The batches range in strength between 64 and 70% AVB and the bourbon spends 12 years in oak before reaching the bottle. As you might expect, this enriches the profile and adds butterscotch, caramel, and vanilla notes to the aroma.

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