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Grain-To-Glass Bourbon Whiskeys That Keep Everything Super Local

We all know the term farm-to-table, right? It’s a well-worn buzzword (phrase) in the restaurant business, created to showcase the use of locally sourced fruits, vegetables, meats, and other ingredients. People like eating at a restaurant with this label because it makes them feel good about supporting local farmers. It’s no wonder that the already craft-driven world of bourbon whiskey has embraced the same idea — with terms like “farm-to-flask” and “grain-to-glass.”

Ostensibly, those terms mean the same thing as farm-to-table. We’re talking about bourbon whiskeys made using grains and corn sourced locally (sometimes even on-site) which are then distilled, aged, and bottled in-house. Brands who take this step are able to control every part of their production chain — which might not always be for the better but certainly does result in some fascinating juice.

Below, you’ll find 12 of our favorite grain-to-glass bourbons — expressions we love that take commitment to craft up a notch.

Black Button Four Grain Bourbon (New York)

Black Button

ABV: 42%

Price: $49.99

The Story:

Rochester, New York’s Black Button is quickly becoming one of the most highly respected distilleries in the state. Its award-winning small-batch, four-grain bourbon is made from 60% corn, 20% wheat, 9% rye, 11% barley — with each grain coming from Edgewood Farms in nearby Groveland.

Everything is distilled, aged, and bottled by Black Button is 100% New York State. That includes the corn in the mash!

Tasting Notes:

Take a whiff of this whiskey and you’ll be treated to notes of charred oak, sweet treacle, toasted vanilla, and rich leather. The first sip is filled with hints of buttery caramel, sticky toffee pudding, subtle cinnamon, and tobacco. The finish is dry and ends with flavors of vanilla beans and brown sugar.

Bottom Line:

This locally sourced bourbon from Western New York is rich, highly sippable, and filled with strong vanilla and caramel presence.

Sonoma Brothers Bourbon (California)

Sonoma Brothers

ABV: 46%

Price: $42.99

The Story:

Sonoma Brothers is run by twin brothers Chris (a Santa Rosa firefighter) and Brandon Matthies (a Santa Rosa police officer). The base for their bourbon is GMO-free, locally sourced corn, malted barley, and wheat. It’s aged in new, charred American oak barrels on-site.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find aromas of dried cherries, vanilla beans, and toasted marshmallows. Take a sip and you’d enjoy hints of spicy cinnamon, creamy caramel, cooking spices, and charred oak. At the end, you’ll find a final hint of sweet caramel.

Bottom Line:

Sonoma, California might be known for its wine, but don’t overlook this exceptional grain-to-glass bourbon. Free of rye grain, it’s perfect for fans of mellow bourbons.

Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon (Wyoming)

Wyoming Whiskey

ABV: 44%

Price: $39.99

The Story:

Wyoming Whiskey was founded by the Mead family. Previous to this endeavor, the family was well known for running a ranch for more than 100 years. They source the (corn) from Brent and Sherri Rageth’s farm, just north of theirs. The other ingredients are also sourced locally too, making this a truly Wyoming whiskey through and through.

Tasting Notes:

Take the time to give this whiskey a proper nosing and you’ll be struck by the myriad scents including rich brown sugar, vanilla beans, and subtle charred oak. On the palate, you’ll be greeted with notes of creamy caramel, crème Brule, butterscotch, and just a kiss of spicy cinnamon. The finish features hints of vanilla and sticky toffee pudding.

Bottom Line:

Over the past few years, Wyoming Whiskey has continued to garner awards and gain fans. Get on board before you’re left behind. (Though this is a smaller operation, you can still find this bourbon in most states.)

Laws Four Grain Bourbon (Colorado)

Laws

ABV: 47.5%

Price: $46.99

The Story:

Laws, located in Denver and founded by Canadian former investment banker Alan Laws, sources all of their grains and corn from local farms. Two local farms make their heirloom rye, wheat, and barley. On top of that, Alan Laws mills, ferments, and distills everything (including his Four Grain Straight Bourbon) all at the distillery.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find hints of candied orange peels, clover honey, charred oak, and cracked black pepper. The sip is filled with notes of sweet cream, buttery caramel, rich leather, pipe tobacco, and toasted vanilla. The finish is long, warming, and dry.

Bottom Line:

Denver might be known as a beer town, but distilleries like Laws are attempting to change that perception.

High Wire Revival Bourbon (South Carolina)

High Wire

ABV: 42%

Price: $55

The Story:

Charleston, South Carolina’s High Wire’s flagship spirit is Revival, a bourbon made from 100% Jimmy Red corn. This particular corn variant was grown for years on nearby James Island before almost completely disappearing. High Wire and a team of researchers spent six years rebuilding the crop for use in its whiskey.

Tasting Notes:

If you take the time to nose this whiskey, you’ll be treated to hints of toasted marshmallows, spicy cinnamon, and charred oak. The first sip is filled with flavors of maple candy, sweet chocolate, cooking spices, and caramelized sugar. The finish is long, warming, and ends in a final crescendo of spicy cinnamon candy.

Bottom Line:

Proving that corn-filled bourbon can be made in other places besides Kentucky, Revival is sure to surprise you and fascinate your post-pandemic drinking guests.

Hillrock Estate Solera Aged Bourbon (New York)

Hillrock Estate

ABV: 46.3%

Price: $89.99

The Story:

Back in 1999, Jeffrey baker bought a farm north of New York City. He and his wife Cathy Franklin organically farm 850 acres of corn, barley, and rye. They use those ingredients to make their award-winning Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon. Technically, this bourbon has been aged for six years. But since it’s made using the solera method, the blend might contain much older whiskeys.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll get dried fruits, toasted oak, creamy vanilla, and just a dash of peppery rye. The sip features dried cherries, buttery caramel, sugar cookies, and sweet sherry. The finish is medium in length, has a nice bit of heat, and ends with a final kick of cracked black pepper.

Bottom Line:

This whiskey isn’t cheap. Because of that, you should save it for a special occasion and sip it slowly to unlock all the different flavors solera aging imparts.

Coppersea Excelsior Bourbon (New York)

Coppersea

ABV: 48%

Price: $63

The Story:

If you didn’t already know it, “excelsior” is the motto of New York State. The folks at Coppersea chose to give their bourbon this name because it’s made using grains and corn sourced from Hudson Valley (where the distillery is located). On top of that, the hot juice is aged in barrels that were actually made at a cooperage in the area.

Tasting Notes:

Take a sniff and you’ll be transported to a world filled with spicy cinnamon, creamy vanilla, and a nice kick of peppery rye. The first sip yields dried fruits, buttery caramel, nutty sweetness, and more cracked black pepper. The finish is long, warming, and ends with a final whisper of white pepper.

Bottom Line:

In recent years, New York has become a center for whiskey production. This is especially true in the grain-to-bottle segment, with Coppersea being one of the most underrated brands.

Frey Ranch Bourbon (Nevada)

Frey Ranch

ABV: 45%

Price: $54.99

The Story:

Frey Ranch Bourbon is quickly becoming one of the most well-known grain-to-bottle whiskeys in America. This Nevada-based sustainable bourbon is made using heirloom grains and corn farmed, distilled, and matured on this farm distillery in the Lake Tahoe watershed.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find hints of charred oak, tobacco, dried orange peel, and sweet vanilla. The palate is swimming with flavors of buttery caramel, candy apples, cooking spices, oak, and subtle cinnamon. It all ends with a long, dry caramel-meets-pepper finish.

Bottom Line:

You’ll have a hard time finding a better example of farm-to-flask whiskey. The non-GMO corn, winter rye, winter wheat, and two-row barley used in the brand’s whiskeys are all grown right there.

Far North Bødalen Bourbon (Minnesota)

Far North

ABV: 45%

Price: $52.99

The Story:

Named for a valley in Norway, Bødalen is Far North’s first fully farm-to-bottle whiskey. This 90 proof bourbon was made using 60% corn, 30% rye, and 10% barley — all grown in Minnesota. On top of that, the barrels used to mature this expression are made from Minnesota oak.

It’s aged for 18 months to perfectly round out the various flavors.

Tasting Notes:

Take time to give this a proper nosing and you’ll find aromas of caramel corn, candied orange peels, caramel, and buttercream. On the palate: hints of buttery vanilla, sticky toffee, spicy cinnamon, and just a hint of sweet corn. On the finish you’re met with a long, warming embrace and hints of caramelized sugar and subtle, spicy rye.

Bottom Line:

This was a limited-edition bottle. If you’re able to get your hands on one, savor it. Maybe pay homage to Norway by finally streaming Lilyhammer on Netflix.

Whiskey Acres Straight Bourbon (Illinois)

Whiskey Acres

ABV: 43.5%

Price: $39.99

The Story:

Whiskey Acres is an estate distillery, similar to New York’s Hillrock Estate. This means the brand grows everything on-site that’s used in the distillation process. This includes the secondary addition of wheat to soften and open up the whiskey before maturation.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’re welcomed by the scents of sweet corn, toasted vanilla beans, charred oak, and candied orange peels. The first sip yields notes of rich caramel, candy apples, dried cherries, and just a hint of spicy, sweet cinnamon. The finish is medium, full of sweet heat, and ends with notes of sticky toffee and citrus.

Bottom Line:

Whiskey Acres Straight Bourbon is mellow, soft, creamy, and perfect for your favorite whiskey-based cocktails.

Jeptha Creed Bloody Butcher Bourbon (Kentucky)

Jeptha Creed

ABV: 50%

Price: $50.99

The Story:

The Nethery family, owners of Jeptha Creed, have a 1,000-acre farm located in Shelby County, Kentucky. The distillery sits smack dab in the middle of it. Jeptha Creed Bloody Butcher Bourbon is made using corn grown on the family farm. The brand also grows rye, wheat, barley, as well as pecans, apricots, figs, and other fruits, and nuts.

Tasting Notes:

Your nose will be treated to notes of caramel apples, toasted marshmallows, and charred oak. The first sip is swimming with flavors of candied orange peels, spicy cinnamon, buttery caramel, and toasted vanilla. The finish is long, spicy, and ends with a nice hint of caramel corn.

Bottom Line:

Jeptha Creed is a family business. Mother and daughter Joyce and Autumn Nethery are using the family farm to push the limits of what a farm distillery means and we’re all lucky to taste the results.

Dry Fly Straight Bourbon 101 (Washington)

Dry Fly

ABV: 50.5%

Price: $38.99

The Story:

The first legal bourbon made in the state of Washington, Dry Fly Bourbon 101 is distilled using corn sourced from a local Hutterite settlement along with triticale (a hybrid made up of wheat and rye) produced locally by farmer Mitch Engel, before being aged for a minimum of three years in American oak casks. Dry Fly Bourbon 101 and all of Dry Fly’s spirits are made using products sourced from sustainable local farms in their area.

Tasting Notes:

Take a whiff and you’ll be transported to a world of cinnamon, charred oak, sweet treacle or molasses, and clove. The first sip is swirling with flavors of buttery caramel, toasted vanilla beans, marshmallows, allspice, and just a hint of peppery rye. At the finish, you’ll be greeted with a lingering, pleasing caramel sweetness.

Bottom Line:

This brand was named because its founder is a big fan of fly fishing, so crack open a bottle and drink it beside a creek, lake, or river.

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