Life

These Whiskey Influencers Will Help You Find The Perfect Bottle

There’s no shame in needing a little help to find a good bottle of whiskey these days. The shelves at the liquor store overflow with brands, expressions, and limited edition picks (though those may be tucked behind the register). It’s daunting for any newbie (and even a seasoned pro) to navigate. There’s a lot of help out there though. You can turn to our own blind taste tests to get a handle on classic and new releases. You can also use social media and follow the people who have made whisk(e)y the central part of their lives.

Below, I’m calling out 20 whisk(e)y influencers I follow. Overall, following a whiskey influencer is a good way to learn about what’s fresh, what’s trending, and where you should invest your cash in the industry. These are the folks who live and breathe whiskey right now from Taiwan to Kentucky to Scotland to Australia and every point in between.

For this list, I’m calling out people who represent multiple facets of the industry, from historians to whiskey investment pros to very online whiskey reviewers — you know, people who have the ability to influence you. I’ve avoided the big brand accounts and their brand ambassadors. You can follow your favorite brands very easily without my help. I also didn’t rank these folks. I let their follower count lead the way on the list with the lowest first and the most followers last (plus a shameless self-plug at the end!). Seems more egalitarian that way, as all of these accounts are worth a follow equally but for different reasons. So, let’s get into it!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months

Miss Whiskey Historian, Caroline Paulus (6,158 followers)

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus/Instagram

Who:

Caroline Paulus is a great place to start, especially if you’re looking to get into dusties and Kentuck bourbon. Paulus is a whiskey historian working in Kentucky. She’s also the whiskey historian of Justins’ House of Bourbon in Lexington and Louisville and the Senior Editor of The Bourbon Review.

Focus:

Paulus’ feed focuses on the historical bottles she pulls in for Justins’ House of Bourbon’s stocks while also giving a behind-the-scenes look at the industry across Kentucky.

Whisky Dramster (9,009 followers)

Whisky Dramster
Whisky Dramster/Instagram

Who:

Whisky Dramster is an online friend of mine and he can be your whiskey pal too. The feed does lean towards Texas whiskey but covers any bottle he can get his hands on, often photographed in a crumbling pastoral setting.

Focus:

Whisky Dramster’s handle focuses on Texas whiskey and smoked meats at the moment — it’s summertime, y’all. He also posts a lot about Scotch quite a bit with a refreshing set of tasting notes attached to each post.

Becky Paskin (10.1K followers)

Becky Paskin
Becky Paskin/Instagram

Who:

Becky Paskin is one of the biggest names in the whisky critic game right now. She’s also a leader in whisk(e)y education. But she’s probably best known for advocating for women in the spirits and bar industry via OurWhisky, which she founded.

Focus:

Paskin’s feed mixes in-depth bottle reviews with distillery tours, panel discussions, and women’s advocacy in whiskey, spirits in general, and notes on the service industry.

That One Dude Ryan (10.8K followers)

Ryan
Ryan/Instagram

Who:

That One Dude Ryan’s IG feed is a good mix of nonplussed comedy and legit whiskey reviews. Ryan’s dead stare into the camera — and your soul — as he pours whiskey and tastes it has become an internet meme and has been mimicked by his legion of fans. Beyond all of that, Ryan’s reviews are worthy of your time as he will lead you to some seriously good whiskey.

Focus:

Whiskey reviews, reaction reels, tasting reels, more reels, the sporadic whiskey meme, talking shit while tasting whiskey and making a reel — you know, all the good stuff in whiskey that keeps your feed light and fun.

Chasing Bourbon (10.9K followers)

Jen Regan
Jen Regan/Instagram

Who:

Jen Regan of Chasing Bourbon is another essential IG handle. Regan’s feed is filled with nature and whiskey with a broad swath of bottles covered in the bourbon category. The hook here is the high-end photography that grabs you when you’re scrolling through your feed with the information attached to each post adding that extra depth for a great follow.

Focus:

Regan’s feed shifts between bourbon in nature — lakes, forests, fields, trees — to bourbon being poured with a touch of tenebrism creeping in from the shadows. Regan also posts about American whiskey bottles in general with ryes, American single malts, and blends every now and then too.

The Whiskey Gal (12.9K followers)

The Whiskey Gal
The Whiskey Gal/Instagram

Who:

The Whiskey Gal, or Lynn Palmer, curates a classic American whiskey feed with a tight focus on bourbons and ryes. Each post brings style, information, and great bottle shots.

Focus:

The posts highlight the whiskeys Palmer tries and leads you back to The Bourbon Thieves community, which is also a great follow.

Urbanbourbonist, Chris Blatner (14K followers)

Chris Blatner
Chris Blatner/Instagram

Who:

Chris Blatner is a very online whiskey reviewer. Blatner is also the executive director for Bourbon Charity which raises money via bourbon whiskey and Bourbon Hood, an organization of whiskey folks helping raise that money.

Focus:

Blatner’s feed is full of (mostly) bourbon and rye reviews via reels he posts at a consistent clip. He also hosts live tastings on his feed and covers the industry’s events and releases in general.

The Hood Sommelier (15.1K followers)

The Hood Sommelier
The Hood Sommelier/Instagram

Who:

The Hood Sommelier, Jack Beguedou, is one of the coolest voices in whiskey today. Beguedou is bringing West African culinary and pairing profiles to the world of whiskey, especially bourbon.

Focus:

Beguedou focuses his feed on whiskey reviews. He’ll pepper in reels, live tastings, and posts with tasting notes alongside West African DJ sets in Louisville and food pop-ups around the country with West African chefs and bartenders.

Single Malt Savvy, Chris Perugini (18.8K followers)

Chris Perugini
Chris Perugini/Instagram

Who:

Chris Perugini’s handle is the quintessential follow for any whiskey lover. Perugini has spent years curating, leading tastings, and educating folks about all things whiskey, especially Scotch. His knowledge is some of the deepest in the industry.

Focus:

There is a focus on Scotch whisky, but Perugini’s feed is filled with in-depth whiskey reviews from every category of the spirit.

A Girl Tasting Whiskey (23.7K followers)

A Girl Tasting Whiskey
A Girl Tasting Whiskey/Instagram

Who:

A Girl Tasting Whiskey adds a fresh dimension to the whole IG whiskey scene. Her handle covers whiskey from every corner of the world with Australia as the backdrop. This is probably the most lifestyle-driven feed on this list as well with travel, style, modeling, and whiskey all colliding in each post.

Focus:

The posts focus on the whiskeys with details and tasting notes attached to most posts. There’s also a wanderlust vibe to the whole feed thanks to the phenomenal Australian framing with plenty of sun, sea, and craggy red rocks.

Whisky & Watches (25.5K followers)

Whisky & Watches
Whisky and Watches/Instagram

Who:

Whisky & Watches is pretty self-explanatory. Cool watches are hung on the bottlenecks of great bottles of whiskey. And, let’s face it, there’s always been a pretty big overlap in high-end watches and high-end whiskey, so this is a natural fit.

Focus:

Vintage, unicorn, and standard whiskeys from all over the world are adorned with new and vintage watches. Again, it’s pretty self-explanatory and pretty enticing if you’re looking for great watches and great whiskey.

Whisky Nate, Nate Woodruff (26.2K followers)

Nate Woodruff
Nate Woodruff/Instagram

Who:

Whiskey Nate (Woodruff) started off his feed as a whiskey and travel/photography handle that’s turned into a whiskey, dog, and Wyoming outdoors feed. Woodruff’s main gig is Whisky With A View which is another great photography/outdoor/whiskey feed to follow.

Focus:

Dogs, mountains, rivers, and (mostly) American whiskey! While the feed is inarguable masculine (wood chopping, fishing, meat, and whiskey), the whiskey reviews being poured and photographed are always top-notch.

Black Bourbon Society (28.4K followers)

Black Bourbon Society
Black Bourbon Society/Instagram

Who:

Black Bourbon Society, founded by Samara Rivers, aims to highlight the deep history of African American culture in American whiskey and the connectivity of whiskey and Black American culture that’s still thriving today.

Focus:

Black Bourbon Society highlights the bars, industry pros, and people behind both the American spirits and service industries in the Black community. Post focus on everything from advocacy for Black voices to great leads on Black-owned businesses. There’s also some great cocktail content interspersed throughout.

Duchess of Islay (30.5K followers)

Duchess of Islay
Duchess of Islay/Instagram

Who:

The Duchess of Islay posts from The Parlour, a massive whiskey room that makes for the perfect backdrop. The Duchess of Islay’s feed is about education first and foremost with scotch, Prohibition, and general whiskey knowledge at the center of it all.

Focus:

Duchess of Islay focuses her feed on whisk(e)y education with a focus on all things Scotland, but especially Islay whisky. The feed goes into Scottish name pronunciations alongside in-depth whiskey reviews and history.

George Koutsakis (34.8K followers)

George Koutsakis
George Koutsakis/Instagram

Who:

George Koutsakis is a Scotch, Taiwanese, and Japanese whisky expert living in Taiwan. Koutsakis is a great whiskey writer with a deep knowledge of whiskies that don’t get nearly enough attention in the U.S. — think super special Japanese releases and Taiwanese whiskies in general.

Focus:

The Eastern Asian whisky scene and the amazing Taiwanese food scene collide on Koutsakis’ feed.

Whisky Nomad (42.2K followers)

Whisky Nomad
Whisky Nomad/Instagram

Who:

Sarah, The Whisky Nomad, blends travel and whisky with spirits history and education. The overall vibe is light and easy with no pretension but tons of great information about whiskey from all over the world.

Focus:

The Whisky Nomad feed leans far more into whisky education and reviews these days than travel with solid whisky memes filling in the rest.

Fred Minnick (47.5K followers)

Fred Minnick
Fred Minnick/Instagram

Who:

Fred Minnick is probably the most well-known name in bourbon whiskey today. Minnick has built a small empire around reviewing American whiskeys and telling you where to find the absolute best bottles (and which ones to avoid at all costs).

Focus:

Minnick’s post focus on his live shows, whiskey reviews, celebrity interviews, and a slice of life in Kentucky (and his travels for work).

Single Malt Vault (53.6K followers)

Single Malt Vault
Single Malt Vault/Instagram

Who:

Single Malt Vault, curated by CJ, is a vast vault of amazing and old whiskies. This is where we get into the very high-end world of whisky investing and unicorn bottles.

Focus:

This feed is filled with drool-worthy dusties and unicorns from the Scotch whisky scene with a focus on investment bottles. There are plenty of rare and high-end whisky reviews as well as insights into the upper echelons of the industry.

Cigar Lover (66.1K followers)

Cigar Lover
Cigar Lover/Instagram

Who:

Cigar Lover blends the worlds of fine cigars with fine whiskey, especially bourbon with a Miami setting. Cigar Lover is both a certified cigar sommelier and bourbon steward and spends her time traveling the tobacco farms of the Caribbean and Central America in between trips to Kentucky and beyond where she leads expert pairing sessions.

Focus:

Cigars and whiskey! While bourbon is the main focus, Cigar Lover also offers great pairings of tobacco with Scotch whisky as well as any other high-end pour. There’s also a very tropical vibe to the whole feed, making it a great follow for that alone.

Nate Gana (127K followers)

Nate Gana
Nate Gana/Instagram

Who:

Nate Gana is the foremost voice in whiskey collecting and investing right now. Gana has built a reputation as one of the nicest guys in whisky, with a deep knowledge of where to invest both for your vault and bar cart. Gana’s also behind the release of Whisky Live! which is one of the biggest whisky festivals in the world.

Focus:

Investment whisky, exclusive whisky tastings, whiskey tastings with the biggest names in the industry, and a dash of luxury travel are the highlights of Gana’s feed.

Bonus Track: ZTPWhiskey (2,544 followers)

Zach Johnston
Zach Johnston/Instagram

Who:

Zach Johnston (me!) is the head drinks writer for UPROXX Life. I also host panel discussions with some of the biggest names int he industry, leads whiskey tastings internationally, and serve as a judge at international spirits competitions.

Focus:

All whiskey that comes across my desk as a whiskey writer plus great food, a touch of travel, and a cocktail or two.

×