5 Southern Companies That Make Great Whiskey

Scotland and Ireland aren't the only places where fine spirits are distilled. There are plenty of companies in the Southern U.S. that craft whiskey and show it off at tastings, tours, and other events. If you're a whiskey lover, check out the five distilleries listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Great Whiskey Makers In The Southern U.S.

Name Location
Chattanooga Whiskey Chattanooga, TN
Angel's Envy Louisville, KY
MurLarkey Distilled Spirits Bristow, VA
Balcones Distilling Waco, TX
Catoctin Creek Purcellville, VA

Fun Facts About Whiskey

  1. It can be made from barley, corn, rye, or wheat
  2. Maturing takes place in a cask, not the bottle
  3. Whiskey aged in oak barrels absorbs flavor from the wood
  4. It's typically spelled "whiskey" in the US, while the Scottish spell it "whisky"
  5. The process of distillation dates back to Alexandria in the 1st century CE

What Was The Whiskey Rebellion?

The largest armed conflict among Americans between the Revolutionary & Civil Wars, the rebellion took place in the late 18th century after a bill that put a tax on distilled spirits was passed in 1791. This wasn't a major inconvenience to large-scale producers, but smaller producers in the west were outraged. Violent protest took place throughout the western frontier and in southern states. One of the biggest concerns of the rebellion was that the tax would support a national government that they felt wasn't representing their interests. Officers assigned with collecting the tax were often threatened with physical harm. The conflict came to a head in 1794, when farmers in western Pennsylvania attacked federal officers trying to collect the tax. Washington sent a large militia to deal with the situation, and the resistance soon dissipated without further violence.

How Is Whiskey Made?

In Depth

Whiskey has been a celebrated spirit for hundreds of years. Over the centuries, it has had a variety of uses from medicinal to recreational. At times, it has even been used as currency and banned during Prohibition. Getting its start in Europe and quickly growing in popularity throughout the world, it has become an American pastime and passion for many. This list, presented in no particular order, shares several southern American companies producing great whiskey today.

#1 on the list is the Chattanooga Whiskey company, established in Tennessee in 2011. The founders, inspired by rich southern distilling culture, had a mission to bring whiskey back to their hometown, establishing the first distillery in Chattanooga in over a century. In 2015, they began crafting their signature, malt-forward style of straight bourbon called Tennessee High Malt, a celebration of the history and the future of bourbon.

With over 100 barrels of various whiskeys maturing in their cellars, Chattanooga strives to create timeless flavors with nuanced complexity. Tennessee visitors can explore the rich history of Chattanooga and the evolution of these hand-crafted spirits at their Experimental Distillery by taking part in tasting tours. Bold and adventurous flavors are sure to excite tasters, whether from the comfort of their own homes or in-person at the state-of-the-art, independent distillery.

Bold and adventurous flavors are sure to excite tasters, whether from the comfort of their own homes or in-person at the state-of-the-art, independent distillery.

At #2, Angel's Envy is a hand crafted, small-batch whiskey produced in Kentucky by the Louisville Distilling Company. Established by master distiller Lincoln Henderson, Angel's Envy is the product of nearly half a century of bourbon knowledge and experience. Logged in a tiny black book passed down to family members, Henderson's unique ideas detail his many visions for the future of whiskey. His descendants continue to embrace his passion with their hard work and dedication to the family business after his passing.

While the family-owned and operated company carries on the 200-year-old tradition of whiskey distilling, master craftsmen personally taste each barrel of bourbon through every step of the aging process to ensure all spirits are up to the highest standards of perfection. Creating flavors using sustainable and innovative techniques, Angel's Envy has become a leader in the field and created a remarkable legacy for Lincoln Henderson. Visitors can tour the distillery in Kentucky and sip whiskey or participate in a wide range of events such as tasting tours and courses.

Coming in at the #3 position is MurLarkey Distilled Spirits. Made by hand in Prince William County, Virginia, this certified craft distillery produces whiskey and gluten-free spirits of the highest quality using creative, locally-sourced ingredients. From meager beginnings, second generation Irish-American cousins and creators, Tom Murray and Mike Larkin, established the distillery with a small group of friends and family and have earned their credibility winning numerous awards at notable competitions such as the American Distilling Institute, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the NY International Spirits Competition, among others.

From meager beginnings, second generation Irish-American cousins and creators, Tom Murray and Mike Larkin, established the distillery with a small group of friends and family and have earned their credibility winning numerous awards at notable competitions such as the American Distilling Institute, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the NY International Spirits Competition, among others.

Using only the finest, all-natural raw materials, grains and botanicals, the distillery pays homage to its Irish heritage with classic and unique flavors, leaving whiskey and spirit-lovers thirsty for more. MurLarkey invites visitors to tour the distillery and sample spirits and hosts a variety of weekly events such as tastings and mixology courses. Their spirits can be purchased online from anywhere in the country.

At #4 is Balcones Distilling, established in Texas in 2008. Balcones started off as just an idea driven by the creators' passions to produce something original and authentic in the heart of Texas. From their original location in a quaint welding shop under a bridge in Waco, they quickly transformed into an internationally acclaimed, state-of-the-art whisky distillery.

Using high-quality ingredients, from blue corn grown in New Mexico to the first Texas-grown malted barley, Balcones always strives to get the most out of their raw materials. With every effort to preserve the flavors of their fresh ingredients, all whiskey is tapped from copper pot stills made in Scotland, contributing to its rich flavor and density. Balcones has proven its devotion to both the craft of distilling and the local community, hosting a variety of events open to the public such as trivia and comedy nights, whiskey-pairing and music events, and tastings.

With every effort to preserve the flavors of their fresh ingredients, all whiskey is tapped from copper pot stills made in Scotland, contributing to its rich flavor and density.

At #5 is Catoctin Creek. Established in 2009, the distillery sits at the heart of the birthplace of American Whiskey and is the first legal distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia since before Prohibition. Dedicated to their craft, they pride themselves in their many varieties of their signature whiskey, Roundstone Rye.

All Catoctin spirits are made by hand from locally-sourced grains and fruit by a devoted team of distillers and all ingredients are free from pesticides and chemical additives. The company is the proud producer of "Virginia's most awarded whisky."