You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why.
Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.
Bold. Smooth. Classic: These words describe Frank Sinatra and the whiskey named after him. The signature expressionis a tribute in more than just name. It’s aged in special “Sinatra barrels” that give the whiskey a richness and character that would make Frank proud. Check out more about what makes this upscale whiskey an American original.
“If you've had the toasted barrel bourbon, you know this rye is going to be amazing. Michter’s is known for making great rye whiskeys as well as high-rye bourbons. This toasted barrel is sure to delight with great flavors of spice that rye whiskeys give, with a little extra kick from the toasted barrel.”—Juyoung Kang, lead bartender at Las Vegas' Dorsey
“Another shining example of what's happening in California whiskey, this take on wheat is phenomenal.”—Ehrmann
“In my opinion, it’s the best of all the Van Winkles.”—Bodenheimer
“Westland is certainly the leader when it comes to the emerging category of American single malts. This release incorporates some malt whiskey aged in barrels made using Quercus garryana, an oak species native to the Pacific Northwest. It adds an amazing spice complemented by chocolate notes.”—Michael Lazar, whiskey concierge and lead bartender at San Francisco's Hard Water
“It’s one of the best expressions of American single malt out there.”—Ehrmann
“It’s a unique and rare rye whiskey aged for 14 years in Armagnac barrels, which gives it stone fruit notes.”—Van den Boomgard
“It has climbed the charts for best rye in a very short time. This FarmStock has notes of oak, vanilla, baking spices, stone fruits and mint. Its complex finish give notes of tobacco, dark chocolate and butterscotch—just a Christmas-in-July feeling that’s good year-round.”—Kang
“Willett Distillery has been putting out whiskey from several years but not till recently started distilling its own juice and aging it. As the rye has seen four years, going on five, it has great spice and structure for sipping on a cold night.”—Izaguirre
“This is the first whiskey out of Oakland since Prohibition, and they are doing it right. I can't wait to see what comes out of here in the coming years.”—Ehrmann