14 White Whiskey Brands You Should Try At Least Once

six white whiskey bottles
six white whiskey bottles - Static Media / Shutterstock

White whiskey offers you a chance to taste the untamed realm of this famous spirit. Often recommended as a base for cocktails, the best expressions can be sipped neat and give you the chance to sample pure whiskey. Also known as white dog or moonshine, it offers a raw and unadulterated experience, showcasing the grains from which it was made. For whiskey lovers, you'll get an insight into the true nature of whiskey before it hits the barrel, which allows you to better appreciate the purity of its ingredients. From small-batch distilleries to renowned names, I wanted to showcase the best white whiskeys around right now.

As a lover of all types of whiskey, I've tasted countless bottles over many years with a vast range of age statements. This wealth of knowledge has given me an insight into what makes a great spirit, even when they haven't touched a barrel. I've enjoyed many of these expressions, and each brings a unique character and flavor profile to the table. Whether you want to get a glimpse into the illegal moonshine of the past or want something special for your cocktails, this is the list for you. Join me as I examine the purest white whiskeys and what makes them worthy of your whiskey wish list.

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash No. 1

Buffalo Trace White Dog bottle
Buffalo Trace White Dog bottle - HyVeeFleur / X, formerly known as Twitter

I start off the list with probably the most famous white whiskey of them all. Coming from the esteemed Buffalo Trace distillery, the White Dog Mash No. 1 brilliantly captures the spirit in its purest form. It's worth pointing out that white whiskeys aren't ideal for drinking neat if you're a casual drinker. This 125-proof expression will provide a burn to even seasoned drinkers. Once poured, its crystal-clear appearance hints at its purity and the aroma gives you a nice wave of corn sweetness and a little vanilla.

On the palate, the high percentage of corn in the mash bill takes center stage. The whiskey is unsurprisingly robust with a grain-forward flavor profile. But there are a few other flavors here, such as a spicy undertone, along with some vanilla. Without the aging process, the spirit is fresh and lively and provides a smooth enough mouthfeel to be consumed on its own. White Dog serves as a great educational tool for whiskey drinkers. It allows you to appreciate how whiskey transforms from its raw materials into a fully matured spirit. Its bold flavors make it an interesting departure from traditional whiskeys, and it is a good base for cocktails. Given its wide availability and value, White Dog is a great place to start your white whiskey journey.

Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey

Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey jar
Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey jar - dobryiidruhny / Instagram

Here, we have another spirit made by a famous whiskey maker, this time the Heaven Hill whiskey distillery. One of the appeals of white whiskey is that you get a glimpse into the illegal moonshine that used to be enjoyed before and during prohibition. Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey embodies that spirit and gives you a taste of history with every sip. It offers the expected sweetness on the nose but also notes of herbal flowers and dried fruits.

Upon tasting, the herbal qualities carry through along with a bold expression of corn, giving the drink a rich sweetness. The flavor profile doesn't have a lot of depth, but with a lower proof than many whiskeys on this list, it has a smooth texture. The finish is slightly harsh, but not as much as many of its rivals. In many ways, this is a nostalgic white whiskey. It comes in a mason jar, which, while a little awkward to pour, adds to its sense of history.

Firefly White Lightning Moonshine

Firefly White Lightning Moonshine jar
Firefly White Lightning Moonshine jar - Firefly Spirits / Instagram

Georgia Moon is far from the only brand that likes to use a mason jar for its packaging. Firefly White Lightning Moonshine embodies the essence of Southern tradition and has created a white whiskey that is potent, yet smooth. It's crafted in the heart of South Carolina and pays homage to the clandestine distillers that used to make moonshine, while bringing in modern techniques and a commitment to quality. Another expression with a high level of corn, you can expect the sweet smell of the grain but also some subtle citrus and earthiness.

Upon your first taste, you'll notice that this is a bold and fiery expression. Despite its high proof of just over 100, White Lightning Moonshine has an enjoyable texture. Along with its corn base, you get a subtle spiciness and also a hint of some fruits. This makes it one of the best white whiskeys to drink neat, as it isn't overpowering and is one of the most flavorful options on the market. It has the rustic feel you expect from a moonshine but is impressively versatile.

Koval White Rye

Bottle of Koval White Rye
Bottle of Koval White Rye - Koval Distillery / Instagram

The whiskeys I've looked at so far all have a heavy corn influence, but here is one that uses rye instead. Chicago is synonymous with prohibition, and Koval is the city's first distillery since that era. It makes many spirits, with this intriguing white whiskey being one of them. Unlike the expressions that opt for a historic look, Koval has a sleek and modern design with a crystal-clear liquid that could easily be mistaken for vodka or gin. The aroma greets you with the pepper you'd expect from its rye ingredients, along with floral notes and berries. The nose of white whiskey is generally not great, but this is one of the better ones.

Koval White Rye's palate is also much better than average. It's very clean on the first sip, but eventually, you get a wave of rye that warms your soul. After you get past the boldness of the rye, more flavors are unveiled, such as pepper, grass, and earthiness. They are supported by a silky texture that is hard to produce without aging. It's a spirit that gives you a great insight into the complexity of unaged whiskey and the use of rye, which suits this unique production method. At only 80 proof, this is a good choice for those who want to try white whiskey neat, as it isn't overpowering or harsh.

George Dickel No. 1 White Corn Whiskey

George Dickel White Whiskey bottle
George Dickel White Whiskey bottle - Swine Moonshine / X, formerly known as Twitter

Here we go back to looking at a corn-forward white whiskey from a famous name. When it comes to famous Tennessee whiskey brands, Jack Daniels usually comes to mind first. While Jack Daniels may be undisputed number one, George Dickel deserves plenty of attention for the spirits it produces. This white corn whiskey is one of Dickel's many whiskeys that go through its unique method of Tennessee craftsmanship. Most whiskeys from the state undergo charcoal mellowing. It's a process whereby the whiskey is filtered through charcoal, which helps make it instantly smoother and mellower. It helps to make this white whiskey stand out from many others on this list.

The mash bill here is mostly corn but also uses 8% of both rye and malted barley to give it some interesting tasting notes. Upon tasting, you'll immediately notice the smoothness synonymous with charcoal mellowing. Along with the expected sweetness, you get a few notes of butterscotch and a gentle warmth that comes from its proof of 90. George Dickel White offers impressive depth for an unaged whiskey, as you'll also get some fruits on the palate, including fresh apples. Overall, it's an incredibly versatile spirit -- ideal for warming you up on cold winter nights or giving a summer cocktail some extra punch on sunny days.

Ole Smoky White Lightnin'

Ole Smoky White Lightnin' bottle
Ole Smoky White Lightnin' bottle - Ole Smoky Distillery / X, formerly known as Twitter

Another great white whiskey from Tennessee is this expression from Ole Smoky. The distillery produces many flavored unaged whiskeys, but White Lightnin' is pure moonshine. Ole Smoky captures the spirit of the Appalachian tradition of moonshining, giving you an authentic taste of the Smoky Mountains. Moonshine -- the term once used for illegally made white whiskey -- is now used in marketing for legally made unaged spirits. Ole Smoky proudly used the name as it was making illegal moonshine until the law was changed, and it became the first legal moonshine distillery in Tennessee.

That history is still captured in its drinks, and you'll taste that with this unadulterated spirit. On nosing this whiskey, the most unique sense you'll get is a subtle earthiness, reminiscent of the Appalachian landscape. On tasting, White Lightnin' is quite a fiery whiskey, supported by its proof of 100. The corn is supported by a subtle spiciness, making it a rich and robust moonshine. As with all these expressions, there is a harshness that isn't for the faint-hearted, but there is a decent amount of complexity here. It's a good white whiskey and another bottled in a classic mason jar.

Troy & Sons Platinum

Troy & Sons Platinum bottle
Troy & Sons Platinum bottle - Troy & Sons / X, formerly known as Twitter

Presentation isn't everything, but Troy & Sons has a strong contender for the most beautiful bottle on this list. With its thick base and embossed brand name, it certainly stands out from the crowd. Thankfully, the white whiskey inside stands out as well. Crafted in Asheville, North Carolina, this unaged whiskey is another inspired by the old whiskey-makers of the Appalachians. The spirit is made from a unique variety of corn and has a beautifully clear appearance that sets you up for a great tasting.

The most unique scent that you'll get on the nose is marzipan, along with some floral notes. You get a touch of vanilla on the palate and more of those floral fragrances. There are also some hints of butterscotch to complete an enjoyable tasting experience. The finish is unsurprisingly short, but that applies to almost every white whiskey. Here, I'm looking at white whiskeys that you should try at least once, but Troy & Sons Platinum is one that you may come back to time and time again.

Platte Valley Moonshine

Bottle of Platte Valley Moonshine
Bottle of Platte Valley Moonshine - Platte Valley Whiskey / Instagram

Already, we've seen some beautiful bottles and traditional mason jars. Platte Valley takes an even more unique approach as its moonshine comes in a large ceramic jug. It's one way this moonshine is a little different. Most spirits on this list are crystal clear, but this expression takes on a very pale yellow color. Made in Missouri by the McCormick Distillery, the nose is still light, but there are touches of earthiness and floral notes to go along with the corn. It's quite a fresh aroma that evokes memories of rolling countryside hills.

Platte Valley Moonshine is surprisingly mellow on the palate, making it a moonshine that may be more enjoyable for casual drinkers. As the flavor continues on your tastebuds, you'll get nuances of vanilla and caramel, but it finishes with a gentle warmth. Its approachable nature makes it suitable for newcomers, so if you're interested in moonshine but have never tried it before, this could be a good first step. And the added benefit of this expression is that after you've finished drinking, you'll be left with a nice jug to repurpose.

Prichard's Lincoln County Lightning

Prichard's Lincoln County Lightning bottle
Prichard's Lincoln County Lightning bottle - Prichard's Distillery / Instagram

Prichard's is another great distillery that pays homage to the rich history of Tennessee whiskey. However, it is the only brand that markets itself as Tennessee whiskey without using the charcoal mellowing process. Bottled straight from the still, it's a powerful moonshine that uses white corn instead of the more commonly used yellow variety. Given those facts, it's no surprise that it has a perfectly clear appearance. The aroma expresses the corn beautifully with some undertones of honey.

This is one of the fruitier whiskeys on the list, as you get some pear on the palate, with some of the honey from the nose carrying through the tasting notes. At 90 proof, it's easy enough to drink and has quite a mellow texture. There is a touch of spice, but it sits quietly in the background. Overall, it's an expression that is a good example of whiskey in its purest form. If you enjoy this, it's a good idea to check out what the rest of the distillery offers with its wide selection of spirits.

Jeptha Creed Original Moonshine

Jeptha Creed Original Moonshine jar
Jeptha Creed Original Moonshine jar - Jeptha Creed / Instagram

Jeptha Creed Original Moonshine stands out for a couple of reasons. The first is that the distillery uses four grains in the mash bill, giving it an interesting blend of flavors. The second reason is that it has a proof of just 80, containing less alcohol than typical moonshine. Due to this, it doesn't pack as much punch as some others (which some drinkers may view as a good thing). The aroma has an earthy quality that is more akin to aged whiskeys. There is also a peppery spice which belies its lack of aging. Simply put, it's one of the nicest aromas you'll get from a moonshine.

That complexity continues to the palate. On your first sip, you'll notice its smooth texture, with corn taking center stage. The side characters in this whiskey show include a subtle nuttiness, spicy warmth, and caramel. Added to its qualities, the finish is quite good and lingers for quite a while. Coming from Kentucky, it embraces the spirit and tradition of moonshine with a modern commitment to quality and consistency.

Virginia Lightning

Bottle of Virginia Lightning
Bottle of Virginia Lightning - Belmont Farm Distillery / Instagram

Claiming to be America's first craft whiskey distillery, this expression comes from the Belmont Farm Distillery. For this bottle, an old illegal moonshine recipe was used and given a modern revival. Made in the heart of Virginia's fertile farmland, the brand uses its own farm-raised corn to create a range of spirits. This white whiskey has hints of apple and grass on the nose, giving you a glimpse of the robust flavor that will follow. At 100 proof, it's not the most powerful of whiskeys, but it still has a good kick.

Corn understandably dominates the palate, and it's hard to pick out any other flavors. There are hints of caramel there, balanced by a warmth that continues all the way to the finish. This whiskey is rare in the fact that it's made from a solid copper pot still. That was common in the time of prohibition-era moonshine, but it isn't used as much these days as column stills can produce higher quantities of whiskey. It helps to give this expression the added nostalgia of stepping back into the past. After trying your first glass neat, you'll probably want to use this expression for cocktails, but it's worth a try.

Kings County Moonshine

Bottles of Kings County Moonshine
Bottles of Kings County Moonshine - Kings County Distillery / Facebook

This moonshine comes from Brooklyn's Kings County Distillery -- New York City's first hometown whiskey distillery. While many of the whiskeys on this list are made in beautiful rural landscapes, this one is crafted in the urban heart of New York. It still stays true to the roots of moonshine, making it another intriguing expression. You get the expected burst of sweetness on the palate, along with flavors of honey and a touch of spice. It's another white whiskey with a fairly low proof of 80, making it quite easy to drink.

Kings County Moonshine has a nice aroma, partly from its mixed mash bill of 80% corn and 20% malted barley. The distillery is committed to quality, with all of its corn being organic and sourced from the state of New York. In addition, it uses open-air fermentation and traditional Scottish copper pot stills. When you throw in the fact that it's made in Brooklyn, you get a unique distillery that is more than worth exploring. It's a brand that doesn't rely on fancy bottles or marketing gimmicks and simply lets the whiskey do the talking.

Midnight Moon Moonshine

Bottle of Midnight Moon Moonshine
Bottle of Midnight Moon Moonshine - Midnight Moon / X, formerly known as Twitter

Here, we have yet another white whiskey that uses a mason jar for its bottling. This craft spirit encapsulates the essence of traditional moonshine while delivering a refined taste with a smooth finish. Made by Piedmont Distillers in North Carolina, it's crafted in small barrels to ensure quality and consistency. There isn't much to the nose, but you do get a mild whiff of vanilla. Once you let the whiskey slip through your lips, you'll first notice its velvety texture.

This moonshine stands out not by its flavor profile but by how clean it is. In that respect, it's similar to a premium vodka or gin. There are notes of butterscotch and a subtle warmth on the palate to give it some depth. In truth, most white whiskeys are only good for adding to cocktails, but this one can be sipped neat. Inspired by generations of family tradition, this white whiskey pays respect to the moonshiners of Appalachia while embracing modern craftsmanship.

Pinckney Bend American Corn Whiskey

Pinckney Bend Corn Whiskey bottle
Pinckney Bend Corn Whiskey bottle - Pinckney Bend

Last but not least, here is this fascinating white whiskey from Pinckney Bend. The distillery sits along the Missouri River in New Haven and blends both tradition and innovation into its bottles. It has quite a distinctive character and a nose that is reminiscent of freshly harvested cornfields. With a hint of toasted oak, it invites you into the tasting experience. When you do get your first sip, you'll get a big hit of that corn, but also with subtle hints of vanilla and spice. There's a little more depth here than with many white whiskeys.

Another impressive aspect of this spirit is the velvety texture that you get. Its smoothness makes it ideal for making premium cocktails, but it can easily be sipped neat. That quality partly comes from the distillery using locally sourced grain and water from deep within a limestone aquifer. Named after the historic Pinckney Bend on the Missouri River, it's a whiskey that gives you a glimpse into how the Midwest was built. As with many of these bottles, a part of their charm is stepping back into the past -- before the maturely aged bourbons we know and love today.

Read the original article on Tasting Table