8 NYS Bourbons to Toast the Kentucky Derby

by New York Craft Spirits on April 29, 2019

It’s Kentucky Derby time again, so get your rocks glasses and julep cups ready because here are 8 New York Bourbons to shake up your race day festivities.

Black Button Distilling Four Grain Bourbon Whiskey (Rochester, NY)

Rochester's first grain to glass distillery, Black Button has made its name producing a myriad of solid gins and whiskeys. Corn, wheat, malted barley, and a hint of rye work together to make this bourbon a safe bet for versatility. This is a perfect work horse for your home bar.

Kings County Distillery Bourbon Whiskey (Brooklyn NY)

This award winning bourbon is the clear front runner for perfect Derby imbibing.  With roots in Kentucky moonshine traditions, this whiskey has earned accolades for its rich caramel, its hints of molasses, and clean cinnamon and autumn spices.  Any other day it's great on its own, but Derby Day calls for this bourbon to elevate your Mint Juleps.


Black Dirt Distillery Bourbon Whiskey (Warwick, NY)

This bottle should be in the running for true whiskey geek. Using 80% local corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye creates an incredibly accessible bourbon with a more serious side. You'll love this bourbon on its own and in cocktails.


Last Shot Distillery Bourbon Whiskey (Skaneateles, NY)

Coming from a picturesque little town in Central NY, this upstart distillery is rightfully jockeying for your attention. Bottled in single barrel batches and proofed using the clean waters of Lake Skaneateles, Last Shot has created a bourbon that is refreshingly lighter on the palate than other bourbons, allowing the notes of the oak and the rye spice to shine.

Gristmill Distillers Black Fly Bourbon Whiskey (Keene, NY)

Made within the Adirondack Park with a focus on sourcing materials as locally as possible, this is a bourbon with a 100% corn mash bill (and organic corn, at that).  This creates a pace-setting whiskey with soft notes of oak, gentle spice, and a clean finish.

Albany Distilling Company Ironweed Bourbon Whiskey (Albany, NY)

The first licensed distillery in Albany since Prohibition, Albany Distilling Company creates their Ironweed Bourbon with corn, rye, and malted barley grown in NY. This impressive release is chomping at the bit to become your new go-to for easy sipping bourbon.


Prohibition Distillery Bootlegger 21 Bourbon Whiskey (Roscoe, NY)

Made in the Catskills with 100% NY corn, this bourbon has a rich texture with cinnamon, vanilla, and dark chocolate on the palate. Sipping it as-is will demonstrate its long finish, but thanks to its 46% ABV and depth of flavor, it is the dark horse option for making killer cocktails.

Hillrock Estate Distillery Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey (Ancram, NY)

The pet project of the late Dave Pickerell, this was the first bourbon utilize a solera system, the centuries-old aging method for sherry production. This time consuming process of slowly co-mingling young and old bourbons creates a unique depth and complexity lending rich fig, roasted nut, and warm spice notes. This bourbon is the perfect sipper to cap off any day worth celebrating, hands down.


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