The 10 Best American Whiskey Distillery Tours & Tasting Deals
Until recently, you wouldn't find the best craft distilleries in the US outside of Kentucky and Tennessee. But the recent distillery boom means that almost everywhere you go, there's one nearby. Consequently, distillery tours have become a go-to activity, where you learn about the distilling process and head over to the sampling room for a whisky tasting, or even a cocktail.
It's a fairly can't-miss formula, which means it's no surprise that there are a wealth of well-reviewed distillery tours on our site (click here to find the distilleries nearest you). Here are the best distillery tours in the US:
Mill St. Distillery | Utica, OH
Rating: 100% recommended with 397 reviews
Great day trip from: Columbus, OH
Top review: "[The tour guide] was able to answer our questions and the tasting was fabulous. Plus the town is a hidden treasure of secondhand and antique stores." - Robin F.
What else to know: Be sure to taste the distillery's distinctive fruit brandies, made from peaches and apples grown in-state.
Greenbar Distillery | Los Angeles, CA
Rating: 98% recommended on 505 reviews
Great day trip from: San Diego or Orange County, CA
Top review: "Great educational experience! Never knew so much went into properly making liquor, grateful for this organic gem. Will definitely get my spiced rum for winter and hibiscus liqueur for summer from here! No chemical taste like store-bought liquor, all smooth, flavorful, and fun." - Amy F.
What else to know: One of the best distillery tours on the West Coast is also one of the most eco-friendly. For every bottle you buy, Greenbar plants a tree. That adds up–the distillery has planted more than 700,000 trees so far.
Quincy Street Distillery | Riverside, IL
Rating: 99% recommended on 415 reviews
Great day trip from: Chicago, IL
Top review: "I grew up in Kentucky and went to college in the middle of all the major distilleries, and have taken most of those tours. The tour at Quincy Street yesterday was the most thorough tour I have ever been on." - Forrest M.
What else to know: Some spirits, such as the Asian Pear Brandy or the Persimmon & Honey, are produced on a very limited scale and are only available at the distillery.
Edwards Ridge Distillery | San Antonio, TX
Rating: 98% recommended on 326 reviews
Great day trip from: Austin, TX
Top review: "Best rum you will ever taste in your life! My husband and I went for an anniversary outing. We didn't want to leave!" - Terri F.
What else to know: The owners' original intended product, bourbon, is still forthcoming, but it didn't take long for their stopgap—90-proof barrel-aged rum—to catch on.
Dragon Distillery | Frederick, MD
Rating: 99% recommended on 338 reviews
Great day trip from: Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD
Top review: "What a wonderful experience. We had a very personal tour of the distillery from the assistant brewer and a great taste testing from the owner's wife. She was very friendly and welcomed us back in the next couple weeks to try their new cherry almond vodka. Highly recommend going in!" - Steven F.
What else to know: Suits of armor and mounted battle axes establish the medieval theme in the tasting room, where visitors sample spirits such as lemon-meringue moonshine and a gin specifically made for people who don't drink gin.
List Distillery | Fort Myers, FL
Rating: 98% recommended on 442 reviews
Great day trip from: Tampa, FL or Miami, FL
Top review: "I have been to many distilleries from Tennessee on down and this is by far #1. There are over 16 different spirits to choose from. The spirits are so superior in taste. 'Dan the Brew Man' is awesome and knows his stuff!" - K.H.
What else to know: This is one distillery that doesn't shy away from experimenting with flavors. You can try Habanero Honey Whiskey, Apple Pie Rum, and Ginger Lime Gin, among other creative concoctions.
J. Carver Distillery | Waconia, MN
Rating: 100% recommended on 380 reviews
Great day trip from: Minneapolis, MN
Top review: "As one of their shirts stated: I didn't like gin until I tried J Carver." - William F.
What else to know: Perhaps the best bourbon distillery to visit on our site. J. Carver's version is produced using grains from local farmers and barrels coopered in Minnesota, proving bourbon doesn't have to come from Kentucky or Tennessee.
Manatawny Still Works | Pottstown, PA
Rating: 100% recommended on 289 reviews
Great day trip from: Philadelphia, PA or NYC
Top review: "We bought these tickets for Father's Day and it was a hit! The tour guide was super knowledgeable and guests were able to sample 6-7 types of gin, whiskey, rum, and vodka. The signature cocktails were delicious, and the atmosphere was really cool and unique. My Dad is already talking about his next trip back. Totally worth it!" - Allegra L.
What else to know: Many tours make you wait until the end to wet your whistle, but the Manatawny tour actually starts with your choice of signature cocktail (the main tasting event still awaits at the tour's conclusion).
Koval Distillery | Chicago, IL
Rating: 96% recommended on 521 reviews
Great day trip from: Milwaukee, WI
Top review: "Initially, I had only planned to attend for my husband. He's a Kentucky boy with a fascination for all things whiskey. I was surprised by how much I learned, and how much I enjoyed the class. Very well done." - Mary M.
What else to know: It's Chicago's first distillery since Prohibition. In an interview, World Atlas of Whisky author Dave Broom called Koval "one of the great innovators" and told us their strategy of releasing numerous individual-grain whiskeys was "fascinating from a consumer's perspective."
Palmetto Distillery | Anderson, SC
Rating: 100% recommended on 104 reviews
Great day trip from: Atlanta, GA or Charlotte, NC
Top review: "What a great place! The tour was very informative without being too long and drawn out. When you first walk in there are samples of the different types of jelly, jams, hot sauce, and BBQ sauce, which is very tasty. After the tour you go over to the sampling table for some whiskey and moonshine. I would recommend." - Dawn L.
What else to know: Owners Trey and Bryan Boggs aren't the first distillers in the family. That distinction belongs to their ancestor Dock Boggs, the famed folk singer and enterprising bootlegger. (They are, however, the first in the family to sell whiskey legally.)
How are you supposed to drink this famously smoky whisky? We'll break it down for you.
Some of the booze from these distilleries end up in these fruity, fun cocktails. Read up, then drink up.