The 10 Best American Whiskey Distillery Tours & Tasting Deals
It used to be much harder to find whiskey distillers in the U.S. outside a few select regions in 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 for date nights, birthdays, and other get-togethers. The structure of these tours is pretty uniform: typically you get to learn about the distilling process for an hour or so, and then you head over to the sampling room for a whiskey tasting, or even a cocktail or two.
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. Here are 10 whiskey distillers that stand out.
Mill St. Distillery | Utica, OH
Rating: 5/5 with 237 reviews
Users say: "Loved the history of the mill and how they are trying to preserve it." - Sharon A.; "[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.
Quincy Street Distillery | Riverside, IL
Rating: 4.9/5 with 339 reviews
Users say: "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.; "This is located in an adorable historical building that reminds me of old soda fountain shoppes. After the tour, you return to the bar area and sit on bar stools while sampling all of their products (at least a dozen) and hearing about the flavors and notes of each. It's a lot of fun and a great value." - Kelly B.
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.
Dragon Distillery | Frederick, MD
Rating: 4.9/5 with 178 reviews
Users say: "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: 4.9/5 with 166 reviews
Users say: "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: 4.8/5 with 182 reviews
Users say: "As one of their shirts stated: I didn't like gin until I tried J Carver." - William F.; "Ask for a recommendation and you may get a 15% off coupon to a local liquor store for J. Carver spirits!" - Julie
What else to know: J. Carver's bourbon is produced using grains from local farmers and barrels coopered in Minnesota, proving bourbon doesn't have to come from Kentucky or Tennessee.
Edwards Ridge Distillery | San Antonio, TX
Rating: 4.8/5 with 107 reviews
Users say: "I wasn't planning to buy a bottle but I just couldn't resist." - Kimberly W.; "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.
Manatawny Still Works | Pottstown, PA
Rating: 4.8/5 with 65 reviews
Users say: "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).
Palmetto Distillery | Anderson, SC
Rating: 4.8/5 with 38 reviews
Users say: "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.)
2bar Spirits | Seattle, WA
Rating: 4.7/5 with 143 reviews
Users say: "I had a wonderful day there, 'working' alongside Maddie and meeting Nathan, the owner. While we started a bourbon mash, tested the alcohol content of new vodka, and the residual sugar of the bourbon waiting for distillation, Maddie answered all of my many questions about the process." - Kristin B.
What else to know: The potent 100-proof bourbon is made with grains entirely sourced from Washington and Oregon farmers.
Koval Distillery | Chicago, IL
Rating: 4.6/5 with 269 reviews
Users say: "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: 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."