Six 100 Proof American Whiskeys To Try Now

As whiskeys rise in proof, they often pack additional complexity and flavor. Thus 100 proof whiskeys are a great start for getting into those whiskeys with higher alcohol by volume (ABV); they usually reveal greater depth when a splash of water or an ice cube is added, but can also be comfortably enjoyed neat.

An ABV of 50% can also be indicative of another distinction: bottled in bond whiskey. First established by the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, bottled in bond whiskeys have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and are set apart from the pack due to specific guidelines. By rule, these whiskeys must be distilled by a single distiller in a single season, aged for a minimum of 4 years in a federally bonded warehouse, and, of course, bottled at 50% ABV. Our Summer 2022 Buying Guide offers up a number of high-ranking 100 proof whiskeys—explore them all below.

These 100 Proof Whiskeys Are Foolproof

Old Fitzgerald 17 year old Bottled in Bond Bourbon (Spring 2022 Edition)
91 points, 50% ABV, $185

Slow to rise on the nose, offering cedar and dried herbs, but then brightening to aromas of lemon honey, lemon tea, and vanilla as it blossoms into fresh floral beauty. The palate is rich, honeyed, and dessert-like with flavors of caramel, milk chocolate-covered cherries, and a hint of coconut. Excellent length on a finish that melds chocolate with raspberry coulis, balanced against mature oak, espresso, and lingering herbs and spice.—David Fleming

Abraham Bowman Virginia Limited Edition Rum Finished Bourbon
90 points, 50% ABV, $70

Somewhat aggressive on the nose at first, throwing off aromas of bitter citrus, dried strawberries, and a touch of old leather. The palate offers lemon, strawberry jam, and dark chocolate spiced with black pepper, while water brings out balanced sweetness and more jammy strawberry and raspberry notes, along with hints of vanilla cream and cinnamon spice. The finish is slightly taut, but offers hints of vanilla sweetness and spice. Well-textured and well-balanced overall.—David Fleming

Sagamore Spirit 4 year old Bottled in Bond Rye
89 points, 50% ABV, $60

Sweet vanilla and rye grain aromas that have mellowed with age, along with grape jam, tea, and licorice root. The palate has depth and is artfully spiced, offering dark chocolate, baked red fruits, and black pepper. Water brings out vanilla bean, black licorice, root beer, mince pie, and lots of balanced spice. The finish is lively and has excellent length, ending with bright red fruit, rye grain, chocolate, and a delicious peppery bang.—David Fleming

Kentucky Owl The Wiseman Bourbon (St. Patrick’s Edition)
89 points, 50% ABV, $135

Straight bourbons aged 4 to 11 years, blended together with fruit-forward Irish whiskey flavors in mind. Golden Grahams, brown sugar, oatmeal, and grape jelly on an English muffin: a complete breakfast on the nose. A nice fruitiness carries over to the palate, where a creamy texture showcases caramel and blueberries. The finish shows good length and sweet wheat flavors. Water brings some simplicity and a corn-forward profile.—Ted Simmons

Cascade Moon 13 year old Rye
88 points, 50% ABV, $300

Butterscotch hard candies, Bit-O-Honey, and sweet marshmallow appear on the nose, which is surprisingly delicate despite showing obvious alcohol. The palate offers warm cereal sprinkled with brown sugar, plus vanilla, toffee, and spice, before a finish of earthy and leathery oak with notes of dark cocoa and peanut skins. Distilled at MGP in Indiana and released by Tennessee’s Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.—Jeffery Lindenmuth

High Bank Whiskey War Double Oaked Blend of Straight Whiskeys
87 points, 50% ABV, $65

Rich chocolate and (mostly) red fruit are all rolled up here, as a dollop of cocoa powder greets the nose and is swiftly overtaken by nearly ripe raspberries, raspberry cobbler, raspberry coulis, and the faintest hint of licorice. On the palate, more berries—raspberry jam, strawberry buttercream—along with a zip of lemon juice, vanilla extract, and hot cinnamon spice. More cocoa and dark chocolate on the finish, with a slight tang of tart red berries in tow.—Julia Higgins

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