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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The bourbon industry is one that continues to flourish, with demand for bottles skyrocketing around the world. At its epicenter is Kentucky, home of the estimated $8.6 billion dollar enterprise.

The well-established brands such as Woodford Reserve and Makers Mark continue their stronghold in the hearts of bourbon drinkers, but with such a high revenue ceiling, many brands have found themselves becoming popular within sections of the market.

With so many varieties to choose from, the question of which to purchase becomes complex.

To simplify the process, let’s take a look at what bourbons are most popular, because like in many industries, numbers don’t lie.

Here are the top 5 bestselling bourbon brands from 2021 (Q1-Q3), according to BevAlc Insights on

  1. Bulleit Bourbon — According to Bulleit, their bourbon is distilled in two different locations in Shelbyville and Lebanon, Kentucky. The high rye content of their bourbon gives it a “bold, spicy character with a distinctively smooth, clean finish.”
  2. Makers Mark — The distillery prides themselves on “one bottle at a time” way of distilling, even going the extra mile to hand dip the neck of every bottle. Their Original Kentucky Straight Bourbon is “made with soft red winter wheat, instead of the usual rye, for a one-of-a-kind, full-flavored bourbon that’s easy to drink.”
  3. Woodford Reserve — Nestled in the heart of horse country, Woodford Reserve prides themselves on their limestone-rich water used in the distilling process, sourced directly from water sources on their 72-acre property. They call their product “the worlds most flavorful bourbon” because their recipe balances “the sweetness of corn with the spicy of rye.”
  4. Jim Beam — This particular bourbon brand calls themselves “The World’s #1 Bourbon,” and have been distilling for 225 years. Jim Beam attributes their “Elegant. Smooth. Refined.” flavor to 4 years of aging in newly charred American white oak barrels.
  5. Basil Hayden — Owned by Beam Suntory, the brand says “You never forget your first sip of Basil Hayden.” Their Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a “Charred oak flavor that is complemented with sweet brown sugar, a touch of black pepper, and dried fruit to round it out.”