Not too long ago, whiskey had an image problem: one that was exclusive to middle-aged dads and smoke-filled rooms. The mixology renaissance coupled with millennials love affair with everything craft, transmogrified this image into one inclusive of all genders and younger generations— marking the rebirth of this barrel-aged spirit.
According to Provi sales data, over the past year, whiskeys share of the market has by 8.8% from last year— the most of any other spirit category. Within whiskey, bourbon still remains the top choice, holding 40.16 percent of share in the category. Bourbon is followed by Irish Whiskey (19.16 percent), American Whiskey (11.74 percent), and Rye (9.26 percent).
Leveraging whiskey's popularity with your patrons will do more than just increase customer satisfaction; it will increase check sizes. According to recent research from Technomic, whiskey drinkers are spending 20% more in on-premise compared to beer drinkers.
With millennials being the highest purchasers of whiskey at 46 percent in the on-premise, we wanted to highlight the top performing whiskey products from craft distilleries to help you increase satisfaction and your check averages.
Here are the top 4 craft whiskeys you need on your Bar rail
1. Few Bourbon Whiskey
Located in the birthplace of prohibition, Evanston Illinois, FEW Spirits is a rebellious craft distillery on a mission to deliver the finest spirits created from locally sourced ingredients. According to Provi spirit sales data, the rebellious spirit producer has increased sales by a minimum of 20% QoQ, growing as much as 318% in the first quarter of this year.
Increasing sales by a 20 percent every quarter, the brands flagship Bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels, infusing southern tradition with northern spice to provide a balanced profile of vanilla, clove, toffee, and warm smoky goodness. This metal winning Bourbon is the perfect for spicing up a classic Manhattan.
2. WhistlePig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey
Nestled in the plush countryside of Vermont, on a farm spreading hundreds of acres, is a beautiful 150 year old barn where a dead fornicating pig inspired the name behind one of the fastest growing brands in the country, Whistlepig.
Created by Maker’s Mark former master distiller, WhistlePig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey has is packed with 100 percent rye and zero percent bullshit. The success of this product is apparent in it’s 36 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in 2018.
3. Widow Jane 10 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Brooklyn’s rapidly growing whiskey distilling scene has produced a bourbon so good that it’s been used as a political olive branch between senators sitting across the aisle.
Named GQ’s #1 Bourbon, Widow Jane is giving Kentucky bourbon a run for its money. This bourbon is aged for ten years in oak barrels and cut with mineral water created from the limestone used to build the Statue of Liberty and the White House. Widow Jane 8 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey is rich with notes of cherry, orange, clove, and American spirit.
4. Rabbit Hole Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Like many good stories, this one starts with a girl. Kaveh Zamanian was living in Chicago when he met Heather, who introduced him to bourbon. He fell in love with both simultaneously and thus Rabbit Hole Distilling was born in 2014.
If you haven’t heard of Rabbit Hole Distilling, don’t worry. You will soon. Their Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is built on a strong foundation of vanilla and wood with notes of spice, finishing off with a rich and custardy finish. Its corn base is complemented by three malted grains--wheat, barley and honey-malted barley. Perfect for sipping, pair this whiskey with your favorite stogie.