Georgia Bourbons Worth a Sip
Tour these Georgia distilleries for a taste of one of the South's signature spirits.
ASW Distillery in Atlanta
After a day exploring Georgia’s beautiful coastline, countryside or mountain trails, and eating mouth-watering dishes like hickory-smoked barbecue, Southern fried chicken, peach pie and pecan praline candies, you might be inclined to kick back with a drink. Although you might be familiar with Georgia's wine and craft beer, it might surprise you to know that Georgia is known for its bourbon, as well. Over the last few years, there has been an increase in serious independent or craft distilleries in this great state, creating high-quality bourbons, each with their own unique flavors and nuances.
So, pack your bags and take a trip through Georgia, enjoying the mountains and beaches, fresh produce and delicious dishes, adding in stops to sample and pick up a bottle of these Georgia bourbons. With so many distilleries to choose from, connoisseurs and neophytes alike are sure to enjoy Georgia’s growing bourbon landscape.
ASW Distillery, Atlanta
The Fiddler Bourbon Whiskey from ASW Distillery is aged in-house using methods unique to each batch — from quarter casks, to Georgia heartwood staves, or in casks of other whiskies distilled and matured in-house. In 2018, ASW Distillery won five medals at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including Gold for the Cask Strength Fiddler Georgia Heartwood Bourbon and Silver for the Fiddler Unison Bourbon. The distillery also won Double Gold for its Duality Double Malt Whiskey, Silver for the Ameireaganach Huddled Mashes No. 1 Single Malt Whiskey and Silver for the Resurgens Rye. Taste their creations on eight different "Adult Field Trips" that include tours of the distillery and samples of select bourbons, brandy and their ever-popular white whiskey, American Spirit Whiskey.
Tours offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Independent Distilling Company, Decatur
Independent Distilling Company bills itself as a “no-frills garage distillery.” Started in 2014, it makes corn whiskey, bourbon and rum. The Hellbender Bourbon is the distillery’s Hellbender Corn Whiskey aged in new charred American white oak barrels.
Tours offered on Saturday afternoons.
Lazy Guy Distillery, Kennesaw
The slow-aged Side Track Bourbon by Lazy Guy Distillery is 90 proof with caramel notes and boasts a smooth finish. Made of locally sourced grains and distilled on site, Lazy Guy Distillery offers sipping bourbons, rye whiskey and even “white lightning.” There are three tours available. The free Educational Tour includes a guided tour of the production facility. The $5 Whiskey 101 Tour includes a guided tour of the production facility, a souvenir or rocks glass, a sampling info card and three samples of their hand-crafted whiskey. For guests who want to take a souvenir bottle of whiskey home, the $35 Souvenir Bottle Tour is for you.
Tours offered on Saturday afternoons.
Moonrise Distillery, Clayton
James Henry Premium Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey is made with corn, barley, rye and wheat blended and aged in 30-gallon new American white oak barrels. Moonrise Distillery also offers a rye whiskey and corn whiskey. Free educational tours include limited tastings of their products, and Souvenir Tours ($35) include a bottle of your choice.
Tours offered Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday by appointment.
Look for these Georgia bourbons in stores
Savannah Bourbon Company
Savannah Bourbon Company offers two distinctly different bourbons: the Savannah 88 and Sweet Tea Lemonade. Both spirts are made of all natural ingredients, use grains such as coastal rye, winter wheat and Silver Queen corn, and are aged in new oak barrels, resulting in a smooth finish. The Sweet Tea Bourbon takes it a step by infusing the bourbon with all-natural tea and citrus.
Thirteenth Colony Distillery
Thirteenth Colony Southern Bourbon is hand-crafted small batch bourbon made from selected barrels of traditional bourbon mash. Every drop is aged in charred American oak barrels for four years, resulting in a smooth and slightly sweet finish. Thirteenth Colony also offers an ever growing list of beverages, including Southern Corn Whiskey, Southern Rye Whiskey, Plantation Vodka and Southern Gin.
Jennifer Hill Booker is Explore Georgia’s Official Culinary Explorer.