Best Bourbons and Whiskey for 2022 Holiday Gifts

Best Bourbons and Whiskey for 2022 Holiday Gifts

As rated by judges at the 2022 North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition

Story and photos by Christopher J Davies

The 8th Annual North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition took place in Denver this past July. This competition is designed to recognize excellence in American and Canadian-made Bourbon, Whiskey, and Moonshine.

This year’s competition received a 20% increase in entries. The competition was fierce, and as another year passed, judges were elated to evaluate products Whiskeys that had aged longer than the TBB required and had become more complex. Alcohol percentages are increasing noticeably, but well-balanced products do not seem too hot.

“Best of Show 1st Place”, 95 points

Virginia Distillery Co.
Courage & Conviction American Single Malt Whisky

Age: 5 Years, 46% AbV, $74.99
Notes: Very nice malt, hot but very pleasant, long finish

“Best of Show 2nd Place”, 95 points
White Hills Distillery
Single Barrel Bourbon
Age: 5 Years, 51.5% AbV, $50
Notes: Complex, robust, notes of honey and vanilla.
Very smooth and lasting finish.

“Best of Show 3rd Place”, 95 Points
Virginia Distillery Co.
Courage & Conviction Cuvée Single Cask Whisky
Age: 5 Years, 59.2% AbV, $150.00
Notes: Caramel, bananas, earthy cherry.
Lingering oak, vanilla, and toffee finish.

Double Gold, 96 Points
Garrison Brothers
Garrison Brothers Single Barrel Bourbon
Age: 4 years, 65.7% AbV, $109.99 
Notes: Very rich, espresso, graham cracker, and honey scents.
Robust, long finish with intense cinnamon.

Gold medal, 93 points
Long Dogs Distilling
Old Blue, Corn Whiskey
Age: O years, 42.5% AbV, $50
Notes: Green corn, earthy, a touch of mint.
Lasting, smooth, and clean finish.

Gold medal, 93 points
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey
Master Blend Edition – Batch 012
Age: 5 years, 60.8% AbV, $149
Notes: Rich nose, apple, and caramel scents.
Long, and silky with an elegant mouthfeel.

Gold Medal, 93 points
W.L. Weller
Weller CYPB, “Craft your Perfect Bourbon”
Age: O-8 years, 47.5% AbV, $39.95
Notes: Light aromas of citrus and vanilla.
Medium-long finish with hints of vanilla.

Gold Medal, 91 points
Stranahan’s Sherry Cask-American Single Malt
Age: 4 years, 47% AbV, $79.99
Notes: Over-ripe fruits and leather.
Medium-long finish with caramel and brown sugar flavors.

Gold Medal, 91 points
Ole Smoky Moonshine
Blackberry Moonshine
Age: O years, 20% AbV, $24.95
Notes: Fresh blackberry with a kiss of alcohol.
Moderate, smooth, and easy to drink.

Gold Medal, 91 Points
Seagram’s Canadian Whiskey
Seagram’s 83
Age: o years, 40% AbV, $22
Notes: Buttery, light, a hint of caramel.
Medium finish, easy drinking.

Gold Medal, 91 points
Blackened American Whiskey
Rye the Lightning, A Limited-Edition Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, Double Cask Finished in Madeira, and Rum Casks
8 years, 45% AbV, $79.99 retail
Type: 104. Straight Rye Whiskey
Notes: Dried figs, pears, vanilla, and leather.
Long finish of savory mint.

Judges and Team

Note about prices:

Bourbon and whiskey sales are booming. Many products are on allocation and retailers receive only a few bottles per year. This is affecting the selling price of certain products. For example, the MSRP price of a bottle of Weller CYPB is $39.95. It is listed for sale on Caskers for $789! It is also listed on for $189.

For the full list of the 2022 NABWC winners visit: