Whiskey I found in 2023 I’m still drinking in 2024

The whiskey scene of 2023 was nothing short of exceptional. As heritage brands unveiled captivating new releases and new distilleries popping up left and right, keeping up with all the new offerings became a delightful but frustrating challenge. While some of these gems might not have debuted in 2023, it was the first time I had the pleasure of enjoying them. So, grab a seat, ignite your favorite cigar, and let’s embark on a flavorful journey through the world of whiskey that I discovered in 2023.

Three Crosses American Whiskey

Proof: 80

SRP: $39.99

Introducing our first whiskey from Three Crosses Distilling Company, the first legal distillery in Powhatan County, Virginia. I stumbled upon this bottle during a visit to a liquor store near Charleston, South Carolina. When asked if I was looking for anything in particular by the store owner, I told him I was looking for a low-proof but flavorful whiskey suitable for a scorching day like today. It was nearly 100 degrees and 100% humidity. His recommendation was spot-on. Now, it’s become one of my go to summer sippers, offering a great way to beat the heat with each pour.

From their website: A blend of whiskeys from traditional bourbon mash, artfully matured using the time-tested solera aging process. Aged 2 -3.5 years in new American white oak barrels. 

On the nose: Soft, light aromas of honey, cherries, and vanilla. 

On the palate: up front a sweet corn note followed by caramel and cherry poptart note. Not overly sweet and enjoyable. Slightly thin mouth feel and short to medium finish. 

A cigar I enjoyed with this whiskey: Aganorsa Leaf La Validacion Coroio

Green River Bourbon Whiskey

Proof: 90

SRP: $32.99

Another whiskey brand that made waves in 2023 was Green River. After more than a century, Green River has resumed whiskey production in its original Owensboro, Kentucky location. Did it live up to the hype? I’d say so. To me, this versatile whiskey stands out as a fantastic choice for cocktails, on the rocks, or enjoyed neat.

From their website: Aged onsite at some of the oldest warehouses in the state, this 90 proof whiskey is rich in color with a golden-amber hue. Green River is made with locally sourced corn featuring a mashbill of 70% corn, 21% winter rye and 9% malted barley. The higher rye content contributes warming spice notes on the nose and palate.

On the nose: minty rye and oak spice, followed by a cinnamon, traditional vanilla note and a slight chocolate.

On the palate: A lot of the same, you get a cinnamon, rye and oak spice up front, a creamy chocolate, and vanilla. Short to medium finish

A cigar I enjoyed with this whiskey: AJ Fernandez San Lotano Requiem Maduro

Old Dominick Straight Tennessee Whiskey

Proof: 85

SRP: 34.99

Hailing all the way from Memphis, Tennessee, this whiskey not only boasts rich flavor and approachability but also comes at a wallet-friendly price. My first encounter with this bottle occurred after a distillery tour with fellow members of the Tri Star Herf Crew Cigar Club. Consensus among us was unanimous – this was one of our top choices among the distillery’s offerings. Now a regular in my daily sipping lineup, it strikes the perfect balance, offering enough body for enjoy during the winter without being overly proofy to enjoy during the harsh summer months

From their website: We took the bold rye spice from Kentucky bourbon and introduced it to the smooth soul of traditional Tennessee Whiskey. Old Dominick Straight Tennessee Whiskey uses our signature Tennessee Whiskey mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley—bottled at an approachable 85 proof—for a familiar experience with a little something extra.

On the nose: vanilla, oak, with a slight fruit note

On the palate: traditional but enjoyable whiskey flavors. Carmel, vanilla, up front with a sweet corn. Finishes is slightly sweet and charred oak

A cigar I enjoyed with this whiskey: Matilde Limited Exposure #2

13th Colony Southern Rye Whiskey 

Proof: 95


Georgia is the birthplace of our next whiskey. Despite its longstanding presence, the buzz around this company reached an all-time peak last year. The rye, bourbon, and double oaked expressions gained immense popularity, receiving widespread praise from the whiskey-tube universe. So, me being me, I had to try it! Did the acclaim live up to expectations? Without a doubt. Every expression I’ve experienced from them has been exceptional, with this rye standing out as one of my favorite autumn pours from last year.

From their website: 13th Colony Rye Whiskey features a rich, distinctive taste, drawing its character from the unique toasted French Oak Spiral Finish. An oak that has been used for aging some of the world’s finest wine, the tighter grain of French Oak gives a silkier texture than its American counterpart. This rye is derived from a mash bill high in rye (95%). Enjoy this spicy flavor with a sweet finish in every pour! Aged between 4 to 6 years

On the nose: I get oak, mint, vanilla, tea and a light chocolate

On the palate: spearmint, oak spice, chocolate, light vanilla, followed by a slight tobacco note

A cigar I enjoyed with this whiskey: Matilde Oscura

Broken Barrel: HERESY RYE

Proof: 105

SRP: $39.99

From their website: This Rye whiskey is distilled in Owensboro Kentucky – just like our bourbon. However, it is unlike any rye whiskey you’ve ever tasted. Charred French oak gives a woody body to the spirit, while ex-bourbon (still soaked from the previous tenant) and ex-sherry cask staves all join forces to create a fiery, yet balanced and smooth taste and finish. We use the same proprietary Oak Bill™ to embolden this rye whiskey and give it an uncommon and untraditional taste and character. Aged a minimum of two years.

Call it sacrilegious, call it untraditional, call it heresy—we won’t be offended. But trust us. Once you taste it, you may begin to question the tradition yourself.

On the nose: Dark fruit, citrus, chocolate and black pepper

On the palate: Sweet and spicy is its name. Up front you get rye spice mixed with citrus, vanilla and oak. Followed by a light chocolate and dark fruit. The finish is medium to full with notes of black pepper and dark fruit.

A cigar I enjoyed with this whiskey: Cavalier Cigars Black Series II

I hope you enjoyed this article. These were definitely not all of the new whiskey experiences that I had last year. If you are interested in part 2 of this article, please let me know. Your feedback is what will keep these coming. Also, what were some of your favorite whiskeys that you tried in 2023. Put it in the comments below. You know I love conversation and will reply to you. As always, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Until the next Whiskey Wednesday, if you’re going to enjoy a little smoke & oak just remember, “Life’s too short, enjoy the good stuff…” and do it responsibly!

Charles Ruth

Charles Ruth

I am the husband of an amazing woman who shares my love for cigars and the father to 3 wonderful kids. I am the president of the Tri-Star Herf Crew. A social cigar club based in Tennessee with family all around the country. I grew up in Kentucky where I fell in love with the taste and history of Bourbon and American whiskey. I applied for the review position at CP when it first started and was reviewer number 4. I love sharing my love, thoughts, feeling, and knowledge of cigars and Bourbon with all our readers.