The election is upon us, and that means a big decision for everyone: If you could only drink whiskey from one of the major American whiskey companies for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Here are the rules. You must pick one of the companies below. All of the other companies will cease production and there will be no whiskey available from them. Make your choice in the comments. Please mark your ballot carefully to avoid election night discrepancies.
Below are your choices with a sampling of what you get with each vote (if you want to know all of the brands made by each distillery, check out my Complete List of American Whiskey Distilleries and Brands).
- Beam Global (including Maker's Mark): You get the full Beam line, including Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Booker's, Old Overholt Rye, Maker's Mark, Old Grand-Dad...and Red Stagg too!
- Brown Forman (including Jack Daniel's and Woodford Reserve). You get Old Forester, Early Times, Jack and Woodford (including all those Master's Collection bottlings).
- Diageo: Diageo owns the George Dickel distillery and the Bulleit label, so that's what you'll get.
- Four Roses: Single barrel, small batch and limited editions, but no rye for you.
- Heaven Hill: Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Old Fitzgerald, Rittenhouse Rye, Bernheim Wheat, Mellow Corn and Parker's Heritage Collection among others.
- Sazerac Co./Buffalo Trace (including Barton, Bowman, Van Winkle and Age International products): Lots of stuff here; you get the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, the Van Winkle bourbons, Very Old Barton, Weller, Sazerac Rye, Blanton's, Elmer T. Lee, E.H. Taylor, all those single oak bottlings, etc., etc.
- Wild Turkey: You get Wild Turkey bourbon and rye plus the Russell's Reserve bourbon and rye.
Footnotes for the whiskey geeks:
1. Van Winkle is an independent company and not all of their whiskey is made at Buffalo Trace, but I'm making the call to include them with Sazerac (which doesn't mean it will be any easier to get a bottle, by the way).
2. Current releases of Rittenhouse Rye are still made at Brown Forman but it's a Heaven Hill product and is now being made at Heaven Hill again so it goes with Heaven Hill.
3. If Diageo wins, Four Roses will stay open for the sole purpose of making the bourbon for Bulleit.
4. LDI isn't a choice because they don't market anything of their own, but if you love LDI rye, you can still get it in Bulleit and Dickel ryes if you pick Diageo.
5. Assume no independent bottlings will be available other than those produced by the companies listed above, so don't assume you will still get plenty of Heaven Hill from Willett's or other independent bottlers.
6. Be sure to let me know if you're from Ohio so I can make sure your vote counts more than everyone else's.
The polls are open!