14 Top-Rated Celebrity-Owned Bourbon Brands, Ranked

Bourbon is a favorite liquor of mixologists and, apparently, celebrities. Bourbon, not to be confused with whiskey, is often in the spotlight due to some pretty high-powered celebrity endorsements. Whiskey originates from Ireland and Scotland and is made with a mix of rye, wheat grains, barley, and corn aged in oak caskets. Bourbon is whiskey's American cousin. However, at least 51% of bourbon's grain mash must be corn, which gives the bourbon a slightly different flavor than whiskey. Additionally, the distilled liquor should be less than 160 proof, and the bourbon must be stored in charred oak casts.

Alcohol, like fame, is big business. Recruiting celebrities to endorse spirit brands has been happening for years. Sean "Diddy" Combs became the head of U.S. marketing at Ciroc Vodka after beginning as a spokesperson and investor, which helped launch the spirit's impressive success in the country. Actor Ryan Reynolds turned a three-year investment in Aviation Gin into a $610-million profit upon the company's sale in 2022. The 2017 sale of movie star George Clooney's Casamigos amounted to an estimated $1 billion, four years after he and his business partners, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, began the tequila brand.

Seeing this success, it makes sense that other celebrities would want to get in on the lucrative act. However, not all brands are alike, and some options are better than others. As longtime bourbon enthusiasts, we considered personal taste tests and trusted reviews to rank the best celebrity-owned bourbon brands today.

14. Jamie Foxx's Brown Sugar Bourbon

Onscreen, Jamie Foxx is an award-winner. Offscreen, Foxx has replicated his entertainment success in the bourbon business, with some of that talent rubbing off on his brand, BSB, Brown Sugar Bourbon. It was owned by billionaire Mark Cuban before Foxx bought it, but the original founders still handle distillation and logistics. Named after its tasting notes of brown sugar with a hint of cinnamon, the bourbon's uncomplicated flavor profile but sweet and approachable nature makes for smooth drink — either to sip on its own or as the perfect bourbon to use in your old fashioned

BSB is a two-time award winner for best flavored whiskey at The World Whiskey Awards. However, the classic version of the liquor is technically only a whiskey instead of a bourbon, as the flavored spirit's 30% alcohol by volume (ABV) drink does not meet the legal requirements of being bottled at 40% ABV. It also includes caramel coloring, which is not allowed in producing authentic bourbon. Though the whiskey is popular, the fact that it doesn't meet the legal requirements to call itself a bourbon places the Brown Sugar Bourbon last on our list.

Although the cost of becoming a majority stakeholder in BSB is under wraps, it's paying off. There are now two versions of BSB on the market, one with higher alcohol content and less sweetness, and the classic version, which will set you back about $23 for a 750-milliliter bottle. It sounds like a great deal for a celebrity bourbon that favors general interest over bourbon aficionado approval.

13. Drake's Virginia Black

Drake looms so large in popular culture that his Virginia Black brand must be mentioned, although that's not necessarily a good thing. The truth about Drake's whiskey is that it's arguably less about respect for the tenets of craftsmanship and tradition involved with the production of a quality whiskey and more to do with cold hard cash. Speaking with Pursuitist, Drake's partner, Brent Hocking, explained that he started as a finance bro who turned his love of high-end spirits into high-end profits when he sold the tequila brand DeLeón for an untold sum. He then partnered with Drake to create Virginia Black.

Though Virginia Black is technically a whiskey, it gains its profile from three bourbon blends. The brand's own marketing avoids labeling itself a bourbon, but it's nabbed respectable scores among other reviews for a relatively safe, uncomplicated liquor. Virginia Black is also supposedly made for women, which is probably pretty patronizing if you're a woman who happens to enjoy a quality whiskey with layered tasting notes beyond the usual.

12. Dorinda Medley's Bluestone Manor Bourbon

"The Real Housewives of New York City" alum Dorinda Medley still rubs shoulders with some heavyweight celebs. Jay-Z even inspired her Bluestone Manor Bourbon brand after she noticed women drinking dark liquor while attending a fabulous party for the rap music mogul. Since several other people featured on the Bravo show already owned alcohol brands of their own, her goal was to create something unique.

Speaking with CNN Business, Medley revealed that she launched The Spirits Lab distillery close to her Bluestone Manor residence in Hudson Valley. She associates the flavor profile (smoky, caramel, butterscotch, and crème brûlée notes) with the comforts of home, right down to a bottle design, which is evocative of Bluestone Manor's decor and color scheme. Though it has been several seasons since the former "RHONY" star was a cast member, Medley's exit from the show allowed her to create the spirit, which is priced at an average of $49 a bottle. 

The wheated bourbon with a mashbill of 70% corn, 25% wheat, and 5% malted barley is available to ship throughout the United States via the company's website, adding around $20 worth of shipping costs. Unfortunately, the 90-proof liquor has limited distribution, mainly to the northeast. The high shipping cost, rather uncomplex nature even after five years of oak aging, and restricted retail availability place the brand low on our list. While this liquor isn't going to blow your mind with its complexity, it offers a smooth introduction to the world of bourbon for the inexperienced. 

11. Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line's Wolf Moon Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Country music superstars Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line first collaborated on tour in 2014 but have since extended that relationship into the bourbon business. Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley lent their prior experience launching the Florida Georgia Line's whiskey venture into the Wolf Moon bourbon brand. 

In an interview with Billboard, Aldean explained the reasoning behind the Wolf Moon label as a reference to the pack mentality that exists among friends and family, which relates to how the trio views their creative and business relationship. The label's press release for its launch further alludes to that bond and its impact on the creation of Wolf Moon. The three founding partners all had a say in the tasting notes of the 80-proof bourbon, which is aged for two years in traditional charred oak casts. 

As such, the profile of the bourbon doesn't necessarily carve out any adventurous ground, preferring to lean into some of the most common tasting notes of bourbon. The familiar flavors of caramelized fruit, sweet corn, and baking spices are balanced out by the woodiness of the oak. This is another easy sipper for the casual bourbon drinker. After a slow rollout in 2020 on ReserveBar.com, this bourbon can now be found across the U.S. for about $28 for a 750-milliliter bottle. Wolf Moon is another uncomplicated celebrity play on bourbon that's the perfect price point for someone wanting to dabble in a classic, easy-drinking bourbon before moving on to stronger batches. 

10. Brad Paisley's American Highway Reserve

Since the origin of American whiskey is Southern, we shouldn't be surprised to see another country music superstar on this list. American Highway Reserve is Brad Paisley's entrance into the bourbon industry, and unlike our prior brands, Paisley seems to be courting a higher-echelon customer. 

This spirit has a $100 price tag, which gets you a bourbon that consists of four different distillations of Kentucky bourbon aged anywhere from four to 15 years. The brand got its name from a truck that trailed Paisley on a 2019 cross-country tour. The truck was loaded with American Highway Reserve and was called the "rolling rickhouse," per Paste magazine. Paisley claimed that everything from the motion of the 53-foot semi-trailer to the change in the local environment imbued the bourbon with the essence of the oak.

The irony of a luxury brand originally sold off the back of a truck isn't lost on us, but solid sales across 20 states can't be wrong. Bardstown Bourbon Company, a bourbon distiller from Kentucky, handles the job of distillation. That experience factors into a respectable 96-proof bourbon brand. Spicy oak with notes of cotton candy, shortbread, and more baking spices lead to a hint of pitted fruit and nuts. Paisley launched a reserve blend in 2022, which is a little stronger at 98 proof, though it has a similar flavor profile to the original. This is a nice celebrity bourbon with more horsepower than complexity for the casual imbiber.

9. Charles Woodson's Woodson Bourbon Whiskey

Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson constantly pushes himself and his brand to achieve greatness. The former Oakland Raider gathered a taste for wine and whiskey while living in the Bay Area, visiting wine country, and drinking wine and scotch with teammates and friends. Woodson began his secondary career in the alcohol industry with his wine brand Intercept Wines in 2019. The All-Pro defensive back and Heisman Trophy winner (while in college at the University of Michigan) entered the whiskey business in 2021. 

Woodson Whiskey begins with a Kentucky-made liquor that goes into new charred oak barrels, where it undergoes accelerated aging using ultrasonic waves. The technique allows the whiskey to absorb the barrel's flavors and characteristics in about six months, versus the industry standard of how long a bourbon can be aged, around two years. The whiskey finishes in French oak barrels formerly used to age the Intercept Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The $40, 90-proof whiskey is smooth, straightforward, and uncomplicated, placing the brand toward the middle of our ranking. The spirit opens with aromas of vanilla and spice, followed by fruity red grape flavors mingling with caramel and toasted spice.

Woodson released a more traditional style, two-year aged Kentucky Straight Bourbon commemorative bottle celebrating the 25th anniversary of his entry into the NFL in the fall of 2023. The release came shortly after inking a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders to become the official bourbon of the team and Allegiant Stadium.

8. Scottie Pippen's Digits Bourbon

There must be something about the competitive spirit of athletics that brings out the best in celebrity-owned bourbon brands. Legendary NBA superstar Scottie Pippen's foray into the industry, with an assist from Napa Valley winemaker and distiller Dave Phinney, was hands-on. Pippen even labeled bottles himself: The label was adorned with a photo of his signature. Although this Californian bourbon was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, the quality of this bourbon was far from a pandemic project. The wine casks make a lot of sense when considering that Phinney is the founder of The Prisoner wine line.

While the pair wanted the liquor to act as an introductory spirit, it loses nothing in complexity on the palate, with cocoa, vanilla, and cane sugar coming together for a smooth finish. In an interview with The Press Democrat, Pippen noted that he had wanted to create a spirit that was ideal for people who were just beginning to venture into the world of bourbon. 

Classy, smooth, and approachable are all great descriptors for this bourbon from an NBA champion and Olympic gold winner who can now add bourbon distillery to his credits. 

7. Terry Bradshaw's Bradshaw Bourbon

Terry Bradshaw probably never thought he would ever make his own bourbon; however, if he did, he would have no choice but to call it Bradshaw Bourbon. Bradshaw's love of horses and football is matched only by his passion for a great bourbon. He even went so far as to plan a big dinner around the bourbon at the Kentucky Derby Museum once. 

Bradshaw's Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey was a play to dominate the competition, including celebrity peer and buddy in the bourbon space at the time, Matthew McConaughey. The NFL Superbowl champion and lively sports commentator even ensured that the alcohol content of Bradshaw Bourbon aligned with his quarterback completion ratio of 51.9%. 

According to Men's Journal, in a professional tasting competition between bourbons under the $60 mark, a respected critic scored Bradshaw's bourbon second place. Bradshaw took the advice of a former high-ranking U.S. official by choosing bourbon as a cherished pathway to passive income, and it appears to be a fantastic investment. Bradshaw's winning record is admirable, in and outside of football, even if it might not be the best celebrity-owned bourbon brand around. 

6. Derek Jeter's Bespoken Spirits

Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter is one of the finest to play the game, spending about two decades with the New York Yankees. The five-time World Series champion's foray into the liquor business came in 2020 with his investment in California–based Bespoken Spirits. The sustainably focused producer does not adhere to the traditional practices of aging in barrels to extract color, flavor, and aroma. Instead, Bespoken uses heat and wood chips to achieve the same result quickly. 

The liquor must age in new charred oak barrels to call itself a bourbon. Bespoken can achieve the extended-aged spirit flavor by using activator technology, where heat and pressure force whiskey through macerating wooden chips, achieving a well-rounded, highly-aged flavor in a matter of days. Bespoken says the process uses less resources in its production, making it better for the environment.

Bespoken Twice Toasted Bourbon begins with a mashbill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% barley. The whiskey finishes with twice-toasted oak staves, enhancing the vanilla, clove, and allspice in the 94-proof liquor with a $62 price point for a 750-milliliter bottle. The bourbon delivers dark chocolate, dried fig, and caramelized brown sugar flavors. Jeter's investment is paying off as the company's projections indicate it should hit $2.7 million in sales in 2024, up from $1.3 million in 2023. The environmentally conscious technology gives the brand a solid ranking on our list. However, the limited retail distribution keeps it from a higher placement.

5. John and Ethan Wayne's Duke Bourbon Whiskey

John Wayne is an icon of the silver screen. Though the actor passed away in 1979, he will forever be one of Hollywood's leading men, starring in Oscar-nominated films like "Stagecoach" and "The Alamo" and winning the best actor award in 1970 for his role in "True Grit." Nicknamed "The Duke," John Wayne has an airport named after him, a film festival, a 10,000-square-foot memorabilia exhibit, and even a bourbon created to celebrate the legend.

The late star was a bourbon and tequila enthusiast, leaving detailed notes of the characteristics he appreciated in the spirits in a vault found by his son, Ethan Wayne, after his passing. The younger Wayne and his business partner, Chris Radomski of Hundred Acre Wine Group fame, took the elder Wayne's notes regarding his tastes and preferences to custom blend Duke Bourbon while also capturing the dedication to perfection he strived for throughout his life.

Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon is rustic and robust yet smooth, much like the late actor. The liquor predominantly blends corn with rye and barley, and ages for at least five years in new charred oak barrels. Bottled at 88 proof, the $49.99 whiskey layers dried orange peel, pepper, toasted oak, and rich caramelized sweetness, qualities that place the brand high on our list. Additional offerings include a double-barrel rye, several tequilas, and a $129.99 Grande Cru Bourdon Founder's Reserve that ages for nine years in American oak and finishes in French oak barrels, lending toffee and additional warm spice flavors to the well-rounded whiskey.

4. Stephen Curry's Gentleman's Cut Bourbon

If you are an NBA fan, you have undoubtedly experienced the brilliant gameplay of two-time MVP Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors point guard has been a part of the NBA championship-winning team since 2009, leading the league in three-point shots through multiple years. Curry is also a seasoned businessman, investing in industries like tech, esports, media, and the beverage industry, including his 2023 foray into the liquor business with the Gentleman's Cut Bourbon launch. And unlike some celebrity owners who lend their name to the product without getting their hands dirty, Curry is involved in every aspect of the Kentucky straight bourbon's production.  

Curry includes a quote on the label, saying, "I've learned over the years that life is best enjoyed in the close company of others." He adds that having a bourbon in hand makes those moments most enjoyable. 

The Game Changer Distillery in Boone County, Kentucky produces Gentleman's Cut with a mashbill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley. The bourbon is copper pot distilled before aging in new charred oak barrels for five to seven years. The high rye whiskey leads with cedar, vanilla, and spice aromas, followed by dried fig, pepper, and nutty toffee layers. Bottled at 85 proof, the easy-drinking bourbon is available nationwide for $82 on average for a 750-milliliter bottle. Though pricier than some options, the quality ranks the bourbon high on our list. We suggest enjoying it in your next Manhattan cocktail

3. Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley's Brother's Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley transitioned from their onscreen brand as vampire siblings on "The Vampire Diaries" into co-owners of Brother's Bond Bourbon. The duo's infatuation with bourbon was enhanced during downtime on the show, and the inspiration for the brand's name came from the bonds built through conversations over a strong drink while leaning into their TV brotherly roles.

Somerhalder and Wesley wisely found a distiller with over two decades of experience (CEO Vincent Hanna), who would allow them the sort of creative control where taste could be dictated by the two over late-night living room tastings. The result was a $40- to $60-bottle of copper pot and column distilled, 80-proof bourbon using four American-grown grains: corn, wheat, rye, and barley. The minimum two-year-aged bourbon uses barrels that mix the amount of char the oak receives, with a #4 level on the oak staves, adding depth and richness, and #2 on the barrel heads, giving spice and sweetness. With an eye on the environment, each bottle donates 1% to regenerative farming initiatives to fight the effects of industrial agriculture and reverse climate change. The overall flavor and environmental focus place the brand high on our list.

Speaking with American Whiskey, the celebrity owners noted that approachability of the alcohol content was key to targeting the Gen-Z and Millennial market they most connect with. Brother's Bond is a contemporary but familiar-tasting bourbon that's made to be drunk straight, no chaser, and this is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy the spirit

2. Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick's Sweetens Cove Bourbon

It may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but if a football legend and a tennis star walked into a bar, the last punchline you would expect would be about the start of a celebrity bourbon brand. However, Sweetens Cove is exactly that, minus the bar. The team is composed of a cookie delivery service owner, a CEO, the chairman of a semiconductor company, and a real estate agent, alongside former football quarterback Peyton Manning and tennis pro Andy Roddick. The co-founders were enamored with a golf course in Tennessee named Sweetens Cove. They purchased the land and were inspired to launch a bourbon distillery on it after learning about a ritual involving taking a shot of whiskey before your first hole-in-one.

The production of Sweetens Cove is handled by Kentucky's first female distillation master. It's a blend of three whiskeys from the region, aged anywhere from four to 16 years. It has a taste profile that balances caramelized sugar, ripe fruitiness, cloves, and smoky tannins from the charred oak. This blended bourbon coming from the distillery is considered a luxury purchase. 

Sweetens Cove's newest iteration, Sweetens Cove 22, received top scores in 2022. This bourbon, at 114 proof, packs a punch beside its gold-plated $200 price tag. It's aged to perfection in oak barrels imported from Scotland. This alcohol gets you happy quicker, but it still goes down easy.  

1. Bob Dylan's Heaven's Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Since 2018, when American folk music icon Bob Dylan collaborated with Heaven's Door distiller Ryan Perry, bourbon aficionados have been singing the award-winning drink's praises. There are several batches of this bourbon, including Bootleg Series Vol. II, which is aged 15 years before being transferred to Jamaican pot still rum casks. 

While Dylan allows the distiller to handle the bourbon, as a full partner, he contributes his artistry to marketing and branding campaigns in the form of his image, song lyrics, poetry, and paintings. Indeed, one of Dylan's paintings is featured on the Bootleg Series Vol II bottle. The collaboration came about after Dylan trademarked the term "Bootleg Whiskey" for some unreleased recordings. After learning of this, the current CEO of Heaven's Door reached out to Dylan. Dylan's song "Knocking on Heaven's Door" inspired the name of the brand. The original Tennessee straight bourbon was followed up by the release of the 10-year-old bourbon and the aforementioned 15-year-old blend. 

The whiskey is sourced from various producers in the U.S., and it has won more than 35 awards. It has all the classic bourbon notes of baking spices and sugars. Additionally, we also experience herbaceous and earthy notes related to the percentage of rye in the distillation and filtration process. This is, quite simply, the best celebrity-owned bourbon on the market today. 


To create this ranking, the two authors of this article identified the celebrities who have gone beyond simply endorsing a bourbon to owning a stake in the product. Byron Armstrong is an award-winning food journalist. Hayley Hamilton Cogill is a Certified Sommelier and wine and spirits journalist who has covered the alcohol industry for over 20 years. To create the ranking, we considered trusted reviews from industry professionals, the variety of options available within the bourbon brand's portfolio, the average price, nationwide availability, production techniques, and taste tests, when possible, to determine the products' listing order.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.