Minnesota’s Brother Justus cold-peated whiskey named 4th-most innovative spirit of 2023

It’s also the highest-ranking American spirit of any kind in the rankings.



A whiskey created by Minnesota’s Brother Justus Whiskey Company has been ranked as the 4th-most innovative spirit in the world in 2023. 

The Spirits Business ranked the Brother Justus single malt cold-peated whiskey higher than any other American brand in its 2023 list.

The product uses an “Aitkin County Process,” a patent-pending method invented by the company. The Spirits Business notes the resulting liquid as a “delicate peat expression,” resulting in a spirit that’s “unlike anything on the global market.”

“Minnesota’s Boreal Forest contains vast peat bogs, formed millennia ago by melting glaciers. Traditional whiskeys burn peat, destroying its delicate botanicals and creating bike tire-like flavors. We invented the Aitkin County Process to capture the pure essence of Minnesota’s ancient peat,” the company says on its website.

Its tasting notes mention “herbal minerality and mushroom umami balance the sweetness of oak,” with “maple and caramel highlights with an earthy finish.”

The whiskey also earned a first place honor for Best Minnesota Whiskey and third place for the Best American Single Malt Whiskey in the 2023 International Whisky Competition, among many other honors.

“It is a huge honor to be recognized by the global spirits industry as one of the most innovative spirits in the world — and the most innovative American whiskey or spirit of any kind — a recognition underscoring what we believe is the beginning of another evolution in American and peated whiskies,” said Phil Steger, Founder and CEO of Brother Justus.

The whiskey business takes its name from the Prohibition-era, central Minnesota monk Brother Justus, who taught local farmers how to distill whiskey on stills he built himself so they could support themselves and their families.