Whiskey Review: Hooten & Young American Whiskey

, | December 22, 2020

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Hooten & Young. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Hooten & Young is a uniquely distinguished brand known for fine cigars and spirits. Founded by former Delta Force Master Sergeant Norm Hooten and longtime friend Tim Young the company integrates American military values into their craft. The release I’m reviewing here, Hooten & Young American Whiskey, was created to “honor the brave men and women of the armed forces.” Their mission was born out of the desire to slow down and reminisce with one another while remembering those who are no longer here. 

Master Sommelier George Miliotes, who helped conceive the whiskey has said, “It’s been an honor to assist Norm and Tim to create a whiskey that is evocative of their background and seeks to honor America’s heroes.” The brand ethos honoring those called to duty goes beyond origin and marketing. A portion of profits are donated to organizations supporting veterans. 

Hooten & Young 12 year has a mash bill of 99% corn and 1% barley. It was distilled by MGP to 189 proof and then barreled at 140 proof. The final product was bottled at 92 proof after aging 12 years in second fill barrels. The nearly full corn mash bill indicates that this whiskey will be quite sweet. Tasting notes presented right on the bottle promise flavors of baked apple, maple, vanilla and cream. 

Hooten & Young American Whiskey

Hooten & Young American Whiskey (image via Hooten & Young)

Tasting Notes: Hooten & Young American Whiskey

Vital Stats: Aged 12 years in second fill barrels. Mash Bill is 99% corn and 1% barley. 92 proof (46% ABV). Approx. $90

Color: Light Gold

Nose: This is satisfying and well rounded with intense notes of maple, candy corn and brown sugar. It is not terribly complex but warm and inviting.

Palate: Rich oak makes itself known first. Maple bar, caramel and vanilla emerge on the mid palate and thin out to an incredibly smooth and lasting finish of cream soda followed by lemon meringue.

The Takeaway


The appearance and well balanced sweetness of Hooten Young reminded me of a fine highland scotch. All of the flavors are beautifully developed and perfectly pleasant. When whiskey is done this well it doesn’t need to be overly complex or inventive. The classic flavor profiles were so well executed that I immediately began searching for where I could buy another bottle.

User Review
2.9 (67 votes)


Faith Raspante

Faith Raspante is a freelance writer and bartender based in Portland, Oregon. A love of craft cocktails and creative mixology led Faith to discover the nuanced pleasure of tasting whiskey and other spirits. When she isn’t behind the bar or in front of a laptop she enjoys boating, home improvement...