10 Best Grain Alcohol Brands For Your Next DIY Alcoholic Products
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In essence, grain alcohol is a form of pure ethanol and is referred to as a rectified spirit or grain neutral spirit. Similar to vodka, it has no color, taste, or smell, but it has a way higher alcohol percentage, which is its most famous attribute.
Usually, rectified spirits are 190 proof or 95% ABV, but there are also others with lower alcohol percentages but still higher than the standard 40% liquor. Because of this, grain alcohol needs to be diluted a lot for it to be safe for consumption.
The most famous brand of grain alcohol is Everclear, known for its whopping 95% ABV. But if you’re interested to know other bottles, you’re in luck because the best grain alcohol brands await you below!
Best Overall: Everclear
Runner-Up: Polmos Spirytus Rektyfikowany
Best Cask-Strength: Mystic Mountain 420 Extractor
Best Rye Whiskey: Golden Grain
Most Innovative: Clear Spring
Best Presentation: Graves
Best for Sipping Neat: Lvov Spirytus
Best Rich Flavor: Emerald Springs
Best Luxurious Taste: Volkov
Best Aged Rum: Pure Proof
Despite its fame, the origins of this Everclear grain alcohol remain shrouded in mystery. While the American Distilling Company (now called Luxco) filed the trademark in 1950, references to the drink can be found as far back as 1922-1936, suggesting it may have been in production before the mid-20th century.
Being high-proof, this grain alcohol has been banned in 15 states. But to make up for this, the company released a less potent but still strong version - the 151-proof and 120-proof, which are often used in cocktails but still aren’t advised to be drunk straight.
In addition to its use in the bar, Everclear alcohol has found applications beyond the realm of mixology. It is commonly used as a disinfectant, a fuel for alcohol burners, etc.
Country of Origin: United States of America | ABV: 60%, 75.5%, 94.5%, 95% | Calories: ~190 | Other: Gluten and additive-free
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If you think that nothing can top Everclear in terms of ABV, you’re wrong. Spirytus actually takes the place of the world’s strongest alcohol with its 96% ABV!
This high-proof Polish beverage is crafted from a blend of grain and potato-based neutral spirits, which are rectified using a unique process to purify and concentrate the liquid.
In fact, the name "rektyfikowany" literally means rectified, a nod to the careful method used to create this potent elixir. While Spirytus Vodka is readily available in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, finding it elsewhere can be challenging.
But for those adventurous souls who do get their hands on a bottle, caution is key. It's essential to dilute the spirit before drinking, as overindulging in this potent liquid can lead to severe intoxication and other unpleasant side effects.
Country of Origin: Poland | ABV: 95%, 96%
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As the name suggests, Mystic Mountain Distillery’s 420 extractor is best used for extractions. In fact, they claim that the yield is about 20% - 30% higher, with the extraction process as a contributing factor.
Furthermore, this neutral grain spirit is derived from corn and boasts a 95% ABV. It was intended for extracting cannabis, but it’s also suitable for making tinctures, perfumes, and herbal extracts, thanks to the high ABV.
Country of Origin: Colorado, USA | ABV: 95% | Other: Gluten-free, non-GMO
Related: The Best Cannabis-Infused Cocktails
Golden Grain proudly hails from the United States and is crafted using only the finest grains, distilled to perfection. And just like Everclear, it boasts an impressive 190-proof potency. That’s because Golden Grain is produced by the same company that brings us Everclear - Luxco.
Unlike its cousin, however, Golden Grain offers a singular variant. Its proof is ideal for concocting an array of cocktails and is a go-to ingredient for beloved drinks such as the Instant Death. It is also effective as a cleaner and disinfectant.
And for DIY enthusiasts who enjoy experimenting with homemade spirits, liqueurs, tinctures, and even air fresheners and deodorants, Golden Grain is a popular choice.
Country of Origin: United States of America | ABV: 95%
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With an astonishing 190 proof, we can tell you that this isn't a drink for the faint of heart. The Clear Spring brand is crafted and distributed by the esteemed Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., a name synonymous with excellence in the industry.
While the exact ingredients and production process remain unknown, we can safely assume that the alcohol undergoes multiple distillations to the point where it loses any discernible taste, color, or aroma.
This drink is lethal in its pure form, and its high alcohol concentration makes it extremely flammable. Furthermore, due to its potent nature, Clear Spring is only available in select states across the United States – a prudent measure that ensures responsible consumption.
Country of Origin: Kentucky, USA | ABV: 95%
Related: How To Drink Alcohol
Graves is a venerable and iconic brand of grain alcohol produced by C.H. Graves & Sons, with its roots in Boston, Massachusetts. Since its inception in 1860, Graves Grain Alcohol has stood out as a top-shelf spirit with an alcohol content of 95%.
Interestingly, it's worth noting that the "original" grain alcohol claim often made by Luxco for Everclear is actually a misnomer because Graves Grain Alcohol is the true original.
Its bottle displays a warning in the form of a triple X, a subtle nod to its reputation for strength and potency. Like other grain alcohols, this is relatively neutral, allowing the mixers in cocktails like juices and soft drinks to shine.
Country of Origin: United States of America | ABV: 75.5%, 95%
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Lvov Spirytus is a high-quality pure grain alcohol that boasts an impressive 96% ABV (192 Proof). It is crafted from premium ethyl alcohol that has an agricultural cereal origin, and the distillation process takes place in Poland, guaranteeing that the strictest quality criteria are fulfilled.
Furthermore, it was a commonly used ingredient in early Polish heritage for creating naturally flavored vodka and adding flavor to various dishes.
Even today, it is still considered a top-shelf liquor that is greatly appreciated by bartenders, culinary experts, and amateur enthusiasts.
Country of Origin: Poland | ABV: 96%
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Emerald Springs is crafted with grains grown in the USA and undergoes a rigorous distillation process to ensure its top-notch quality. With three different variants - 120-proof, 151-proof, and 190-proof - Emerald Springs offers options for those who seek high-quality, potent spirits.
Moreover, Emerald Springs boasts a unique distillation process that uses only the highest quality natural spring water sourced from pristine locations within the United States. This results in a grain-forward taste and a long-lasting finish.
Country of Origin: Massachusetts, USA | ABV: 60%, 75.5%, 95%
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This clean, high-proof premium grain alcohol is distilled for a bold grain taste that is second to none. Volkov Grain Alcohol is crafted in the United States and is known for its smooth and long finish.
Additionally, this beverage is ideal for adding that extra kick to your drinks without compromising taste. With a bold profile and high proof, Volkov Grain Alcohol is the ultimate choice for adventurous cocktail enthusiasts.
Country of Origin: United States of America | ABV: 76.5%
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In 2016, Intercontinental Packaging Co., a leading distributor of alcoholic beverages in Minnesota, registered the Pure Proof brand. While the specific grains used in its production process aren’t known to the public, the label hints at wheat's involvement.
Regardless of its grain composition, Pure Proof is an exceptional spirit that's perfect for those seeking to create bold and unique cocktails and liquors like whiskey. Its unmistakable scent of ethyl alcohol is balanced by grain notes, perfect for adding an extra boost to libations.
Country of Origin: Minnesota, USA | ABV: 75.5%
Related: Types of Whiskey
Being one of the strongest alcohols in the world, it wouldn’t be a surprise if people become intimidated or intrigued by grain alcohol. But if you try it at some point, we advise you to take precautionary measures and drink grain alcohol responsibly, as it is more dangerous than other alcoholic drinks.
For this post, Everclear is our top pick because it’s the most recognized, and it offers various alcohol levels, providing drinkers with a preference.
Which grain alcohol will make it to your collection? Share with us your comments below!
There aren’t a lot of distinctions between grain alcohol brands since they are not associated with flavors, but other things may lead you to choose one brand over the other.
Grain alcohol is a highly concentrated form of ethanol distilled from grains such as corn, wheat, or barley. Some brands use organic, non-GMO grains, while others may use traditional grains.
The quality of the grains used, the water source, and the yeast strain used in fermentation can affect the final product's taste, texture, and mouthfeel, and by extension, the cocktail or liquor you’re making with grain alcohol.
Furthermore, brands that use multiple distillation processes produce smoother, cleaner, and purer alcohol. The more distillations a brand uses, the more impurities are removed, resulting in a higher quality product.
We’d like to reiterate that grain alcohol has no discernable flavors or smells that you would find in bourbon, gin, tequila, or rum. But if you try different brands side by side, you may find subtle differences in texture or finish.
The higher the ABV, the more potent the alcohol. Most neutral grain spirits have an ABV of between 95% to 96%. However, some brands have other versions that are of lower ABV, such as Everclear’s 151-proof and 120-proof.
Higher ABV alcohol is more potent and, therefore, should be used with responsibility. They are not to be drunk straight, so they’re more suitable for making liquors, infusions, and extracts. On the other hand, you can use lower-proof ones for cocktails, but you still have to use tiny amounts.
If you plan on using the grain alcohol for other purposes besides drinking, the high-proof ones are also a great choice, but if you’re going to consume the alcohol, we recommend that you stick with relatively lower-proof ones.
Grain alcohol is not legal in every state due to its high alcohol percentage and potential dangers. Some states have banned grain alcohol altogether, while others have placed restrictions on its sale and distribution.
Before purchasing grain alcohol, check the laws and regulations in your state to ensure that it is legal and available for purchase.
Even in states where grain alcohol is legal, some brands may not be readily available in local stores, so we suggest researching the availability of the brand you are interested in before making a purchase.
Some brands may only be available in limited quantities or during certain seasons, while others may only be available online. Selecting a brand that is easily accessible in your area ensures that you can always get a fresh bottle of grain alcohol whenever you need it.
Grain alcohol's versatility makes it a valuable ingredient for various applications. Due to its high alcohol content, grain alcohol can serve as a base for various spirits and cocktails, and it is often preferred because of its neutral taste and aroma, allowing other ingredients to shine.
Apart from its use in the alcoholic drinks industry, grain alcohol is also used in the production of personal care and household products. In the medical field, grain alcohol is used as a solvent for medications.
Since grain alcohol brands have a high alcohol content, it’s safe to say that all of them are versatile. But some people may prefer the higher-proof ones because they are stronger and more effective for, say, disinfecting.
Keep in mind that while grain alcohol can be versatile, it is also important to use it responsibly and follow safe handling procedures.
The price of grain alcohol can vary widely depending on the brand, ABV, and availability. Nonetheless, grain alcohol is relatively inexpensive, with standard 750 ml bottles costing around $10 to $20 on average.
However, we’ll still tell you to consider your budget and select a brand that offers the best value for your money. If you want to save money when making big-batch drinks like punch, higher-proof grain alcohol is recommended because it requires more dilution.
Vodka and grain alcohol are both distilled spirits made from grains. Vodka is typically distilled to around 40% ABV and is intended to be a neutral spirit, meaning it has a subtle and smooth flavor profile.
Grain alcohol, however, can have an alcohol content of up to 95% ABV, making it significantly stronger and more potent than vodka. Grain alcohol also has a harsh, alcoholic taste and is not typically consumed straight.
We find vodka easier to work with in cocktails, while grain alcohol is typically used as a base for homemade liqueurs or other spirits or in industrial applications such as a solvent or a fuel.
Everclear and moonshine are both high-proof alcohols, but their alcohol content can vary depending on how they are made and their ingredients. Some types of moonshine can have an ABV that is similar to Everclear, while others may be lower.
Moonshine has a wider range of alcohol content, allowing people to drink them like regular alcohol and not feel as scared with it.
Grain alcohol is not recommended to be consumed as a shot or in its undiluted form as it is dangerous and can result in serious health consequences such as alcohol poisoning, liver damage, and other alcohol-related health problems.
For big-batch drinks, you can opt to pour just half a bottle of rectified spirit. It is important to dilute grain alcohol properly so it’s safe for human consumption and to drink it in moderation.
Additionally, it is recommended to ask advice from a healthcare professional before consuming any high-proof alcohol or if you have concerns about your alcohol consumption.
We believe that our readers should have access to unbiased, well-informed reviews when deciding which products to buy, and we work hard to provide that type of content. Our editorial team is experienced and passionate about mixology and bar equipment. In addition, we often consult with industry professionals when gathering information, which gives us an insider's perspective on the products we're reviewing.
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