Updated at: 18-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Navigating the world of alcoholic beverages can be a minefield for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Did you know that some forms of whiskey are considered gluten-free, despite being distilled from grains containing this tricky protein?

In this article, we’ll dissect whiskey production and its gluten content, providing insights from experts and regulatory bodies along the way.

Ready to become an informed connoisseur? Let’s dive right in!

Understanding Gluten and Celiac Disease

Is Whiskey Gluten Free (1)

Gluten is a type of protein found in grains including barley, rye, and wheat. It’s commonly consumed through products like bread, pasta, and beer.

For most people, consuming gluten poses no issue; however, for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it can lead to serious health problems.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.

When someone with celiac disease eats food containing gluten, their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine.

These attacks result in damage to the villi – tiny fingerlike projections lining the small intestine responsible for nutrient absorption from food.

Over time this can cause severe nutritional deficiencies and other complications if not detected and managed properly by switching to a strictly Gluten-free diet or reducing intake of gluten-containing foods like barley-based beers and even certain spirits such as whiskey which typically contain fermented grains such as barley.

Is Whiskey Gluten Free?

Is Whiskey Gluten Free (2)

Whiskey is often considered gluten-free due to the distillation process, which is believed to remove gluten proteins from the final product.

The distillation process removes gluten

During the distillation process of whiskey, gluten proteins are removed. This means that even though whiskey is typically made from grains like barley or wheat, which contain gluten, the final product itself does not have detectable levels of gluten.

The distillation process involves heating the liquid to produce vapor and then condensing it back into a liquid form.

Since gluten proteins are too large to evaporate and condense with the alcohol during this process, they are left behind in the still.

As a result, most experts consider distilled alcoholic beverages such as whiskey to be safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, it’s important to note that some individuals may still experience a reaction due to other factors or individual sensitivities.

Ruling by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has ruled that whiskey is considered gluten-free. This ruling is based on the understanding that the distillation process removes gluten proteins from the final product.

Despite being made from grains containing gluten, such as barley or rye, whiskey is generally believed to be safe for individuals with celiac disease.

The Celiac Disease Foundation also states that technically all whiskey is gluten-free due to its production process.

However, it’s important to note that some people with gluten sensitivities may still experience a reaction to whiskey, so it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized advice.

Opinions from the Celiac Disease Foundation

The Celiac Disease Foundation provides valuable insights into the gluten-free status of whiskey. According to their opinion, all whiskey is technically considered gluten-free due to the distillation process.

This means that even though it is made from grains containing gluten, such as barley or wheat, the distillation process should remove any harmful gluten proteins.

However, it’s important to note that some individuals with gluten sensitivity may still experience a reaction to whiskey.

It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist if you have concerns about consuming whiskey and its potential impact on your celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten-Free Whiskey Options

Is Whiskey Gluten Free

Whiskey made from gluten-free grains

Some whiskey brands offer options that are made from gluten-free grains, such as corn or rice. These alternative grains do not contain gluten, making them suitable for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

It is important to look for certified gluten-free whiskey brands if you are avoiding gluten due to health reasons.

These brands have gone through rigorous testing to ensure there is no cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains during the production process.

Overall, while traditional whiskeys may contain gluten due to their use of barley or other grains containing gluten, there are alternatives available that provide a safe and enjoyable option for those following a gluten-free diet.

Certified gluten-free whiskey brands

If you’re looking for gluten-free whiskey options, there are several certified brands that you can enjoy without worry. These brands have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they meet the gluten-free requirements.

Here are some certified gluten-free whiskey brands:

  1. Redemption Bourbon: This brand offers a range of bourbon whiskeys that are made from corn and aged in charred oak barrels. It is certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group.
  2. Dry Fly Straight Triticale Whiskey: Produced from a hybrid grain called triticale, this whiskey is made from a cross between wheat and rye. It is also certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group.
  3. Few Spirits Single Malt Whiskey: This single malt whiskey is made from 100% malted barley and aged in oak casks. It has been tested and verified as gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group.
  4. Dogfish Head Alternate Takes Whiskey: Known for their craft beer, Dogfish Head also produces a line of distilled spirits, including whiskey. Their Alternate Takes Whiskey is made with a blend of barley, corn, rye, and wheat and has been tested as gluten-free.
  5. Kings County Distillery Chocolate Whiskey: If you have a sweet tooth, this chocolate-infused whiskey might be your go-to choice. Made with organic cocoa husks and aged in new American oak barrels, it is certified gluten-free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO).


In conclusion, while whiskey is generally considered gluten-free due to the distillation process, it is important for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities to exercise caution.

Consultation with a healthcare professional or nutritionist is recommended to determine if whiskey is suitable for your specific needs.

Remember that everyone’s tolerance and reaction to gluten may vary, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution when making alcohol choices.