Lodestar American Whiskey Review

The blend of high rye and single malt whiskey yields a mild burnt sugar sweetness complemented by the toastiness of the malt. The finish leaves a delightful tingle, both from the proof and the high rye mashbill.

Lodestar American Whiskey Review


  • DISTILLER: Lodestar Spirits
  • MASHBILL: Undisclosed - Blend of 70% High Rye Bourbon | 30% Single Malt Whiskey
  • AGE: NAS
  • YEAR: 2024
  • PROOF: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • MSRP: $44.99
  • BUY ONLINE: Buy Lodestar Online


SHARE WITH: New or curious whiskey drinkers. This is an easy one enjoyed by both neophytes and seasoned whiskey lovers.

WORTH THE PRICE: Absolutely.


OVERALL: I was very pleasantly surprised by this whiskey. I've been hesitant about new categories and blends, but Lodestar does a fantastic job. The blend of high rye and single malt whiskey yields a mild burnt sugar sweetness complemented by the toastiness of the malt. The finish leaves a delightful tingle, both from the proof and the high rye mashbill. Overall, this is a wonderful sipper that could be enjoyed on its own, paired with dinner (a cheese plate would be perfect - yes, girl dinner), or in a cocktail.

Lodestar was the brainchild of two cousins - Anna Axster & Wendelin von Schroder - who developed a taste for whiskey while working in the entertainment industry in California. However, as they continued learning more about the category, they did not feel well represented. So during the pandemic - when Hollywood came to a screeching halt - the two sat down and penned a lengthy, specific flavor brief of exactly what they wanted to create. As the world began to open up, they went to distilleries across the country, tasting, learning, and taking notes. They decided that blending would be the way to achieve exactly what they had in mind.

Cousins Anna Axster & Wendelin von Schroder - Founders of Lodestar Whiskey

Through the discovery process, they met another female founder and were made aware of Distill Ventures, a Diageo-funded organization that incubates entrepreneurial spirits brands from underrepresented groups. It was a perfect fit. As luck would have it, they discovered the organization at the beginning of the annual application period and were ushered into that year's class.

What came next was a journey to pull together the right mashbills and flavors. "Versatility is important - people drink whiskey in different ways, so we wanted it to work on the rocks (how I drink it) and not water down the flavor. We also wanted it to work in cocktails." And a multi-sport athlete of a whiskey is exactly what they crafted.

So what's next up for Lodestar? For now, the cousins are focused on growing the brand, especially in their home state of California. They are focused on growing in an "authentic and organic" way, leaning into whiskey groups and ensuring they develop long-lasting relationships with accounts, both on and off premises. Eventually they will do another expression, but no time soon.

Beyond the whiskey itself, what particularly piqued my interest was the selection of cocktail recipes on their website. I'm accustomed to seeing the usual suspects on any brand's website: an Old Fashioned, a Manhattan, and another mainstay, like a Boulevardier or Whiskey Sour. Not Lodestar; they did it differently. The recipes on the site are not usually for whiskey, including an espresso tonic and spicy mango concoction. But I was most struck by their signature cocktail, an homage to one of their fathers, a delightful Arnold Palmer riff featuring one of my favorite ingredients: Lapsang Souchong Tea.

This Chinese tea has a signature smokey flavor that Anna's dad loved. Every morning, he would make a cup of this super funky tea, and no one could quite understand why. "This is so gross! What is up with this smokey stuff?!" So when they were brainstorming cocktails for their brand, Dad's bizarre morning routine popped into their heads, and the Lodestar Iced Tea was born. He did love whiskey, after all. Scroll down for the full recipe - it's a delight.

Well done, ladies of Lodestar. You've created something truly special, and I look forward to seeing you grow.


Lodestar Whiskey was founded in 2023 by cousins & entertainment industry veterans, Anna Axster & Wendelin von Schroder, who entered the spirits industry when the pandemic halted their business in music management and film production.

The founders spent over a decade working in music and film and what they loved most about their work was bringing people together to connect over shared experiences. Having acquired a taste for whiskey backstage and in countless venues, bars, and restaurants all across the country, Anna and Wendelin noticed something fundamental – whiskey was mostly served as a man's drink, so they set out to craft their own and invite everyone to the party.

Lodestar Whiskey is the first whiskey backed by Diageo’s Distill Ventures award-winning Pre-Accelerator program, which supports entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities in the beverage industry.

Lodestar Whiskey is a high-quality, unconventional blend of Straight High Rye Bourbon and American Single Malt Whiskey, creating a deliciously smooth spirit that can satisfy the palates of many. The liquid and brand embody the laid-back lifestyle of its California base, and the universal truth that life’s special moments are always better when shared.

Lodestar Whiskey’s flavor notes include caramel, hints of citrus, warm baking spice and a smooth malted finish, making it delectable neat, on the rocks or in a tasty cocktail.



  • 2 oz Lodestar Whiskey
  • 2 oz chilled Lapsang Souchong tea
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup*
  • Orange peel (garnish)


Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake thoroughly for 15 seconds. Strain over ice into a Collins or other tall glass. Twist the orange peel over the glass, releasing the oils. Garnish with the peel.

*To make Simple Syrup, heat 1 cup of water and dissolve in 1 cup of white granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Store in the fridge. For a richer, sweeter drink, my Rich Simple Syrup recipe is in my Ultimate Guide to the Old Fashioned

Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.