Buffalo Trace: Clean, rich, fine-flavored whiskeys, a "city" distillery in this sense: signature whiskey: Elmer T. Lee
Heaven Hill: Exhuberant, feisty, full-flavored whiskeys: a "country" distillery in the best sense - signature whiskey, McKenna 10 year old SB, Rittenhouse BIB or EWSB.
Beam Brands - mass production house achieving good but not great flavors. Signature: Beam Black or Knob Creek in the premium end.
Four Roses: elegant, balanced whiskies with the fruitiness that characterised most bourbon way back when. Signature: FRSB.
Barton Brands: a solid performer whose whiskies are not elegant or fine-flavored but full of taste and traditional character. Also, a house that offers fine value. Signature: VOB (any proof over 80).
Wild Turkey: also not an elegant style but tending towards big jousting flavors of wood, char, corn and rye. Even the premium end shows these qualities, in a richer interpretation. Signature: WT 101 and some would say Rare Breed.
Maker's Mark: a maker of wheated bourbon whiskey which pleases many due to its gentleness. A good introductory whiskey or for those who like its mildness, and a standby in restaurants when choice is restricted. Signature: there is only one.
Brown-Forman: whiskeys which accent the floral element. Signature: OF 100 proof.