Bourbon is a type of whiskey that has been around for centuries and is made with corn, rye, or wheat.
Over the years, bourbon has become one of the most popular liquors in America. It’s no wonder why: The flavor, aroma, and texture make this a go-to spirit for any occasion. But when choosing the best bourbons on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.
We’ve done all the hard work for you here, uncovering the best bourbons money can buy. From discount brands to high-end selections, there’s something for everyone on this list — no matter your budget or preferences. Read on to learn about our top picks!
What Makes a Good Bourbon?
When it comes to bourbon, there are certain qualities that experts look for. First and foremost, a good bourbon must be made from a mash of at least 51% corn.
This gives the spirit its characteristic sweetness. Then, it must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. This imparts flavor and color to the liquor. Finally, it must be distilled to 160 proofs and bottled at no less than 80.
With these guidelines in mind, consider what makes a good bourbon. First, the grain bill should be heavy on the corn.
This will give the spirit its characteristic sweetness. Second, the distillation process should be done carefully not to strip away too much flavor.
Third, the barrel aging process is crucial; this gives bourbon its unique flavor profile.
When all of these factors come together, you have a delicious spirit perfect for sipping neat or using in cocktails.
The Best Bourbons Under $50
There are a lot of great bourbons out there that don’t cost a fortune. Here are some of the best bourbons for under $50.
Bulleit Bourbon – This bourbon has a unique flavor that sets it apart from other bourbons in its price range. It’s perfect for mixing or enjoying on its own.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon – This bourbon is aged for 12 years, which gives it a smooth and complex flavor. It’s an excellent option for those who want to try a high-quality bourbon without spending much money.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon – This bourbon is made with a unique blend of 10 different recipes, giving it a complex flavor perfect for sipping.
Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Bourbon – This bourbon is perfect for those who like their whiskey on the firmer side. It has a bold flavor that’s well worth the price tag.
Woodford Reserve Double-Oaked Bourbon – This bourbon is aged in two different oak barrels, giving it a unique flavor profile. It’s perfect for those who want to explore the world of higher-end bourbons without breaking the bank.
The Best Bourbons Over $50
When it comes to bourbon, there are many great options out there. But if you’re looking for the best, you’ll want to focus on bourbons priced over $50.
- Booker’s Bourbon: This small-batch bourbon is aged six to eight years and has a deep, complex flavor. It’s perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks. Some of the best Bourbons in this price range include:
- Knob Creek Bourbon: Another small-batch bourbon, Knob Creek is aged for nine years and has a rich, full flavor. It’s great for sipping neat or using in cocktails.
- Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey: This bourbon is aged for at least four years and has a bold flavor with hints of vanilla and oak. It’s perfect for enjoying neat or on the rocks.
These options would be great if you want top-notch bourbon to add to your collection.
How to Enjoy Bourbon
Bourbon is a unique and complex spirit; enjoying it is an adventure. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your bourbon-drinking experience:
1. Take your time. Savor the flavor of bourbon by savoring each sip. Don’t gulp it down; let it linger on your tongue so you can enjoy all the nuances of flavor.
2. Experiment. There are so many different bourbons, each with its distinct flavor profile. Try other brands and styles to find the ones you like best.
3. Get creative. Bourbon doesn’t have to be enjoyed immediately; mix it into cocktails or use it in cooking for a unique twist.
4. Relax and enjoy. Bourbon is meant to be enjoyed slowly and leisurely. So find a comfortable spot, sit back, and relax with your favorite bourbon glass.
What is bourbon?
Bourbon is an American whiskey made from at least 51% corn mash. It is typically aged in new, charred oak barrels for at least two years.
Bourbon gets its name from Bourbon County in Kentucky, established in 1785. The first bourbon distillery was set up in Kentucky in 1789, and the state has been closely associated with the spirit ever since.
Today, bourbon is produced throughout the United States, but most still come from Kentucky. To be labeled “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey,” the spirit must be made in Kentucky and meet all the other requirements of a straight bourbon whiskey.
So what makes a good bourbon? For many people, it’s all about the flavor. A good bourbon should be smooth and have a complex taste, including vanilla, caramel, oak, and spice notes.
The best way to find a bourbon you like is to try out as many different types as possible. There are so many great bourbons on the market today that you will find one that suits your taste perfectly.
The History of Bourbon
Bourbon has a long and storied history dating back to the 18th century. The exact origins of bourbon are a bit murky, but it is generally agreed that the drink was first created in the American colonies. At the time, American whiskey was made from various grains, including rye, wheat, and corn.
It is believed that bourbon got its name from Bourbon County in Kentucky, where early settlers were said to have perfected the art of distilling whiskey.
Bourbon became popular during the American Revolution, as it was among the few spirits not subject to British taxes. After the war, bourbon grew in popularity and became known as “the drink of choice for Presidents and Gentlemen.
” In 1964, Congress officially recognized bourbon as a “distinctive product of the United States” and decreed that it could only be made in America. Bourbon is produced in all 50 states today, but most still come from Kentucky.
There are many styles of bourbon, from light and sweet to rich and smoky. The type of bourbon you enjoy depends on your personal preferences. There’s a perfect bourbon whether you like your whiskey neat or on the rocks. So why not uncork a bottle and taste America’s native spirit?
How bourbon is made
Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that is made from corn. The word “bourbon” comes from the French Bourbon dynasty, the ruling family of France during the 18th century. The name was then used to describe the area in Kentucky where many distilleries were founded.
To be classified as bourbon, the whiskey must be made in the United States, and it must be made from at least 51% corn. The rest of the ingredients can include wheat, rye, or barley. Once the grains are milled, they are mixed with water and yeast to start fermentation.
After fermentation, the liquid is distilled and stored in charred oak barrels for at least two years. The charring of the barrel helps to give bourbon its unique flavor.
Once it has been aged for at least two years, the bourbon is bottled and ready to be enjoyed!
The best bourbons money can buy
There are a lot of great bourbons out there, but some are better than others. Based on our experts’ opinions, here are the best bourbons money can buy.
Pappy Van Winkle: This bourbon is aged 15 years and shows in its rich flavor. It’s smooth, with notes of vanilla and caramel and just sweetness. It’s worth the splurge.
Blanton’s Single Barrel: This bourbon is also aged 15 years and has a similar flavor profile to Pappy Van Winkle. It’s slightly less sweet, with more of a honeyed flavor, but it’s just as smooth and delicious.
Four Roses Single Barrel: This bourbon lasts ten years and has a fruitier flavor than the other two options. It’s still smooth, with notes of vanilla and caramel, but it also has hints of citrus and berries. It’s a great option if you prefer a less sweet bourbon.
How to drink bourbon
It’s no secret that bourbon has become one of the most popular liquors in the world. Whether you’re a bourbon enthusiast or just getting started, there’s no doubt that this unique liquor can add some flavor to your life. But how do you drink it?
Like any liquor, you can enjoy your bourbon in a few different ways. You can drink it neat, on the rocks, or with a mixer. If you’re new to bourbon, we recommend starting with it excellent or on the rocks. This will allow you to enjoy the bourbon’s full flavor and complexities.
If you want to add a mixer, go for something light and refreshing, like ginger ale or club soda. Avoid adding anything too sweet or syrupy, as it will mask the flavor of the bourbon. When in doubt, start simple and experiment until you find a combination you love.
Recipes with bourbon
There are a lot of great recipes that can be made with bourbon. Here are some of our favorites:
- Bourbon Chicken: This dish is perfect for a summer night. The chicken is marinated in a bourbon sauce and grilled to perfection.
- Bourbon Glazed Salmon: A delicious and healthy recipe perfect for a weeknight meal. The salmon is glazed with a bourbon sauce and baked in the oven.
- Bourbon Pecan Pie: A classic dessert recipe that is always a hit. The pie is filled with a pecan filling and has a bourbon glaze.
Which is the smoothest bourbon?
Many factors contribute to how smooth a bourbon tastes. The type of grain used, the aging process, and climate can affect a bourbon’s smoothness. Here are three of the softest bourbons money can buy:
- Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve – This bourbon is made with wheat instead of the traditional rye, which gives it a smoother flavor. It is also aged for 20 years, allowing the flavors to mellow and develop complexity.
- Maker’s Mark – This bourbon is known for its signature red wax seal. It is made with winter wheat, which gives it a softer flavor. Maker’s Mark is also aged for six years, resulting in a smooth and well-rounded taste.
- Blanton’s Single Barrel – This bourbon is made with eight-year-old corn in oak barrels. The longer aging time gives Blanton’s Single Barrel a smoother flavor than most other bourbons.
What kind of bourbon does John Wick drink?
Wick’s bourbon of choice is called Old Grand-Dad, created by Basil Hayden Sr. in the 1800s.
The recipe for this particular brand of bourbon has been passed down through generations and is still made using the same methods today.
This means the drink is unique and flavorful, unlike any other bourbon. Old Grand-Dad is worth checking out if you want a quality beverage to enjoy neat or on the rocks.
Why is Kentucky bourbon the best?
When it comes to bourbon, Kentucky is king. The state produces over 95% of the world’s supply and has been home to some of the most iconic brands in the business for centuries. So, what makes Kentucky bourbon so unique?
There are a few factors that come into play. First, the climate is perfect for aging whiskey. The hot summers help speed up evaporation, while the cool winters allow the flavors to mellow and develop over time. Second, Kentucky has abundant limestone-filtered water, which gives the bourbon its signature sweetness. And last but not least, most of the state’s bourbon distilleries are located in central Kentucky, where they have access to the best barrel-aging warehouses in the world.
So there you have it: a perfect combination of climate, water, and tradition that makes Kentucky bourbon the best in the business. If you’re looking for a truly exceptional whiskey experience, there’s no better place to start than with a bottle from the Bluegrass State.
What is the smoothest sipping whiskey?
When it comes to whiskey, smoothness is essential. To find the smoothest sipping whiskey, we tasted a variety of bourbons from different producers.
We looked for smooth whiskeys on the palate, with a creamy mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish. We also considered the whiskey’s overall flavor profile and how well it paired with other ingredients in cocktails.
Our favorite smooth-sipping whiskeys include Bulleit Bourbon, Knob Creek Bourbon, and Maker’s Mark Bourbon.
These bourbons are all incredibly smooth, with complex flavor profiles that make them perfect for sipping neat or using in cocktails. Any of these three will be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a smooth whiskey sipping.
What is the number 1 rated bourbon?
Plenty of great bourbons are on the market, but which is the best? The answer may surprise you. According to a recent survey, the number 1 rated bourbon is none other than Jim Beam.
That’s right, the same Jim Beam that has been around for centuries is one of the most popular brands. So what makes Jim Beam so unique? It could be that it’s made with high-quality ingredients and has a smooth, easy-drinking flavor. Or it could be because Jim Beam is just so darn affordable!
Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Jim Beam is the king of bourbon. So if you’re looking for a top-notch bourbon to add to your collection, you can’t go wrong with this tried and true favorite.
What is America’s best-selling bourbon?
There are a lot of bourbons on the market these days. So, which one is America’s best-selling bourbon?
The answer may surprise you. It’s not the most expensive bourbon or with the most awards. It’s very affordable bourbon made by a small, family-owned distillery.
That distillery is Buffalo Trace, and their best-selling bourbon is called Buffalo Trace Bourbon. This bourbon is made with high-quality limestone-filtered water from the Kentucky River, and it is aged for at least four years in new, charred oak barrels.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon has a smooth, rich flavor with vanilla, caramel, and oak notes. It is perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks. And at around $25 per bottle, it is an excellent value for a high-quality bourbon.
So there you have it. America’s best-selling bourbon is Buffalo Trace Bourbon. If you’re looking for a delicious, affordable bourbon to add to your collection, this is what you want!
What are decent bourbons?
If you’re looking for a decent bourbon, you should start with the basics. Bourbon must be made of at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels. These are the requirements the U.S. government sets, so if a bourbon meets these criteria, it’s automatically considered “decent.”
There are many bourbons on the market that meet these basic requirements, but there are also many that go above and beyond to create a truly exceptional product. When choosing a decent bourbon, you should look for one aged for at least four years. This aging process allows the flavors of the corn and oak to meld together and creates a more complex and well-rounded flavor profile.
Looking for a bourbon bottle at 100 proof or higher would be best. This higher alcohol content helps preserve the bourbon’s flavor and prevents it from becoming too diluted over time.
Finally, don’t be afraid to pay a little extra for premium bourbon. These bourbons tend to be made with higher-quality ingredients and undergo stricter quality control measures during production. This results in a superior product that is worth the investment.
What is an excellent bourbon to order at a bar?
When it comes to bourbon, there are a lot of different factors that can affect what makes a good choice for ordering at a bar. Some specific bourbons that tend to be well-received by experts and casual drinkers include Knob Creek 9-Year-Old, Maker’s Mark 46, and Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old. If you’re looking for a general guideline, opting for something in the $40-$50 range is usually a safe bet.
Of course, the best bourbon to order at a bar will be what you enjoy the most. So if you prefer a particular brand or bourbon, don’t hesitate to ask for it by name. Chances are good that your bartender will be familiar with it and happy to oblige.
Is Crown Royal considered bourbon?
No, Crown Royal is not considered bourbon. Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky; bourbons are produced in the United States.
Bourbons must be made with at least 51% corn, while Crown Royal contains only 30%. In addition, bourbons must be aged in new, charred oak barrels, while Crown Royal is aged in used oak barrels.
What is the best bourbon to drink straight?
There are many ways to enjoy bourbon, but drinking it straight is undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience its unique flavor. When sipping on bourbon neat, you’ll want to choose a bottle with a complex flavor that can stand up to being enjoyed on its own.
Our top pick for the best bourbon to drink straight is the Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. This small-batch bourbon is aged for nine years, which gives it a rich and nuanced flavor that is perfect for sipping. The Knob Creek also has a higher proof than most bourbons, which means it will hold well when diluted with ice or water.
The Old Forester Classic 86 Proof Bourbon is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option.
This cheap bourbon still has plenty of flavors, and its lower proof makes it more accessible for those who don’t typically drink their whiskey neat.
No matter your budget or preferences, there’s sure to be a bourbon you’ll enjoy drinking straight. So get out there and start exploring all the different options available!
In conclusion, it can be said that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the best bourbons money can buy.
Every person has tastes and preferences that will determine which bourbon they find enjoyable.
However, with our guide to uncovering the best bourbons money can buy, you should now have enough knowledge and insight into this topic to get started searching for a whiskey that fits your budget and tastes. Cheers!
Q: What is barrel-proof bourbon?
A: Barrel-proof bourbon, also known as cask-strength bourbon, is a bourbon that has not been diluted with water before being bottled. It is bottled at the same proof as it was aged in the barrel, ranging from 100 to over 130. This means barrel-proof bourbon can be more potent and flavorful than regular bourbon.
Q: What is wheated bourbon?
A: Wheated bourbon is a type of bourbon that uses wheat as the second prominent grain, in addition to corn. This results in a softer and smoother flavor than bourbons made with rye as the secondary grain. Some famous examples of wheated bourbons include W.L. Weller and Pappy Van Winkle.
Q: What are the best bourbons to drink in 2023?
A: While there are many bourbons, some of the best options to drink in 2023 include Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Old Forester, and Four Roses Small Batch. These bourbons offer unique flavors and have received high ratings in the past.
Q: What is sipping bourbon?
A: Sipping bourbon is meant to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks rather than mixed in cocktails. Sipping bourbons are often aged for extended periods and have complex flavor profiles that can be appreciated independently.
Q: What is budget bourbon?
A: Budget bourbon refers to affordable bourbons that offer good value for their price. Some examples of budget bourbons include Evan Williams, Maker’s Mark, and Heaven Hill. These bourbons are great options for those who want to enjoy bourbon without breaking the bank.
Q: What is port cask finished bourbon?
A: Port cask finished bourbon refers to bourbon aged in oak barrels that previously held port wine. This gives the bourbon a unique flavor profile, including notes of dried fruit, stone fruit, and maple syrup. Some famous examples of port cask-finished bourbons include Angel’s Envy and Jefferson’s Ocean.
Q: What is a bourbon batch?
A: A bourbon batch refers to a batch of bourbon that has been produced and aged together. This means all the bottles in that batch will have a consistent flavor profile. Some bourbons, such as Elijah Craig and Henry McKenna, are designated single-barrel bourbons, meaning each bottle comes from a single barrel.
Q: What is the best-wheated bourbon?
A: The best-wheated bourbon is subjective and depends on personal taste. However, some popular options include W.L. Weller Antique 107, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, and Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond. Thanks to the wheat in the mash bill, these bourbons offer a smooth and mellow flavor profile.
Q: What is the best barrel-proof bourbon?
A: The best barrel-proof bourbon is subjective and can vary depending on personal taste. However, some popular options include Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Stagg Jr., and Booker’s Bourbon. Thanks to their high proof, these bourbons offer a bold and intense flavor profile.
Q: What is the best Tennessee bourbon?
A: The best Tennessee bourbon is subjective and can vary depending on personal taste. However, some popular options include George Dickel Barrel Select, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, and Belle Meade Bourbon. These bourbons are all produced in Tennessee and offer unique flavor profiles.