When it comes to mixing up a Manhattan, the bourbon is the star you want shining through. You need something with rich flavor that still allows the vermouth and bitters to have their moments. A good bourbon acts as the anchor, its taste being the main event everyone tunes in for.
The ideal bourbon works hard carrying the drink but knows when to share the love. Whether you like yours straight up or on the rocks, picking the right bourbon partner is key to a Manhattan you’ll savor while unwinding after a long one. With the right bourbon taking center stage, your Manhattan is sure to be a real crowd-pleaser.
Angel’s Envy came from a father-son team of whiskey enthusiasts who wanted to create something small, familial, and delicious. Angel’s Envy has subtle vanilla, maple syrup, praline, and raisin nose, with hints of nuts and bitter chocolate and a clean finish. It’s perfect for an after-dinner drink while you unwind.
Bulleit Bourbon is an old bourbon that originated as a family recipe sometime in the mid-19800s. It always has the best ingredients. Bulleit is known for its high rye content, but it has a clean and smooth finish that makes it the perfect mixing bourbon. It blends well with any flavors you wish to add it to.
If you’re looking for one of the oldest bourbons, you can find tradition and legacy intermingling in the straight bourbon of Buffalo Trace. Buffalo Trace boasts rich complexity, with subtle hints of vanilla, toffee, and candied fruit that make each pour a small taste of heaven. Compared to other bourbons, Buffalo Trace has a smooth and lingering finish.
Four Roses provide a classic bourbon that pleases bourbon lovers with every sip. The handcrafted perfection of Four Roses is the company’s point of pride. Four Roses is a perfect bourbon for a Manhattan because the rye flavor is potent yet smooth. It won’t overpower your cocktail, instead delivering the right amount of punch needed to make your cocktail genuinely excellent.
Marker’s Mark is a great bourbon for Manhattans because it’s a subtle flavor made with soft red winter wheat. With virtually no sharp or bitter bite, it’s a great mixing bourbon to have on hand. Compared to other bourbon options, Maker’s Mark is easy to drink on its own. When you add it to your Manhattan, you’ll have the perfect result of bourbon flavor that’s not overpowering.
Woodford Reserve is an old Kentucky bourbon specializing in pre-Prohibition whiskey-making styles. With 53% rye, it has a rich, spicy flavor that makes rye stand out from other bourbons. Price and tobacco are the prominent tasting notes.
If you’re looking for a genuinely robust bourbon to make your cocktail stand out among other cocktails, then Knob Creek is the way to go. You’ll love the rich, bold notes of vanilla, maple, wood, and roasted almonds. The complex flavor profile makes Knob Creek an essential bourbon to have on the shelf.
Kings County bourbon is a straight bourbon produced with New York corn and English malted barley. With two distillations, Kings County is a rich bourbon. You’ll appreciate the tasting notes of caramel, vanilla, and a lovely holiday spice that gives this bourbon a unique flavor, unlike any other bourbon.
Old Forester is one of the most genuine bourbon experiences you can find if you’re looking for something straightforward to add to your Manhattan. Old Forester graces the consumer with a rich and smooth body that doesn’t overpower you no matter what.
Elijah Craig is named the Baptist preacher who first distilled this unique Kentucky bourbon. Today, Elijah Craig is a premium bourbon handcrafted by masters of the craft. You’ll notice the warm, spicy, almost smokey flavor of Elijah Craig. Combined, these flavors set it apart from other bourbons for its potency and strength.
Booker’s bourbon is uncut and unfiltered, bottled straight out of the barrel. It has a clean nose and intense finish, making it stand out and highly discernable. As part of the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection, Booker’s is a harsh bourbon with a combination of oak, smoke, vanilla, dark chocolate, and coffee flavors.
Eagle Rare is one of the most complex bourbons on our list. It comes from the same geniuses at the Buffalo Trace Distillery and contains exciting flavors and aromas. You’ll love Eagle Rare for the bold yet delicate notes that hint at almonds and cocoa. With a dry and lasting finish, Eagle Rare will add much of its personality to your Manhattan.
W. L. Weller
Of all the other bourbons discussed so far, W.L. Weller from Buffalo trace Distillery is by far the most unique, or at least the most interesting. This unique bourbon has floral notes remarkably uncommon for bourbons. With subtle vanilla and balanced fruitiness, W.L. Weller will certainly make you an interesting Manhattan.