Top 13 Bourbons to Drink

bartender pouring a glass of premium bourbon

Bourbon is an American-style whiskey made primarily from corn. It has a hearty flavor profile characterized by notes of caramel, vanilla and spice from aging in charred oak barrels. Bourbon is renowned for its smooth sipping qualities and affordability compared to other whiskeys.

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Those who seek an approachable whiskey often find bourbon to their liking. A glass of bourbon makes an excellent accompaniment to relaxing on the porch at the end of day. It’s also a staple ingredient in classic cocktails from old fashioneds to manhattans. Whether sipped straight or mixed, bourbon offers drinkers an easy-drinking spirit with complex flavors that provide enjoyment for novices and aficionados alike.

W.L. Weller

W.L. Weller

W. L. Weller is a bourbon that also uses wheat in its mash, which is unique. All bourbons have 51 percent corn, but most other blends use rye for the other portion. Weller uses wheat! The bourbon is distilled in Frankfort, Kentucky, at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year

Russell's Reserve 10 Year

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year is affiliated with the Wild Turkey distilling company. The bourbon is named after Jimmy Russell, a renowned master distiller for Wild Turkey. In 2016, the distillery hired Matthew McConaughey as a creative director to promote the bourbon brand.

Eagle Rare 10 Year

Eagle Rare 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Eagle Rare is a bourbon brand produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Eagle Rare is bottled in a striking glass bottle with an eagle on it. The brand is aged in oak barrels for 10 to 17 years and is a front-runner in the new market of small-batch bourbons.

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Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Distillery is in Frankfort, Kentucky. The name is rooted in history since buffalo once crossed the banks of the Kentucky River in Franklin County. In 2001, the government added the distillery to the National Registry of Historic Places. The bourbon is smooth and carries a hint of spice.

Michter’s US1 Bourbon

Michter's US1 Bourbon

Michter’s US1 Bourbon is so named because of its long history in the United States. The brand claims that it was America’s first whiskey company. On the nose, the bourbon is quite complex. On the tongue, the bourbon tastes slightly sweet with a hint of smokiness.

Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon

Knob Creek 12-Year Bourbon

Knob Creek is a brand of straight bourbon that is distilled in Clermont, Kentucky, at the Jim Beam distillery. Knob Creek 12 is a selection of the brand’s recipe aged in oak barrels for twelve years. This bottle is a great option to give as a gift or to buy during the holidays for specialty cocktails, like an old fashioned.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Master’s Collection

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Master's Collection

Woodford Reserve is a premium brand of straight bourbon distilled in Woodford County, Kentucky. In 2021, sales of Woodford Reserve exceeded one million cases. The Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection is a small batch, limited-released version of the brand’s signature recipe. Notably, Woodford Reserve often released specialty bottles surrounding the Kentucky Derby since they are official sponsors.

Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Whiskey

Wild Turkey is a Kentucky straight bourbon distilled near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The distillery is part of the official American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The Wild Turkey 101 is a bold variation of the brand’s bourbon. It is amber in color and is aged in White Oak barrels.

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Old Forester 100

Old Forester 100

Old Forester is a straight bourbon whiskey that has been sold continuously for longer than any other bourbon brand–about 150 years. The distillery is in Shively, Kentucky and the group has another location on the Bourbon Trail in Downtown Louisville. Old Forester 100 is one of the brand’s most popular variations.

Maker’s Mark 46

Maker's Mark 46

Maker’s Mark is a small-batch bourbon distilled in Loretto, Kentucky. The distillery is one stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Maker’s Mark 46 is sealed with red wax for a distinctive appearance. Also, look for the number 46 on the label. Maker’s Mark 46 offers flavors of caramel, vanilla, and spice.

Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon

Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

Evan Williams is a Kentucky straight bourbon that is bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky. Notably, the bourbon is aged for at least four years. Evan Williams is one of the best-selling whiskey brands globally. Many bourbon enthusiasts believe Evan Willians is nice to enjoy on the rocks.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon

Elijah Craig is a bourbon whiskey produced by Heaven Hill Distilleries in Kentucky. Elijah Craig is straight bourbon. The bourbon is 94 proof and is available in two sizes, a 375 mL and 1.75 L bottle. Elijah Craig is based in Bardstown, Kentucky, but its distillery is in Louisville, Kentucky.

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

four roses single barrel

Four Roses is a Kentucky straight bourbon. The brand’s distillery is in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, while its aging warehouse and bottling operations are located near Cox’s Creek, Kentucky. Four Roses distillery has ten distinct bourbons. The company has two mash recipes and five yeast strains that have created slight differences in their products. The single barrel is made with one bourbon rather than a blend.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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