Thursday, April 18, 2024

Smoothest Bourbon To Drink Straight

Wild Turkey’s Russell’s Reserve

BEST Whisky To Drink STRAIGHT | Top 7

Wild Turkey Bourbon is one of Kentucky’s legacy distillers, but if you’ve never tried its premium offerings, you’re in for a real treat. According to the Robb Report, Wild Turkey’s Russell’s Reserve is a super clear, ultra-filtered whisky that’s a clean, crisp, satisfying sip. It’s straightforward and unapologetic, precisely what a bourbon should be. It’s silky with a good body and solid mouthfeel tinged with fruit, spice, and a bit of woodiness. Perceptive drinkers might pick up on the pepper, grapefruit, and herbaceous heft near the end of the sip.

What’s surprising about Russell’s Reserve is that its cornucopia of fruit flavor tends to skew a bit tropical , an exciting choice that plays well with more familiar oaky, vanilla, and caramel flavors. Enjoy this drink on chilled whiskey rocks for a refined taste that allows you to enjoy the bourbon ice cold without residual water.

Wild Turkey Masters Keep Revival

Master distiller Eddie Russell handpicks the oloroso sherry casks to finish off this well-aged bourbon . Given its age and dedication to high quality, the taste you get is almost unrivaled. You can expect to pay a hefty price too. There are other bottles on our list of the best bourbon whiskeys that will run you less, but there aren’t many that will compete on taste.

The first sip hits you with bold dried fruit aromas, followed by a touch of nuts and citrus. Masters Keep is exceptionally smooth, almost creamy, and the sherry casks provide it with a distinct savory character. At 50% ABV, it is quite powerful, yet subtle and nuanced enough to impress any aficionado.

While not for everyone, this expensive bourbon is gift-worthy if you want to impress.

This super-premium bourbon is available online, but the supplies are limited. You can order a bottle by .

The Best Bourbon Whiskeys For 2022 Are:

  • Best overall Michters US*1 Kentucky straight bourbon: £49.45,
  • Best slow sipper Yellowstone select Kentucky straight bourbon: £45,
  • Best for bourbon beginners Woodford reserve Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey: £31.95,
  • Best bottle Wild turkey longbranch: £35.25,
  • Best budget buy Ezra Brooks Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey: £26,
  • Best aged bourbon Atom Labs charcoal & cornmeal & rickhouses & a decade: £47.95,
  • Best farm distillery Belmont Farm kopper kettle straight bourbon: £40.75,
  • Best flavoured bourbon Few cold cut bourbon whiskey: £55.95,
  • Best newcomer Wilderness trail single barrel bourbon: £64.90,
  • Best for splurging That Boutique-y Whisky company bourbon whiskey #1 24 Year Old: £199.95,
  • Best for mixing Smooth ambler old scout: £54.95,
  • Best for something a little different Daddy Rack Tennessee straight whiskey: £35.45,

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Best Overall: Henry Mckenna Single Barrel Bourbon

Courtesy of Drizly

Region: Kentucky | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Honey, Vanilla

From Heaven Hill Distillery, this Henry Mckenna bourbon was named “Best in Show” at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and with good reason. Aged in oak barrels, this bourbon is the only extra-aged bottled-in-bond single barrel bourbon available and offers a smooth, sumptuous, structured flavor profile.

Xania Woodman, bar manager and lead bartender at O.P. Rockwell Cocktail Lounge & Music Hall, describes the 10-year-old bourbon as rich and buttery, “like butterscotch candy,” but with an appreciable bite. And for all its attributes, the price point isn’t as exorbitant as some other celebrated bourbons. It just goes to show you, says Woodman, that an astronomical price doesn’t necessarily indicate actual quality.

Whats The Best Sugar In An Old Fashioned

Review: Winchester Extra Smooth and Straight Bourbon

The first question we tried to answer was what kind of sugar tastes best in an Old Fashioned. The second question was if simple syrup or a sugar cube is superior. Therefore, we tested the following sugars in our cocktail:

  • Turbinado Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup versus Sugar Cube:

It ended up being very difficult to get any of the sugar cubes to fully dissolve. We tried muddling them, adding them into some of the bourbon, and anything else we could think of. The best trick we had and one that can work in a pinch is to dissolve the sugar cube in hot water first. Its sort of like a quick-and-easy simple syrup. It isnt perfect, but it works if thats all you have or you dont want to make simple syrup.

Simple syrup is superior. It makes mixing and getting the appropriate amount of sweetness much easier.

In our testing, turbinado simple syrup made the best Old Fashioned. We tested turbinado sugar, organic cane sugar, and regular cane sugar simple syrup side by side in otherwise identical cocktails. Although any would work, the turbinado made a more complex Old Fashioned and ended up being the clear winner.

The organic cane sugar was a good alternative, but the regular cane sugar ended up lacking depth of flavor and would be our last choice.

How much simple syrup should I add to my Old Fashioned? We found the sweet spot to be 2 teaspoons . Many recipes call for a single teaspoon, or you might prefer a sweeter drink, but we found 2 teaspoons really balanced the cocktail perfectly.

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So You’re Looking For Some High End Bourbon

  • At least Top Shelf rated. This also means that some of your favorites might not be on this list because I rated them lower
  • Predominately avoid extremely limited or allocated bourbons so this list is actually useful and actionable
  • Ill allow barrel picks, because some great bourbons only come as barrel picks

This order is based on price. It is not a ranking in terms of quality or rating.

As an FYI, I bought and use these Glencairn glasses for everything : Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass Set of 6, Set of 4, Set of 2, or just one.Full transparency, this is an affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.

Noahs Mill Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Noahs Mill Small Batch Kentucky Whiskey is a product of Willett Distillery. This blend is from a daily that has a long history of whiskey-making.

The old releases were aged in new charred oak barrels for 15 years, but the current ones do not have age statements anymore.

It is one of the high-proof bourbon bottles, with 57.2% ABV. The scent that greets the nose is already a plethora of sweet treats that go to the palate. A 750ml bottle of this high-cask strength whiskey is around $59.

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Widow Jane 10 Year Old Bourbon

Do you ever think about how important water is when making great bourbon whiskey? Most of us don’t give the water source a second thought when picking out a bottle. Luckily, the folks behind Widow Jane do think about these details.

The Widow Jane 10-year bourbon uses water sourced from the Rosendale Mine in NY to craft this exception whiskey. You will notice it in the silky mouthfeel. Expect aromas of toffee and cream. On the palate, you will experience honey flavors followed by charred oak and spicey orange.

You can order a bottle by clicking here

Best Wheated: Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch

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Region: Wyoming | ABV: 44% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, Espresso

Wheated bourbons swap in more wheat on the grain bill, usually in place of more rye. The Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon presents a superior value compared to more famous names, is a robust 88-proof, and is versatile with food pairings including barbecued ribs, honey-garlic mushrooms, and even dessert. Aged five years in oak barrels, it’s full of creamy vanilla and caramel elements accented by floral nectarine flavors.

Ive never been much of a fan of anything wheat…Hefeweizen beer, wheat bread, et cetera, says Vitacca. Until I tasted thisit blows away the competition.

Region: Nevada | ABV: 45% | Tasting Notes: Sourdough, Cinnamon, Dried banana

The term “estate” is well-known in the wine world: essentially, “estate wines” are those which are made by the same person who grew the grapes. But “estate spirits” aren’t a familiar concept to most consumers, and for most of the last hundred years or more it’s been basically impossible for someone in the US to purchase a bottle of whiskey that was distilled by the same small family operation that grew the grains. With the farm-to-glass movement in full swing, however, fascinating and nuanced spirits are now being produced by estate distilleries across the nation.

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Old Forester 100 Proof Bourbon

Speaking of legacy, Old Forester bourbon has been sold in specially signed and sealed glass bottles since the company began in 1870. The brand was even able to sell whiskey during Prohibition, as it was used for medicinal purposes at the time. Don’t let that sanative history dissuade you from trying Old Forester 100 Proof the taste is undeniably satisfying, and a bottle costs just around $25 . If it ends up not being your favorite bourbon on the rocks, it makes a great base for bourbon cocktails in place of shelling out your pricier bottles.

Old Forester 100 Proof is in honor of the brand’s founder George Garvin Brown, a legend in the business. This particular blend packs heat thanks to the alcohol but the flavor is rounded out with notes of fruit, caramel, baking spices, and oak. “I’ll happily sip this neat, quaff it on the rocks, or use it as the base for a Manhattan or a highball cocktail, without feeling that I’m casting pearls before swine,” a review on Malt Review reads.

Best Bourbon Under $40

Wild Turkey Longbranch Kentucky Bourbon Whiskeyis a great pick for under $40. It is uniquely refined with Texas Mesquite and oak charcoals which only deepens the complexity and flavor of the drink. The balanced blend of caramel, vanilla, pear, and spices definitely rounds out in a subtle yet smooth finish.

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Colonel Eh Taylor Single Barrel Straight

Many consider Colonel E.H. Taylor to be the father of contemporary bourbons. The distillery was among the first to introduce the sour mash technique, column stills, as well as copper fermentation tanks. These are just some of the things that add to the refined character of this bourbon.

On the nose, Colonel E.H. Taylor is quite oaky and spicy with just a hint of plums and figs. As you sip, the flavors bring buttery notes, a touch of orange peel, and some tobacco smokiness at the end. The finish is long and its where the tobacco aroma shines through the most. This is one of the best bourbons around. You may want to consider this bourbon before enjoying it.

Grab a bottle of Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Here

Elijah Craig Small Batch Barrel Proof


This Elijah Craig bourbon is bottled right from the cask, which allows you to appreciate the uncut flavor profile. The batches range in strength between 64 and 70% AVB and the bourbon spends 12 years in oak before reaching the bottle.

As you might expect, this enriches the profile and adds butterscotch, caramel, and vanilla notes to the aroma. In addition, it has a spicy, most notably black pepper, finish.

to pick up a bottle

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Breckenridge Blend Of Straight Bourbon

Unlike most bourbons on this list, this one doesnt come from Kentucky. Actually, Breckenridge is a mix of high-altitude Colorado whiskey and blends from Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky.

This results in a specific flavor profile, dominated by nutty and toasty aromas. At mid-palate, you also get sesame and banana notes which work well with the nutty flavors. This is a truly unique bourbon and deserves a spot on any list of the top bourbons to buy.

Update: There is a special release from Breckenridge that you should know about. The “Dark Arts Malt Mash” is a limited edition. This isn’t bourbon, but it’s from a great bourbon producer and is a unique single-malt American-made whiskey. You can check it out here.

Old Elk Wheated Bourbon

Old Elk Wheated Bourbon, distilled by Greg Metze for MGP in Indiana and bottled by Greg Metze for Old Elk in Colorado, is aged 5 years and bottled at 46% ABV. This expression has tons of character and is a well-balanced orchestra of oak, sweetness and light fruit. This is a lovely bourbon. If youre going to try one bourbon on this list, it should be this one.

Find Old Elk Wheated Bourbon at Total Wine.

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Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Four Roses is one of the best sipping bourbons because of its rich but balanced flavors. Four Roses have the proprietary yeast strains that they use to mix with their mash bills making different distinct recipes.

The bourbons sweeter flavor profile allows you to enjoy it neat and as a base mix for cocktails. Some drinkers claim they encounter subtle notes of papaya, banana, and other tropical fruits. You can get this bottle for around $37 per 750ml bottle.

Widow Jane 8 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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  • Origin: Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.

This bourbon from the trendy Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn is grounded in both Kentucky tradition and 21st century American sensibility. The makers of Widow Jane 8 Year say, It takes sweet water from tough rock to make great whiskey. The water they use comes from the Widow Jane Limestone Mine in Rosendale, New York, which is even richer in minerals than the pure waters of Kentucky. Widow Jane 8 Year drinks like a much older bourbon strong and lush, with deep cherry notes and a tannic finish.

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Naked Grouse Scotch Whisky: Best Blended Malt

Price:£26 |

A no-nonsense blended malt from the makers of The Famous Grouse, this is a smooth but robust all-malt whisky matured in sherry casks. Rich, heavier than a grain/malt blend and with a slightly sweet aftertaste, Naked Grouse comes in a clean and unfussy bottle that we find rather attractive. At £19, its also great value.

Key specs Alcohol content: 40% Bottle size: 70cl Country of origin: Scotland

Larceny Bourbon Small Batch

Bottled: 46% ABV

Produced: Bardstown, Kentucky by Heaven Hills

Another newcomer to the bourbon market, Larceny, appearing in 2012. It is a heavily wheated bourbon. The distiller doesnt share the mash bills exact ratios, but they do claim it contains a third more wheat than their competitors. The high wheat content makes Larceny a smooth, easy to engage bourbon. Its flavor profile is less distinctive than Makers Mark but also less divisive. The predominant flavors on the palate are soft cinnamon and allspice, followed by honey and vanilla. The finish maintains the sweetness with a hint of maple.

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What Is The Best Bourbon

We don’t believe there is one “best” bourbon, but there are bottles that are best for certain moments. If you’re making drinks, we prefer the light and spicy Four Roses bourbon. If you want craft bourbon, we love New Riff’s dedication to Bottled-in-Bond whiskey-making and rich flavor profiles. Looking for something on the cheap? Evan William’s Black Label is hard to beat for the money. For our money, the best do-it-all bourbon is Knob Creek’s 9-year-old Small Batch offering. Here’s the rub.

How To Find The Best Bourbon

What Is the Smoothest Whiskey to Drink Straight?

When you are searching for the best bourbon, there are a few things you need to consider. The most important thing to think about is what you like. As an example, there can be a great barrel-proof bourbon in front of you, but if you don’t like strong bourbon, you aren’t going to enjoy it.

Clubs like Flaviar will send you tasters. This will allow you to try many types of bourbon for less money. Once you figure out what you really like, you can invest in a full-sized bottle.

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Tomintoul 14 Year Old

The natural environment and the smooth ingredients used in Tomintoul 14 Year Old make it an ideal choice if you seek a gentle and smooth experience. This mellow and smooth drink has an inviting aroma full of sweetness with hints of orchard fruits and creme brulee.

You can taste the chopped almonds mixed with Danish cinnamon, citrus oil, and oat biscuits on the palate. Also, youll enjoy the warming, toasty layers of hazelnuts, mocha, and fresh grassy highlights on the finish.

Balcones Baby Blue Whiskey

What some would consider sacrilegious, we consider audacious. Thats because Balcones not only operates outside of the Kentucky bourbon belt in the Lone Star State but they use roasted blue corn in their mash bill. Now, while that might have purists up in arms, we suggest giving Baby Blue a try as were betting youll find the expression pleasantly surprising. Were talking a palate full of tropical fruit, brown sugar, sweet tea, smoked chilis, and cotton candy of all things. Yes, you read that correctly. A true award-winning original from the Texas backcountry, whats more American than that?

Key Specs

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Creamiest Bourbon: Four Roses Small Batch Select

To craft the Small Batch Select Bourbon, Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott selected and experimented with six of the brands Bourbon recipes, each aged a minimum of 6 years, to create the blend.

According to the brand, Four Roses is the only known Bourbon Distillery that combines five proprietary yeast strains with two separate mash bills to craft their signature bourbon recipes.

Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon has a strong amber appearance. There are subtle notes on the nose of rich fruits, winter spices , caramel, and honey, with subtle hints of flowers and oak.

The bourbon is creamy on the palate, with sweet flavors of berries, honey, and caramel, and spicy flavors of rye, oak, and peppercorn. The finish is lengthy, with the creaminess persisting on the tongue, and notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice.

Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon is priced at around $40.


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