The Best BourbonsData Taken From OutdoorLifehttp://www.outdoorlife.comCompiled By : AniruddhaRay
What distinguishes a bourbon from other whiskeys? 1. Made from a fermented mash with a minimum of 51% and a maximum of 79% corn 2. Distilled at less than 80% alcohol/volume (160 proof) 3. Stored in a new, charred, white oak barrel at a maximum of 62.5% alcohol/volume (125 proof) for at least 2 years 4. The original color and flavor of the whiskey can not be filtered or altered in any way. 5. Must be produced and stored (for at least one year of the aging) in Kentucky to be called Kentucky Bourbon 6. The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1894 is another important legal measure that applies to theNOTE: bourbon process.JACK DANIELS USES A CHARCOALFILTERING PROCESS THAT DISQUALIFIESIT FROM BOURBON CLASSIFICATION
Pappy Van Winkle15 Year OldRicher than molasses, thisdeep, dark bourbon checks inat an easy-sipping 107 proof.If you want to respect yourelders, theres no need to addwater or ice. Just kick back, putyour feet up and let Pappy dothe rest.Price: $80
Buffalo TraceThe flagship bourbon of theheralded Buffalo Trace distillerystarts off with vanilla mintspiciness and mellows on thepalate with a deep molassesfinish.Keep a bottle of this in yourliquor cabinet at all times andcall it your house bourbon andyoull be sure to impress yourconnoisseur friends.Price: $20
Woodford ReserveThe official bourbon of theBreeders Cup and KentuckyDerby, this 90.4 proof bourbonwalks the line betweencomplexity and mix-ability.Woodford bourbon comes from asmall but growing distillery inKentucky.You can enjoy its notes of corn,caramel and oak in a rocks glassby itself or you can use it in amint julep or Manhattan.Price: $30
BookersAged six-to-eight years, thisheavy duty bourbon is not forthe light of tongue.At 121 proof it can be a littlemore intense than your averagebourbon.But its notes of vanilla, tobaccoand oak help you ride the long,intense finish.Price: $50
Knob CreekSweet and rich, this 100-proofbourbon has hints of brownsugar and toasted nuts.Its aged nine years and wasnamed National WhiskeyChampion by Wine Enthusiast.Price: $40
Eagle Rare10 Year OldThis 90-proof well balancedbourbon is brimming withvanilla and toasted nut flavorswhich garnered it a double goldat the prestigious San Franciscospirits competition.If youre feeling flush, pick up abottle of the even rarer EagleRare 17-year-oldPrice: $30
BulleitIncorporating more rye into itsmash bill than most otherbourbons, Bulleit gives yourpalate an added spicy kick.The bottle that houses this 90-proof tipple was designed intribute to the old-fashionedbrown medicine flasks.Price: $23
Makers MarkThese distinctive wax-dippedbottles are like snowflakes-eachone is different.But on the inside, each bottlecontains the same smoothsignature 90-proof bourbonthat starts off with sweet cornand leather notes and sits onthe palate with a long, richcaramel finish.Price: $21
Wild Turkey RareBreedThe Thunder Chicken got itsname after a distillery executiveused to bring this bourbon onturkey hunting trips.This 108 proof bourbon is ablend of six, eight and 12-yearold barrels that gives it hints ofcitrus, caramel and sweettobacco.Price: $33
George T. StaggThe grand daddy of allbourbons, this 140+ proofbourbon has been nicknamedHazmat because of its highalcohol content.Add a little water to this 15-year old and it will open up thecoffee, citrus and oak flavors.Price: $60
Elija Craig(18 years)At 18 years old, this is the oldest singlebarrel bourbon in the world. Each barrelis hand selected by Parker and CraigBeam (descendants of Jim Beamhimself). When the barrels are finallyselected about 2/3 of the originalcontents have evaporated.Comments: "Yummy, vanilla!"
Elijah Craig(12 years)This 12-year-old 94 proof bourbon hassome high accolades. It recently wonDouble Gold at the San FranciscoWorld Spirits Competition and wasnamed winner in the PremiumBourbon category in Whisky Magazines bi-annual “Best of the Best” tastingcompetition. The OL editors liked ittoo.Comments: "Nice middle-groundflavor"
Evan WilliamsSingle BarrelThis 86 proof is the standard EvanWilliams older, classier cousin. Itsmore expensive, but it tastesbetter too. It has been votedWhiskey of the Year five times.Comments: "Smooth and sweetand woods"
Evan WilliamsThis was the big sleeper of thegroup.It was by far the cheapestbottle in the mix (you can buy abottle of Evan Williams for $12 inmany parts of the country) but itstill finished in the middle of thepack.Comments: "Very nice. Good color,well-balanced."
Wild TurkeyThis Kentucky straight bourbonholds a special place in huntershearts and the country in general;its one of the best sellingbourbons in the U.S.It was introduced in 1940 and ismade in a variety of differentproofs. Our sample was 80 proof(personally I prefer the standard101).Comments: "Buttery smell andtaste--smooth."
BakersThis is a 7-year-old 107 proofbourbon from the Small BatchDistillery in Kentucky.Its named after Baker Beam, thegrand nephew of Jim Beam.According to the distillery, Bakersis best served in a sniffer with asplash of spring water.Comments: "Very harsh up front,but nice color."
CONTROVERSIALJack DanielsWe know that Jack Daniels is not actuallya bourbon, its a Tennessee whiskey.The distinction lies in the way its made.Jack Daniels is dripped slowly through 10feet of firmly packed charcoal before itgoes into charred oak barrels for aging.We couldnt help but see how Old No. 7stood up against the competition so weincluded it. Turns out Jack did prettywell.Comments: "Smooth. Very nice"