What is a good top shelf bourbon?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

When it comes to top shelf bourbons, there are many options to choose from. Each bourbon has its own unique flavor profile and characteristics, making it difficult to determine which one is the absolute best. However, based on my personal experiences and preferences, I can recommend a few top shelf bourbons that I believe are exceptional.

1. Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon: This bourbon is often regarded as one of the best overall choices. It is made from a high-rye mash bill, which gives it a spicy and robust flavor. The single barrel aging process allows for greater complexity and depth of flavor. It is smooth, well-balanced, and has notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Whether enjoyed neat or on the rocks, Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon is a true delight.

2. Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon: If you’re looking for a bourbon to sip and savor, Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon is an excellent choice. This bourbon is produced using a unique solera aging process, which involves blending different ages of bourbon together. The result is a rich and complex spirit with layers of flavors such as dark chocolate, dried fruits, and spices. It has a smooth and velvety mouthfeel that lingers on the palate.

3. Wild Turkey 101: When it comes to making a classic Whiskey Sour, Wild Turkey 101 is my go-to choice. This bourbon is known for its bold and robust flavor profile. It has a high proof, which gives it a powerful kick and ensures that it stands up well in cocktails. Wild Turkey 101 has tasting notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice, making it a perfect choice for a well-balanced and flavorful Whiskey Sour.

4. Breckenridge Bourbon: For a Manhattan cocktail, I recommend Breckenridge Bourbon. This bourbon is crafted in small batches and aged for a minimum of three years. It has a smooth and mellow flavor profile with hints of vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak. When combined with sweet vermouth and bitters, Breckenridge Bourbon creates a perfectly balanced and sophisticated Manhattan.

5. Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon: If you’re a fan of an Old Fashioned cocktail, Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon is an excellent choice. This bourbon is aged for a minimum of four years, which allows it to develop a rich and complex flavor profile. It has notes of caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak, making it a perfect match for the sweetness and bitterness of an Old Fashioned.

In terms of value, Old Grand Dad is a great choice. It is a high-rye bourbon that offers a lot of flavor for its price. It has a spicy and robust flavor profile with notes of cinnamon, pepper, and oak. Old Grand Dad is a versatile bourbon that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, making it a great value option.

These are just a few of my personal recommendations for top shelf bourbons. Ultimately, the best bourbon for you will depend on your personal taste preferences and the occasion. I encourage you to explore different brands and expressions to find the one that suits your palate best. Cheers!