Bourbon Recommendations for 2021
Bourbon To Try
By definition, bourbon is a type of American whiskey made from at least 51% corn, along with malt and rye. The American Bourbon Association also points out that it must age in charred new oak barrels and include no color or flavor additives. Other qualities distinguish bourbon as well, including sweetness from the corn. Those elements help make it different from Scotch and other popular types of whiskey like Canadian and Japanese whisky.
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Best Overall: Henry Mckenna Single Barrel
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 for a smooth, high-quality taste.
Best Value: Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch
A great value at under or around $20, this bourbon is named after the year Evan Williams built his distillery on the shores of the Ohio River. With classic bourbon notes of brown sugar and caramel syrup, this award-winning small-batch bottle goes down warm with pops of black pepper and cinnamon, along with corn and malt on the finish.
Best Kentucky Bourbon: Evan Williams Single Barrel
Each bottle of this Evan Williams bourbon lists barrel numbers, the date it entered the barrel, and the date of bottling. One of Heaven Hill Distillery’s most-awarded whiskeys, this reasonably-priced single barrel is big, balanced, spicy and sweet, and enjoys a backbone of honey and citrus.
Best Tennessee Bourbon: Heaven’s Door
Created in partnership with Bob Dylan, Heaven's Door is an award-winning line of stylish Tennessee straight, double barrel, and straight rye whiskey. They all stand out for their looks and appropriately lingering finish.
The 90-proof Tennessee bourbon proves the most memorable thanks to a big, round mouthfeel, strong butterscotch, cherry, and honey notes. It also spends a minimum of eight years in American oak barrels for a smooth, lasting taste.