Fall is prime bourbon release season. There is so much bourbon dropping right now that I had to give our monthly whiskey release roundup this month a whole section devoted just to bourbon releases. It’s constant. But more importantly, it’s the time of year when huge-name bottles drop alongside brand-new ideas and new batches of classics. To say “It’s a lot” feels like an understatement.
To help you (and me) sort through it all, I’m conducting a huge blind tasting of new bourbon releases from this past month or so (and a few new bottles that slipped through the cracks over the last months). There’s no focus on cask strength or barrel proof. This isn’t about bottled-in-bond or high-proof bourbons. This is a wild and almost unwieldy bourbon tasting with special oak finishes, unique blends, and rare small batches alongside single barrel masterpieces and some of the most sought-after whiskey releases of the year.
There’s truly something for everyone in this blind taste test. That makes our lineup the following bottles of fall-released bourbons:
- High Wire Distilling Co. Jimmy Red Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled in Bond
- William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof (BTAC 2023)
- 2XO Oak Series American Oak Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Copper & Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch Series #001
- Thirteenth Colony Distillery Cask Strength Double Oaked Bourbon
- King of Kentucky Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Sixth Edition
- Woodford Reserve Distillery Series Toasted Oak Four Grain
- Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 17 Years Old (BTAC 2023)
- FEW Spirits Alice in Chains “All Secrets Known” Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Tequila Barrels
- Copper Crow 1560 Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Aged 4 Years
- Russell’s Reserve Single Rickhouse “Camp Nelson F” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Watershed Distillery Fall Finishing Series Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels Aged 6 Years Barrel Strength
- Penelope A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys Barrel Strength
- Barrell Foundation Bourbon Aged 5 Years A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys
- Daviess County Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Medium Toasted American Oak Barrels
- Boss Molly Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished with Toasted Brandy Staves
- Sweetens Cove Kennessee Kentucky & Tennessee Bourbon Whiskeys Finished with Toasted Sugar Maple Wood
- Breakwater Bourbon Whiskey Jetty x Bluebird
- Hinterhaus Distilling Calaveras Cask Strength Single Barrel Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Wine Barrels
- Forbidden Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
After I blindly tasted these bourbons, I ranked them based on taste alone. That means I was looking at complexity and depth along with how nice the whole experience was when tasted neat. It’s that easy (and long) so let’s dive right in!
- The 100 Best Bourbon Whiskeys From Kentucky, Ranked
- The Absolute Best Bottle Of Whiskey From Each Of The 50 States
- The ‘Smoothest’ Bourbons Under $100, Blind Tasted And Ranked
- The ‘Smoothest’ Bourbons On The Market, Blind Tasted And Ranked
- The 100 Best Bourbons Under $100 Right Now, Ranked
Part 1 — The Fall Bourbon Blind Tasting
Nose: Earthy notes meet Graham Crackers on the nose with a hint of cinnamon apple and pancake syrup just kissed with dried chili flakes.
Palate: The earthiness goes full dry corn kernel on the palate (kind of like an earthy dry popcorn) next to vanilla-laced apple cider with a cinnamon stick bobbing in it.
Finish: The pancake syrup and vanilla get woody on the finish with a light sense of corn husks in fallow corn fields.
This is very corn-forward, which is fine. This is definitely a unique pour that you need to be in the mood for.
Nose: Deep and dark candied black cherry mingles with dry cedar bark, molasses, real vanilla beans, nutty brown butter, and old leather rolled in pipe tobacco and just kissed with smoldering sage and dry chili pepper flakes.
Palate: The palate opens with a full blast of ABVs, making the front of your tongue tingle, as floral honey, cherry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream, and brown butter streusel cut with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove lead to a hint of dry orange tobacco.
Finish: Cinnamon sticks and clove buds floating in maple syrup arrive on the finish with a sense of old leather boots, the oak in an old rickhouse, orchard barks, and soft notes of vanilla and cherry cake.
This is fantastic whiskey. Boom! This is the whiskey to beat as of sip number two … but I have a long way to go.
Nose: Sweet orange candies mingle with old but light oak on the nose next to hints of nutshells, woody winter spice, and a note of caramel.
Palate: Butterscotch drives the opening of the palate with a light sense of roasted almond rolled with vanilla candy, mild winter spice barks, and old oak boxes that once held tobacco.
Finish: That spiced oak meanders through the finish with a hint of dark fruit leather and more subtle vanilla and nuttiness.
This is a pretty mild-mannered pour of bourbon. It’s not faulty or bad, it’s just really lightly hewn.
Nose: The nose opens with a deep sense of dark cherry stewed with wintry spices, old prunes, and some dark orange zest next to creamed honey over walnut with a hint of caramel chocolate chews.
Palate: The taste takes the honey toward a rock candy vibe before leaning into whispers of grapefruit and orange pith, a hint of brown butter streusel, and plenty of woody spice cut with dark chocolate tobacco.
Finish: The end takes on a creamy vanilla buttercream texture as the chocolate gets creamy too with a sense of orange tobacco cut with clove and anise round things out.
This is a very nice whiskey.
Nose: The sense of an old rickhouse (cobwebs and all) draws you in on the nose with a hint of cherry cream soda, orange florals, and pecan waffles soaked in butter and real maple syrup with a hint of pepperiness.
Palate: That pepperiness pops on the palate with a warming ABV buzz on the tongue next to salted caramel rolled with more pecan waffle, orange creaminess, and a whisper of peppery yet sweet bacon.
Finish: The end has a sense of orange tobacco rolled with cherry leather and old oak stave, smudging sage, and caramel candied pecans touched with a flake of salt.
This is fantastic bourbon. It’s deep and fun and just kind of keeps going.
Nose: Toasted coconut and brandy-soaked dates lead the way on the nose with a rich sense of good salted dark chocolate, vanilla buttercream, and honeyed Graham Crackers sandwiching toasted marshmallow.
Palate: That dark chocolate takes on a creaminess (kind of like a small espresso mocha) with a sense of sticky toffee pudding cut with black tea, those brandy-soaked dates, a twist of orange, and plenty of nutmeg and cinnamon before leathery notes of old boots and dry tobacco arrive with an ever-warming heat from the ABVs.
Finish: The ABVs buzz to a warmth that peaks before it gets hot as the finish rides a wave toward orchard barks, mince meat pies, mulled wine, and whispers of pear marzipan.
This is stellar. It’s so deep and bold while still holding a massively deep profile that just keeps giving and giving.
Nose: The nose opens with a sense of creaminess that leans into toffee and rich marzipan next to wet brown sugar, holiday spice cakes, and a touch of woody honeycomb.
Palate: The woodiness takes on a hint of malted graininess on the palate before going very creamy with a hint of maple syrup over buttermilk biscuits, rich brandy butter, and soft toffee.
Finish: Creamy orange and malty spice cakes draw out the lush finish with a sense of dark orchard fruits and barks with a very creamy/soft landing.
This is so soft and supple with a nice depth to it that helps it stand out.
Nose: The nose is like eating a moist and perfectly balanced Black Forest cake while walking through an old barrel house and out into a fallow fruit orchard with fall leaves crunchy underfoot and rain barely misty the air with hints of cinnamon cake, smudging sage, and sweetgrass rounding things out.
Palate: Orange cake and salted caramel lead on the palate with a sense of dark chocolate tobacco moving the mid-palate toward dry roasting herbs and a touch of nuttiness.
Finish: Cinnamon sticks and nutmeg pop up on the finish with a hint of vanilla buttercream and eggnog before the spices dry out with a sense of mince meat pie and old leather tobacco pouches.
Holy shit, this is a good. It’s quintessential bourbon from top to bottom that goes so much further. This is the pour to beat!
Nose: The whiskey draws you in with a classic sense of spiced cherries over vanilla pound cake with plenty of deep and rich oak, caramel, and winter spices with a hint of apple orchards full of falling leaves.
Palate: Those falling leaves lead back to the dark cherries soaked in brandy and dipped in dark chocolate with a flake of salt before a rich and creamy caramel arrives.
Finish: That caramel binds with vanilla on the finish next to moments of apple orchards, cherry pie, and dry bales of straw.
This is very good too but didn’t quite have the depth beyond the flavor notes.
Nose: A classic medley of dark vanilla pods, old oak staves, and rich salted caramel mingle with cherry cola and dry sweetgrass braided with cedar bark and pipe tobacco.
Palate: The palate follows along the path with measured notes of crafty sweet grains — like Cream of Wheat meets white grits cut with butter and brown sugar — next to woody winter spices and a touch of orange zest.
Finish: Sweet oak and porridge lead the way on the finish with a dark cherry leatheriness tied to winter spice barks.
This is another nice albeit very classic bourbon.
Nose: A spiced cherry vibe is present in spades on the nose with a deep and dark cherry cut with anise, clove, allspice, and cinnamon next to rum-soaked raisins, black tea-soaked dates, and a rich and lush vanilla foundation.
Palate: The clove attaches to dried orange rinds as salted rich caramel drives the taste toward more dates, plum sauce, and leathery prunes with a deep winter spice bark vibe next to a dash of powdery white pepper.
Finish: Honeyed tobacco mingles with sticky toffee pudding, mincemeat pies, and sweet oak mixed with richly spiced tobacco rolled with cedar bark, sage, and old wicker porch furniture.
This is very good bourbon.
Nose: Honey Graham Crackers and almond cookies present on the nose with a sense of clove-studded oranges and old cinnamon sticks with a note of caramel and apple.
Palate: The apple merges with the cinnamon and caramel on the palate next to leathery prunes, piney honey, and more clove-orange before a dark potting soil arrives with a deep earthiness.
Finish: That earthiness turns into dry sweetgrass on the finish with a sense of cinnamon-heavy stewed apples and old oak
This is good but very earthy. It’s an acquired taste but it works with the overall flow of the profile.
Nose: The nose on this one smells rich and creamy with a sense of really good crème brûlée just kissed with orange oils and almond before spiced oak staves and tobacco arrive.
Palate: Molasses and rum raisin arrive early on the palate as the ABVs just warm the tip of the tongue with cinnamon-laced maple syrup, toffee cut with clove and allspice, and a sense of old oak, cedar bark, and almost creamy tobacco.
Finish: The winter spices amp up on the finish as creamy vanilla, nuttiness, and chocolate lead back to dark fruits, old oak staves, and rich pipe tobacco rolled with leather and smudging sage.
Nose: Candied cherries and cranberry sauce drive the nose toward hints of dark chocolate, brown butter, and cardamon cake.
Palate: Pecan waffles dripping with brown butter and maple syrup lead on the palate with a sense of rye fennel and anise notes next to lemon poppyseed cake, a note of cinnamon cookie, and maybe a touch of eggnog-spiked lattes.
Finish: That creaminess leads back to the rich vanilla and woody spice barks with a sense of toffee rolled in roasted almond and dipped in salted dark chocolate before a rich pipe tobacco rolled with old saddle leather arrives.
This is very good whiskey. There’s a lot going on and I think I need a bit more time with it to find all that’s here.
Nose: The nose on this one is salty/sweet with a sense of caramel and buttermilk next to soft oak and a mild hint of coconut shells.
Palate: The palate toasts that coconut as buttery toffee leading to a vanilla cream pie with a lard crust and a dash of orange oils.
Finish: The end mixes a soft vanilla cake with a pecan waffle with a whisper of woody maple syrup and light raisins.
This was fine.
Nose: There’s a sense of sour cherry and almost buttermilk on the nose next to vanilla creaminess, a hint of orange zest, and touches of floral honey.
Palate: Chocolate-covered almonds and salted caramel drive the palate toward hints of leathery tobacco and allspice-heavy apple cider cut with those sour cherries.
Finish: Brandied cherries and dark chocolate round out the finish with a light sense of oak, tobacco, and winter spice.
This was perfectly fine and standard.
Nose: Graham Crackers dipped in honey drive the nose toward mulled wine cut with orange and plenty of winter spice next to a touch of old oak and barrelhouse.
Palate: The palate is rich and hints at dried red fruit and citrus rinds next to salted caramel, winter spices, and creamy vanilla.
Finish: The end leans into woody tobacco, old leather, and more of that salted caramel with a hint of dried red fruit and orchard fruits.
This was better than standard with a decent depth.
Nose: Wow, this is a cinnamon bomb on the nose with a sense of candied ginger, dark cherry, and cherry bark.
Palate: More cinnamon dominates the palate with a light sense of that cherry just kissed by vanilla with a sandalwood vibe.
Finish: A hint of dry corn husk peaks in at the finish with more sharp cinnamon and cherry.
This was very one-note.
Nose: Dark chocolate oranges and plum jam lead on the palate with a note of cherry rootbeer and soft sweet grains in a porridge with butter and brown sugar.
Palate: The orange overtakes the chocolate on the palate as mocha lattes and cherry pie drive the taste toward a moment of bright red berries dipped in salted chocolate.
Finish: Figs swimming in cinnamon-laced orange syrup arrive on the finish with a marmalade vibe next to dry tobacco in an old oak box.
This was pretty nice overall.
Nose: Honeyed Graham Crackers drive the nose toward floral honey, a hint of roasting herbs, rich salted caramel, and vanilla buttercream.
Palate: Apple pie filling with walnuts and plenty of baking spice drives the palate toward soft senses of oak, orange zest, and vanilla pods with a hint of oak stave and tobacco.
Finish: The oak attaches to orange rinds, nutshells, and winter spice barks as the finish leans into vanilla-laced tobacco with a light sense of apricot jam over buttermilk biscuits and butter.
This is another one that’s nice enough, though a little light on the finish.
Part 2 — The Fall Bourbon Ranking
20. Breakwater Bourbon Whiskey Jetty x Bluebird — Taste 18
Average Price: $54
This new whiskey from Bluebird is a collaboration with Jetty. The bourbon batch was created to highlight moments of “smoked bourbon that captures the flavors of coastal adventure.”
This was a cinnamon and sandalwood bomb, making it very one note. I’d give this one a skip.
19. Daviess County Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Medium Toasted American Oak Barrels — Taste 15
Average Price: $64
The 2023 release of Lux Row Distillers’ new Toasted Barrel Finish Series is a follow-up to last year’s inaugural run. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of rye and wheated bourbons that aged at least four years. Once vatted, those whiskeys are re-filled into lightly toasted new oak for a final maturation. Once just right, the whiskey is proofed down and bottled (only 18,000 bottles were shipped).
This was perfectly serviceable bourbon. It wasn’t exciting or attention-grabbing on this panel though. That all said, I can see this making a good cocktail whiskey to have on your bar cart.
18. 2XO Oak Series American Oak Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey — Taste 3
Average Price: $48
2XO is Dixon Dedman’s (formerly Kentucky Owl) new blended bourbon project. The whiskey in this bottle is medium-rye mash bourbon that’s aged in extra oak after a long maturation and batching. Once batched, the whiskey is cut to proof and bottled.
This is a good standard bourbon. Use it for cocktails or highballs.
17. High Wire Distilling Co. Jimmy Red Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled in Bond — Taste 1
Average Price: $300
This bottled and bond release celebrates the 10th anniversary of High Wire out in South Carolina. The Jimmy Red corn bourbon is made with Jimmy Red corn grown and harvested by the Plumfield Farm in Darlington, SC from a single harvest before the corn is mashed, distilled, aged, and batched from a single distilling season. Once batched, the whiskey is proofed with local water to bottled-in-bond proof and bottled as-is.
This was a good crafty bourbon with a very unique taste. If you’re looking for something completely different in your bourbon glass, give this a try.
16. Hinterhaus Distilling Calaveras Cask Strength Single Barrel Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Wine Barrels — Taste 19
Average Price: $49
Hinterhaus out in Colorado finished their bourbon in Calaveras wine casks high up in the Sierra Mountains. The local wine casks rested above 4,000 feet until just right. Then they were batched, the whiskey was proofed and then bottled otherwise as-is.
This too was a perfectly fine whiskey. I’d use it for cocktails more than a sipper though. I can see this making a nice Manhattan.
15. Boss Molly Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished with Toasted Brandy Staves — Taste 16
Average Price: $69
This new whiskey from Tennessee is made by three women celebrating an old ranching term for “stubborn female mule”. The actual whiskey in the bottle is North Carolina wheated bourbon that’s aged four years before being re-barrelled into toasted brandy oak. Once just the right, the whiskey is batched, proofed, and bottled in Tennessee.
This had a nice sour cherry note that helped it stand out. Beyond that, it’s pretty average cocktail-base bourbon. Try it in an old fashioned.
14. FEW Spirits Alice in Chains “All Secrets Known” Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Tequila Barrels — Taste 9
Average Price: $60
FEW Spirits just dropped their second Alice in Chains collab and it’s a doozy. The whiskey in the bottle is made with FEW’s award-winning bourbon that’s been re-barreled into ex-tequila casks for another six months of maturation. Those barrels were batched and then the whiskey was just kissed with local water before bottling. Finally, a special label was created by creative artist Justin Helton, who worked with the band on the artwork.
This was another good bourbon but had little flare or excitement. I can see this working wonders as a cocktail base for whiskey-forward cocktails and maybe as a sipper over a lot of ice in a pinch.
13. Forbidden Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey — Taste 20
Average Price: $149
This new brand from famed Master Distiller Marianne Eaves is her own creation, started at Castle & Key when she was the Master Distiller there, and carried over to contract distilling with Bardstown Bourbon Company. The whiskey in the bottle is made from 73% white corn, 10% white wheat, and 17% malted barley. After almost five years, the whiskey was batched and proofed and then bottled at Bardstown Bourbon Company.
This was a good bourbon overall but had a very light finish. You can fix that easily by building this into a cocktail. I can also see this getting much bolder as it continues to age in the barrel. So I’m looking forward to the next editions of this one.
12. Barrell Foundation Bourbon Aged 5 Years A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys — Taste 14
Average Price: $54
Barrell Craft Spirits has cornered the market on cask-strength single barrels and batched blends of bourbon, rye, and American whiskey. Now, they’re finally releasing a non-cask-strength bourbon for the masses. This whiskey is a batch of bourbons from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Maryland that is proofed down to 100-proof.
This was pretty nice overall. I would use this for cocktails mostly but I can see sipping this over a big rock when I didn’t want to feel like I was doing homework with each sip of whiskey.
11. Sweetens Cove Kennessee Kentucky & Tennessee Bourbon Whiskeys Finished with Toasted Sugar Maple Wood — Taste 17
Average Price: $61
Master Blender Marianne Eaves is back with a new batch of Kennessee, which blends Tennessee and Kentucky whiskey for Peyton Manning’s whiskey brand. Once batched, the whiskey goes in the bottle at near-cask strength.
This was another nice whiskey overall. Again, this feels more like a building block for a cocktail but can work as a sipper perfectly well. Obviously, if you’re looking for a Monday Night Football pour, this is it.
10. Watershed Distillery Fall Finishing Series Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels Aged 6 Years Barrel Strength — Taste 12
Average Price: $89
This Ohio whiskey is all about batching and finishing. The bourbon was re-filled into American oak that held apple brandy for years. After six total years of aging, the whiskey was batched and then bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
This is where we get into the sippers. This was deep and nuanced enough to really deliver a full sipping experience. I’d try it over a big rock first and then maybe mix it into some whiskey-forward cocktails next.
9. Copper Crow 1560 Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Aged 4 Years — Taste 10
Average Price: $34
Copper Crow is from Indigenous distillers up in Wisconsin. The whiskey is made from a 70% corn mash bill and aged in new American white oak for four years. Those barrels are small batched and then the whiskey is cut with water from the local Lake Superior aquifer.
This was a classic standard bourbon. It felt like a really good utility bourbon that you can sip neat, mix, and pour over rocks any ol’ day of the week and be pretty happy about it.
8. Copper & Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch Series #001 — Taste 4
Average Price: $79
Copper & Cask is an independent bottler. The whiskey they put in this bottle was from 13 handpicked barrels of classic MGP bourbon. The 8-year-old barrels were batched by Copper & Cask and then bottled 100% as-is at barrel strength.
This is a fine sipping whiskey. It’ll shine brightest over a big ice cube and sipped slowly.
7. Woodford Reserve Distillery Series Toasted Oak Four Grain — Taste 7
Average Price: $59
The latest Distillery Series release from Woodford is Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall’s creation. The whiskey in the bottle is a bourbon-heavy blend of Woodford’s bourbon, rye, wheat, and malt whiskeys (think of it like a four-grain bourbon). Each of those whiskeys was aged in classic new oak and then re-barrelled into heavily toasted oak barrels before batching, proofing, and bottling.
This had a lovely creamy demeanor that really helped it stand out on this panel. Overall, this is a very easy-going sipper that delivers beyond the ordinary.
6. Russell’s Reserve Single Rickhouse “Camp Nelson F” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey — Taste 11
Average Price: $300
The second release of Wild Turkey’s Russell’s Reserve Single Rickhouse Collection has arrived. This time all of the barrels for this batch came from the Camp Nelson campus, specifically the center cut (floors four and five out of seven) barrels from Rickhouse F. Once batched, the whiskey went into the bottle at barrel strength.
Where the first release was a dessert bomb, this whiskey is a dry and quintessential cherry-spiced Wild Turkey product. If you’re even remotely a Turkey fan, then this is a must-have as it’s the perfect Wild Turkey in a bottle.
5. Thirteenth Colony Distillery Cask Strength Double Oaked Bourbon — Taste 5
Average Price: $199
This new batch from indy-darling Thirteenth Colony is a batch of whiskey that’s finished with toasted maple wood. Once batched, the whiskey was bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
This is just a really nice sipper. Pour this over a big rock and let it take you on a journey.
4. Penelope A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys Barrel Strength — Taste 13
Average Price: $69
This is Penelope’s signature four-grain barrel-strength bourbon (with a higher wheat component than rye). The whiskey in the bottle is MGP juice that’s four to six years old before batching and bottling 100% as-is (no proofing or chill filtering here, folks).
This is a damn near-perfect sipper. It truly takes you on a textural and flavor journey through the greatest hits of bourbon and beyond. Take it slow and this one will reward you. Also, don’t be afraid to add a little water or an ice cube to let it bloom in the glass, revealing more creamy undertones.
3. King of Kentucky Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Sixth Edition — Taste 6
Average Price: $299
2023’s King of Kentucky from Brown-Forman in Louisville, Kentucky is a 16-year-old masterpiece. The batch this year was pulled from 51 barrels all filled on July 19th, 2007. Those barrels were left alone all these years in Warehouse G in the Louisville Brown-Forman Distillery. Once batched, the whiskey went into the bottle 100% as-is at cask strength, yielding only 3,800 bottles.
This is a masterpiece. It is a tad warm, obviously. So I’d pour this over one big rock and let it take me away. It’ll be a rollercoaster of flavors and warmth but 100% worth the ride.
2. William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof (BTAC 2023) — Taste 2
Average Price: $2,499
This is Buffalo Trace’s classic wheated bourbon. This year’s Weller BTAC was distilled back in the spring of 2011 and left to rest in warehouses C, L, M, and N for 12 long years. Those barrels were batched and this whiskey was bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
This is as close to a perfect bourbon as you can get. It’s diverse yet nostalgic. It’s so deeply hewn and just keeps giving you flavor notes on the nose, palate, and finish. Take it slow with this one and enjoy the long and lush ride.
1. Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 17 Years Old (BTAC 2023) — Taste 8
Average Price: $2,499
This year’s Eagle Rare ended up being 19 years and three months old (the “17 Years” on the label denotes the youngest barrels used for the brand overall). This year’s release was distilled and barreled back in the spring of 2004 and then left to rest all those years around the Buffalo Trace campuses in warehouses C, I, K, M, and Q. Once the barrels were batched, the whiskey was proofed and bottled as-is otherwise.
This is a perfect bourbon. It’s endlessly deep and nuanced yet still 100% approachable from the instant you smell it and taste it. This is the nectar of the “bourbon” gods.
Part 3 — Final Thoughts on the Fall Bourbons
Yes, yes, I know. The most expensive and beloved bottles won this blind taste test. But those bottles are leagues above most of the rest of this list. That said, there are very affordable and widely-availible bottles in the top 10 of this panel that are 100% worth getting your hands on, especially the Penelope bottle.
Still, nothing really comes close to the top three on this list. Those are the bourbons you need in your life this fall — even if it’s just a pour at your favorite whiskey bar.