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Super Elite Bourbons To Wow Your Fam This Thanksgiving, Ranked

Super Expensive Bourbons for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here and that means that it’s time to grab an amazing bottle of bourbon. This isn’t the easiest of tasks as a lot of elite bourbon isn’t available for you to just grab off any ol’ liquor store shelf (some still are!). Thankfully, online retailers exist and they deliver the same day these days … for a price. To that end, I’m calling out 20 elite and very expensive bourbons to wow your family and crew this Thanksgiving.

The 20 bourbons below are all fantastic in their own ways. There’s a lot of variation to this selection of whiskeys, and that means that should be something for everyone this Thanksgiving. Granted, this isn’t going to be the easiest bourbon to find. Or particularly wallet-friendly. That’s kind of the whole point. You’re going to pay a big premium on some of these bottles but you can get them.

In short, if you want to show up to Thanksgiving dinner and weekend with a mic-drop bourbon, this is the list for you. Let’s dive right in!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months

20. Joseph A. Magnus Cigar Blend Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Joseph Magnus Bourbon
Joseph Magnus

ABV: 50.35%

Average Price: $194

The Whiskey:

This sourced bourbon is built from 11 and 18-year-old bourbon barrels. The real star of the show with this whiskey is that those bourbons were finished in Armagnac, Cognac, and sherry casks before vatting and bottling as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: This opens with sticky toffee pudding that really amps up the cinnamon and nutmeg next to black-tea-soaked dates next to some stewed prunes wrapped in chili-chocolate-laced tobacco leaves and dripped in honey and then walnuts.

Palate: A savory fruitiness opens the palate with figs and pumpkin that leads towards an apricot jam with a hint of clove and cinnamon next to light touches of old library leather and funk.

Finish: A faint hint of dark berries arrives on the mid-palate before the finish luxuriates in burnt toffee, almond shells, more of that leather, and dried-out apricots.

Bottom Line:

This is a great insider bourbon. It’s also a dessert bomb, making it the perfect cheese course or pie course pairing whiskey this Thanksgiving.

19. Old Man Winter Bourbon From The Black Hills

Old Man Winter Bourbon From The Black Hill
Preservation Distillery

ABV: 54.9%

Average Price: $154

The Whiskey:

This new release is a masterful blend of whiskeys from the core of America’s distillery region. The blend in the bottle is a batch of Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee whiskeys that are balanced to highlight classic bourbon notes at cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Peach cobbler with a big scoop of malted vanilla ice cream pops on the nose with a light sense of rye bread crusts, caramel pie, and mild orange zest cut with oaky tobacco.

Palate: Apricot jam over buttermilk biscuits leads the taste toward white pepper spiciness, winter spice barks, and a bright burst of grapefruit pith before this mild sense of white grape juice and almost savory melon arrives.

Finish: That melon goes full honeydew on the finish with a bit more of that orange before black peppercorns and smoldering smudging sage drive the end toward woody tobacco boxes wrapped in old leather.

Bottom Line:

This bottle is from the folks at Preservation Distillery (who bottle the famed Olde St. Nick whiskeys). This is a great food pairing whiskey for the whole Thanksgiving experience. It also makes killer whiskey-forward cocktails with a rye vibe that shines through — think Manhattans and Sazeracs.

18. Widow Jane The Vaults Aged 15 Years A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys

Widow Jane The Vaults Aged 15 Years
Heaven Hill

ABV: 49.5%

Average Price: $249

The Whiskey:

This year’s Widow Jane The Vaults takes the age statement up to 15 years. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of Tennessee and Indiana bourbons that rested for 15 years before batching and re-filling into Chinquapin oak casks for another three months of mellowing in Widow Jane’s Red Hook warehouse.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Perfectly toasted marshmallow gives way to cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven with a sense of real-deal sasparilla cut with vanilla ice cream and a hint of mint before an almost savory fruitiness arrives that’s part sandy pear and part yellow melon.

Palate: The vanilla takes on a lemon chocolate vibe (a very underrated combination) before the mint shocks the palate toward rich and chewy tobacco dipped in honey.

Finish: Sharp cherry cola drives the finish toward fresh honeycombs with a hint of nutmeg sprinkled in next to vanilla pound cake cut with poppyseeds and almond oils.

Bottom Line:

This is a nice craft bottle to drop on a Thanksgiving table. It’s rare and delicious and suits any part of the meal from soup to nuts.

17. Woodford Reserve Sonoma Triple Finish Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Woodford Reserve Sonoma Triple Cask

ABV: 45.2%

Average Price: $149

The Whiskey:

The latest Distillery Series from Woodford leans into the California oak. In this case, the whiskey in the bottle was made from barrels of bourbon finished in Sonoma County Pinot Noir, brandy, and red wine bourbon barrels. Those barrels were then batched and just proofed down before bottling for this special release.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Freshly ground cinnamon drives the nose toward grilled peaches and pineapple before deep and oily vanilla arrives with a sense of fresh plums dusted with a hint of salt.

Palate: Those plums stay fresh on the palate as the vanilla really kicks up with a nice balance of old oak, a hint of leatheriness, and old tobacco dipped into mulled wine.

Finish: That mulled wine takes on an oakiness with more leathery tobacco on the finish as the plums are just stewed with winter spice barks and then folded into berry pie.

Bottom Line:

Woodford Reserve is such a well-known luxury brand already that Thanksgiving calls for a special bottle. Plus, the wine finish of this one leans into food pairing for a big holiday meal. You know what to do!

16. Knob Creek Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 18 Years

Knob Creek 18
Beam Suntory

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $224

The Whiskey:

This is a super rare limited release for fall 2023. The whiskey in the bottle is Beam’s standard mash bill that’s distilled at a slightly different temperature and treated with a little more care during aging by placing barrels in very specific locations throughout their vast warehouses. After 18 long years, the best of the best barrels are small batched, and just proofed before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Dark molasses and pecan clusters with salted dark chocolate lead to brown butter, old figs, and salted caramel with a woody sense of cherry and apple bark next to cinnamon-laced cedar sticks with burnt orange.

Palate: The palate is full of lush vanilla notes next to singed cherry bark and apple-cider-soaked cinnamon sticks, star anise, salted black licorice, and dark chocolate-covered espresso beans with a hint of dried red chili spice turning up the heat on the mid-palate.

Finish: The end has a floral honey sweetness that balances everything toward orange blossoms and bruised peaches, cherry tobacco, and clove tobacco.

Bottom Line:

Knob Creek is a great heritage brand and this limited edition bottle is perfect for celebrating the gathering of any bourbon-loving family. The quintessential Kentucky sweet bourbon vibes really speak to dessert courses, but this works all around either as neat pours or in phenomenal cocktails.

15. Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon
Garrison Brothers

ABV: 70.45%

Average Price: $249

The Whiskey:

This year’s Cowboy Bourbon from Garrison Brothers is a blend of only 118 barrels of six-year-old Texas bourbon. 1,000 bottles of the crafty Texas whiskey will be available in mid-September at the distillery with an additional 8,600 bottles going out nationwide the first week of October.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose opens with a rush of sharp cinnamon bark wrapped up with old saddle leather, freshly fried apple fritters, walnuts, old cedar bark braids twisted up with dried wild sage, and a hint of dried yellow mustard flowers with an underlying sense of maple syrup over pecan waffles.

Palate: The palate leans into the spice with a hint of allspice and ginger next to apple pie filling with walnuts, brandy-soaked raisins, and plenty of brown sugar next to spiced Christmas cake dipped in dark chocolate sauce.

Finish: The end takes its time and meanders through salted caramel, stewed plums with star anise and sharp cinnamon, a hint of vanilla Dr. Pepper, and a mild sense of chocolate-cinnamon-spiced chewing tobacco buzziness with a warming Texas hug that’s part Hot Tamales and part chili-spiced green tea.

Bottom Line:

This is a massively bold whiskey. This is the pour you drop on the Thanksgiving table when you want to challenge palates.

14. Hardin’s Creek ‘Frankfort’ Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Hardin's Creek 'Frankfort'
Beam Suntory

ABV: 55%

Average Price: $199

The Whiskey:

This is the same 17-year-old Beam bourbon aged at the Frankfort, Kentucky campus. This set of warehouses is more easterly in the state where the humidity gets bold in the summer and the foothills of Appalachia start to roll in. The actual buildings are also tighter with less ventilation, creating a more enclosed hot box vibe for the ricks.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Soft woody notes pop on the nose with a sense of old tobacco in a cedar humidor next to toasted marshmallows over a smoldering campfire with rum raisin, bespoke cherry soda pop, and salted caramel that’s cut with molasses leads to a medley of sugar cookies cut with almond and lemon oils next to spiced nut cakes.

Palate: The caramel gets dark and salted on the tip of the tongue as the palate leans into mincemeat pies and dark mulled wine with a sense of brandy-soaked fruit cake, rich marzipan, and soft pipe tobacco with a sense of floral honey backing everything up.

Finish: The end takes on a woody vanilla pod vibe over soft notes of winter spice barks, soft cedar, and old saddle leather shined with cherry wax and honeycomb before a malty chocolate shake arrives with a lush and silky finish full of holiday spices and dry smudging sage piled up in an old rickhouse on a warm but musty day.

Bottom Line:

This is just delicious Kentucky bourbon. It’s also the bottle you bring to Thanksgiving when you want to show how beautiful Jim Beam can be.

13. George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof (BTAC 2023)

George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof
Sazerac Company

ABV: 67.5%

Average Price: $1,599

The Whiskey:

This year’s batch of George T. Stagg was distilled in the spring of 2008 and left to rest in warehouses C, I, K, L, and M around the Frankfort Buffalo Trace campus. After 15 long years of rest, the barrels were batched and bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose opens with a classic sense of Cherry Coke, old leather tobacco pouches, and rich buttercream made with real vanilla next to fall leaves in an orchard and then this sense of Neoplotian ice cream creeps in that leans toward the strawberry and chocolate ice cream part.

Palate: The palate opens with a deep sense of an apple orchard on a cold fall day with leaves underfoot next to deeply-seeded dark cherry, cinnamon bark, clove buds, and allspice berries with a sense of the Neopolitan ice cream popping up again late.

Finish: The creamy vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry drive the finish back toward the old orchards, fall leaves, rickhouse floors, and soft cherry-spiced tobacco leaves rolled with cedar and smudging sage with a nice warming Kentucky hug on the very end.

Bottom Line:

This is another bold AF bourbon but it has such deep nuance and creaminess, especially when you pour it over a single large rock. The vibes are all about dessert as well, making it the perfect end-of-day pour for any Thanksgiving meal.

12. Booker’s Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2023-03 “Mighty Fine Batch”

Booker's Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2023-03 "Mighty Fine Batch"
Beam Suntory

ABV: 63.3%

Average Price: $175

The Whiskey:

This new batch from the Beam team honors Beam Master Distiller Booker Noe’s old favorite phrase when a batch of bourbon worked out just right. The cask-strength batch of bourbon was pulled from prime barrels from prime spots across the Beam warehouses in Clermont, Kentucky. Once batched, the whiskey was bottled 100% as-is at barrel strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Dark brown sugar and cask warmth pops on the nose with a sense of deep and very real vanilla under a heat lamp and lashing the air with deep vanilla smells as caramel sweetens the rest of the air with bourbon-y vibes of oak, leather, and tobacco.

Palate: That deep and warm vanilla drives the palate toward a Kentucky hug from a grizzly bear as the ABVs warm toward sharp winter spice barks, dark cherry cola, and marzipan cut with dark chocolate and more dark cherry before the old oakiness arrives with a hint of warehouse floor.

Finish: The grizzly bear Kentucky hug only gets sharper and hotter on the finish as the brown sugar, dark cherry, and old oak lead to a creamy lush vanilla finish that’s just kissed with eggnog, marzipan, and spiced holiday cookies.

Bottom Line:

Booker’s is made for special occasions. Hint, hint…

11. King of Kentucky Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Sixth Edition

King of Kentucky Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

ABV: 62.9%

Average Price: $299

The Whiskey:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

Bottom Line:

Sticky with the bold AF bourbon pours, this is a banger. It’s so deliciously dessert-forward with a firey base. This also feels like the perfect “welcome to the holidays” pour with deep Christmas vibes.

10. Russell’s Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 13 Years

Russell's Reserve 13
Campari Group

ABV: 55%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

This whiskey was made by Eddie Russell to celebrate his 40th year of distilling whiskey with his dad, Jimmy Russell. The juice is a collection of a minimum of 13-year-old barrels that Eddie Russell hand-picked. Those barrels were married and then bottled as-is with no proofing or filtration.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Sweet and dried fruits invite you on the nose as a touch of fresh, creamy, and dark Black Forest cake mingles with mild holiday spices, dried almonds, and a sense of rich pipe tobacco just kissed with sultanas.

Palate: That dark chocolate and cherry fruit drive the palate as a hint of charred cedar leads toward vanilla tobacco with more of that dark chocolate and a small touch of honey, orange blossom, and a whisper of dried chili flake.

Finish: That honey leads back to the warmth and spice with a thin line of cherry bark smoke lurking on the very backend with more bitter chocolate, buttery vanilla, and dark cherry all combining into chewy tobacco packed into an old pine box and wrapped up with worn leather thread.

Bottom Line:

This is the whiskey you pour when you want a quintessential example of Kentucky bourbon. It’s so good, folks. Drink it however you like to drink your whiskey.

9. Jack Daniel’s 12-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey, Batch 1

Jack Daniel's 12 Year

ABV: 53.5%

Average Price: $537

The Whiskey:

Jack Daniel’s doesn’t hide any of its processes. The mash at the base of this whiskey is a mix of 80% corn, 12% barley, and 8% rye. Those grains are milled in-house and mixed with cave water pulled from an on-site spring and Jack Daniel’s own yeast and lactobacillus that they also make/cultivate on-site. Once fermented, the mash is distilled twice in huge column stills. The hot spirit is then filtered through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal that’s also made at the distillery. Finally, the filtered whiskey is loaded into charred new American oak barrels and left alone in the warehouse. After 12 years, a handful of barrels were ready; so they were batched, barely proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is creamy with deep notes of old boot leather, dark and woody winter spices, black-tea-soaked dates, plum jam with clove, and an underbelly of chewy toffee-laced tobacco.

Palate: That creaminess presents on the palate with a soft sticky toffee pudding drizzled in salted caramel and vanilla sauce next to flakes of salt and a pinch of orange zest over dry Earl Grey tea leaves with a whisper of singed wild sage.

Finish: The end leans into the creamy toffee chewy tobacco with a hint of pear, cherry, and bananas foster over winter spice barks and a deep embracing warmth.

Bottom Line:

This might be the best Jack Daniel’s release of the last decade. It’s an instant classic and perfect for pairing with a slow and food-filled day like Thanksgiving.

8. 15 STARS Fine Aged Spirits Sherry Cask Finish A Select Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys Finished in Sherry Casks

15 STARS Sherry Cask Bourbon

ABV: 57.5%

Average Price: $179

The Whiskey:

This brand-new release from 15 STARS (arriving on shelves on September 26th, 2023) is made from a blend of 10 and 13-year-old Kentucky and Indiana bourbons. Those barrels were batched by the 15 STARS crew and then the whiskey was re-barreled in sherry casks for a final touch of maturation. That whiskey was then bottled as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Plums, dates, and figs come through on the nose with deep marzipan cut with pear brandy and dipped in salted dark chocolate next to eggnog spices and creaminess with a good dose of Christmas nut cakes.

Palate: The eggnog lusciousness leads the palate toward soft vanilla cookies, salted caramel chews, and a hint of spiced plum jam next to buttermilk waffles studded with pecans before old cellar oak adds an earthen layer.

Finish: The sweetness of the leathery dried fruits drives the finish toward winter spice barks and berries with a sense of old pipe tobacco braided with smudging sage and a whisper of dried mint next to cedar and fall leaves.

Bottom Line:

This is another fantastic bourbon. It pairs amazingly well with fall and winter flavors and works as a slow sipper as well as it works as a killer cocktail base.

7. Bomberger’s Declaration Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2023 Release

Bomberger's Declaration Bourbon

ABV: 54%

Average Price: $179

The Whiskey:

This whiskey heralds back to Michter’s historical roots in the 19th century before the brand was even called “Michter’s.” The old Bomberger’s Distillery in Pennsylvania is where the brand started way back in the day (1753). The whiskey in the bottle is rendered from a very small batch of bourbons that were aged in Chinquapin oak. The staves for that barrel were air-dried for three years before coppering, charring, and filling. The Kentucky bourbon is then bottled in an extremely small batch that yields around 2,000 bottles per year.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Sweet mashed grains — think a bowl of Cream of Wheat cut with butter and molasses — mix with sticky toffee pudding, old saddle leather, old cellar beams, and sweet cinnamon with a hint of candied orange and dark chocolate next to luscious eggnog with a flake of salt.

Palate: The palate is super creamy with a crème brûlée feel that leads to soft winter spices, dry cedar, and orange chocolates with a hint of pear-brandy-soaked marzipan in the background.

Finish: The end has a creamed honey vibe next to brandy-soaked figs and rum-soaked prunes with fresh chewing tobacco and salted dark chocolate leading back to dark chocolate and old cellar floors with a touch of smoldering orchard bark.

Bottom Line:

We’re deep into the mic-drop bourbons for any Thanksgiving or holiday shindig at this point. This is a “wow” pour of whiskey from Michter’s that suits slow sipping at any point of a big meal.

6. Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 17 Years Old (BTAC 2023)

Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 17 Years Old
Sazerac Company

ABV: 50.5%

Average Price: $1,849

The Whiskey:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

Bottom Line:

This is the whiskey you break out when you want the perfect example of drinkable Kentucky bourbon.

5. Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 10 Years Old


ABV: 47.2%

Average Price: $367

The Whiskey:

The whiskey barrels sourced for these single-barrel expressions tend to be at least 10 years old with some rumored to be closer to 15 years old (depending on the barrel’s quality, naturally). Either way, the whiskey goes through Michter’s bespoke filtration process before a touch of Kentucky’s iconic soft limestone water is added, bringing the bourbon down to a very crushable 94.4 proof.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: There’s a peppery sense of cedar bark and burnt orange next to salted caramel and tart red berries with a moist and spicy sticky toffee pudding with some brandy butter dancing on the nose.

Palate: The palate blends vanilla tobacco with salted dark chocolate-covered marzipan while espresso cream leads to new porch wicker and black peppercorns.

Finish: The end has a pecan waffle vibe with chocolate chips, maple syrup, blackberry jam, and minced meat pies next to old tobacco and cedar with a sweet yet singed marshmallow on the very end.

Bottom Line:

This is the whiskey you pour for the true bourbon nerd. It’s pretty much perfect as well and will suit every step of your Thanksgiving dinner and weekend — neat, on the rocks, or in a great cocktail.

4. Wild Turkey Generations Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Wild Turkey Generations
Campari Group

ABV: 60.4%

Average Price: $449

The Whiskey:

This brand-new release from Wild Turkey is the first time Bruce Russell’s name has appeared on a bottle. Bruce teamed up with with dad (Master Distiller Eddie Russell) and his granddad (Master Distiller and legend Jimmy Russell) to create a bourbon that spoke to all three of their whiskey palates. The whiskey in the bottles ended up being a blend of 9-, 12-, 14-, and 15-year-old bourbon that all three of the Russells selected together. Once batched, that bourbon was bottled 100% as-is without filtering or proofing to highlight the beauty of the whiskey being made at Wild Turkey.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Lush vanilla oils are cut with salted caramel and dark cherry root beer made with real sasparilla next to warming winter spices (clove, anise, and allspice) that lean toward mulled wine, cherry-laced tobacco, and hints of dry smudging sage braided with sweetgrass.

Palate: That woodiness leads on the palate before a rush of vanilla buttercream and toffee rolled in roasted almond and dusted with dark chocolate powder shifts the taste toward warm apple pie filling cut with more cloves and allspice and washed down with cherry cola.

Finish: That dark cherry is just kissed with floral honey on the backend as the spices take on a woody bark vibe and the toffee makes a buttery and lush return with a near marzipan feel before old oak staves from a musty rickhouse lead to another braid of sage, cedar, and tobacco on the chewy and silky end.

Bottom Line:

Thanksgiving is all about family and this bourbon is, well, all about family. That makes the theme of this delicious whiskey on point for a long family meal. My advice, pour this over a single rock and let it wash over you.

3. Bardstown Bourbon Company Collaborative Series Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished In Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout Barrels

Bardstown Bourbon Company Collaborative Series Goose Island
Bardstown Bourbon Company

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $159

The Whiskey:

This brand-new release from Bardstown Bourbon Company is a collaboration with Chicago’s Goose Island’s iconic Bourbon County Stout. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of six- and seven-year-old Kentucky bourbons that are batched and then re-barreled into Bourbon County stout barrels. 12 months later, the whiskey is blended with another 9-year-old Kentucky bourbon, barely proofed, and bottled as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: A moment of honey draws you in on the nose before veering toward rich and very dark chocolate with a deeply stewed cherry cut with oily vanilla, mulled wine spices, and pear brandy-soaked marzipan with a hint of candied orange zest, dry espresso beans, and moist tobacco leaves.

Palate: There’s a moment of malted chocolate shakes on the taste that leads to a rich spiced Christmas cake brimming with walnuts, sultanas, candied cherry, candied lemon rinds, and leathery dates that lead to moments of creamy and very boozy eggnog poured over a Black Forest Cake.

Finish: The Christmas spices, fruit cake, dried fruit, and eggnog all combine on the finish to create a rich and sumptuous finish full of luscious textures and just the right amount of spiced whiskey warmth.

Bottom Line:

This is the one whiskey to serve with dessert. It’s exacting and delicious. It’ll also prime your palate for all the sweet and spicy treats to come as the holidays lead into the new year.

2. William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof (BTAC 2023)

William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof
Sazerac Company

ABV: 66.8%

Average Price: $1,799

The Whiskey:

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.

Tasting Notes:

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.

Bottom Line:

This is a bottle of elevated wheated bourbon that’s amazingly drinkable for a barrel-strength whiskey. Overall, you cannot go wrong pouring this at any point during Thanksgiving.

1. Heaven’s Door Bootleg Series Vol. V 18-Year-Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged in Spanish Vermough Rogue Casks

Heaven's Door Bootleg Series Vol. V

ABV: 57%

Average Price: $599

The Whiskey:

The new Bootleg Series from Heaven’s Door is here! This year’s edition is an 18-year-old bourbon that’s finished in Spanish Vermouth Rouge casks. The whiskey was batched and bottled as-is with a one-of-a-kind piece of art from Bob Dylan serving as a label that’s reminiscent of going on the road with Steinbeck or Kesey.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Old honey pots with crystalized honey at the bottom open the nose toward rich and salted caramel next to a moist and lush vanilla cake dotted with dried brandied cherries and a note of old oak wrapped in tobacco leaves.

Palate: That tobacco marries to the salted caramel on the palate as the vanilla and cherry swim in brandy with rum raisin and a whisper of smudging sage smoldering in the background with some more tobacco.

Finish: The honey sweetness takes on a crisp and clear sharpness on the finish as the cherry gets tart and then sweet like a cherry cake with whispers of chili-chocolate tobacco and old barrelhouses on a cold fall day full of leaves brings it all to an end.

Bottom Line:

You thought this was going to be a Pappy, didn’t you? This is better. This pour from Bob Dylan is a true crowd-pleaser while offering a wonderfully deep bourbon experience that suits slow sipping throughout the whole long Thanksgiving weekend.