The Top 100 Bourbons of 2023: In No Specific Order
Hey there, fellow bourbon enthusiasts and connoisseurs! Get ready to dive into a list like no other – the top 100 bourbons of 2023. The bourbon industry has been booming in popularity, and it’s a thrilling time to be a bourbon lover. With new releases hitting the shelves in 2023, the excitement is palpable.
Now, you might be wondering how we could possibly rank 100 bourbons in a specific order, right? Well, we’ve decided to do things a little differently. Instead of a traditional ranking, we’re presenting these delicious nectars in no specific order. Each bourbon on this list is exceptional, and ranking them would be like comparing apples to oranges. So, let’s jump right in and explore these top-notch bourbons!
II. Criteria for Selection
Before we get into the list, let’s talk about how these bourbons made the cut. We considered various factors in selecting these bourbons, including taste, quality, affordability, rarity, and overall satisfaction. Each bourbon on this list has its own unique character and charm.
Now, ranking bourbons can be quite a challenge. They come in different styles and profiles, and what one person may love, another person may not. So, please keep in mind that this list is subjective and based on the personal preferences of the author. Your taste buds might have a different opinion, and that’s perfectly okay!
III. Top 100 Bourbons of 2023
Without further ado, let’s take a sip into this tantalizing list of the top 100 bourbons of 2023. We’ve divided them into ten categories to make it easier for you to navigate and find the bourbons that pique your interest. So, let’s raise our glasses and explore these exceptional spirits!
1. Classic Bourbon Favorites
Bulleit Bourbon – A timeless classic with a spicy kick and hints of vanilla.
Woodford Reserve – Smooth and rich, it’s a bourbon that never disappoints.
Maker’s Mark – Known for its signature red wax seal and its smooth, sweet flavor.
Four Roses Small Batch – A blend of four unique bourbons, offering a balance of sweetness and spice.
Wild Turkey 101 – Bold and full-bodied, this bourbon packs a punch with its high proof.
Jim Beam White Label – A true classic that’s perfect for sipping neat or in your favorite cocktail.
Buffalo Trace – A versatile bourbon with notes of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of spice.
Knob Creek – Rich and full-flavored, this bourbon is aged longer to enhance its depth of flavor.
Eagle Rare – Aged for a minimum of ten years, it’s a smooth and velvety bourbon with hints of toffee and oak.
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style – A nod to the past, this bourbon is rich and complex with notes of chocolate and caramel.
2. Small Batch Delights
Blanton’s Single Barrel – A well-balanced bourbon with notes of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of citrus.
Booker’s – Unfiltered and uncut, this bourbon is bold and full-bodied with a high proof.
1792 Small Batch – Complex and flavorful, this bourbon offers a rich blend of caramel, vanilla, and spice.
Willett Pot Still Reserve – A small batch bourbon with a unique, pot still-shaped bottle and a smooth, mellow flavor.
Rowan’s Creek – Aged in charred oak barrels, this small batch bourbon is layered with flavors of honey and dried fruits.
Noah’s Mill – With a name inspired by a famous distiller, this bourbon is complex, robust, and full of character.
Four Roses Single Barrel – Each bottle is hand-selected, offering a unique and rich bourbon experience.
Russell’s Reserve Small Batch – Named after master distiller Jimmy Russell, this bourbon boasts a rich, honeyed sweetness.
Angel’s Envy – Finished in port wine barrels, this small batch bourbon is velvety and rich with notes of dark fruit.
Elijah Craig Small Batch – Aged for a minimum of eight years, this bourbon offers a smooth and mellow flavor profile.
3. Limited Edition Gems
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year – A highly sought-after bourbon with a limited supply, aged for a decade.
Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve – The holy grail of bourbons, with exquisite flavors and a legendary reputation.
Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 Year – A rare find, this limited edition bourbon is well-aged and full of complexity.
Willett Family Estate Bottled Bourbon – Single barrel gems aged for a longer duration, allowing for a rich and sophisticated flavor.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon – Released annually on the founder’s birthday, it’s a limited edition bourbon cherished by collectors.
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch – A blend of bourbons, each aged for a specific number of years, resulting in a harmonious and well-balanced whiskey.
Barrell Bourbon – Batch-specific releases with unique flavor profiles, showcasing the art of blending.
Jefferson’s Ocean – A bourbon that has sailed the seas, absorbing the salty air and adding a touch of coastal influence to its flavor.
Blade and Bow – Paying homage to the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery, this bourbon is crafted with exceptional care and finesse.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout – Aged and bottled in limited quantities, this bourbon is a delight for the senses.
4. Single Barrel Standouts
Knob Creek Single Barrel – Uniquely selected barrels offer a robust and full-bodied bourbon experience.
1792 Full Proof – Bottled at its full proof, this bourbon is intense and rich with flavors of caramel and oak.
Four Roses Private Selection – Handpicked by select retailers, this bourbon offers a personalized and exceptional tasting experience.
Maker’s Mark Private Select – Custom barrel selection and finishing creates a one-of-a-kind bourbon with unique flavors.
Weller Antique – Part of the famous Weller family, this wheated bourbon is full of warmth and character.
Eagle Rare Single Barrel – Each barrel is hand-selected for its exceptional quality, resulting in a bourbon that stands out from the crowd.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel – Distinctive and smooth, this bourbon is a testament to craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof – Bottled at barrel proof, this bourbon delivers a robust and flavorful punch.
Stagg Jr. – A younger version of the coveted George T. Stagg, this bourbon is bold, unfiltered, and packs a punch.
Old Forester Single Barrel – Crafted from a single barrel, this bourbon offers unique flavors and complexities.
5. Cask Strength Powerhouses
George T. Stagg – An annual release from Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, it’s a powerhouse of bold and rich flavors.
William Larue Weller – Part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, this wheated bourbon is unfiltered and delivers a full-bodied experience.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye – A rye whiskey powerhouse with intense flavors and a high proof.
Barrell Cask Strength – A small batch bourbon with a high proof, each release brings forth unique flavors and complexities.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed – A blend of high-proof bourbons, this whiskey offers a bold and robust drinking experience.
Booker’s Pigskin Batch – A limited edition release, this bourbon is named after Booker Noe’s love for football and delivers a strong and hearty flavor.
Willett Family Estate Bottled Bourbon – Barrel strength releases from Willett offer a raw and unadulterated bourbon experience.
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style – Bottled at a higher proof, this bourbon pays tribute to the days of yore.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof – From Buffalo Trace’s Colonel E.H. Taylor line, this bourbon is uncut and unfiltered for a bold and intense experience.
High West A Midwinter Night’s Dram – A blend of rye whiskies finished in port and French oak barrels, resulting in a rich and complex flavor profile.
6. Pioneering Craft Distilleries
Belle Meade – Crafted with a blend of small-batch bourbons, this whiskey is smooth and approachable.
Smooth Ambler Contradiction – A blend of bourbon and rye whiskies, this whiskey offers a unique twist on traditional flavors.
Garrison Brothers – A Texas-born bourbon with a bold and rich flavor profile.
Angel’s Envy Cask Strength – Finished in port wine barrels, this craft bourbon boasts a smooth and velvety texture.
Breckenridge – A Colorado-based distillery producing a bourbon with a flavorful and robust character.
FEW – Crafted in small batches, this bourbon offers a unique taste with its use of local grains.
Westland – An American single malt whiskey with a distinct Pacific Northwest character.
Stranahan’s – An original Colorado whiskey with rich flavors and a smooth finish.
Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon – A unique bourbon crafted in Texas with a flavor profile all its own.
Kings County Distillery – A Brooklyn-based distillery producing hand-crafted bourbons with care and attention to detail.
7. Rye Influence with a Twist
Old Forester Rye – A spicy and robust rye whiskey with a touch of sweetness.
Sazerac Rye – Named after the classic cocktail, this rye whiskey delivers a spicy and flavorful experience.
Angel’s Envy Rye – Finished in rum casks, this rye whiskey offers a unique twist on traditional flavors.
WhistlePig 10 Year – Aged for a decade, this rye whiskey is rich and spicy with notes of caramel.
High West Double Rye! – A blend of two different rye whiskies, it’s a unique and flavorful expression.
Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye – Bottled at barrel strength, this rye whiskey packs a punch with its spicy and bold flavors.
Hudson Manhattan Rye – Crafted in New York, this rye whiskey offers a smooth and spicy taste.
Lock Stock & Barrel 18 Year Rye – A well-aged rye whiskey with a complex and layered flavor profile.
Pikesville Straight Rye– A Maryland-style rye whiskey with a rich and full-bodied flavor profile.
Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Rye – Aged for six years, this rye whiskey offers a balance of spiciness and sweetness.
8. Experimental Blends and Finishes
Jefferson’s Reserve Twin Oak – Aged in new American oak barrels with a secondary aging process in custom wine barrels, resulting in a unique and complex flavor profile.
Barrell Dovetail – A blend of bourbon, rye, and rum finished in ex-Dunn Cabernet barrels, offering a bold and complex drinking experience.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye – A unique blend of rye and bourbon, finished in Oloroso Sherry casks, resulting in a rich and flavorful whiskey.
Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked – A double maturation process in new and deeply toasted oak barrels results in a rich and smooth bourbon.
Hudson Maple Cask Rye – Aged in maple syrup casks, this rye whiskey offers a unique and sweet twist on traditional flavors.
Angel’s Envy Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish – Finished in Oloroso Sherry casks, this bourbon is smooth and velvety with hints of dark fruit.
Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish – A unique finish in toasted barrels adds layers of flavor and complexity to this bourbon.
Maker’s Mark 46 – A unique aging process using seared French oak staves creates a bold and flavorful bourbon.
Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea – A bourbon that has sailed the seas, maturing with the movement of the ship and absorbing the flavors of the ocean.
High West Campfire – A blend of bourbon, rye, and peated Scotch whiskies, offering a unique and smoky flavor profile.
9. Rising Stars
Barrell Craft Spirits – Known for their selection of unique and limited releases, Barrell Craft Spirits is making its mark in the bourbon industry.
Belle Meade Cask Strength Reserve – A high-proof bourbon with rich flavors and a smooth finish, a rising star in the world of whiskey.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel – Hand-selected barrels offer unique and flavorful expressions of this craft bourbon.
Garrison Brothers Balmorhea – A Texas-made bourbon with a bold and rich flavor profile, gaining recognition in the industry.
Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery Belle Meade Cask Finish – Finished in barrels from various wine regions around the world, this bourbon is complex and full of character.
Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Bottled in Bond – A small batch bourbon that showcases the craftsmanship of Finger Lakes Distilling.
Old Elk Distillery – Crafted with a high-rye mash bill, Old Elk Distillery is gaining attention for its flavorful and well-balanced bourbons.
Freddie Noe’s Little Book – A series of limited edition releases from the son of Jim Beam’s master distiller, showcasing innovation and creativity.
Bardstown Bourbon Company – Known for its collaboration and blending expertise, Bardstown Bourbon Company is making waves in the industry.
Stumpy’s Spirits Old Monroe Bottled in Bond – Aged for a minimum of four years, this bourbon is gaining recognition for its rich and flavorful character.
10. Under-the-Radar Finds
Smooth Ambler Revelation Rum Cask Finish – Finished in rum casks, this bourbon offers a unique and tropical twist on traditional flavors.
James E. Pepper 1776 Bourbon – Crafted with a passion for history and tradition, this bourbon is gaining recognition for its quality and flavor.
Jefferson’s Groth Reserve Cask Finish – Finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from the famed Groth Vineyards, this bourbon has a unique and fruity flavor profile.
FEW Flaming Lips Brainville Rye – A collaboration with the band The Flaming Lips, this rye whiskey offers a unique and creative drinking experience.
Koval Single Barrel Bourbon – Crafted from organic grains, this bourbon offers a smooth and flavorful taste.
Redemption Wheated Bourbon – Made with a high-wheat mash bill, this bourbon offers a unique and approachable flavor profile.
Willett Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel – Single barrel releases from Willett are highly sought after for their quality and craftsmanship.
Ironroot Republic Harbinger – Crafted in Texas, Ironroot Republic is gaining recognition for its unique and high-quality bourbons.
Breckenridge Port Cask Finish – Finished in port wine barrels, this bourbon offers a unique and refined flavor profile.
Kings County Distillery Peated Bourbon – A peated bourbon that pushes the boundaries of traditional bourbon flavors.