Choosing the best Bourbon for you
Bourbon whiskeys are blends made with at least 51% corn, barley, and usually a third grain for flavor. Getting into Bourbon can feel overwhelming at first, but this American birthright is great to experiment with. We’ve created a guide that’ll help you on your journey of finding the best bourbon for you.
Try a traditional bourbon if you like sweet whiskey. Traditional bourbons have a relatively high corn content (around 70%) and are made with rye instead of wheat. The corn lends sweetness to the whiskey, while the rye gives it a hint of spice. Popular traditional bourbons include Knob Creek, Jim Beam, and Wild Turkey. If you really like the sweetness of the corn, try a bourbon with a higher corn content, such as Old Charter (80% corn) or Baby Bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits (100% corn).
Pick a high rye bourbon for extra spice. Bourbons with a high rye content have bold, spicy flavors. If you enjoy bolder whiskeys, look for a bourbon made with more than 10% rye, such as Old Grand-Dad, Four Roses, or Bulleit. Four Roses Single Barrel has a rye content of 35%, making it the most rye-heavy bourbon on the market. If you like the spiciness of rye but also enjoy whiskey with a fruity flavor, Bulleit is a good choice.
- Wild Card
Experiment with single-barrel bourbons to discover unique flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a variety of single-barrel bourbons. As the name suggests, these bourbons are bottled from the products of a single barrel instead of a blend of different barrels. The flavors of these whiskeys are affected by factors such as how long they were aged, the wood from which the barrel was made, and conditions in the warehouse where they were stored. A few popular single barrel options include Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, and Eagle Rare. Flavors range from woody and smoky to smooth and spicy-sweet. While these bourbons can be quite pricey, “single-barrel” does not always equate to prohibitively expensive. You can get a bottle of Eagle Rare for less.