Updated for 2019: The following are selections by James Ashcraft, The Bourbon Enthusiast, follow him on Instagram: @BourbonEnthusiast
Distilled by Buffalo Trace, aged at least 10 years, barrels are hand-selected and then bottled at an easy-sipping 90 proof. It’s a well-aged, classic bourbon that is consistently a solid pour and a good value to boot. Eagle Rare is a bottle that should definitely hold a place in your whiskey cabinet.
For Rare Breed, Master Distiller Eddie Russell and his team blend together barrel selections of bourbon aged 6 to 12 years and bottle it without adding any water (barrel proof). Rare Breed is a terrific blend of flavor and proof and represents some of the best high-octane bourbon to ever come out of the (great) Wild Turkey Distillery.
This bourbon pays homage to the distillery’s longevity and celebrates the brand’s continued distillation during the Prohibition era. The 115 proof expression reflects what would have been close to barrel proof during that time period. It’s a seriously good bourbon that offers a deliciously unique drinking experience. Its complexity and balance make it a standout in the premium bourbon category.
Bottled-In-Bond means it’s aged at least four years, bottled at exactly 100 proof, and from one distillery and one distillation season. This is a tasty bourbon at an incredible price. It is versatile enough to be sipped neat, or on ice and it even holds up well in a cocktail. Evan Williams BIB is a bottle that makes for a great “house” bourbon or for filling the ol’ decanter. When it comes to value, I’m not sure there’s a better, more accessible bourbon under $20.
This is a boutique, small batch offering from the good folks at the Willett distillery. The bourbon is very complex and exceptionally smooth for 114 proof. It’s a rich and well-rounded bourbon that offers a distinctly different flavor profile. For those that prefer a more mellow drinking experience, try adding a few drops of spring water to tame it a bit. Highly recommended if you can locate a bottle.
About James Ashcraft:
James is the founder of The Bourbon Enthusiast blog. His site is intended to be a guide for whiskey lovers and enthusiasts of all kinds. Education is key so you don’t waste money, or your reputation, on poor whiskey choices. You need reviews you can trust, good or bad, and that’s why he's here. Stay up to date with the latest American whiskey reviews and news.
Follow him on Instagram: @BourbonEnthusiast www.instagram.com/bourbonenthusiast