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The Best 10-Year-Old Bourbons On The Market, According To Bartenders

National Bourbon Heritage Month may be over, but that won’t stop us from continuing to drink and write about this once-again-booming corn-based spirit. Earlier in the week, we covered bartender-beloved young whiskeys in the 4-5 year range. Today, we turn our attention to whiskey (bourbons in particular) that have spent a little more time in the barrel.

When it comes to creating complex flavors without completely losing the dram to oakiness, 10-14 years often seems to be the bourbon sweet spot. And while 14-year-old expressions start to get pretty spendy, most 10-year-old bourbons won’t break the bank. To help us find the best decade-old bourbons on the market, we once again decided to ask the folks behind the bar. Check their answers below.

The Clover Single Barrel 10-Year-Old Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Daniel Gamiño, assistant food and beverage manager at Banyan Tree Cabo Marques in Acapulco, Mexico

The Clover Single Barrel 10-Year-Old Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This is a very artisanal bourbon which is like syrup in every single way. The barrels are smoked in maple sugar-infused charcoal chips before it enters the cask. This spirit is very smooth – the sweetness is indescribable, and I particularly love its dark amber color.

Widow Jane 10 Year

Kendie Williams, master mixologist at Four Seasons Resort Nevis in Charlestown, St. Kitts & Nevis

My favorite 10-year-old bourbon is Widow Jane. It has been aged for 10 years in charred American white oak barrels. This bourbon has a nice, rich, and incredibly smooth sipping experience.

Eagle Rare 10 Year

Carlos Lopez, bar manager at Stiltsville Fish Bar in Miami

Eagle Rare embraces the best maturity of the Buffalo Trace recipe. It’s aged for at least ten years and filled with the flavors of rich vanilla, sweet caramel, and toasted oak.

Bulleit 10

Jess Thorson, bartender at TORO Kitchen & Lounge in Snowmass, Colorado

Bulleit 10 year has been one of my favorites for the last couple of years. It is rare to find such a high-quality whiskey under $100. This award-winning bourbon is effortlessly smooth and carries hints of vanilla beans, caramel, and a subtle smoky finish.

Russell’s Reserve 10

Zach Wilks, bartender at Anthony’s Chophouse in Carmel, Indiana

I’m a huge fan of Russell’s Reserve 10 Year from Wild Turkey. It’s their small-batch release to honor Jimmy and Eddie. You get a ton of vanilla and caramel right up front with a great mouthfeel and just a little bit of spice.

My home bar would feel incomplete without this bottle in it.

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. It has a ten-year age statement that catches my eye. It has spice from the rye but being mostly corn, the mash bill is very drinkable.

Old Bones 10 Year Reserve

Jeremy Allen, bartender at MiniBar in Los Angeles

There’s a brand that we love called Old Bones, which does 10-year MGP’s in batches. It’s fairly smooth and has flavors like dried cherries, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Henry McKenna 10-Year-Old Bottled in Bond

Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis

Henry McKenna 10-Year-Old Bottle in Bond is hard to beat. Its nose is sweet oak and honey. As it greets you at the door, it has a fair amount of heat and caramel that gives way to a bit more woody and strawberry notes as it invites you in.

This one has taken no time to get noticed on the market but worth the hunt.

Michter’s Ten Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Efren López Fernandez, bartender at Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Playe del Carmen, Mexico

Michter’s Ten Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon. It reminds me a lot of fresh corn and caramel with honey, the smoky notes seem very present. A highly sippable bourbon.

Writer’s Pick:

Basil Hayden’s 10

This high rye bourbon is a great mix of sweet and heat. It has the caramel sweetness you and vanilla essence drinkers expect from bourbon, but the high rye content gives it an added kick of peppery spice.

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