The “best bottle of bourbon” is a tough call to make. Bourbon is intensely personal. Our palates develop and evolve over our lifetimes, so naturally, the bottles we reach for change too. Still, there are a few high-end bottles of bourbon that transcend personal taste — demanding respect as the ultimate expressions of the spirit. Products that showcase craftsmanship of a higher order.
Great bourbon is a mix of corn-fueled distillate aged in new American charred oak for at least two years. There are other designations, too — with regards to the ABV the whiskey needs to be distilled, barreled, and bottled at — but that’s a little too micro for our purposes here. What really matters is the nuance of the mash bill (recipe) and the mastery of unique barreling and, often, blending.
The ten bottles of bourbon below are all expressions we deem worthy of their hefty price tags. We’re making a cut off at $50 per bottle on the low-end to give us a place to start. From there, we’re looking at the flavors, textures, and sips we keep coming back to, regardless of cost. Let us know your favorite bottle of the good stuff is in the comments.