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The Best Bottles Of Bourbon Between $125-$150, Ranked

Yes, paying $150 for a bottle of bourbon whiskey is a little wild. You can easily get a case of perfectly fine bourbon for that price. But that’s not really the point. Whiskey at this price point isn’t about practicality. This is about finding something unique, limited, and maybe even collectible.

For this ranking, I reached into my tasting notes and pulled out ten bottles of bourbon whiskey that I think are actually worth spending a little extra cash on. These bottles are special — from top to bottom. I still ranked them though, according to my palate and how quick I’d be to throw down this amount of money on them. Look at it this way, I keep the top five bottles open on my own shelf. The rest are all bottles I respect and would never turn down a pour of but am not going to go out of my way to collect. That said, maybe the tasting notes will speak to you — we all have different palates.

These are all pretty easy to find (if not afford) if you’re willing to do some sleuthing around whiskey shops and online. Let’s dive in!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months

10. Orphan Barrel Copper Tongue Aged 16 Years

Diageo

ABV: 44.9%

Average Price: $135

The Whiskey:

This release from Diageo’s Orphan Barrel program is from Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., better known as George Dickel. The juice is a marrying of two 16-year-old bourbon barrels that were hand-selected by Dickel Master Distiller Nicole Austin. The ABVs are very low for a “barrel-proof” bourbon.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with a hint of buttery cornbread that immediately veers into cinnamon apple crackers in an old leather tobacco pouch. There’s a mild sense of eggnog spices next to vanilla cream with a clear note of old, musty cellar beams leading back to that warm tobacco chew.

Bottom Line:

This is one of those bottles that’s both “nice” and unique. This is a one-off, so there is a small collectibility factor at play (but don’t that price to skyrocket anytime soon). Overall, this is just an easy pour of something we might not ever see again.

9. Saint Cloud 7 Year Single Barrel

Saint Cloud

ABV: 61.2%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

This is a fascinating mix of sourced bourbon and good marketing. At seven years, it’s pretty young for such a pricy bourbon. The juice is hand-selected barrels that meet the specific taste and texture requirements of Saint Cloud’s team. That whiskey is then bottled at barrel strength with no other fussing, giving you a single barrel experience that’s one-of-a-kind.

Tasting Notes:

You’re drawn in with a white cake slathered in buttery vanilla frosting next to a salted caramel waxy wrapper vibe. The palate is subtle, with hints of darkly roasted coffee beans covered in equally dark chocolate next to marzipan, light spices, and a touch of soft and maybe wet cedar. The end holds onto the spices (think clove and cinnamon) as a touch of dried apricot and dried cedar slowly fades towards a velvet-yet-warming end.

Bottom Line:

There’s a classic sense of barrel aging, buttery sweetness, and stone fruit at play. While this works as a great sipper (especially on a rock), it really feels more like a great cocktail base for a Manhattan than anything else.

8. Cream of Kentucky 11.5 Year Old

J.W. Rutledge Distillery

ABV: 51%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is part of the bespoke sourced line from bourbon legend Jim Rutledge. Rutledge spent 21 years as the head distiller over at Four Roses, building the worldwide renown that the brand is now known for today. Rutledge is currently sourcing the best barrels he can find to create this throwback brand of whiskey — its labels used to be painted by Norman Rockwell back in the day.

Tasting Notes:

You feel the deep bourbon heritage from the nose through the finish as classic notes of oily vanilla husks, soft cedar, and rich toffee draw you in. The taste holds onto the toffee and vanilla but also veers into sweet cherry with a rush of spice, which is almost like a Cherry Dr. Pepper in the best possible way. A note of bitterness comes in late via a dark chocolate vibe (especially with a drop or two of water) while the silken sip quickly (almost too quickly) fades, leaving you with warm and woody spices.

Bottom Line:

Again, this is classic. But not much more. If you’re looking for a great, old-school bourbon, grab this. Jim Rutledge will not let you down.

7. Kentucky Owl Confiscated

SPI Group

ABV: 48.2%

Average Price: $130

The Whiskey:

Kentucky Owl is another resurrection brand by Master Blender Dixon Dedman (who has since left the brand), the great-great-grandson of the shingle’s original founder. Yes, this is sourced juice from an undisclosed distillery in Kentucky, meaning we don’t know a whole lot of what’s in the bottle, but that leaves the family story and the taste of the whiskey as our only touchstones. And on those two levels, this expression excels.

Tasting Notes:

The sip draws you in with a slight rye note of anise and maybe even licorice next to old cellar oak, vanilla cream, and a touch of ripe cherry. The taste warms on the tongue with dark spices, more of that old oak, and a touch of raw leather. The end is long and touches back on those spices, building a real buzzing on your senses, and hitting back towards that oak and leather, with just a hint of cherry tobacco.

Bottom Line:

The spice and cherry at play on this are very engaging. That said, this feels like it’s more of a cocktail base for a killer Manhattan, Sazerac, or old fashioned.

6. Bardstown Discovery Series #6

Bardstown Discovery
Bardstown Bourbon Company

ABV: 55.55%

Average Price: $129

The Whiskey:

This limited release is a blend of heavy-hitting bourbons. The lion’s share, 68 percent, is derived from an eleven-year-old Kentucky bourbon that’s made with 75 percent corn, 13 percent rye, and 12 percent malted barley. Another 16 percent comes from a 17-year-old Tennessee whiskey that’s made with 84 percent corn, eight percent rye, and eight percent malted barley. The final 16 percent is a seven-year-old Indiana bourbon made with 75 percent corn, 21 percent rye, and four perfect malted barley.

Tasting Notes:

The age comes through with a big medley of dark cherries sitting in a big cedar bowl with a dark leather jacket imbued with decades of cigarette smoke and perfume next to a hint of dark chocolate orange balls. That orange and dark chocolate drive the taste as the dark cherry becomes brandy-soaked and the cedar feels more like an old cigar humidor full of cigars laced with vanilla, orange, cherry, and chocolate individually, creating a bigger whole on the palate. The finish takes its time as the tobacco spice and fruit slowly fade out, leaving you with a dry woody note and a touch of sweet and buttery toffee.

Bottom Line:

This is a big whiskey with a far-ranging palate. There’s something for everyone in this whiskey. Though, I’d recommend pouring it over a single rock to mute the ABVs a touch and allow the water to let it bloom in the glass.

5. Weller Aged 12 Years

Sazerac Group

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

Weller 12 is lovingly referred to as the “Poorman’s Pappy” with good reason. Both whiskeys are made by Buffalo Trace with the same wheated bourbon mash bill. Of course, the barrels are treated differently when it comes to where they are stored and why. But we’re still talking about a very similar product at the end of the day, which also tends to be a bit more accessible, at least for now.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with a sense of vanilla pods coming to life in a hot pan next to light orange oil-infused marzipan, a touch of sweet corn, and a whisper of musty oak. The palate holds onto the orange and almond as it dries out towards a cedar box and vanilla tobacco chew with a mild sense of dry spices. The end is long-ish and touches on the wood, orange oils, spice, and nuttiness, leaving you warmed with that classic Kentucky Hug.

Bottom Line:

This is almost annoyingly easy to drink. You want to deny the hype around this bottle, but the flavor delivers. It’s so well-rounded that you’ll be hard-pressed to find any faults neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail.

4. Joseph A. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon

Joseph Magnus Bourbon
Joseph Magnus

ABV: 50.35%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

This sourced bourbon is built from eleven and 18-year-old bourbons. The real star of the show with this whiskey is that those bourbons were finished in Armagnac, Cognac, and sherry casks before vatting and bottling as-is.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with sticky toffee pudding that really amps up the cinnamon and nutmeg next to black-tea-soaked dates next to some stewed prunes wrapped in chili-chocolate-laced tobacco leaves and dripped in honey and then walnuts. A savory fruitiness opens the palate with figs and pumpkin that leads towards an apricot jam with a hint of clove and cinnamon next to light touches of old library leather and funk. A faint hint of dark berries arrives on the mid-palate before the finish luxuriates in burnt toffee, almond shells, more of that leather, and dried-out apricots.

Bottom Line:

This wins big points for going somewhere bold and new in its flavor profile. It’s a killer neat pour that blooms beautifully with a little water or a rock in the glass. Take your time with this one, you’ll be rewarded for the effort.

3. Knob Creek 25th Anniversary

Beam Suntory

ABV: 61.05%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

This is a very rare release from Beam. The expression was first released in 2017 to celebrate the premium brand’s 25th anniversary. The juice is a single barrel that’s between 12 and 13 years old and barreled as cask strength with zero fuss.

Tasting Notes:

This is bourbon with a capital “B” from top to bottom, with a nose full of oily and rich vanilla next to salted and almost smoky caramel kettle corn, a hint of dry oak, and very mild cherry tobacco. That cherry tobacco carries the taste of holiday spices, creamy vanilla pudding, and an underbelly of buttery toffee. The end is long and amps up the spices towards Red Hots territory as the tobacco chew kicks up next to an almost cedar note, leaving you really buzzing on the tongue and across your senses.

Bottom Line:

This is quintessential “good stuff.” There are no rough edges on this bourbon. It’s just a soft and flavor ride from beginning to end. There’s also a small collectible factor at play with this one as well. But I’d argue, that these are meant to be enjoyed and not squirreled away in a vault.

2. Garrison Brothers Guadalupe

Garrison Brothers Guadalupe
Garrison Brothers

ABV: 53.5%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is hewn from 90 30-gallon barrels of four-year-old bourbon that were transferred into 26 59-gallon Tawny Port casks for a final maturation of nearly two years. That juice was then bottled with a touch of water added.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this bursts with raspberry, blackberry, redcurrant, and blueberry, all stewed with plenty of holiday spices and folded into a cobbler topped with dense buttery buttermilk biscuits. The palate leans into the spice with a focus on clove, nutmeg, and a very small whisper of anise as the berry turns more towards a fresh strawberry with dark chocolate-covered espresso beans chiming in on the mid-palate. That chocolate-bitter vibe drives towards a finish full of cinnamon-spiked dark chocolate tobacco leaves, stewed plums, and a dollop of floral honey.

Bottom Line:

This is a berry bomb that works wonders. This is also a bottle that’ll be hard not to kill as soon as you open it with a few friends — it’s that good.

1. Peerless Double Oak Bourbon

Peerless Distilling Co.

ABV: 53.55%

Average Price: $134

The Whiskey:

The whiskey is around five to six years old and comes from one barrel that lets the grains shine through before it goes into another barrel that lets the oak shine through. That final barrel is bottled at cask strength, as is.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with a nose full of salted butter next to hints of very soft leather, light notes of vanilla bean, a touch of toffee sweetness, and freshly cracked walnuts with a dry edge. The taste leans into that oak barrel with dashes of woody spices (think allspice berries, star anise, and cinnamon sticks), dry cherry tobacco leaves, salted caramel, and more of that super soft leather. That leads towards a mid-palate of dark red fruits stewed in mulled wine spices and cut with a dollop of fresh honey before the (long) finish dries out towards an old wicker chair, a very distinct hint of a cellar funk, and a touch of dried mint.

Bottom Line:

This feels both classic and unique while offering a warming comfort. All of those are nice things to get from a sip of bourbon. Overall, this is the most solid sipper on the list with the most refined depth. It’s really hard not to fall in love with this one.

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