Fall is rumbling towards us like a herd of elephants, traveling at an uncomfortable speed. This means that summer is almost in our rearview and, for most of us, that really sucks. Sure you escape the heat, but the days of suntan lotion, flip-flops, and summer cocktails will be over and that’s hard to accept. The end of the season isn’t all bad news, of course. Silver linings abound. The beginning of fall means pumpkin and sage agnolotti (or PSLs if you’re more basic), cozy sweaters, and of course a return to dark spirits like bourbon.
September also happens to be Bourbon Heritage Month, so the time is right to stock up on some high-quality, delicious whiskey. And with the money you’ll save from not buying meat for the cookout every weekend (and then getting about 1/18th of your money back when everyone “kicks in”), autumn is also the perfect time to shell out a few extra dollars to get your hands on some high-class stuff.
To kick off our fall drinks coverage, we’ve tasked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the best bourbons to splurge on. Check out all of their responses below.
Willett Family Estate Single Barrel
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Justin Keating, beverage director of Bluegrass Hospitality Group in Lexington, Kentucky
“Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Bourbons are some of my favorite higher-end bourbons. They have multiple ranges of years and can vary in complexity tremendously barrel to barrel. For the most part these bottles are sold exclusively out of their gift shop, but are available every so often at bars and liquor stores.”