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New Bourbons You Should Be Drinking Right Now

Finding a great bottle of bourbon isn’t particularly hard. Liquor store shelves are practically overflowing with the stuff, which makes it pretty straightforward but also… sort of harder than it should be, in that there’s so much to sort through. With new bourbon releases dropping almost daily, the whole thing can feel a bit overwhelming for even the most seasoned bourbon fan.

To that end, we figured it was time to call out some new bourbons that we think are worth your time in 2022. For this list, I’m cracking a bunch of new bottles that just arrived at my door. Each of these expressions has either been released in 2022 or dropped in the last couple of months of 2021, which makes them hot right now.

I stand by all of these picks. They’re great bourbons from top to bottom. To that end, I’m not ranking these. There’s just too much green in between the cheaper and expensive bottles to make that fair. Let’s keep it simple — all of these bottles are (in one way or another) worth trying right now.

Now let’s dive in!

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

Brothers Bond Bourbon (July 2021)

Brothers Bond Bourbon
Brothers Bond

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $38

The Whiskey:

This celebrity whiskey comes from Vampire Diaries actors Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder. The juice is from an “undisclosed” source but from Indiana (gotta be MGP, obviously). The mash bill is a four-grain recipe of corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley that’s aged for an undisclosed amount of time before proofing all the down to 80 proof and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is light but distinct with hints of apple cider, soft caramel, a touch of singed oak, and plenty of vanilla. The palate leans into notes of marzipan with a fairgrounds caramel apple on a stick that’s just touched with salt and a distant hint of tobacco. The finish is short and sweet (and a bit thin) thanks to that low ABV, but does leave you with a nice sense of lush marzipan and applewood tobacco just touched by vanilla.

Bottom Line:

This feels like it’s simple white labeling by famous celebs. It’s really not. Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder are deeply involved in this whiskey and where it’s going. They’re out there hitting the streets and championing this bourbon as more than just a brand. It’s a true passion project between two real-world friends who actually care about whiskey. That alone makes this a refreshing bottle of bourbon to drink right now.

All of that said, this is still squarely in the great cocktail base category. It’s perfectly fine on the rocks but shines much more brightly in a Manhattan or old fashioned.

Penelope Bourbon Barrel Strength Batch 7 (August 2021)

Penelope Barrel
Penelope Bourbon

ABV: 57.6%

Average Price: $65

The Whiskey:

Penelope Bourbon is a great example of what a master blender can do with MGP whiskey. In this case, three barrels were blended — aged three to five years — to create a barrel strength expression that highlights the quality of those casks. The final product ended up being a four-grain bourbon with a mash bill of 74 percent corn, 16 percent wheat, seven percent rye, and three percent malted barley.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this bursts forth with peaches, red berries, blueberry, and an almost savory gooseberry next to cotton candy, a touch of toffee, and very light-yet-sweet oak. The palate shines as the peaches and berries combine to make a sort of summer fruit crumble with plenty of butter, dark sugar, and spice alongside a thin line of soft leather, rich vanilla, and more of that sweet oak. The mid-palate sweetens with more cotton candy before diving into a warming and spicy finish that keeps the spice sweet and subtle.

Bottom Line:

This is a pretty damn fine sipper and mixer. I prefer it on a rock or two to calm down those ABVs, which also adds a little water that’ll help this bloom a bit in the glass. This one also works really well as a cocktail base, especially for something big like a Sazerac or boulevardier.

Bardstown Bourbon Company Founders KBS Stout Finish Bourbon (February 2022)

Bardstown Bourbon Founders Stout Cask
Bardstown Bourbon Company

ABV: 55%

Average Price: $160

The Whiskey:

This new whiskey from Bardstown Bourbon Company leans into beer barrel finishing. The juice is a ten-year-old Tennessee whiskey (which is, technically, bourbon) comprised of 84 percent corn, eight percent rye, and eight perfect malted barley (which, coincidentally, is the same mash bill as Dickel). That whiskey is then transferred to KBS Stout barrels from Founders Brewing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The whiskey spends an additional 15 months mellowing with the stout-infused oak before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

The nose draws you in with a balance of almost waxy cacao nibs next to oily vanilla beans, dry roasted espresso beans, milk chocolate malts, a hint of Nutella, and a bright burst of orange oils. The palate builds on that foundation and layers in hazelnuts, mulled wine spices, and a dark, thick, and spicy cherry syrup with a woody backbone. The sweetness of the cherry on the mid-palate ebbs as the woody spices and bitter dark cacao kick in late and bring about a dry finish with plenty of Nutella, espresso cream, and spicy cherry tobacco chewiness with a hint of citrus oils cutting through everything.

Bottom Line:

This sip rules. It’s one of the better attempts at stout-cask-finished bourbon on the market. It’s very easy to drink neat but benefits from a little water to really open it up in the glass (and get some of the deeper nut and cacao notes).

Larceny Barrel Proof Batch No. A122 (January 2022)

Larceny Barrel Proof A122
Heaven Hill

ABV: 62.2%

Average Price: $86

The Whiskey:

Larceny is made from a mash bill of 68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley, which is Heaven Hill’s wheated bourbon standard mash. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of six to eight-year-old barrels that are vatted and bottled at cask strength as-is. It’s as easy as that, folks.

Tasting Notes:

The nose opens with full-tree cedar beams next to a fire cracking away in a huge river rock fireplace. That woody note is supported by touches of warm brown butter, maple syrup, pancake batter, and a hint of sticky buns with walnuts and orange pith lurking in the background. The palate starts off sweet and nutty, kind of like almonds dipped in that maple syrup and then rolled in holiday spices with an echo of warmth. The mid-palate leans into ripe figs and spiced prunes before a vanilla husk woodiness arrives with whispers of hazelnuts, dry sweetgrass, and woody spice with a hint of cedar-infused tobacco leaves. On the very backend, there’s a bit of a sweet straw with a touch of that spicy warmth.

Bottom Line:

This is one of those bourbons that elicits a “goddamn, that’s good” from the very first sip. While the warmth on this one might be a bit much for some, it’s really well layered into the flavor profile. Moreover, those ABVs also make this a killer choice from a cocktail base. Stir up a Manhattan with this one, you won’t be disappointed.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. A122 (January 2022)

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof A122
Heaven Hill

ABV: 60.4%

Average Price: $85

The Whiskey:

This year’s first Elijah Craig drop is a 12-year-old whiskey made from Heaven Hill’s classic bourbon mash of 78 percent corn, 12 percent malted barley, and a mere ten percent rye. Those barrels are masterfully blended into this Barrel Proof expression with no cutting or fussing. This is as-is bourbon from the barrel.

Tasting Notes:

Caramel draws you in on the nose with a slight sourdough cinnamon roll with pecans, a touch of floral honey, and a soft and woody drug store aftershave with an echo of vanilla candle wax and singed marshmallow. The palate rolls through a soft leather and vanilla pie note as cinnamon ice cream leads to spicy oak. The mid-palate leans into a sweeter, almost creamy spice (think nutmeg-heavy eggnog) which, in turn, leads to a dry cedar bark next to a dry stewed-apple tobacco leaf folded into an old leather pouch for safekeeping.

Bottom Line:

This is one of my favorite pours of the year, so far. This is just classic bourbon in every way that never feels basic or pandering. It’s just really f*cking good all around. It also makes a dope old fashioned.

Heaven Hill Heritage Collection 17-Year-Old Barrel Proof Bourbon, First Edition (March 2022)

Heaven Hill Heritage Collection Bourbon Whiskey
Heaven Hill

ABV: 59.1%

Average Price: $275 (MSRP)

The Whiskey:

The base of the spirit is Heaven Hill’s classic bourbon mash of 78 percent corn, 12 percent malted barley, and a mere ten percent rye. This particular whiskey is built from several barrels from four warehouse campuses in the Bardstown area. In this case, three different ages were pulled with 17 years being the youngest. The whiskey is made from 28 percent 20-year-old barrels, 44 percent 19-year-old barrels, and 28 percent 17-year-old barrels. Once those barrels are vatted, the bourbon goes into the bottle as-is, without any cutting or fussing.

Tasting Notes:

The age is apparent from the first nose with old glove leather next to a soft hint of cobweb-draped cellar beams leading towards a dark and thick cherry syrup that’s laced with cinnamon, clove, and allspice. The nose then grows with an almost cherry-maple syrup with a buttery base pushing it toward a toffee creaminess. The palate leans into those spices with a winter-spice-laced chewy (almost wet) fistful of tobacco leaves jammed into an old cedar box. The mid-palate bursts with spiced cherry crumble with baked brown sugar and nutmeg nuts, creating a velvety texture. The finish carries the spice from that mid-palate towards a sweet finish that feels like a marrying of toffee syrup and cherrywood tobacco with that dry cedar tobacco box echoing on the far backend.

Bottom Line:

This bottle is spectacular. I can’t imagine this not making the top ten of 2022, it’s that good. If you can find one, buy two; one for sipping and one for the vault.

Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 17-Year Spring 2022 Edition (March 2022)

Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 17
Heaven Hill

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $185 (MSRP)

The Whiskey:

This whiskey was distilled and laid down in barrels back in 2004. The barrels were vatted after 17 years and proofed down to the bottled-in-bond standard of 100 proof and then bottled in the iconic Old Fitz decanter for a Spring 2022 release.

Tasting Notes:

A hint of woodiness comes through on the nose via cherry tree bark with the faintest echo of dried rose next to soft vanilla oil, a hint of cedar, a distant thought of old leather, and a touch of burnt orange peels. The palate starts off softly with a lush vanilla cream that builds towards a winter spice matrix of nutmeg, allspice, and clove with a touch of cherrywood that sweetens toward dried cherries. That mid-palate builds on the cherry with spices (nutmeg and allspice) and sticky tobacco vibes as the finish arrives next to a super creamy dark cherry in vanilla cream feel with a dusting of dark chocolate and more of that dry cherry tree bark.

Bottom Line:

Again, this is spectacular whiskey. It’s so nuanced and beautiful from top to bottom. This is the sort of whiskey where you finish your first Glencairn and then a deeper understanding of great whiskey washes over you. You’ll get why/how great whiskey is actually great after drinking this.

Eaves Blind, 291 “E” Colorado Whiskey (February 2022)

Eaves Blind 291
291 Colorado Whiskey

ABV: 64.8%

Average Price: $150

The Whiskey:

This whiskey — a collaboration between Kentucky’s first female master distiller, Marianne Eaves, and Colorado’s famed 291 Distillery — just dropped in February. The juice in the bottle was blended by Eaves over weeks as she tasted through 291’s aspen stave-infused bourbon barrels. The end result is a blended bourbon of aspen stave finished whiskey at barrel proof.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this one opens with freshly cut green sweetgrass with hints of savory herbs, wet cornmeal, winter spices, apple cores, and sweet and soft pine resin. The palate leans into the greenness with more of that sweetgrass leading toward a green pepper vibe next to cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg with a stewed apple pie filling edge to it. That soft and fruity mid-palate leads back to the sweet pine resin and now dried sweetgrass, dried mint, and a hint of spicy apple tobacco and stringy cedar bark on the end.

Bottom Line:

This is a solid outlier. There’s a real depth here that leans into the woodier side of the Colorado bourbon, which is renowned for its aspen stave finishing program. What makes this special is Eaves’ ability to take that a bit further and really dive into the greener aspects of the wood finishing with herbs, resins, and woody spices all creating a bold flavor profile that feels fresh.

Stellum Black Bourbon (December 2021)

Stellum Black Bourbon
Barrell Craft Spirits

ABV: 54.67%

Average Price: $99

The Whiskey:

Stellum Bourbon was one of our favorite bourbons for 2021. Just as the year ended, we got another version of Stellum that’s sure to dominate lists this year. Stellum Black Bourbon basically takes the recipe from Stellum Bourbon and uses the reserve barrels (sourced from Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky) from the series to create this heightened blend. The whiskey is batched and bottled at cask strength to let those barrels shine through in every sip.

Tasting Notes:

The nose opens with a mix of black and green peppercorns next to kettled corn with salted caramel sauce, dried yet sweet cedar, vanilla blossoms, and a hint of an orange creamsicle stick. That orange drives the palate as soft suede mingles with that floral vanilla vibe next to holiday spices (thnk cinnamon and clove) layered with that sweet cedar and sharp black pepper. The pepper fades out on the finish and makes way for a dark mocha chocolate/coffee bitterness with a vanilla tobacco chewiness with a hint of pepper, leather, and cedar on the far back end.

Bottom Line:

Complex, delicious, and fresh are the best ways to describe this bourbon. It’s deeply flavored but still very easy to drink. A few rocks and you’re set with this one, though I do recommend trying this is some simple bourbon cocktails.

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep One 6th Edition (September 2021)

Wild Turkey Master's Keep One
Campari Group

ABV: 50.5%

Average Price: $600

The Whiskey:

This release from late last year is still one of the most sought-after bourbons of 2022. The juice is a blend of nine to ten-year-old bourbons chosen by Master Distiller Eddie Russell and 14-year-old bourbon barrels chosen by Eddie’s father, Master Distiller Jimmy Russell. Those barrels were blended and then re-barreled in toasted barrels for another final maturation. That juice was then just touched with that soft Kentucky limestone water and bottled as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Honey spiked with apple and orange blossoms leads the way on the nose as balls of caramel corn mingle with dry cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, and salted caramel chews. The palate is pure butterscotch candies with a vanilla cream foundation and more of that floral honey. The mid-palate kicks up with candied ginger and black pepper spice next to cinnamon sticks dipped in cherry syrup with buttery toffee and the slightest echo of dried lavender. The finish amps up the spices to Red Hots, fresh ginger, freshly cracked black pepper, spicy tobacco with a hint of dark cacao, and a dry cedar box on the very end.

Bottom Line:

This is amazing juice. It’s one of those 100/100 bottles of bourbon. It’s new, exciting, comforting, nostalgic, deep, accessible, and kind of fun. You cannot beat this bottle of whiskey as both a premier sipper and a valuable collectible.

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