Finding a great bottle of bourbon is an adventure with no end. There are over 1,400 distilleries making bourbon across America. That, folks, is a whole lotta booze. This proliferation of the spirit means there are endless places to get lost in the deep, dark, oaky woods. Finding “the best” out of 1,400 variables (each making more than one expression of bourbon) is a lifelong journey.
And, as with so much in life, the journey itself is the only destination. Are you and your liver up for it?
To help you along your bourbon quest, we decided to name some of our favorite lesser-known, lesser-hyped, harder-to-find bottles of bourbon for fall. There are only two real rules here: The bottle has to be phenomenal (in flavor or value) and on the fringe of the mainstream. That all means, you’re going to have to put a little work in. These bottles won’t necessarily be at the local Safeway or even bottle shop. You’ll have to talk to your local liquor store clerk, maybe special order a few, and, sometimes, drop a fair amount of coin.
Still, we’re convinced that these bottles deserve a spot on your shelf as the leaves change and your bourbon sipping needs shift along with them.