Bourbon has caught the eye of Spirits aficionados around the world—and we can't blame 'em. It’s time to help spread your love of Bourbon - truly American Spirit, and potentially create new fans among your family and friends. 
 
Made from a grain mixture that's at least 51% corn, Bourbon gets much of its flavor from the new and charred American white oak barrels it's matured in. And that flavor? It can go anywhere from hot and spicy to sweet and floral. Either way, it'll keep you in good company. And on your toes.

The Flaviar Community is a spirited bunch of booze buffs with a refined taste for a tipple. We would be mad if we didn’t use the collective power of sophisticated palates for something good, right? This list of best-rated Bourbons is based on the ratings and reviews of Flaviaristas, so rest assured, we’ve included only the best Bourbons of different styles, ages, and brands.
Choose the perfect Christmas gift for Bourbon lovers. Flaviar offers Bourbon-themed subscription boxes with hard-to-find Bourbon & Rye brands. Find premium Spirits and inspiring gift ideas for Bourbon enthusiasts


Best Bourbon from Kentucky 

Kentucky gets all the press when it comes to Bourbon. And with good reason—nearly 95% of it is produced there.
 

BASIL HAYDEN’S

At 80 Proof, this Springtime Kentucky Bourbon is easy to drink, widely accessible, and as enjoyable as California Sunset. Basil Hayden's is a light-bodied Bourbon that will bring old and new Bourbon lovers together.
 


Smoothest bourbon I've ever had. I always make sure I have 2 bottles at the house at all times.” - Brian
 
Try before you buy! Before you commit to buying a full-size bottle, you can find Basil Hayden's featured in this Bourbon-themed Tasting Box.
 

Best Bourbon outside Kentucky 

Some may argue that only Kentucky makes the best Bourbons, and Non-Kentucky Bourbons are a poor alternative.
 
The honest answer is, they both have high-quality products that will make any home bar shine. Although 95% of Bourbon is produced in Kentucky, many great Bourbons can be found outside it as well. For instance:
George Remus is distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, or as it was once called, Whiskey City, U.S.A., by MGP of Indiana (formally Seagram's - Yes, THAT Seagram’s). It’s a secret weapon that will throw any Bourbon snob for a loop.
 

Best Bourbon For Beginners

Nobody ever wants to look like a beginner, but it takes time and practice to build your palate to where you can appreciate the subtle nuances of a well-aged Bourbon or handle the power of a barrel-proof one.

Just like you don’t start college in a 400 level course, you shouldn’t start a Bourbon hobby without first learning about, and drinking, the essentials recommended by Flaviar Members. 
 

BUFFALO TRACE BOURBON

Not only is the Buffalo Trace signature Bourbon beloved by its fans, but it’s also delicious and not overly-priced.
They keep the mash bill tight — Corn, Rye, and Malted Barley with no Wheat filler. It is also aged at least 8 years and served up at 45% ABV. All that means rich, classic Bourbon flavor in every sip.

For many Bourbon fans, Buffalo Trace is their “go-to” daily drinker, and we think it would be hard to make a better choice.


 
My all-time standard of Bourbons. Every bourbon I try is compared to Buffalo Trace. It either passes or fails based on this bourbon!” - John
 


Best Bourbon under $50

Although the threat of Bourbon shortage has helped drive up the prices, there are still many affordable Bourbon bottles under $50 - so you can turn a nightcap into a night you’ll (hopefully) never forget.
 

Michter's US*1 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon category Winner of the Flaviar Community Awards 2018. Produced in very small batches, typically twenty-four barrels or fewer per batch and aged for around eight years, Michter's US*1 really is a great Bourbon.

Teasing with caramel, vanilla and dried fruit notes, this is a very pleasant drink to both spend time with and to enjoy through the night.


 
“This is my daily go to. Price is great and the flavor even better. Spice up front with classic Bourbon notes following. Ends with a nice black cherry finish. What are you waiting for. Go get some.” - Chris
 
 

Best Bourbon under $100

In case you want to broadcast your allegiance to excellence, these Bourbons all stay under $100. And with a 100 bucks budget, the Bourbon world opens up widely for you to explore.
 

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel

This Blanton is just what the name says: the original Single Barrel they started making back in 1984, and they haven’t changed anything since.

Done in the same manner as Colonel Albert B. Blanton did his private reserve almost a hundred years ago, part of the barrels are from the center part of Warehouse H, where Blanton believed were the optimal conditions for Bourbon aging.

A classic Bourbon that still holds standards yay high for others in the game.


 
The best bourbon I have had, hands down. So much more complex than Pappy, so much more character and flavor. If there was only one bourbon left, I’d want it to be this one.” - Greg
 
Help us plant a sustainable future of Bourbon  by helping us plant oak trees again this year! Because there’s no Bourbon without oak barrels we've joined forces with @angelsenvy to plant white oak trees to save Bourbon. Last year we've successfully planted 50,000 white oak trees, so we decided to step up this year. Help up us reach the goal of 65,000 planted trees by being an angel and share your Bourbon pic using #ToastTheTrees
 

Most Exclusive Bourbon

One of the best reasons to be a Flaviarista is access to Spirits that are made exclusively for Members – and sometimes by Members. Meet Flaviar’s private bottlings.
 

Corn Trooper United Craft Bourbon

Say Howdy to Flaviar's first own Bourbon! A bottle of Corn Trooper is for everyone who loves Bourbon and wants to try something new and genuinely American.

Corn Trooper is a blend of seven straight Bourbons connecting seven distillers from seven different states, each bringing something unique to its character.

If you are looking for something to amplify your Bourbon experience, Corn Trooper is your go-to dram.
corn trooper united craft bourbon

Not only Corn Trooper is Member's favorite, it also received Gold Medal at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021.
 
My favorite bourbon to date, you nailed it, Flaviar! Spices, Oak! Bananas and a wash of Maple Syrup. Can I get another bottle, please? Already purchased 3” - Brian
 
MORE EXCLUSIVE BOTTLES: The holy mission of Flaviar has always been finding you something new to try. Our scope is beyond the already existing Spirits, so we create new offerings: exclusive Spirits from different categories with a story to tell.
 

Best Small Batch Bourbon

Small-batch Bourbon is one of those things you either know about or don’t. They’re made in small amounts (anywhere from 10 to 100 barrels), rarely advertised, and targeted directly at Whiskey drinkers looking for something slightly different
 

Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor was one of the founding fathers of modern Bourbon. So if you are going to name a product after the man, you better be prepared to stand up and represent.

And this fine Bourbon does not disappoint. At every point, this Bourbon is made by hand, and each cask is heavily scrutinized — only the best are selected to wear the Taylor badge.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

 
Love the Colonel. Great upfront, balanced, can get a little spicey on the finish” - Jackson
 
 

Best Barrel - Strength Bourbon

Whisky is usually diluted with water before it’s bottled, following distillation and maturation in casks. Cask strength or Barrel strength, scandalously, hits the bottle straight from the barrels.

Cask strength Whisky offers an experience akin to sipping straight from the barrel with a straw. Consequently, it is championed by hardy purists, who crave a natural and powerful Spirit.
 

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon, named Whisky of the year 2017 by Whisky Advocate, is an experience of Bourbon in its purest form, uncut and straight from the cask.

Aged for long 12 years in new charred oak barrels, every Whisky is in danger of being dominated by the oak flavor. But a sip of Elijah Craig brings forth phenomenal flavors and glamorous aromas.

Get two bottles: one to share with your seasoned friends and one for yourself alone. Let your first sip be straight and taste the magic, then add a few drops of water and fine-tune the flavor.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon
 
The most flavor in a bourbon I have ever tasted. This change my single-minded bourbon approach.” - Wesley
 
 

Best Single Barrel Bourbon

It’s time to consider the Bourbon world’s “one-of-a-kind” experience: the single barrel.

A Bourbon made using single barrels, providing a higher range of variation in flavor and the chance at specific, unique characteristics. Single Barrel Whiskey is arguably the purest expression of a Bourbon’s character that money can buy. 
 

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

From hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe to hardcore Spirits aficionados in our Family, the Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon keeps blowing our collective minds.

This Southern Belle was discontinued for four decades for some reason, but common sense prevailed, and we got it back. Made from ten individual Bourbons, two mash recipes, and five yeast strains, it’s an example of real Kentucky magic.

Our member Jason said this was the bottle that started it all for him, while Greg simply says, “It’s fn awesome.” We couldn’t have said it better, Greg.

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

I love it is one of the best whisky I have tasted in twenty years from now this is my favorite whisky” - Joseph
 
 

Best Bourbon to Pair with Food 

If there is one thing anyone should pair with a well-crafted Bourbon, it’s good food. The pleasure of matching that most delish dish with your favorite Bourbon can only be compared to another activity. (Wink!)

Indulge in multiple Bourbon and food pairings. Your breakfasts and other meals will never be the same again.
 

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

When it comes to combos of tradition, quality, and originality, it doesn’t get much better than this. If you’re a Bourbon fan, you’ll surely appreciate all the subtle flavor nuances that develop because of the “double oaked” procedure plus the tradition and craftsmanship that come with this prestigious brand.

Although this is one of the more expensive Bourbons out there, you’re getting your money’s worth, no doubt about it. Sometimes you got to pay a premium to get what you want. And you want the very best, don’t you?

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
 

This has been my go to neat bourbon since it was released. Have bought and appreciated many high priced bottles up and down the Bourbon trail. Just keep coming back to it.” - William
 
OTHER BEST BOURBON TO PAIR WITH FOOD:
Old Forester Signature Bourbon 100 Proof
 

Best Bourbon For Cocktails

Another way to enjoy Bourbon is in cocktails. If you search the interwebs for Bourbon cocktails, the most popular are the classics Mint Julep, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned, which wouldn’t have survived the century if they weren’t good.

What makes a Bourbon perfect for cocktails? It's a mix of smoothness, affordability, and how the Bourbon balances with traditional cocktail ingredients.
 

Old Forester

Old Forester is the ‘well’ Bourbon for most of the bars in a city (Louisville) surrounded by Bourbon distilleries.

Buying either the Classic 86 Proof edition or The Single Barrel will prove to be an excellent start to a solid Bourbon foundation.

Old Forester
 
Big bang for the buck on this classic bourbon. Good sipper and even better in cocktails and mixers. My game day bourbon and diet cola. When sipping, I think it has a better finish than the 100 proof.” - David
 

Best Bourbon For Sipping

If you want to try Bourbon that not only can be mixed to make great long drinks and cocktails but which are fabulous to sip, read on.
 

Rabbit Hole Dareringer

Rabbit Hole decided to take their lovely Bourbon, age it in American oak barrels with an alligator char (that's the No.4 intensity where a barrel is exposed to ridiculous levels of heat for 55 seconds until its interior has the rough texture of alligator skin).

Then (yes, there's more), they move the already outstanding Spirit and put it in ex-PX Sherry casks for a lovely sweet and dark finish.

It’s decadent, it’s snazzy, and it’s downright unbelievable. It’s time to dive into the rabbit hole, baby.

Rabbit Hole Dareringer
 
“Good sipping bourbon - this beauty is smooth and sultry. I prefer it over a slow melting block of ice.” - Hope
 
 

Best craft Bourbon

With all due respect to their elders (we’re looking at you, Kentucky), young industry mavericks aren’t afraid of tinkering with tradition and boldly innovating so that other brands stand up and take notice.

The next craft Bourbon is taken from The Top Shelf, a collection of our members’ favorites. 
 

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey

A high-rye Bourbon from The World’s Highest Distillery. The first thing that a Bourbon fan might notice is that this is a blend, but don’t let that throw you.

They mash and distill a lot of Bourbon in-house and blend it with other high-rye, straight Bourbons from Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky.

What's the secret of the superior texture? According to the founder, it's all about the pure, mineralized, snow-melt water they have in abundance and use for distillation and proofing.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey
 

I really love the flavor, and the finish really surprised me. After looking at the Flavor spiral, I also noticed spicy notes and sweet flavor. I will definitely get a bottle.” - Robert
 
Try this Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey in Flaviar Welcome Box. La grande entrée into the world of fine Spirits. Only good Spirits are captured inside, plus a concrete coaster and some useful info.
 
 

Best Bourbon Experience

If you still cannot decide on your next favorite, we suggest joining a club of Spirits connoisseurs. Flaviar Members get exclusive access to private bottlings, special editions, and rare gems.

Noobs or pros, Flaviaristas also learn new stuff through tasting and content (masterclasses, videos, articles, School of Spirits, tasting webinars, etc.)

 
As a Flaviar Member, you will get to pick a full-size bottle and a themed Tasting Box every three months, take advantage of unlimited free shipping on qualifying orders, access The Vault full of the one-percenter drams, join free tasting events, earn perks through referrals, and have the best community that rates and review at the fingertip.