Best Bourbons to Drink in 2023

Best Bourbons to Drink in 2023

Bourbon has caught the eye of Spirits aficionados around the world—and we can’t blame ’em. It’s now time to celebrate Bourbon and share the Whiskey with your friends and family.
 
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
 
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 Whiskeys.
Looking for a perfect gift for a Bourbon lover?
Take them on a Whiskey exploration journey from the comfort of their home, find premium Spirits and inspiring gift ideas for Bourbon enthusiasts, or simply gift them a whole year of fun with Flaviar membership.

Flaviar Whiskey Exploration Kit 2022

Best Bourbon from Kentucky 

Kentucky gets all the press when it comes to Bourbon and that’s with good reason—nearly 95% of the liquor is produced there. 
 

BASIL HAYDEN’S

At 80-Proof, this 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.
Basil Hayden's

One of my all-time faves. Mmm!.” - Chrystopher
 
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.
Flaviar Bourbon selection
 

Best Bourbon outside Kentucky 

Some may argue that 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 STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY

This Whiskey is named after a “double agent” who operated on both sides of the law during the Prohibition era, who was also named King of the Bootleggers. It is a perfect blend of high-rye Bourbon aged more than five years that should be a staple in any Bourbon lover's home bar.

It’s a secret weapon that will throw any Bourbon snob for a loop.
 
George Remus

“Definitely smooth and the caramel and pepper notes were most prominent for me on the palette. I’m not a bourbon guy but this was good for bourbon.!” - Nicholas


MORE BEST BOURBONS OUTSIDE KENTUCKY:
Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon Whiskey
Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey
- Koval Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey
- Widow Jane 10 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Breckenridge Bourbon Flaviar Blend 2019

Help us plant a sustainable future:  Noble Oak is on a mission to revitalize the earth by planting a tree for every bottle sold! Grab your bottle of Noble Oak Bourbon, help out with a great cause and get free shipping!


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.

The Whiskey has a classic mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley. It is also aged at least eight years and bottled at 45 percent ABV. All that means the Bourbon is rich and you’ll enjoy 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.

Buffalo Trace
My favorite sub $50 bourbon period. Great for sipping, mixed drinks, or cocktails. Slight burn, but lots of fruity sweet notes.!” -Trent
 

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.

Mitcher's Bourbon
 
“Love it! Not to sweet and then after first sip you get the warmth. Overall a delicious bourbon, I’d order it again and keep it stocked in the bar.” - Alex
 

Best Bourbon under $100

While prices for Bourbon have increased significantly, you can still find a delicious whiskey without breaking the bank. Here are delicious Bourbons that all stay under $100.
 

 

Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey

This Bourbon was created by legendary master distiller Lincoln Henderson who decided to finish the whiskey in used port casks. This additional step in the aging process gave the Whiskey a delicious twist and broke new ground.

Angel's Envy
 
Smooth as can be. Have yet to meet anyone, even non-bourbon drinkers who haven’t appreciated this spirit..” - Mitch

Discover Unique Bourbon

One of the best reasons to be a Flaviarista is access to Spirits that are made only 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.
 
Very smooth and easy to drink with a bourbon kick at the end. Many friends who love bourbon love it. Well done, Flaviar!” - Adam
 
 

Best Small Batch Bourbon

A number of different Whiskey brands make so-called small batch Bourbon, which is usually made in small lots. These Whiskeys allow the distiller to highlight unique and special flavors in a Spirit and offer a fascinating experience for drinkers.
 

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. 

Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

 
Lives up to the hype! First trying tonight and was wowed. Incredibly smooth while maintaining premium flavor. The finish is fantastic - cinnamon red hots!” - Shay
 

Best Barrel-Strength Bourbon

Whiskey is usually diluted with water before it’s bottled, following distillation and maturation in casks. Cask strength or Barrel strength, means the Whiskey is bottled straight from the barrel without adding any water.
 

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.

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
 
Been a fan of Elijah Craig for years. Tried this for the first time the other day and it’s possibly the best bourbon I've ever sipped. Definitely a must try.” - Marc
 

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.

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

One of my absolute favorite bourbons. Great mix of fruit and spice with just a hint of dark chocolate. Rich, complex, and deeply satisfying.” - Alex
 

Best Bourbon to Pair with Food 

If there is one thing anyone should pair with a well-crafted Bourbon, it’s good food. 

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.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
 

Good drink that’s inexpensive. Strong cherry flavor which is nice” - Nathaniel
 
OTHER BEST BOURBON TO PAIR WITH FOOD:
Freeland Spirits Bourbon
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
 
I give this a very high rating because it is my daily driver. It is cheap and a good quality bourbon with a taste I enjoy neat and as I said , it’s my go to. Always a dependable product.” - Daniel
 

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
“Insanely flavorful! Sweet, decadent, and you just can’t have only one glass in a sitting. The first time I had it, my reaction was just “WOW”!!! I will always have this stocked in my bar!” - Jeffrey
 

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 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 full-size bottles and themed Tasting Boxes, 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. 
 

 

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