Is there a bourbon lover in your family? Or, do you have a good friend that you never know if you get the right thing? It doesn’t matter if they are a bourbon drinker looking for the next best thing, or just interested in trying something great. These will satisfy any need.
Pappy Van Winkle 15, 20 or 23 year – The most sought after bourbon every year. Not only is it sought after by bourbon lovers, but the appearance on TV from Anthony Bourdain and many other shows makes even the newest bourbon drinker think they need this. Extremely limited run of these bottles and very high demand. Only 5-6 liquor stores per state will get a single bottle in. If you are lucky enough to win a raffle for it, buy it. There are also 12 and 10 year Van Winkle bourbon and a 13 year rye that are very good as well.
$60 – $300 (depending on year)
Buffalo Trace Antique Collection – Aside from Pappy, the antique collection (William LaRue Weller Barrel Proof Wheat Bourbon, George T Stagg Barrel Proof Bourbon, Eagle Rare 17 year, Sazerac 18 year Rye and Thomas H Handy High Proof Rye) are the most sought after bourbons during the fall. Buy any and all that you can find, just trust me.
Four Roses “Limited Edition Small Batch” (2014 release) – Last year’s version was the whiskey of the year for 2013. Though, that does not mean that this year will be anywhere near as good. They ran out of the juice from the 17+ year honey hole barrels. This year’s release will be a blend of 9, 13, 12 and 11 year bourbons. It will still be very good, but not the same as the previous two years.
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (2014 release) 12 year old – One of the best bourbons for anyone, on any sort of budget. Affordable at $50 a bottle, this will be one that you will want to get as many as possible. Every year has a bit of a different flavor profile and all of them are great, so I look forward to seeing how this one turns out.
Parker’s Heritage Collection 2014 – This year’s selection is a barrel strength wheat whiskey(13 year 68.1%). Now, it is actually not a bourbon for the first time in its history. Given the incredible popularity of Pappy and wheated bourbon, I can see this flying off the shelf. The only barrel proof wheat bourbon is William Larue Weller, so you will not find much like it.
~$80 a bottle
George T Stagg – They have come out with a Baby Stagg(don’t be fooled $50 and not worth it vs others in that category). But, if you find this gem, it is worth every cent. One of the top 5 bourbons every year and my favorite each and every year. This is why it is mentioned twice here. Stagg will be up to 138.1 proof this year, which is a huge jump from the 128 proof last year. $80-$100
Marker’s Mark Cask Strength -I never thought I would be looking forward to a Maker’s Mark offering. I dislike the bourbon as the flavor falls short of other, even cheaper, wheated whiskey. But, the barrel proof version should actually fix a lot of the problems with their other offerings. It should be about 108 – 114 proof.
Other offerings come out, that could be worth a try:
Willet Exploritory Cask – 7 year rye whiskey finished in Grand Marnier Casks.
EH Taylor Seasoned Wood Bourbon – It is said to be the first and only release, but not confirmed
EH Taylor Cured Oak Bourbon– It is said to be the first and only release, but not confirmed
Elijah Craig 23 year – The 21 year version already was getting on the oaky side. This version will be around $200, and not worth the cost in my opinion
Wild Turkey Diamond Edition– This 13 – 16 year Bourbon is to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Wild Turkey. I have heard mixed reviews, so for the for the price of $140 I will be passing on the new release.
Best of luck hunting and hope the bourbon gods are nice to us all.