The holidays are upon us and it’s hard to beat the gift of booze. I broke this guide down into three price ranges to fit budgets from a secret Santa to that special someone. Also, and most importantly, you should be able to find nearly all bottles at any well stocked booze monger, with exceptions where regulations may complicate things. I also added a bonus item that might be a little tougher to find, but the intention is not to send you hunting for a Pappy Van Winkle or some other nonsense.
- Wild Turkey 101 – The kick’n chicken. Wild Turkey has a distinct flavor that’s a little rough and tough, but quite lovable. Excellent value and a timeless classic.
- Old Grand-Dad 114 – You’ll have a hard time finding a better Bourbon for the price. Not technically a straight from the barrel barrel-proof Bourbon, but right up there.
- Old Weller Antique – This can be a little tricky to find, but one of my favorite wheated Bourbons.
- BONUS: Old Forester Signature – This version of Old Forester can be a little harder to find, but another great value Bourbon. Similar flavor profile to Woodford Reserve for about 1/3 the price.
- Four Roses Small Batch – This is a blend of 4 Four Roses recipes. A great high rye Bourbon and great value.
- Henry McKenna 10yr/BiB Single Barrel – I feel this bottle is underrated. A great value for a robust, flavorful Bourbon.
- Maker’s Mark – Another wheated Bourbon, Maker’s Mark is known for its approachability. Good option for those new to Bourbon.
- BONUS: Elmer T Lee – ETL is a little harder to find these days, but it’s a classic. Considering its popularity, pricing is pretty good.
- Colonel EH Taylor Jr Small Batch – This is a low rye Bourbon. Of the CEHT line, I think the Small Batch is the best value. It retails in a fancy cardboard tin and if you can find a bottle with the packaging, it makes for a neat gift.
- Four Roses Private Selection – Stores and restaurants can order their own barrel of one of Four Roses 10 recipes. Not only a unique gift, but this is some great stuff. You’ll have to do a little research to find a store currently with a barrel, but it’s worth it. You can also sometimes find stores selling it online.
- Booker’s – A classic bruiser of a Bourbon. Uncut, unfiltered, and bottled at feisty age. Also a little unique with Beam’s distinct flavor profile. It’s often sold in a little wooden crate, which also makes for nice gifting.
- BONUS: Elijah Craig BP – This will be the toughest to find, but Heaven Hill releases a batch about 3-4 times a year. One was recently released, so you might be able to luck out.
Best in Show
- Elijah Craig Barrel Proof – Great Bourbon + hard to find will score you lots of Bourbon nerd points.
- Four Roses Private Barrel – One of the best things going in Bourbon right now that anyone can walk in and buy.
- Four Roses Small Batch – Also one of my favorites and the price is great. Maybe buy one for Christmas and a second for New Years!