20 Best High End Bourbons (Palate-Pleasing Picks)

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Whether you sip it neat, add a splash of water or enjoy it on the rocks, nothing beats the sophisticated taste of good bourbon. So, it’s a good idea to splurge on the best high end bourbon occasionally to enjoy the exclusive taste.

While the high-end bourbon will cost you slightly higher than common bourbon, the splurge is worth the spend for exploring elegant, palate-enveloping flavors. Want to try out the experience with your own bottle? Check out our top picks for the 20 best high end bourbon for this year.

20 Trailblazing High End Bourbon

Here are 20 of the most exquisite bourbon you should be trying;

1. Parker’s Heritage Collection 2nd Edition 27-Year-Old Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you are ready for a splurge, you can’t go wrong with the Parker’s Heritage Collection Bourbon. Produced by the Heaven Hill distillery, the $4800 bourbon is part of the special large aging stock and five unique mash bills produced by the distillery.

Produced in small batches, the 27-year-old bourbon is unique with a 48% ABV. Further, it emanates a complex blend of tastes that makes it an incredible sipper for any occasion. The bourbon starts with sweet corn, buttered popcorn, and corn syrup notes that transition onto oaky and tannin middle notes. Also check our list of 15 Best Wheated Bourbons

The bourbon then finishes off with a perfect balance of sweet honey and loose-leaf tobacco. The 27 year old small batch bourbon whiskey has a well-balanced body and is completely pleasant on the nose and palate.

2. Old Rip Van Winkle ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve’ 20-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon is an excellent choice for drinkers who love an intense yet, smooth taste. An excellent splurge for a special occasion, the bourbon is aged in new charred oak barrels for 20 years to develop its elegant flavors.

As a result, the bourbon oozes rich oiled leather, smoke, mineral, coffee, and cigar boxes. To counteract the intensely warm and rugged tastes, the bourbon also produces hints of dried fruit, oak, and baking spices blended with sweet vanilla notes.

3. Colonel E.H. Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash Kentucky Straight Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A product of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, the Colonel E.H Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash is pretty special. So, if you are okay with paying the steep $25,000 price tag, you will love the sophisticated and regal flavors this straight bourbon boasts.

The bourbon is produced using a special old-fashioned method developed by master distiller, Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr., in the late 1800s. In this process, the mash is allowed to sour naturally for days before being distilled. As a result, the bourbon develops better character and body.

The high end bourbon has an alcohol concentration of up to 50% ABV, yet, it remains smooth and tamed. The sour mash straight bourbon develops a fresh and light profile with sweet honey toast notes finished with clean and leathery hints. You will also get a pleasant floral aroma on the nose.

4. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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At less than $200, Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is amongst the top rated and best high end bourbon. After all, even with its affordable price tag, the single barrel bourbon doesn’t compromise on its premium taste.

But, this single barrel bourbon is pretty exclusive with a limited supply – only a few bottles produced in a year. So, Blanton’s is amongst the most sought-after bourbon on the market. The well-balanced bourbon works pretty great for those with a sweet tooth but, who want something more elegant.

You will enjoy the sweet caramel and vanilla flavors with hints of cotton candy and malt grains, without the bourbon being hard on the throat.

5. William Larue Weller Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Buffalo Trace distillery is known for producing stellar bourbon – and William Larue Weller Bourbon is one of them. With an alcohol content of up to 64%, the Kentucky bourbon whiskey still offers incredible flavors to make it a top-notch sipper.

The bourbon boasts classic notes of leather, caramel corn, toffee, and pipe tobacco. You will also get hints of unique fruits and nuts, like dates, plums, figs, and almonds. Whether you sip the bourbon casually or pair it as an after-dinner digestif, the 14-year-old William Larue Weller bourbon doesn’t disappoint.

6. 1792 Single Barrel Reserve

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The award-winning 1792 Single Barrel Reserve should be added to your wish list for the best high end bourbon. Distilled with high rye content, the Kentucky bourbon delivers a unique burst of flavor, best enjoyed when drunk neat or on the rocks.

The bourbon is aged in new oak barrels to develop its mature state. Further, the distillers take particular care in examining and only picking the best aged bourbon to guarantee quality and consistency.

This, in turn, makes this Kentucky bourbon a rare gem as it is produced in small batches with high content of aged rye bourbon.

When drunk, you will get smooth and delicious fruity and toffee notes that finish off with rich hints of butterscotch and caramel. The bourbon is also well-balanced and forgiving on the throat.

7. Jim Beam Black

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When it comes to the best bourbon, Jim Beam never misses the list. So, this list would be incomplete without the more premium, high end Jim Beam Black. This crowd-favorite Kentucky bourbon features a vintage and elegant profile with the most sophisticated flavors.

The award-winning bourbon is extra aged in new charred white oak barrels for nearly a decade. This is an aging period of nearly twice the aging period of the original Jim Beam bourbon. As a result, you get a full-bodied drink with ultra elegant notes of rich caramel, warm oak, and vanilla with smooth hints of cinnamon.

8. Michter’s 20-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A 20-year-old gem, the Michter’s 20-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a limited edition of the Michter’s Distillery. The fine 114-proof bourbon undergoes strict quality control to produce a small but, premium batch.

In fact, according to the Master Distiller, if the batch doesn’t meet the standards, then, it’s pretty simple – it’s not bottled! As a result, the bottle guarantees a fine and decadent drink with the utmost smoothness and richness. You will most enjoy the bourbon as a sipper, savoring its rich and silky profile.

The bourbon starts with notes of warm baking spices, stone fruit, and charred oak. The flavor then transitions to sweet toasted oak, dark caramel, and cocoa and finishes off with deep tannin, spicy, cacao, caramel, and old oak.

9. Woodford Reserve’s Baccarat

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Woodford Reserve’s Baccarat is a true representation of class, style, and elegance. The only bourbon that blends classic American and French flavors, the Woodford Reserve’s Baccarat gives you a premium and one-of-a-kind product.

The Kentucky bourbon is crafted by aging it in select XO cognac barrels to achieve the most complex and balanced flavors. Each cognac is carefully aged for up to three seasons in barrels personally sourced by Master Distiller, Chris Morris.

As a result, you get an intoxicating blend of crisp American and French oak notes as the bourbon develops complex fruity, reasonably spicy, and baking notes. The bourbon is even housed in a spectacular baccarat decanter to reflect its class, style, and uniqueness.

The 90.4 proof bourbon has a rich toasted oak nose complemented with cacao, creamy vanilla bean, cinnamon & clove spice, dried fruit, and citrus peel nose– a truly complex nose.

Further, it starts with subtle vanilla, dark chocolate, dried fruit, and creamy caramel notes with rich malty, and oaky hints. It then finishes off with a palate enveloping and velvety feel with faint spiced caramel mocha notes.

10. Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon holds a unique place in the bourbon market. The only extra aged bottle in bond available, the Kentucky bourbon whiskey guarantees a uniquely satisfying drinking experience.

The award-winning bourbon is aged in oak barrels and achieves a balanced, smooth, and tamed flavor profile. The 10-year-old, 100-proof bourbon is the ideal option for those who to try out a richer and creamy feeling whiskey.

It boasts a rich and buttery body with equally satisfying notes of butterscotch, caramel, honey, and vanilla. The best part about this high end bourbon is that it’s a perfect bottle for a special occasion, yet, you don’t have to break an arm and leg to get your hands on it.

11. Widow Jane 10-Year Straight Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Widow Jane 10-Year-Old Straight Bourbon is made using a blend of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana barrels and hand bottled in Brooklyn. Yet, it stands out amongst the best straight bourbons on the market. The Kentucky whiskey uses rich and rare bourbons, according to the distiller, with only 5 barrel batches used.

Further, this 90-proof, 10-year-old married bourbon produces some of the most complex rich, confectionary, and fruity noted to ever grace a bottle. It even drinks like bourbon that has been aged twice its duration, giving you the much-needed smooth and rich maturity.

The bourbon boasts tasting notes of mineral, toasty tobacco, buttery biscuit, cherry, honey, and light tannic finish. To get the best tasting experience, pair the married bourbon with beef or chocolate, or coffee dessert.

12. Four Roses Small Batch Barrel Limited Edition

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A budget-friendly favorite, the Four Roses Small Batch Barrel Limited Edition has a high alcohol content of up to 58.4%. But, it still maintains a pretty smooth feel and dominant fruity notes. The bourbon combines impressively elegant notes of sweet cherry, apricot, and crisp green apples.

You will also get well-balanced finishing notes of spiced vanilla, ripe fruits, and fresh nutmeg. Further, the bourbon features a refreshing nose with peach jam, magnolia blossoms, and light oak notes.

13. Eagle Rare 17-Year Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Eagle Rare 17-Year Bourbon is another incredibly rare product of the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The 110-proof Kentucky bourbon is aged for nearly two decades to achieve its complex, yet, balanced and smooth taste profile.

The bourbon emanates subtle notes of candied almonds, rich cocoa, and oak. The bourbon also finishes with a dry profile to make it a perfect sipper for taking all that decadence.

14. Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The casing that the Angel Envy Bourbon comes housed in is as dramatic as the bourbon’s name but in a good way. So, if you want to enjoy your bourbon in style, this is a pretty good steal for the money. The 120-proof bourbon whiskey is crafted to reach peak maturity and develop sophisticated flavors.

The bourbon is flanked with a beautiful and rich aroma complemented with complex, contrasting, but, properly balanced notes. Drinking the bourbon, you will get herbaceous, sweet raisin and caramel notes, and finish with subtle hints of toasted oak, dark chocolate, and fresh figs.

15. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is 12-year-old vintage bourbon that pays birthday homage to the founder of the Brown Forman Distillery. So, there is no reason why you shouldn’t include this celebratory limited edition bottle in your own celebrations.

The 104-proof rare high end handcrafted bourbon is reminiscent of elegant and decadent desserts. It boasts intoxicating notes of berries, dessert ingredients, vanilla, and dried herbs on the nose. The bourbon also introduces you to equally delicious tasting notes of rich caramel, burnt sugar, and baked cookies.  

16. Jefferson’s Ocean Bourbon 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When it comes to one of the most unique and even inventive distilling processes, Master Blender, Trey Zoller, is a pioneer. He particularly expresses this craft through some of his best works, including Jefferson’s Ocean Bourbon. The title can never once suggest the nature of this bourbon’s distillation process.

The Kentucky bourbon is aged in barrels aboard a shop that travels around the world. According to the master blender, the constant movement of the sea boosts the aging process further.

The blender makes a record sailing with hundreds of barrels aboard his ship with stops at 5 continents and 25 ports while navigating through 2 equators.

The bourbon produced using this process develops a dark, rich, and caramelized body which is attributed to the sea salt and temperature changes across the different continents.

Additionally, the bourbon whiskey boasts beautiful dried fruit and red apple aroma with hints of dark chocolate.  On the other hand, the bourbon develops interesting tasting notes of salted caramel, sweet cinnamon, creamy vanilla, and spice.

17. 1792 Bottle In Bond

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The 1792 brand boasts a good variety of bourbons, but, nothing beats the Bottle-in-Bond variety. The 100-proof bourbon offers one of the smoothest and most well-balanced profiles, making it a perfect sipper. The at least 4-year-old bourbon also bears pretty unique flavor notes.

The bourbon starts with a delicious banana bomb that finishes off with rich and sweet caramel, honey, and almond. However, this bottle is somewhat rare and can sometimes be a hassle to get your hands on. But, the struggle is certainly worth it!

18. Willett Family Estate Bottled Single-Barrel 21 Year Old

 

 
 
 
 
 
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More than an average splurge, the Willet Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel 21-Year-Old bourbon is amongst the rarest Kentucky gems on the market. Whether it’s the simple bottle or the unusual flavor profile, you can rest assured that you will be up for a pleasant surprise.

The 21-year-old, 107-proof bourbon features a rich, bold, and full-bodied profile with an impressive blend of flavors. The barrel-proof bourbon has a light and pleasant buttered popcorn with faint citrus notes. You will get an unusual depth of toasted honey, cocoa, and warm sweet pipe tobacco notes that finish off with a long and dry feel with subtle hints of fresh mint.

19. Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash

 

 
 
 
 
 
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With just over 250 units of this bourbon available on the market, the nearly 10-year-old, Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash bourbon gives you a taste of ultra premium, authentic American whiskey. The bourbon is aged in new American white oak barrels that previously held Kentucky straight bourbon and Kentucky straight rye.

As a result, you get warm toasted notes of burnt sugar, smoky fruit, candied cherries, honeyed vanilla, and spice. The complex blend of flavors makes the sour Mash bourbon a true celebratory sipper.

20. Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Now, if you are looking to splurge more than your average Joe, you can go for the Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon. This rare collectible fetches a five-figure price tag, but, makes a fantastic sipper for those truly treasured celebratory days.

The 25-year-old bottle captures the true essence of old American whiskey with just the right fine-tuned flavors and aromas. The rare whiskey boasts a dominant oak profile that adds to its elegance without overpowering the entire bourbon.

The oaky profile pairs well with the sweet sugars of the 100-proof bourbon while finishing off with little thickness. Further, the straight bourbon also boasts a sweet caramel, vanilla, and soft oak nose.

FAQs

Want to know about high end bourbon, check out this section of frequently asked questions;

What Is The Most Highly Rated Bourbon?

The Parker’s Heritage Collection 2nd Edition 27-Year-Old Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey is one of the most highly rated bourbons. The 27-year-old vintage bourbon packs class, style, and elegance.

In addition to its superior distilling process, the bourbon comes with clean, smooth, and palate-pleasing flavors. Plus, the bottle is a pretty reasonable steal when compared t its quality.

What Is The #1 Bourbon?

The Old Rip Van Winkle Reserve Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is the #1 bourbon on the market. The bourbon is crafted with the highest quality distillation process to achieve elegant and decadent flavors and a mouth feel. You can find the reserve bottles, ranging between 20 and 27 years.

What Bourbon Is Expensive?

The Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon is amongst the most expensive Bourbon. With a price tag averaging at about $55,000, the bourbon is rare and highly collectible bourbon. This high price tag is a reflection of the bourbon’s aging period, mature taste, and skillful crafting.

InTheourbon is mastered, thanks to the generation of distillation skills and expensive distilling methods. Without a complex blend of different flavors, the bourbon still affords sophisticated and memorable flavors.

What Is The Smoothest Bourbon To Sip?

1792 Bottle-in-Bond is one of the smoothest bourbons to sip. The bourbon’s bottle-in-bond distilling process allows it to develop one of the smoothest and most well-balanced bodies. Plus, it packs rich and sweet caramel, honey, and almond notes to complement the smooth profile.

The Woodford Reserve’s Baccarat and Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey are also excellent smooth bourbon to sip. The Woodford Reserve’s Baccarat is a perfect option for those who want to taste unique bourbon flavors, thanks to its aging process in Fench caks.

What Makes A Bourbon High End?

High end bourbon should have an impeccable flavor profile and mouth feel. Typically, the best high end bourbon is neither too sweet nor too sharp.

You should be able to tolerate the flavor while it gently envelops your tongue without being overbearing. Most high bourbons make the best sipper, where you can enjoy them neat or on the rocks and devour their original taste.

Conclusion

You can find a variety of the best high end bourbon. The best part is you can always find something to meet your standards, despite your budget.

Whether you want to splurge five figures or want a more regular splurge for a birthday celebration, our thoroughly researched list guarantees to find you what you need. After all, if you truly want to sample good quality Kentucky bourbon whiskey, going high end is always safer.

Chad Smith

Hello and Welcome, I am Chad, a formal bartender. I created this blog to help readers make exotic cocktails at home.

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