25 Best Sipping Bourbons to Drink Neat

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Bourbon is a native American spirit made with at least 51% of corn and other grains like barley, rye, and wheat.

A good quality bourbon is double distilled and aged in charred new oak barrels for 4-7years. Bourbon has vanilla, oak, and caramel flavor and is served neat, on the rocks, or mixed into cocktails.

There are various brands of bourbons on the market nowadays, and it’s usually very confusing to choose the right one that will fulfill your expectations related to flavor.

Some types of bourbon are best to drink neat because just a few drops from the melting rocks will change and water down their taste.

However, if you’re new to the bourbon world and don’t know which bourbon to drink neat, in this article, I will present the 25 smoothest bourbons that are best-sipping bourbons to drink neat.

I’m not saying they’re not good in cocktails either, but I prefer to drink them neat to enjoy their full flavor. So, let’s dive right in.

25 Smoothest Bourbon to Drink Straight

Here’s a list of some of the smoothest bourbon you can drink straight and have a great experience. 

1. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon, as its name implies, is aged twice in different barrels. The first time this bourbon is aged in charred new oak barrels and then finished in another double toasted and lightly charred new oak barrels.

The double aging gives a uniquely rich, smooth flavor to this bourbon.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon is great for sipping neat because of its sweet vanilla, hazelnut, dark caramel, apple spices, and fruit flavor. It’s a great choice if you like light, sweet and creamy bourbon to serve after dinner with dessert.

Also Check: 20 Best Whiskey To Drink Straight 

2. Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr . Small Batch Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a good sipping bourbon for beginners packed in a beautiful bottle. It has an aroma of vanilla and oak with hints of caramel, dried apricots, ginger, blackberries, and other dried fruits.

When you taste it, you will feel the charred oak flavor with hints of vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, mint, dried fruits, and peppercorns.

Basil Hayden’s bourbon is a high-rye bourbon with 40% ABV, which is easy and smooth to drink neat, but you can also use it in your cocktails.

Some of the classic bourbon cocktails in which you can use this bourbon are Old Fashioned and Mint Julep.

4. Four Roses Small Batch Select

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Four Roses Small Batch Select is one of the best bourbons with sweet, rich, smooth, and complex flavors.

You will taste the brown sugar, caramel, lemon, vanilla, and dark fruit from the first sip, followed by the nutmeg, cinnamon, and oak flavors. And for the finishing touch, a dried citrus peel, fennel, and anise hints will combine all the tastes into a unique flavor.

This great-tasting bourbon is perfect for sipping neat, but it’s also a good cocktail base.

5. Michter’s 10-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Michter’s 10-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon is one of the best bourbons with exceptional quality. It’s aged in new charred American white oak barrels for ten years and has 47.2%ABV.

Michter’s 10-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon combines caramel, dark toffee, charred oak, vanilla, and maple syrup flavors.

It’s a great bourbon that you can sip, relax and enjoy in a unique tasting experience. The only downside is that it’s a little pricey.

6. Jeffersons Reserve Very Old

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Jeffersons Reserve Very Old is one of the oldest bourbons in the Jeffersons family. It’s a blend of three bourbons made from a mash of rye, malted barley, and corn aged for more than 20 years.

This complex and sophisticated bourbon has an aroma of nutmeg and honey with caramel, cinnamon, toffee flavor, and tobacco and leather notes finish.

Jeffersons Reserve Very Old is a great-tasting bourbon you can sip neat or use to make some of your favorite cocktails.

7. Woodinville Bourbon Port Cask

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Woodinville Bourbon Port Cask is five-year-old bourbon finished in port casks from six to twelve months.

This finishing gives the bourbon hints of candied cherry, berries, chocolate, and dried plums and mixes with the vanilla, roasted nuts, spice, and oak flavors.

It’s a great bourbon for drinking, neat with a long, smooth finish, but it’s also good in cocktails like Sazerac and Manhattan.

8. Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18 is a limited edition bourbon aged 18 years and bottled only from a single aging barrel.

During the aging process, this bourbon has developed layers of oak, maple syrup, apple, pear, hazelnut, and cinnamon, taste all united in one complex and fresh flavor.

You can sip it neat, and with each sip, discover a new taste with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and finishing notes of chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, and wood.

9. I.W. Harper 15

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I.W.Harper 15 is a bourbon aged in new charred American oak barrels for 15 years. It has a pleasant aroma of cherry, apricot, lemon, orange, dark chocolate, and mint. 

From the first sip, you will taste the well-balanced sweet, fruit, oak, and chocolate flavors. And for the finish, new notes of caramel and vanilla will linger in your mouth, leaving a mild oaky aftertaste.

Because of its square-shaped bottle, you can’t miss the I.W.Harper 15 bourbon in the store. You can enjoy it neat to taste its full flavor or served on the rocks. It’s up to your preferences.

10. Thomas S. Moore Port Cask

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Thomas S. Moore Port Cask is aged in new charred oak barrels and finished in port casks from 1-3 years.

This method results in bourbon with a distinctive flavor profile, a mixture of the traditional bourbon and the port casks flavors.

Thomas S. Moore Port Cask bourbon has sweet honey, prunes, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and oak flavors with a similar tasting finish where the oak is more noticeable than the fruity flavor.

If you like a smooth bourbon with a sweet and soft taste, give this bourbon a try. You will be surprised.

11. Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2020 Limited Release

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Makers Mark Wood Finishing Series is a limited release with distinctive vanilla and buttery-caramel flavors.

This bourbon is aged in charred American oak barrels and finished with virgin American and French oak staves placed in the secondary barrels. 

They enhance and highlight the sweet, vanilla, and caramel flavors by adding oak, baking spice, licorice, fresh pastries, butterscotch, coconut, and bitter charred notes.

12. Pursuit United

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Pursuit United is a blend of three types of bourbons from different distilleries and states. This bourbon has the aroma of sweet caramel, spicy oak, fruit, and vanilla.

With the first sip, you will feel the bold taste of caramel, with hints of vanilla, honey, cherry, and baking spice all rounded up nicely with the oak flavor.

Pursuit United is a well-balanced, complex bourbon that is great for sipping neat but also enhances the flavor of many different cocktails.

If you want to taste bold and unique flavors, Pursuit United is the right bourbon for you.

13. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is not just a beautifully designed bottle with a racing horse on top that will look good on your whiskey shelf.

This is also a bourbon with great taste and can easily become your favorite one. It has a nice aroma of caramel, butterscotch, sweet corn, wood, and honey with hints of cherry, apricot mint, and dark tobacco.

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon has a well-balanced sweet flavor starting with caramel, vanilla, oak, mint, fruit, and citrus hints. It’s a great bourbon to drink neat, but it can also be served on the rocks.

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is released only once a year from a single–batch barrel; therefore, each batch has a unique flavor that can’t be repeated.

If you can find it, this bourbon is worth buying. 

14. Wild Turkey Rare Breed

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Wild Turkey Rare Breed is my favorite bourbon from the Wild Turkey brand. This bourbon is one of the finest bourbons bottled out of the barrel uncut with water.

It has an aroma of toasted caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, apple, licorice, honey, and burnt chocolate. Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon has flavors of sweet caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, apple, licorice, and toasted grains.

It has a sweet, fruity finish with hints of licorice, oak, cinnamon, apple, and citrus peel. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a flavorful, great-tasting, and high-quality bourbon you can enjoy neat or on the rocks.

15. Barrell Bourbon Batch 025

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Barrell Bourbon Batch 025 is a blend of 5-15 years old corn, wheat, and rye bourbons. These bourbons are distilled and aged in American white oak barrels in three different states-Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 025 has many different layers of flavor mixed in one great-tasting bourbon. It has a mild but complex aroma of apple jelly, pineapple, plum, honeydew melon, and maple syrup.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 025 has a strawberry-rhubarb pie, sour orange, fig, macadamia nut, leather, and cappuccino flavor with hints of allspice, licorice root, and cassia.

Many wonderful flavors are united in one great-tasting bourbon in, which you can enjoy neat to feel its real taste.

16. Angels Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Angels Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a blend of rye and corn bourbons aged 4-6 years. Then the bourbon is transferred in port barrels and aged for additional six months before it’s ready for bottling.

As a result of this process, Angels Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a unique, more complex, and intense flavor than the other bourbons.

It has a floral, nutty, grassy, citrus, honey, cherries, and vanilla aroma and a sweet, oak, smoky flavor with hints of mint, cherry, cinnamon, brown sugar, and licorice.

Angels Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finish is smooth-silky, with hints of licorice, mint, and oak lingering in your mouth. You can serve it neat or on the rocks depending on your taste.

17. Henry McKenna 10-Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Henry McKenna 10-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is bottled–in bond bourbon aged for ten years in virgin American oak barrels.

The first thing I noticed when tasting this bourbon was its alcoholic aroma with hints of oak, caramel, vanilla, and sweet corn. The first sip was slightly sweet with caramel, mint, oak, and vanilla flavors, with a light, dry, somewhat sweet finish.

Henry McKenna’s 10-Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is a great choice for bourbon drinkers or collectors who know to appreciate a good-tasting bottle of bourbon.

If you’re an amateur drinker, you may find the taste of this bourbon too strong for you because it has 50 %ABV.

18. Widow Jane 10-Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Widow Jane’s 10-Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey is one of my favorite bourbons, great for sipping.

This New York small-batch bourbon is a blend of 5 barrel batches from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee aged in oak barrels for ten years.

An interesting fact is that Widow Jane’s bourbon is proofed with limestone filtered water from a Widow Jane’s mine in Rosendale, New York.

This water is high in magnesium and calcium and enhances the flavor of the bourbon. And when we talk about flavor, Widow Janes bourbon has a complex and well-rounded taste.

Widow Jane’s 10-year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey has an aroma of vanilla, cinnamon, cream, and nutmeg. It tastes orange, cherry, maple, caramel, and almond, with charred oak and spice finishing notes.

Overall, it’s a great drink with a wonderful mix of flavors.

19. Noahs Mill Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Noah’s Mill Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is one of the best bourbons with smooth and delicious flavor.

This bourbon is aged for about eight years and bottled at 114.3 proof -57.15 ABV. Noah’s Mill Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey has an aroma of oak, orange peel, prunes, and walnuts with floral notes.

At the same time, its flavor is a mixture of toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, roasted pecans, light spice, and acidic with a creamy, oaky aftertaste.

If this bourbon is too strong for you, you can add some water to reduce the alcohol intensity and bring out the other flavors.

20. Heavens Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Heavens Door brand is a creation of the famous singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, collaborating with two well-known whiskey industry experts, Marc Bushala and Ryan Perry. The brand is named after his song “knockin’ on heaven’s door.”

Heavens Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with a mash bill using 30% of small grains and is aged in new American oak barrels for at least six years.

It has an aroma of dried fruit, baked bread, and buttered popcorn with hints of cinnamon, caramel, and nutmeg. With the first sip, you will taste the honey, maple, baking spices, pumpernickel, vanilla, toasted oak, and caramel flavor with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.

All these mixed flavors give this bourbon a unique flavor to enjoy. The bottle design is also very beautiful, making this bourbon great both from the outside and inside.

21. Russells Reserve 10-Year Old Bourbon Whiskey

Russells Reserve 10-Year Old Bourbon Whiskey is a small batch of bourbon aged for ten years in charred oak barrels. This smooth, sweet bourbon has an aroma of baking spices, vanilla, cinnamon, peanut butter, dried cherry, and tobacco.

The first sip will reveal a great flavor: a mixture of light brown sugar, cherry syrup, and dry roasted peanuts, with hints of toffee and charred oak.

The finish is smooth and creamy with a taste of drying oak, nutmeg, clove, and hints of cinnamon.

If you want a bourbon with a well-balanced dry, sweet, spicy flavor and hints of caramel and vanilla, Russels Reserve 10-Year Old Bourbon Whiskey is the one for you. It’s a great sipping bourbon you can serve neat.

22. Knob Creek 12-Year-Old Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek 12-Year-Old Bourbon Whiskey is a great bourbon with a rich, smooth flavor usually served on special occasions. It’s a part of the small-batch Kentucky bourbon collection crafted for about 25 years.

This bourbon is aged 12 years in new charred American oak barrels and bottled at 100 proof in packaging with flask shape.

Knob Creek 12-Year-Old Bourbon Whiskey smells amazing. It has an aroma of vanilla, roasted oak, caramel, cherry, cinnamon, baked apple chips, licorice, clove, chocolate, and tobacco.

The flavor is sweet, caramel, vanilla, roasted oak, cinnamon, baked apple chips, chocolate, and clove. It’s 100-proof bourbon, but it doesn’t have a strong alcohol flavor, just a pleasant chocolate pudding taste.

The finish has a sweet, roasted oak flavor with hints of caramel, vanilla, dried orange peel, dark chocolate, tobacco, and licorice.

This bourbon is perfect for serving neat, and I highly recommend it.

23. Bakers Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Bakers Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a part of the Jim Beams Small Batch Bourbon Collection. First Bakers was a small batch bourbon, but in 2019, it became a single barrel bourbon aged for more than seven years and bottled at 107 proof.

Each barrel of Bakers bourbon has its unique taste, but all of them have the aroma of vanilla, caramel, fruit, and flavors of oak, vanilla, and toasted nuts.

Bakers Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a good sipping bourbon with a great taste. You can serve it neat, on the rocks, or make a cocktail.

My favorite cocktail made with this bourbon is Midnight Manhattan, but I also want to drink it neat to taste its real flavor.

24. Great Jones Straight Bourbon 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Great Jones Straight Bourbon is made from 100% New York-grown corn, rye, and barley. It’s aged in new charred oak barrels for four years and has a unique flavor of creamy vanilla and sweet corn with a peppery finish.

Great Jones Straight Bourbon is bottled at 90-proof in beautifully designed art deco bottles. You can serve this well-balanced and smooth bourbon neat on rocks or use it to make some of your favorite cocktails.

25. Old Forester Classic 86 Proof

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Old Forester Classic 86 Proof was created in 1870 and produced ever since. This Kentucky bourbon is made from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley.

It’s aged four years in new charred American oak barrels and bottled at 86 proof. Old Forester Classic 86 Proof bourbon has an aroma of vanilla, corn, alcohol, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar.

It has caramel, cinnamon, baking spices, charred oak, vanilla, and nutmeg flavor with a slightly drying, warm, sweet finish.

Old Forester Classic 86 Proof is a bourbon with a smooth, rich, full flavor that is great for sipping neat or served on the rocks and in classic cocktails.

What’s the Best Bourbon for the Money?

With so many brands of bourbons on the market, it’s hard to decide which one is the best for the money.

My favorites include Old Forester Classic 86 Proof, Four Roses Small Batch Select, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Maker’s Mark 46.

Cheers!

I hope that with this article, I have helped you to choose the best sipping bourbon to drink neat. There are many good-tasting bourbons, and those mentioned here are just some of the best I have tried; I’m recommending them to you to try and enjoy in their great flavors.

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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