Our Favorite Bourbons So Far This Year

We get to review a lot of bourbon here at Distiller, but these have been our favorites so far in 2016!
May 23, 2016
  • 10
    10 Booker’s Bourbon Batch 2016-01 “Booker’s Bluegrass”
    94
    Full Bodied & Rich
    Booker Noe, former master distiller of Jim Beam and founder of Booker’s Bourbon, loved bluegrass music as much as he loved whiskey. Booker’s Bluegrass is the first in the series of six releases in 2016 to honor the life of the man who helped revitalize the bourbon industry. This is aged for just under seven years, comprised of barrels pulled from seven rickhouses, and bottled at 127.9 proof.
  • 9
    9 Russell's Reserve 2002 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    95
    Rich & Spicy
    This vintage-dated Kentucky straight bourbon is a follow up to the 1998 vintage released in 2015. This marks the first non chill-filtered, barrel proof bourbon from the brand. Master distiller Eddie Russell selected the 25 barrels used in its composition, all distilled in 2002. They sat in new, charred American oak for 15 years. Bottled in 2018 at 114.6 proof, this is available in limited quantities beginning end of June 2018.
  • 8
    8 Wild Turkey Master's Keep Revival
    95
    Full Bodied & Spicy
    This is the third U.S. expression under the Master's Keep series. It was inspired by Wild Turkey Signature which Jimmy Russell introduced in the early 2000's. For this bottling, Eddie Russell traveled to Jerez, Spain to source the 20 year-old oloroso sherry barrels used to finish this bourbon. The bourbon was aged from 12-15 years in new, charred American oak and finished its maturation in these sherry barrels. This is bottled at 101 proof. Limited availability begins June 2018 nationally with 1600 cases produced and it will also be sold at the Wild Turkey Visitor Center in Lawrenceburg, KY.
  • 7
    7 Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bottled-in-Bond
    95
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Debuting April 2017, with another release set for 2018, this limited edition bourbon from the Buffalo Trace Distillery is the 9th release in a series made to honor past distillery owner, Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Made primarily with corn, the mash bill also includes rye, wheat, and malted barley –grains that the Colonel had access to during the late 1800s when he purchased the distillery. This bourbon in bottled-in-bond, at 100 proof, and aged for 12 years in charred American oak.
  • 6
    6 Knob Creek Limited Edition 2001
    95
    Vanilla & Full Bodied
    Knob Creek 2001 is the first ever limited-edition release from Knob Creek. It represents Fred Noe's first task after learning from his father Booker Noe, as he began taking care of Knob Creek beginning in 2001. Now long since a Master Distiller in his own right, Fred Noe has released this, a 14-year, 100-proof rendition.
  • 5
    5 William Larue Weller Bourbon (Fall 2018)
    96
    Spicy
    William Larue Weller (Fall 2018) is an uncut, unfiltered wheated bourbon and is one of the five whiskey releases in Buffalo Trace Antique Collection released each fall. This year's batch was distilled in winter 2006 and aged in Warehouses C, I, K, L, M, & Q. It is bottled at 125.7 proof.
  • 4
    4 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2018
    96
    Fruity & Sweet
    This annual limited edition bourbon is set to release on the 2nd of September, the birthday of founder George Garvin Brown. This year's edition was hand-selected by master taster Jackie Zykan and is the first iteration to be bottled at the new Old Forester Distilling Co. in Louisville. It was produced from 120 barrels all distilled on a single day of production: June 9, 2006. Aged for 12 years, the barrels were selected from the third floor from the northwest side of two warehouses; 93 from Warehouse J and 27 from Warehouse I. Only 2400 six-bottle cases were produced. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2018 is bottled at 101 proof, the highest proof to date for any Birthday Bourbon release.
  • 3
    3 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon (2016)
    96
    Sweet & Rich
    The 2016 Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon from Four Roses incorporates three bourbons, each with a different one of their 10 mash bills: 12-year-old OESO, 12-year-old OBSV, and 16-year-old OESK. It's the first time in seven years that the OESO has made an appearance in this release. Bottled at barrel strength, 111.2 proof, there are 9,258 hand-numbered bottles in the release.
  • 2
    2 William Larue Weller Bourbon (Fall 2016)
    96
    Full Bodied & Vanilla
    This 2016 edition of this heralded wheated bourbon was distilled in the winter of 2003. The barrels were aged on the 3rd and 6th floors of Warehouses D, K, & L. At the time of bottling, 145 barrels were selected and the whiskey was 12 years and 7 month old. It is bottled uncut, and unfiltered at 135.4 proof.
  • 1
    1 George T. Stagg Bourbon (Fall 2019)
    98
    Spicy & Tart
    George T. Stagg Bourbon (Fall 2019) is an uncut, unfiltered Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and is one of the five bottlings in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection released each fall. Due to many of the barrels having matured on the lower levels of the warehouses, this year's edition is the lowest proof release of Stagg to date. However, it is still a healthy 116.9 proof.