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
    Sweet & Oily
    Produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, this bourbon is named in honor of Colonel Edmunds Haynes Taylor, Jr, the grand nephew of the 12th President of the United States, General Zachary Taylor. Old Taylor Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a classic bourbon aged for 6 years and bottled at 40% abv.
  • 9
    Spicy & Rich
    Old Tub Kentucky Straight Bourbon is bottled without chill-filtration. It is also bottled in bond. Previously, Old Tub was only sold in 375ml bottles at Jim Beam's American Stillhouse shop in Clermont, Kentucky. However, as of June 2020 this has been released as a limited edition version nationwide in 750ml bottles. Old Tub was first launched in 1880, but was replaced by Jim Beam's flagship Original Bourbon bottling shortly after Prohibition.
  • 8
    Sweet & Rich
    Contradiction is an expression from John Little of Smooth Ambler that combines 73% of the 9 year old high rye mash bill bourbon sourced in Indiana for their Old Scout with 27% of the young wheated bourbon distilled in house in West Virginia - a battle of the bourbons in a single bottle! The 9 yr is 75% corn, 21% rye and 4% malted barley; the 2 yr is 60% corn, 20% wheat and 20% malted barley. It's non-chill filtered and without added color.
  • 7
    Sweet & Rich
    This bourbon from Kiepersol distillery in Tyler, TX is named for WWII torpedo pilot Jimmy Hines (hence the goggles on the bottle), "synonymous with freedom." The mash bill consists of 85% corn, 5% malted barley, 5% malted rye and 5% malted wheat. Aged 11-13 months (one month in new charred oak, the rest in first fill ex Port casks).
  • 6
    Vanilla & Sweet
    Secrecy surrounds this NAS/NDP bourbon. Here's what we DO know: Wathen’s Kentucky Bourbon — created by eight generations of distillers from Owensboro, KY – is made with a mashbill of 77% corn, 10% rye and 13% malt. This single barrel bourbon is smooth and easy drinking, but still offers a bit of bite at 94 proof.
  • 5
    Rich & Spicy
    The name Old Forester was allegedly chosen in honor of a doctor named Forrester, who regularly prescribed the bourbon to his patients at a time when it was still sold in pharmacies "for medicinal purposes." However, the signature for which this bourbon gets its name and which is displayed on each bottle, is the founder of the brand, George Garvin Brown. This is made in both 86 and 100 proof versions.
  • 4
    A three-grain bourbon distilled from a mash of corn, rye, and barley in Loveland, Colorado. Aged in new, American white oak barrels this bourbon is bottled at 88 proof.
  • 3
    The former George T. Stagg distillery was renamed Buffalo Trace when Sazerac took over ownership in 1999. Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee came out of retirement for the creation of the Buffalo Trace Bourbon which was released later that same year. This is the flagship bourbon from the distillery and is comprised of a low-rye traditional mash bill. It is bottled without an age statement at 90 proof.
  • 2
    Vanilla & Sweet
    Maker's Mark Bourbon is a wheated bourbon made with a mash bill recipe of 70% locally-grown corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% malted barley. This recipe was created by Bill Samuels, Sr. who baked bread with different grains to settle on his mash bill rather than trial and error with distillation. His wife, Margie Samuels, is responsible for the shape of the bottle, the signature label, and the red wax topper. Maker's Mark is aged in char #3 new American oak barrels for 6-7 years. It is bottled at 90 proof.
  • 1
    Vanilla & Spicy
    Launched in 2010, Maker's Mark 46 is made by taking fully matured Maker's Mark Bourbon at cask strength and inserting specially seared French oak staves into the barrels. The bourbon finishes aging for a few months before bottling. The French oak staves selected from the Independent Stave Company, Maker's Mark long time cooperage, were named "Stave Profile No. 46." This is the first brand extension from the distillery since it started production in 1953 and is the first in its Wood Finishing Series. Note: As of March 2022 the brand has updated the packaging for its bottle and label to highlight the French oak staves.