The Best Bourbons for Mint Juleps

Mint Juleps need bourbon with a little more kick (90 proof or higher) to stand up to crushed ice and a warm day. These are our top picks!
May 06, 2023
  • 10
    3.52
    3.52 out of 5 stars
    Wild Turkey is known to barrel its whiskey at a lower entry-proof, meaning the product is a lower proof as it comes off the still prior to maturing. That lower entry proof lends to more flavor from the mash bill (corn, rye, and malted barley). Wild Turkey Bourbon 101 is pulled from the barrel at 109 proof before being proofed down only a touch.
  • 9
    3.66
    3.66 out of 5 stars
    Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon is made from four different bourbons all with different ages, like the standard Jefferson's Very Small Batch Bourbon. This Very Old batch is meant to be more complex than the more approachable standard version. Batches for this bottling are made from 8-12 barrels as opposed to a few hundred like some brands. Bottled at a higher proof than the standard Jefferson's as well, 90.2 proof rather than 83 proof.
  • 8
    3.48
    3.48 out of 5 stars
    Created in 1872 by Taylor & WIlliams and named in honor of the national park, the Yellowstone brand has moved around from distillery to distillery since its creation. The current owner, Luxco, sources the bourbon from other distilleries in Kentucky; however, Luxco recently took a 50% stake in the Limestone Branch Distillery, run by Steve and Paul Beam. In February 2015, the Beams put the first batch of their new bourbon in casks, which they plan to release under the Yellowstone label. The Select is a selection of casks chosen by Steve Beam to reflect the heritage of the Yellowstone name, made from four- and seven-year-old, high-rye bourbons.
  • 7
    3.56
    3.56 out of 5 stars
    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.
  • 6
    3.68
    3.68 out of 5 stars
    This small batch bottling (200 barrels per batch) is comprised of selected whiskeys 8-12 years of age. This no-age statement product was introduced in early 2016 to replace the 12-year age statement (a barrel illustration on the original label took place of the number 12). Later in the year, Heaven Hill redesigned its packaging again, with the year "1789" now embossed on the glass. It remains bottled at 94 proof.
  • 5
    3.73
    3.73 out of 5 stars
    This release marks the first batch of distillery-made bourbon from New Riff Distilling. Opened in 2014, the distillery patiently waited for this spirit to reach four years of age. This non chill-filtered, bottled-in-bond release is made from a mash bill of three non-GMO grains including 65% corn, 30% rye and 5% malted barley. Available at the distillery starting August 1, 2018, with wide distribution in Kentucky, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Indiana coming Sept 2018.
  • 4
    3.71
    3.71 out of 5 stars
    Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon was first released in 1992 as part of the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection. It also had a 9 year age statement. But in 2016 the brand removed the age statement while still aiming to achieve the 9 year flavor profile. As of April 2020, the 9 year age statement has returned. The bourbon is still bottled at 100 proof.
  • 3
    3.8
    3.8 out of 5 stars
    Four Roses Small Batch is a straight bourbon that is comprised of 4 of the 10 recipes Four Roses employs. They use an equal measure of both of their mash bills (60% corn, 35% rye, 5% barley and 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley). They also use yeast strains which highlight both a light and spicy profile along with a rich and fruity one. It is bottled at 45% ABV.
  • 2
    3.48
    3.48 out of 5 stars
    The Bulleit label, revived by Tom Bulleit, was first produced for friends and family by Augustus Bulleit in the early 1800s. While Augustus never sold his product, Tom (working with Four Roses) first started producing his version of this "Frontier Whiskey" around 1987. With a mash bill of 68% corn, 28% rye, 4% malted barley, this is a high-rye Kentucky straight bourbon. Bottled at 90 proof.
  • 1
    3.66
    3.66 out of 5 stars
    Distilled at its namesake Woodford Reserve Distillery located in Versailles, Ky. (formerly called Labrot & Graham Distillery), this Kentucky straight bourbon was first introduced in 1996. It is also known as "Distiller's Select". This high-rye bourbon has a mash bill containing 18% rye. It is made from a combination of pot still and column still whiskey. The bourbon is aged between 6-7 years and carries no age statement. Bottled at 45.2% ABV.