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!
Apr 30, 2019
  • 10
    10 Wild Turkey Bourbon 101
    82
    Sweet & Vanilla
    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
    9 Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon
    84
    Sweet
    Old Grand-Dad is based on the high-rye bourbon recipe made famous by Basil Hayden -- it's his picture on the bottle. This is the Bottled-In-Bond version of Old Grand-Dad Bourbon, meaning it was all distilled in the same calendar year. Additionally, it was aged at least 4 years under government supervision, and it is bottled at 50% ABV. Along with Old Overholt Rye, Old Grand-Dad falls under "The Olds" whiskeys released by Jim Beam. 
  • 8
    8 Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    86
    Spicy
    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
    7 Old Forester 100 Proof Bourbon
    88
    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.
  • 6
    6 Larceny Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    88
    Sweet & Rich
    Larceny Small Batch is a brand extension of Heaven Hill's Old Fitzgerald line. According to their story, back in the day, John E. Fitzgerald used his privilege of holding the keys to Pappy Van Winkle's bonded warehouse, where the Old Fitzgerald bourbons were kept, to steal the best casks for himself. These became known as the "Fitzgerald Barrels." Larceny is a wheated straight bourbon made from a blend of selected barrels made in honor of this legend. It bears no-age statement and is bottled at 92 proof.
  • 5
    5 New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon Bottled In Bond
    89
    Full Bodied & Spicy
    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
    4 Knob Creek 9 Year Single Barrel Reserve
    90
    Spicy & Vanilla
    As the name suggests, each bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is made from an unblended, hand-selected barrel. The bourbon is aged in a rickhouse in Clermont, Kentucky for at least 9 years. However, unlike the standard small batch version, it is bottled at 120 proof instead of 100 proof. Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve may vary from bottle to bottle as is the nature of the category.
  • 3
    3 Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
    90
    Spicy & Rich
    Four Roses Single Barrel is bottled at 50% ABV and is comprised of their OBSV recipe (Four Roses has 10 different recipes). It's a Kentucky straight bourbon made using a high-rye mash bill (60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley) and uses their delicate fruit yeast strain. Each batch will vary slightly as is to be expected from single-barrel bottlings.
  • 2
    2 Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon
    90
    Fruity & Rich
    First introduced in August 2013, Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon is uncut (no water added) and unfiltered like its bourbon "father" George T. Stagg. Distilled at Buffalo Trace, each batch will vary in both proof and age, but expect the bourbon to be around 8-9 years old with proofs ranging in the 130+ area. Stagg Jr. will be considerably more affordable and easier to find than its predecessor.
  • 1
    1 Maker's Mark Cask Strength
    90
    Vanilla & Spicy
    Maker's Mark Cask Strength is a new release that is bottled exclusively in 375ml bottles. This isn’t a single cask bottling, but rather a blend of up to 19 different barrels with varying proofs and ages. This was Batch No. 14-01 which was put into the bottle at 56.6%. It is made from the traditional Maker's Mark corn, red winter wheat and barley mash bill.