Top Barrel Proof American Whiskey Picks

Barrel proof whiskeys offer a full flavor and more bang for your buck. You can adjust (or not) the proof by adding ice or water as you see fit. Batches can vary, but tend to have similar profiles and proofs. Here are our favorite American picks under $100.
Dec 15, 2019
  • 12
    12 Knob Creek Cask Strength Straight Rye
    85
    4.03
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 187 )
    Rich & Spicy
    This is the third rye expression under the Knob Creek brand following the straight rye release in 2012 and the Single Barrel Select release in early 2018. This bottling is aged for 9 years and was sourced from their Warehouse A, the oldest standing warehouse at their distillery. Bottled at cask strength of 119.6 proof, it is unfiltered. Available beginning June 2018.
  • 11
    11 KO Distilling Bare Knuckle Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey
    86
    2.81
    2 out of 5 stars
    ( 4 )
    Vanilla & Full Bodied
    KO Distilling launched a cask strength edition of its Bare Knuckle straight wheat whiskey at the end of 2018. With a minimum of two years maturation in full-size barrels, the whiskey is comprised of a 60% wheat, 30% rye and 10% malted barley mash bill, made entirely from Virginia-grown grains. The label features Irish-American prizefighter Jimmy Gardner, circa 1910.
  • 10
    10 New Riff Single Barrel Barrel Proof Bourbon
    87
    3.85
    3 out of 5 stars
    ( 384 )
    Spicy & Vanilla
    New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon is made with the same mash bill as the brand's standard bourbon release: 65% corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley. These single barrel releases are selected by retailers or on-premise locations. Each single barrel bottling is aged for 4 years in 53-gallon new, charred American oak barrels. Additionally, they are bottled at barrel proof without chill-filtration so expect to see variances in both flavor and proof with each barrel.
  • 9
    9 Ezra Brooks "Old Ezra" Barrel Strength Bourbon 7 Year
    87
    3.92
    3 out of 5 stars
    ( 427 )
    Vanilla & Full Bodied
    Luxco, the company behind brands such as Rebel Yell, Ezra Brooks, and Blood Oath among others, has released this Kentucky straight bourbon. Aged 7 years, it is bottled at a barrel proof of 117 proof. Old Ezra Barrel Strength Bourbon 7 Year is available beginning fall 2018.
  • 8
    8 1792 Full Proof Straight Bourbon
    87
    3.91
    3 out of 5 stars
    ( 735 )
    Full Bodied & Rich
    In 2007, 125-proof bourbon was placed in new, charred oak barrels and stored in warehouses E, N and I for 8 1/2 years at Barton 1792 Distillery. The warehouses in which it was stored are exposed to direct sunlight through 7 story-high windows, with metal frames and concrete bottom floors. The aged distillate was filtered once though a plate and frame filter (no chill filtering) in order to maintain its proof.
  • 7
    7 Booker's Bourbon Batch 2019-01 "Teresa's Batch"
    89
    4.06
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 113 )
    Full Bodied & Spicy
    Teresa's Batch is the first Booker's Bourbon Batch release for 2019. This batch is named after longtime Beam Distillery employee of over 30 years, Teresa Wittemer. She has worked in the lab and in the Quality Control department where she gained her expertise in blending bourbon batches to Booker Noe's high standards. She continues to help select batches of bourbon for the Booker's son, current master distiller, Fred Noe. This batch aged for 6 years, 3 months, and 1 day. Bottled at 125.9 proof.
  • 6
    6 Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon
    90
    4.1
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 2096 )
    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.
  • 5
    5 Maker's Mark Cask Strength
    90
    3.91
    3 out of 5 stars
    ( 993 )
    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.
  • 4
    4 Rossville Union Master Crafted Barrel Proof Straight Rye
    91
    4.16
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 59 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    As the name suggests, this is the cask strength version of Rossville Union, the first proprietary rye brand released by MGP Ingredients. It is made from a batch of 83 barrels, noted on the front of the bottle, aged in new, charred American oak. Barrel Proof is bottled at 112.6 proof and is available beginning June 2018 in select markets in the Midwest and Southwest US.
  • 3
    3 Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof
    92
    4.11
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 562 )
    Rich & Vanilla
    Jack Daniel's already offers a single barrel whiskey watered down to 94 proof. The barrel proof, as the name suggests, is bottled at what ever proof the whiskey comes out in the barrel. As each barrel has a different alcohol content due to evaporation during the aging process, there is no standard proof for this bottling. The bottle reviewed was 66% abv.
  • 2
    2 Wild Turkey Rare Breed 116.8
    93
    4.12
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 844 )
    Vanilla & Full Bodied
    This batch released in spring 2017 is the latest in the Rare Breed lineup. As is always the case, the Kentucky straight bourbon is bottled at cask-strength which varies from batch to batch. This one is offered at 116.8 proof. This batch release also comes with a cosmetic change with new labels and different bottle shape than their previous releases.
  • 1
    1 Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon
    93
    4.34
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 1723 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Released for the first time in the March 2013, each batch is a an uncut, unfiltered selection of Elijah Craig 12 Year. Each batch will vary both in flavor and in proof as is the nature of such releases. The "code" for the batches is as follows: The first letter of each batch indicates the order of the release for that year beginning with the letter "A" for the first batch, "B" for the second, and so on. Next is a number which reflects the month of the release, so "1" for January for example. The third and fourth digits reflect the year of the release. This batch number is printed on the front of each bottle along with the proof.