Top Bourbons for Kentucky Derby Day

Whether you're enjoying one (or several) delicious Mint Juleps, or you're sipping your bourbon neat, you can't go wrong with any of these while you're enjoying Kentucky Derby Day!
May 03, 2016
  • 10
    10 Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon
    91
    Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon is one of the flagship products of the Buffalo Trace collection of whiskeys. It is made from 10 year old bourbon aged at the Kentucky distillery. The barrels are hand selected for quality and consistency before bottling.
  • 9
    9 Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
    90
    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.
  • 8
    8 Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Amaranth Bourbon Bottled in Bond
    86
    Amaranth Bourbon is the 10th release in the Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. collection first launched in early 2011 by Buffalo Trace. This bottled in bond bourbon uses the ancient grain amaranth as the flavoring grain in the mash bill with corn and malted barley completing recipe. Amaranth has a flavor profile close to wheat and was originally cultivated by the Aztecs. Available as a one-time only limited release beginning late July 2019.
  • 7
    7 I.W. Harper 15 Year Bourbon
    94
    Originally launched in 1879, I.W. Harper, the venerable Kentucky Bourbon returns to distribution within the United States this year (2015) after a long absence. Created by the Bernheim brothers, Isaac and Bernard, the brand was named after Isaac's first two initials (I.W.), but the surname Harper was chosen for broader market appeal. With a high corn mashbill (86%) this 15 year old offering was distilled at the New Bernheim Distillery in Louisville (now part of Heaven Hill) and aged most recently at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
  • 6
    6 Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
    92
    Woodford Reserve is known for aging their bourbon in heavily charred oak barrels, which give the whiskey a distinctive, deep, rich flavor and feel. Double Oaked is the same bourbon, given a second maturation, or finish, in barrels that have been toasted twice as long, but charred much more lightly than the other casks, for an additional 9 months. A package redesign was introduced in late 2016, featuring a shorter and wider bottle. It is still bottled at 45.2% ABV.
  • 5
    5 Rabbit Hole "Dareringer" Straight Bourbon Finished in PX Sherry Casks
    92
    Rabbit Hole "Dareringer" Straight Bourbon Finished in PX Sherry Casks is a wheated bourbon with a mash bill of 68% corn, 18% wheat, and 14% malted barley. It is aged in char #4 barrels before being transferred to former PX sherry casks for an additional six months of maturation. This is part of Rabbit Hole's Fingerprint Edition whiskeys. Note: This product was rebranded as of September 2019 with "Dareringer" added to its name. It is the same whiskey as Rabbit Hole Straight Bourbon Finished in PX Sherry Casks. Only the packaging and name differ.
  • 4
    4 Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Bourbon
    90
    As the name indicates, this is a small batch whiskey comprised of selected whiskey barrels which were aged in Warehouse C. This warehouse was constructed by Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr in 1881. This bourbon is also a bonded whiskey which means that the bourbon was distilled in one season, aged for at least 4 years and bottled at 50% ABV.
  • 3
    3 Rock Hill Farms Bourbon
    91
    Rock Hill Farms Bourbon is a single barrel whiskey produced in Frankfurt, Kentucky by the Sazerac brands and released in fairly limited quantities in most markets. This single-barrel bourbon was named for a swath of rich farmland along the Kentucky River and is bottled without an age statement at 100 proof. The beautiful, etched decanter-like bottle is topped with a glass stopper.
  • 2
    2 Blanton's Original Single Barrel
    89
    The first mass-produced single-barrel bourbon, bottled by Master Distiller Elmer T Lee in 1984, gets its name from Colonel Albert Blanton. Colonel Blanton spent more than 55 years producing, studying and upholding whiskey traditions; holding almost every job imaginable at what is now the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Insider's note: Save the stoppers. They spell out Blanton's and depict eight different moments from the beginning to end of a horse race.
  • 1
    1 Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bottled-in-Bond
    95
    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.