Bourbon Rankings: The 5 Best Bourbons Ranked for 2022
From east to west, these bourbons are best. Considering Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries filled around 2.1 million barrels of bourbon last year, there are many bourbons in the United States to try. We’ve made it easier for you by selecting 5 bourbons for you to choose from (although we recommend trying all 5!). Read on for our bourbon rankings (in no particular order!).
Our Best Bourbons to Try:
- Lonely Oak Distillery Steeple Ridge Single Barrel Bourbon
- Spirit Works Distillery Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey Cask Strength Private Barrel
- Barrell Bourbon Batch 027 Bourbon
- Black Button Cask Strength Bourbon
- Low Gap Bourbon Whiskey
Not all bourbon tastes the same (although it may seem like it at first). There are different aromas, tastes, finishes, types. So many that it can be daunting to choose just one to try. Taster’s Club makes this easy by selecting one for you. Every month, we send you a 750ml bottle of bourbon to your doorstep to try. These include tasting, history, and distillery notes from experts.
Best Bourbons Ranked: Single Barrel – Lonely Oak Distillery Steeple Ridge
About the bourbon: To start off our bourbon rankings, we have Winner of Gold in 2019 with the American Craft Spirits Association, the Steeple Ridge Single Barrel Bourbon. It’s matured in small, charred American White Oak Barrels, and bottled at 102 proof. Aging in these barrels develops notes of cherry, vanilla, and toffee with a nutty finish. Each bottle is one-of-a-kind and signed with its own barrel and bottle number.
About the distillery: Lonely Oak Distillery, “Craft Spirits from America’s Heartland”
Lonely Oak Distillery is a micro-distillery located in Shelby County, Iowa and Iowa’s first legal farmer-distiller.
Pat and Amy Hoffmann founded it in 2017 when they wanted to expand the use of their grain harvest. And so, they decided to distill these grains into bourbon.
What’s cool about Lonely Oak is that they’re homegrown and when they can’t provide the necessary grains, they partner with other local farmers to assist.
Best Bourbons Ranked: Straight Bourbon – Spirit Works Distillery Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey Cask Strength Private Barrel
About the bourbon: This was bottled exclusively for Taster’s Club and is the distillery’s first cask-strength bourbon. It’s aged at least four years in full-size 53-gallon American White Oak char-4 barrels and bottled at 80 proof. This four grain bourbon comprises 60% corn with wheat, rye and barley in the mash bill. This bourbon tastes of chicory, brown butter, and treacle flavors with a round complexity.
About the distillery: Spirit Works Distillery was awarded Distillery of the Year by ADI in July 2020. Founded in 2012 in Sebastopol, California, Timo and Ashby Marshall, a husband and wife team, have realized their vision for Spirit Oaks with a commitment to supporting California’s farming community.
Spirit Works sources organic and local ingredients. The whole grain is used in the process of distillation–milled, mashed, fermented, distilled, and bottled on-site.
Spirit Works is inventive: constantly experimenting with different mash bill combinations. The result is original, complex, singular barrels of whiskey that cannot be reproduced.
Best Bourbons Ranked: Blended - Barrell Bourbon Batch 027 Bourbon
About the bourbon: Next up in our bourbon rankings is Barrell Bourbon Batch 027. Awarded Double Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2021, each batch has its own formula. Barrell Bourbon Batch 027 in particular is a blend of 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, and 15-year old barrel selections. The base is a combination of 6-year-old fruity barrels from Tennessee and spiced 5-year-old barrels from Indiana. To add the element of depth and woody character, 13 and 15-year old barrels were blended. Then, a few 9-year-old rye barrels were added for spice. And finally, 5 and 8-year-old wheated bourbon barrels were added to soften the bourbon and round the flavor.
Batch 027 is the second Batch of bourbon, after Batch 025.
About the distillery: Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Barrell Craft Spirits is an independent bottler known for sourcing and blending various casks from already established distilleries. Joe Beatrice, the founder, was a marketing and technology entrepreneur and decided to use his prowess to found Barrell Craft Spirits in 2013.
Joe went against the grain, so to speak, and didn’t build his own distillery. Instead, his creative blends are sourced from distilleries all over the country from Indiana to Tennessee to Kentucky. Because of this, Barrell Craft’s bourbons are imaginative, quickly positioning themselves as innovators in the brewing industry.
Best Bourbons Ranked: Cask Strength Bourbon – Black Button Cask Strength Bourbon
About the bourbon: Straight and uncut from an oak barrel, this four grain bourbon blend is distilled from 60% corn, 20% wheat, 9% rye, and 11% malted barley and is aged for a minimum of two years. With notes of caramel and chocolate, this bourbon is a smooth sipper. Add a half teaspoon of water to bring out notes of citrus.
About the distillery: US News declared Black Button Distilling as one of the fastest-growing distilleries in New York State. A true grain-to-glass distillery, Black Button is dedicated to supporting New York State’s agricultural history. More than 95% of their ingredients are grown or produced in NYS, and all of their grains are sourced from Edgewood Farms. By keeping their brand local, they secure their reputation for superior quality.
What’s cool is that in 2018, Black Button Farm and Forestry was created. Here, they grow juniper for gin, white oak to make their own barrels, herbs, spices, and honey for cocktails.
And last but not least…
Best Bourbons Ranked: Balanced Bourbon – Low Gap Bourbon Whiskey
About the bourbon: To wrap up our bourbon rankings, we have Low Gap Bourbon – a spirit double-distilled in Charentais Alembic stills from Cognac. Founder Crispin Cain employs an ancient technique learned from a master brandy maker from Cognac. This process allows him to select the heart of the spirit, contributing to a sweeter and superb finished product. This bourbon was aged for three years in charred white oak barrels from Kentucky, Missouri, and Minnesota and is bottled at the distillery with a crew of only four to eight people. No colorings, flavorings, or wood chips are added to the barrels defining a pure honey color. You’ll taste caramel, butter, vanilla, and all of the sweeter things in life when sipping on this balanced bourbon.
About the distillery: Tamar Distillery was established in 2009. Founder Crispin Cain started his career making wine in 1983. He then went on to learn to distill Cognac professionally in 1989 at the Germain-Robin Brandy Distillery in Mendocino County. Here, he learned an ancient distillation process of making Cognac dating back to 1510. He partnered with Tamar Kaye, a horticulturist, and began making whiskey from Cognac still pots, implementing a double distillation method.
Bourbon Rankings – Final Thoughts
There you have it, a roundup of some of our monthly bourbon whiskey selections ranked. Hopefully this inspires you to purchase whichever bourbon invigorates your spirit the most (although, why not try just four more?). If you’d like to try a few more, join our Taster's Club Bourbon of the Month Club.