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Taster’s Club Top Bourbon Brands to Try Now

Written by Emma C | Updated May 2023

When it comes to bourbon, many people take it much too seriously and obsess over it passionately. The rich, sweet, bold spirit is loved by everyone from history buffs to celebrities to mixologists. Many enthusiasts have strong opinions, arguing over what makes up the top bourbon brands. While brands have various approaches to style and flavor, there are a few commonalities about the whiskey they make. For one, any bourbon’s mash bill must be at least 51% corn. Among other things, it also must be distilled in the US and matured in new charred oak.

With so many different bourbons out there, you might be asking yourself how to narrow down the best bottles. While it’s pretty subjective and personal (like many things in life), one way to start is by brand. There really is a bourbon brand and bottle for every taste, style, occasion, and budget. Whether you’re planning a gathering, unwinding from a tough day, or catching up with an old friend, this Taster’s Club’s list of the best bourbon brands to try for your next slow sipper or smooth cocktail has you covered.

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Taster's Club Top Bourbon Brands Available in our Bottle Shop
  • Best Small Batch: E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch | Wilderness Trail Small Batch Bottled in Bond
  • Best Straight: Clyde Mays Straight Bourbon | The Clover Straight Bourbon
  • Best Cask Strength: Breckenridge 105 | Brother’s Bond Cask Strength
  • Best Single Barrel: Blanton’s Single Barrel | Four Roses Single Barrel
  • Best Wheated: Southern Star Paragon | Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated
  • Best Bottled in Bond: FEW Bottled-in-Bond | Laws Whiskey House Bottled-in-Bond
  • Best Barrel Finished : Rabbit Hole Dareringer | Oak & Eden Wheat & Spire

Best Small Batch Bourbon

E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch .jpeg__PID:f1caa5c5-0d00-442f-89ab-d121b202092e
E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch

This small batch bourbon is a true sipping bourbon that honors the uncompromising legacy of bourbon’s founding father, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. Made by hand, it has been aged inside century-old warehouses constructed by E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrels are evaluated and selected to create a perfect blend of distinctive character that is like no other.

2023 Double Gold San Francisco World Spirits Competition Winner

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Caramel Corn, Butterscotch, Licorice, Pepper | ABV: 50%

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Wilderness Trail Small Batch Bottled in Bond .webp__PID:3f9c0456-92fa-4b2c-b3c6-d9103e612c20
Wilderness Trail Small Batch Bottled in Bond

Wilderness Trail’s Small Batch Bourbon mash bill consists of 64% corn, 24% rye, and 12% malted barley using the maker’s own yeast strains. With herbaceous, minty, and spicy notes, it’s incredibly balanced and smooth enough to be had alone or added as a delicious kick to your favorite mixed drink.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Herb, Mint, Spice | ABV: 50%

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Best Straight Bourbon

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Clyde May's Straight Bourbon

This award-winning straight bourbon from Clyde Mays is aged for 4 to 5 years in new 53-gallon oak barrels and non-chill filtered. You’ll get dried orchard fruits on the nose and spice on the palate. A full and smooth choice, it’s best either on the rocks or in a Manhattan.

Region: Alabama | Tasting Notes: Dried Fruit, Spice | ABV: 46%

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The Clover Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey .webp__PID:ef78ea63-b2f4-4028-a194-440f02ae6189
The Clover Straight Bourbon

The Clover’s Straight Bourbon whiskey offers subtle aromas of oak and spice with a taste of deep caramel, vanilla, and a hint of citrus orange. This leads to a lovely, soft, lingering finish of caramel, vanilla, and light oak.

Region: Indiana | Tasting Notes: Oak, Spice, Caramel, Vanilla | ABV: 46%

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Best Cask Strength Bourbon

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Breckenridge 105

Breckenridge 105 is its blended bourbon Whiskey with a twist, bottled at a gripping 105 proof in a deep, burnt orange hue. This bottle gives you a chance to experience what the distillers taste as they blend: a wild ride through rich, dark caramel and toasted almonds, burnt Baker’s chocolate, and dried orange peel, with a lingering finish of vanilla and spice.

Region: Colorado | Tasting Notes: caramel, almond, chocolate, orange peel | ABV: 52.5%

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Brother's Bond Orginal Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey .webp__PID:66a12787-99e9-4ec0-9a39-e9c3d285d4ba
Brother’s Bond Cask Strength

This limited release of the original cask strength expression showcases Brother’s Bond Bourbon in its undiluted form, unfiltered and uncut at 115.8 proof. It’s influenced only by the barrel’s qualities, the passing of time, and the artful blending of three distinct mash bills to create a four-grain straight bourbon original cask strength whiskey.

Region: Indiana | Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, Rye, Oak, Leather, Honey | ABV: 57.9%

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Best Single Barrel Bourbon

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Blanton’s Single Barrel

From the time Albert Bacon Blanton became president of Blanton’s in 1921 until his retirement in 1952, his distillery became the largest distillery of its day. Colonel Blanton created his very special and limited supply of bourbon – his private reserve – handpicked and stored in what now is known as the famous Warehouse H. Today, the Colonel’s legacy lives on. Introduced in 1984, Blanton’s namesake bourbon was the first ever Single Barrel Bourbon sold commercially.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Cedar, Toffee, Vanilla, Dried Fruit, And White Pepper | ABV: 40%

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Four Roses Single Barrel .jpeg__PID:11411951-0bda-4356-929a-d38743626929
Four Roses Single Barrel

This single-barrel bourbon from Four Roses is complex, full-bodied, and surprisingly smooth. You’ll get aromas of oak, caramel, vanilla, fruit, and mint, similar flavors on the palate, plus honey, cinnamon, and clove, followed by a delicate, long, very mellow finish.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Oak, Caramel, Cinnamon, Vanilla | ABV: 50%

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Best Wheated Bourbon

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Southern Star Paragon

New to Taster’s Club, this 100-proof wheated bottled-in-bond whiskey has a sweet and complex lineup of floral elements contained in a rich silky texture. Stick around long enough and you can soak up the warm flavors of ripe apple and dried apricot.

Region: North Carolina | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Honey, Walnut | ABV: 46%

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Jefferson's Ocean Aged at Sea Wheated Bourbon.webp__PID:b59083df-9cb5-4f5a-abb2-e6d4219efb2c
Jefferson’s Ocean Wheated

Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea is fully matured for at least four years, then placed in rickhouses on ships to travel the globe which hyper-ages the bourbon. The constant agitation, weather conditions, and sea-salt air impart a flavor like no other. As wheat is a softer grain than rye, it amplifies the flavors intrinsic to ocean voyages, in a way that rye spice just can’t.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Clove, Pepper, Grain, Caramel | ABV: 45%

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Best Bottled in Bond

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FEW Bottled-in-Bond

The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair preceded the US Bottle-in-Bond Act by 4 years in 1897. FEW’s whiskey is bottled under the strict rules of the Act, essentially America’s first consumer protection law and guarantee of quality. The bourbon’s release coincides with the 125th anniversary of the passage of that Act. Bottled at 50% ALC. / VOL distilled in the same season at FEW, and aged a minimum of four years in American oak in a federally bonded warehouse, FEW Bottled in Bond Bourbon features the beloved spice of FEW Straight Bourbon, with cherry, smoked vanilla, oak, and caramel undertones.

Region: Chicago | Tasting Notes: Black Pepper, Cherry, Oak, Cinnamon | ABV: 50%

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Laws Whiskey House Four Grain Bottled in Bond Bourbon .webp__PID:7841735c-844e-4594-84e7-0da78e6f435d
Laws Whiskey House Bottled-in-Bond

Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea is fully matured for at least four years, then placed in rickhouses on ships to travel the globe which hyper-ages the bourbon. The constant agitation, weather conditions, and sea-salt air impart a flavor like no other. As wheat is a softer grain than rye, it amplifies the flavors intrinsic to ocean voyages, in a way that rye spice just can’t.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Clove, Pepper, Grain, Caramel | ABV: 45%

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Best Barrel Finished

Rabbit Hole Dareringer Sherry Cask Finish Bourbon .jpeg__PID:cf81492a-b1bb-46c1-ae6d-d3f934be2159
Rabbit Hole Dareringer

Rabbit Hole’s Dareringer is named after the prominent Louisville individuals who traveled down their own rabbit holes. Crafted in small batches from unique mash bills with unorthodox, specialty grains and distilled without compromise, this Sherry cask-finished Bourbon is elegant, sweet, and charming.

Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Cherry, Almond, Raisins, Vanilla | ABV: 46.5%

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Oak & Eden Wheat & Spire Bourbon Amburana Spire Taster's Club Exclusive.jpeg__PID:075d2f28-b6a3-4118-87e1-047fdb6b4e2c
Oak & Eden Wheat & Spire

Oak & Eden breaks tradition in the finishing (or double barrel) process. Instead of putting its fully aged whiskey in a second barrel to add more flavor coming naturally from the wood, they place a spire in the bottle (a spiral-cut piece of oak fashioned from the same species and treatment as barrel oak).

Region: Texas | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Vanilla Custard, Spice, Licorice, Oak | ABV: 45%

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You can’t go wrong with these top bourbon brands for timeless, classic American whiskey flavors. No matter who you’re serving or what you’re craving, there’s something for everyone on this list. Check it out the next time your friends or family stop by or you’re simply looking for something new and different in the bourbon world.

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