Liquor Laboratory

15 Best 10 Year Bourbon Bottles Worth Trying (2024 Edition)

Best 10-Year Bourbon

If you are looking for a complex bourbon that does not completely lose the dram to oakiness, you should find the best 10-year bourbon. The sweet spot for bourbon is around ten years, and they can be more refined, extra, and expensive. 

Here we have it, the best decade-old bourbon that is a bang for your buck. 

Top 15 Sippable Best 10 Year Bourbon

15. Willett 10 Year

man opening Willett 10 Year bottle

Average Price: Roughly $1,399.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 57.5%

Why We Like It:

Willett 10 Year is a single-barrel bourbon hand selected by master craftsmen for its great flavor profile and aroma.

After fermentation and distillation of the mash bill, it is aged in new charred oak barrels for a decade to develop the great tasting notes of the straight bourbon whiskey. 

On the nose, Willett 10 Year has lots of oak, heat, sweet brown sugar, and rye spice. We like the slightly less oak, rich vanilla, hot spice on the palate, and lingering finish.

As we finish the glass, it gets deeper, and dark fudge notes come through with some wood polish notes. 

14. Calumet Farm 10 Year Single Rack Black Kentucky Bourbon

Calumet Farm 10 Year Single Rack Black Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey in a top of barrel

Average Price: Roughly $71.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Calumet Farm 10-Year Single Rack Black Kentucky Bourbon is an extremely small batch of bourbon whiskey with only 19 barrels.

Each rack of charred American oak barrels has an optimum level of humidity shifts and temperature to ensure a great texture with bursts of oak and toasted honey. 

The Kentucky Straight bourbon whiskey is bold, luxurious, and vigorous because of its complex flavors and amazing tasting notes.

It is made from 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley and boasts 46% alcohol content.

Also, the small batch bourbon has deep amber leather color and notes of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla. 

13. Bib & Tucker 10-Year Old Small Batch Tennessee Bourbon

Bib & Tucker 10-Year Old Small Batch Bottle and a glass on a Wooden Barrel

Average Price: Roughly $96.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Bib and Tucker is an award-winning small batch Tennessee bourbon that forged its path all on its own. It is aged for a decade in new charred oak barrels and is non-chill filtered for greater depth and rich flavors. 

Based on our blind taste test, it has an amazing amount of vanilla, toasted oak, sweet roasted corn, and pipe tobacco.

The velvety entry is on the spot because of its well-balanced sweetness that is warm, slightly dry, and covers the mid-palate. 

12. Clyde May’s 10-Year Cask Strength Bourbon 

Clyde May's 10 Year Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottle and a Box

Average Price: Roughly $159.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 58.5%

Why We Like It:

Clyde May’s 10-Year Cask Strength bourbon is one of the best decade-old bourbons on the market today.

The barrel-proof bourbon is aged in new charred oak barrels to develop the sweet caramel, dark chocolate, orange peel, and toasted marshmallows of the bourbon. 

The bourbon is full of peach, cedar, and citrus on the nose. It delivers a rich spice, maple syrup on the palate, with a zesty floral finish. 

11. Widow Jane 10-Year Straight Bourbon

Widow Jane 10-Year Straight Bourbon bottle on a rock

Average Price: Roughly $68.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 45.5%

Why We Like It:

Widow Jane is one of the great whiskeys we’ve tasted. The 10-year bourbon has deep cherry notes with a slightly tannic finish. 

The mash bill of Widow Jane is undisclosed, but since it is straight bourbon, it should contain at least 51% corn [1].

The vanilla, cream, dark chocolate orange, cherry, and almond are evident in every sip, and it has a nice charred oak and spice finish. 

10. Henry McKenna 10-Year Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon

Henry McKenna 10-Year Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon on a wooden table

Average Price: Roughly $74.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Henry McKenna is a bottled-in-bond bourbon, and it has won multiple awards from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition from 2019 to 2021.

The high-proof bourbon is named after Henry McKenna to honor his contribution to the bourbon world. 

Based on the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, it should be made by one distillery in a single distilling season and aged in a government bonded warehouse [2].

However, Heaven Hill Distillery has aged its bourbon for a decade, and critics will agree that it is a perfectly balanced bourbon. 

Read: Popular Bottled-in-Bond Bourbons

9. Michter’s 10-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Michter's 10-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon with bottles of liqour on the background

Average Price: Roughly $499.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 47.2%

Why We Like It:

Michter’s 10-year bourbon is exceptional in quality and has earned its palace as one of the favorites of whiskey connoisseurs. It boasts 47.2% alcohol content. 

Labeled as the “Best American Whiskey” by Food & Wine Magazine, Michter’s is a single barrel patiently aged in American barrels for a big, bold flavor. 

8. Bird Dog 10-Year Bourbon

Man Drinking Bottle of Bird Dog 10 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $43.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Bird Dog is a ten-year bourbon crafted and aged to ensure that the depth of flavor notes and character of the bourbon is paramount.

It is a budget-friendly bourbon and can be compared to Buffalo Trace and Four Roses Small Batch. 

Bird Dog 10-Year is a solid, well-crafted bourbon with a nice “well-aged” flavor profile.

It is not overpowering and has a good vanilla sweetness that we find very appealing. It works well neat and does not fade away easily on cocktails. 

7. Heaven’s Door 10-Year Bourbon

Man Holding Bottle of Heaven's Door 10-Year Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $99.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Heaven’s Door 10-year bourbon is a limited-release Tennessee whiskey with a rich, complex, and smooth flavor profile.

It is crafted out of dedication and patience. Every drop of this bourbon tells a story about the importance of age, maturation, and time. 

The distillery does not disclose the bourbon mash bill but contains at least 51% corn.

It is an award-winning bourbon with a great blend of art and craft in partnership with Bob Dylan, an iconic artist, and musician. 

6. Corner Creek 10-Year Bourbon

bottle of Corner Creek 10-Year Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $65.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 44%

Why We Like It:

Corner Creek is a ten-year-old bourbon that has been around since the late 1980s.

Corner Creek Distillery Co owns it and has consistently been a non-distiller produced from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery. 

The bourbon starts with a strong finish and delivers above-average tasting notes.

It is well-rounded and full of sweet flavors, and thanks to its aging process, it has developed nice oak characteristics. 

5. Basil Hayden 10-Year-Old Bourbon Whiskey

Basil Hayden 10-Year-Old Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Roughly $72.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Basil Hayden is a decade-old bourbon with 40% ABV (80 proof).

The extra maturation of the rye bourbon in American oak barrels gives an additional layer of complexity to the distilled spirit.

Every sip delivers a heightened oak aroma along with hints of vanilla and char while maintaining the trademark of Basil Hayden every sip. 

4. Russell’s Reserve 10-Year-Old Bourbon

close up shot of Russell's Reserve 10-Year-Old Bourbon bottle

Average Price: Roughly $38.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Russel’s Reserve decade bourbon is bottled at 90 proof, aged for a minimum of ten years in char#4 American oak barrels.

It produces a rich vanilla and caramel flavor with a uniquely smooth finish. 

The brand offers single-barrel bourbons and other selections, but you should not miss out on this 10-year-old bourbon. 

3. Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year

Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year bottle with glasses

Average Price: Roughly $38.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 45.6%

Why We Like It:

Bulleit Bourbon 10-year features a high rye mash bill, allowing you to savor the distilled spirit’s mellow character and smooth and complex finish.

The high rye bourbon combines the hints of vanilla, rye spice, dried fruit, caramel, and cloves.

If you have a soft spot for drinking rye whiskeys, you should try the rye bourbon from Bulleit.

The classic aroma of toasty oak has a nice kick and smooth flavor that you can taste until the end.  

2. Eagle Rare 10-Year Bourbon

Bottle of Eagle Rare 10-Year Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $127.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Eagle Rare 10-year bourbon is carefully aged and masterfully crafted for no less than ten years. It has a complex aroma and smooth lingering taste that will make you want another glass. 

Unlike high rye bourbons, Eagle Rare bourbon lives up to its name because of its distinctive taste experience and pleasing tasting notes.

It is sweet, well spiced, and has a mellow character because it contains rye on its mash bill. 

1. Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year

bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year and shelf with full of liqour at the back

Average Price: Roughly $1,499.99 (Drizly)

Average Alcohol Content: 53.5%

Why We Like It:

Old Rip Van Winkle is a wheated bourbon bottled at nearly barrel proof. It is rich, sweet, and smooth bourbon and is well-accepted for its great flavor profile.

Moreso, it is a well-aged bourbon and has rich notes of spice, oak tannins, and dried fruit. 

The bourbon features a rich copper color with an aroma of buttery caramel fudge, roasted pecans, and brown spices.

It is fruity-yet-dry bourbon with lingering cherry tobacco, raisin toast, and a peppery spice finish. 

FAQs 

Is bourbon whiskey better with age?

Yes, bourbon whiskeys get better with age. The aging process calms the harshness of the alcohol and gives the bourbon its distinct flavors [3].

As the bourbon sits longer in the barrel, it becomes richer and more complex and tastes better than bourbons that are aged younger. 

At what age does bourbon taste the smoothest?

The bourbon tastes the smoothest at around eight to twelve years. The bourbons aged between the given range are smoother than younger and older ones because they are bourbons’ soft spots.

At ten years, the spirit absorbs the flavor of the barrels and mellows out even more. 

What is the best 10 year bourbon priced under $100?

Elijah Craig 10-Year-Old is often recommended for its balanced flavors and affordability.

What makes a 10-year bourbon special? 

A 10-year bourbon is special because of its extended aging process, which allows it to mellow and develop rich flavors of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice, resulting in a smoother and more refined taste.

Are there specific characteristics to look for in the best 10-year bourbon?

Yes, the best 10-year bourbon often exhibits characteristics such as depth of flavor, complexity, smoothness, and a well-balanced combination of sweet and spicy notes, making it a highly desirable choice for bourbon enthusiasts.

How does a 10-year bourbon compare to younger or older bourbons? 

A 10-year bourbon typically offers a balance between the boldness of younger bourbons and the mellowness of older expressions, striking a perfect harmony of flavors and aromas that appeal to many whiskey drinkers.

What are some notable brands of 10-year bourbon?

Several bourbon brands are known for producing exceptional 10-year expressions, including Elijah Craig, Eagle Rare, Four Roses, and Russell’s Reserve, which have gained recognition for their quality and consistency.

Are aged bourbons more expensive?

Yes, aged bourbons are more expensive than younger bourbons. The aging process makes the bourbon good and more valuable.
One of the main reasons why it is expensive is that the distillery invests money and time in crafting the whiskey, and they have to wait for years to make a profit. 

Final Thoughts

Aging is important to bourbon because it gives the distilled spirit its distinct flavor profile and appearance. Since the bourbons aged eight to twelve taste smoother than younger and older ones, it would be better to find the best 10-year bourbon. 

From single barrel to BiB bourbons, we hope that you find our list helpful for your bourbon hunting.

They have rich flavor profiles, with lingering notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and baking spices. It can land on the pricier side, but it tastes better and is worth every dollar, so try a bottle now. 

References:

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/04/5-rules-that-make-it-bourbon.html 
  2. https://www.gearpatrol.com/food/drinks/a36466533/what-is-bottled-in-bond/ 
  3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/distilled-spirit/Maturation-blending-and-packaging 
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