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15 Best Barrel Proof Bourbons Listed & Reviewed (2022)

Last Updated on September 28, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Compared to other whiskey types, bourbons are known as more flavorful spirits. However, finding the best barrel proof bourbons could be challenging. 

If you want to experience the flavor of what true American spirits are, find the best barrel proof bourbons here!

Top 15 Barrel Proof Bourbons To Give Bolder Flavors 

15. Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon Whisky

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength

Alcohol Content: 54.5%

Average Price: roughly $53

Why We Liked It: What we like about this Maker’s Mark whiskey are its round and defined taste. This is one of the barrel proof whiskeys that have the best blended flavors. Elevated caramel, vanilla, toasted almonds, and cinnamon are tugging at the palate. 

The flavors are not over the top, but they can definitely be enjoyed on a relaxing afternoon, sipped neat, or on the rocks. This can spice up a couple of mixed drinks without hurting the bank since it has a very good price. 

Read: How Long Is Maker’s Mark Aged?

14. Jefferson’s Ocean Aged Cask Strength Bourbon

Jefferson’s Ocean Aged Cask Strength

Alcohol Content: 56%

Average Price: roughly $100

Why We Liked It: This barrel-strength bourbon has an interesting aging process. Its individual batches reached barrel strength while voyaging the oceans. With 112 proof, you’d be surprised to find out how savory each drop is.

This bourbon whiskey has an interesting salted caramel palate with added flavors of burnt sugar, cinnamon buns, and orange zest. 

Based on the palate, this bourbon is a great option for sipping, but it can also be a good addition to your favorite cocktail. 

13. Booker’s Bourbon

Booker’s Bourbon

Alcohol Content: 63.9%

Average Price: roughly $100

Why We Liked It: Booker’s Bourbon is a small batch whiskey collection from Jim Beam. The master distiller was the grandchild of Jim Beam himself. There is no question where he got the skills in whopping up this barrel strength expression with bold flavors. 

He managed to keep the brand’s staple banana flavor and blended it with intense flavors of oak, honey, fresh leather, and spices with a crisp and clean finish. 

Despite being bottled at cask strength, this spirit developed a layered savory taste and a uniquely smooth texture. 

12. W.L. Weller Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

W.L. Weller Full Proof

Alcohol Content: 57%

Average Price: roughly $439.99

Why We Liked It: We like the complexity of this whiskey because this is unlike any other bourbons we have tasted.

It was non-chill filtered but was chill-filtrated to ensure all the flavors and natural oils were preserved during distillation.

We love the dark fruits, maple syrup, spices, and dried cherries which blend perfectly with the high alcohol content. 

11. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Alcohol Content: 60.4%

Average Price: roughly $87

Why We Liked It: Elijah Craig barrel proof has won awards worldwide because of its impeccable flavor.

This bourbon has a complex yet defined savoriness and aroma that ends with a burst of flavors of sweet apple fruitiness with vanilla, butterscotch, and cinnamon. 

Like other variants of this brand, the Elijah Craig barrel proof bourbon flavors are fully developed. Another impressive feature of Elijah Craig Barrel proof whiskey is the smooth and mellowed texture despite the high alcohol content. 

10. Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength

Alcohol Content: 61.2%

Average Price: roughly $256

Why We Liked It: Let’s begin with the fact that Angel’s Envy has quite a high barrel strength but is still acknowledged as smooth and mellow. They handpick only a few barrels to continue through bottling to ensure consistent flavor and texture. 

It ends with golden amber color, a complex but perfectly blended taste of caramel, cola, and herbs, and a lasting finish of toasted oak and dark chocolates.

9. Wild Turkey Rare Breed 

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Alcohol Content: 56.4%

Average Price: roughly $66

Why We Liked It: Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a small batch blend of six, eight, and twelve-year rye bourbons aged inside charred oak barrels. 

Wild Turkey Rare Breed was bottled in cask strength and is the first permanent super-premium rye bourbon from the Wild Turkey brand. Wild Turkey Rare Breed has a complex blend of spicy and sweet flavors.

8. Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof

Alcohol Content: 64.75%

Average Price: roughly $110

Why We Liked It: We liked that this rare full-proof bourbon has bold flavors that transition from citrusy to sweet, blended with woody, creamy and nutty tastes. 

A bottle of Stagg Jr. is rarely found in liquor stores. You better grab it if you see it on the shelf. Stagg Jr is an unfiltered bourbon with one of the best flavors at a very reasonable price.

7. EH Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Straight Kentucky Bourbon

EH Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof

Alcohol Content: 65.15%

Average Price: roughly $300

Why We Liked It: EH Taylor Jr. is one of Buffalo Trace distillery’s low-rye bourbons. However, the mash bill used for this bottle was perfect, producing a peppery rye flavor with toasted vanilla beans, caramel, and dried oak. 

This barrel proof expression may have a high price, but the quality is very satisfying.

Everything is fully calculated, including the ingredients and their carbohydrate and caloric content, to ensure the balance of flavors.

6. Barrell Cask-Strength Bourbon (Batch 23)

Barrell Cask-Strength Bourbon

Alcohol Content: 53.89%

Average Price: roughly $90

Why We Liked It: Barrell Bourbon Batch 23 is a special blend of ten, twelve, and fifteen-year-old bourbons. What we love about this bottle, apart from being high proof, is that it exactly tastes how it smells. 

Despite being barrel proof bourbons, these spirits have delicately sweet tannin flavors with added honey sweetness.

Each bottle also holds dried fruity savors with Oloroso cherries and candied orange peels. The balanced flavors make this high-proof bottle special. 

5. Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel

Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel

Alcohol Content: 66.85%

Average Price: roughly $400

Why We Liked It: We, along with connoisseurs and true whiskey experts, are confident that Blanton’s bourbon is one of the best in the whiskey world. This cask-strength spirit has a flavor profile that you can only in rare bottles. 

This Blanton’s variant is from six-year-old barrels. The bold, complex, and intense flavors will both leave your mouth enjoying every bit of it. Blanton’s has buttery caramel notes with sweet honey and old oak flavors.

4. Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon

Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon

Alcohol Content: 66.95%

Average Price: roughly $242

Why We Liked It: Garrison Brothers Cowboy is undoubtedly one of the strongest whiskeys at 133.9 proof. Garrison Brothers is a rare breed and limited-release American whiskey that sold out in minutes the instant these are placed on shelves. 

Only top-grade corn is used for this wheated bourbon. You’d be amazed to discover that there is not a slight burn despite being full proof.

Garrison Brothers are perfect for bourbon drinkers who want drinks with character and explicit flavors. 

3. Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon

Larceny Barrel Proof

Alcohol Content: 61.9%

Average Price: roughly $88

Why We Liked It: While looking for high alcohol content, we also searched for remarkable taste and substance, which is why we picked Larceny.

This spirit is a blend of spirits aged between six to eight years with a complex but balanced flavor profile. 

We enjoy the rich layers of savoriness. The bold sugary sweet notes of caramel and vanilla, along with cinnamon and hazelnut, make it very entertaining to sip.

Add the oaky flavor with hints of black pepper finish. This bottle is a complete offering at a very reasonable price. 

2. Ezra Brooks Old Ezra Barrel Strength Bourbon

Ezra Brooks Old Ezra Barrel Strength

Alcohol Content: 58.5%

Average Price: roughly $65

Why We Liked It: Ezra Brooks is a full-proof, non-chill filtered whiskey from Heaven Hill distilleries. 

The scent of toasted vanilla beans, cinnamon sugar, and caramel apples with strong hints of oak makes it the best option for sipping.

The harshness commonly found in Ezra Brooks bottles with high alcohol is not detected. Truly an exceptional piece at a very attractive price. 

1. 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

1792 Full Proof

Alcohol Content: 62.5%

Average Price: roughly $58

Why We Liked It: 1792 Full Proof bourbon whiskey went through a rigorous process before being bottled and brought to the market. 

It completed chill filtration [1] to preserve the rich and bold flavors. This product from Buffalo Trace does not have an age statement but should be around seven to eight years old. 

This single barrel whiskey was aged appropriately, allowing it to develop a perfectly blended taste of dried fruits, caramel, and vanilla ice cream notes with hints of pipe tobacco and spice. 

What made us love it even more, is its price. You won’t find any other quality barrel proof whiskey at a very low price. 

FAQs 

What is the highest proof bourbon that can enter the barrel?

The highest proof bourbon that can enter the barrel is 125 proof. This is equal to 62.5% ABV. This ceiling is strictly implemented based on the governing law from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau [2]. 

Is barrel proof the same as cask strength in bourbon?

Yes, barrel proof is the same as cask strength in bourbon. This is the terminology used for whiskies that are not diluted substantially.  

In A Nutshell 

The best barrel proof bourbon is 1792 Barrel Proof whiskey. It is not as high as Garrison Brothers, but we chose this spirit because of its rich flavor. Its palate is not reliant on merging one breed of spirit with another.

Aside from its bold flavor profile, we like how it’s very affordable for such an impressive whiskey. 

Alcohol proof [3] varies among all the bourbon whiskeys in this list, and we pay tribute to the manufacturers who bottle whiskey with its full barrel strength.

Their impressive savoriness managed to come out and dazzle many bourbon lovers. 

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9781855737792500612
  2. https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/alcohol-and-tobacco-tax-and-trade-bureau
  3. https://www.thoughtco.com/alcohol-proof-definition-and-examples-607431

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