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8 Best Bourbons for Apple Cider (2022 Updated)

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Last Updated on June 23, 2022 by Lydia Martin

While many people think of bourbon as a drink to be enjoyed on its own, the truth is that it can be a versatile ingredient in cocktails. When paired with apple cider, bourbon can take on a whole new flavor profile. 

Any bourbon will do, but some work better than others. Find out what’s the best bourbon for apple cider below.  

Top 8 Bourbons For Apple Cider 

1. Longbranch Bourbon 

Longbranch Bourbon 

Longbranch bourbon is a unique spirit that brings together the best of bourbon and apple cider. The flavor profile is a balance of sweet and spicy, with notes of vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon and the taste is smooth and slightly sweet, with oak on the finish. 

Longbranch is perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks, and it also makes a great addition to cocktails like bourbon-apple cider. 

2. Henry McKenna Bib

Henry McKenna Bib

Henry McKenna Bib is a classic American bourbon that has been aged for ten years. It has a deep amber color and a rich flavor profile, with oak, vanilla, and caramel notes. Apple cider enhances the bourbon flavor and gives it a unique taste. The cider adds a touch of sweetness to the bourbon, while the oak and vanilla of bourbon create a smooth and well-rounded flavor.

In addition, the apple cider can help to soften the harshness of higher-proof whiskeys, making them more approachable for new drinkers. Whether you’re looking for a unique flavor profile or making your favorite spirit more palatable, adding a cider is always a good idea.

3. Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig Small Batch is one of the best bourbons for apple cider because it gives a unique take on the classic craft bourbon. Its flavor profile features oak, vanilla, and caramel notes, with a smooth finish that lingers on the palate. The mixer apple cider adds a touch of sweetness and acidity to the mix, making it the perfect fall sipper. 

4. Blanton’s Eagle Rare Red Eagle

Blanton's Eagle Rare Red Eagle

Blanton’s Eagle Rare Red Eagle is a highly sought-after bourbon due to its unique flavor profile. The bourbon is made with a grain mash bill of corn, rye, and barley, giving it a complex flavor that is both sweet and spicy. Notes of vanilla and caramel are present, along with a hint of oak from the barrels it is aged in.

The bourbon is best enjoyed neat or with a light mixer such as apple cider. The cider also helps to bring out the flavors of the oak and vanilla. 

5. Evan Williams Black

Evan Williams Black

Evan Williams Black is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey that gets its rich flavor profile from a unique grain mash bill. The taste is full-bodied and deeply warming, with vanilla, oak, and caramel notes.

Anyone who has tasted it will attest that Evan Williams Black is a delicious bourbon, especially when mixed with apple cider. It’s great for those who want a sweet and tart flavor with just a hint of alcohol.  

6. Heaven Hill Bourbon

Heaven Hill Bourbon

Heaven Hill Bourbon is a popular American whiskey known for its smooth flavor profile. The bourbon whiskey is made with a grain mash bill containing 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% barley. 

The flavor of Heaven Hill Bourbon is characterized by notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel. When mixed with apple cider, these flavors create a refreshing and delicious drink.

7. Weller Special Reserve

Weller Special Reserve

Weller Special Reserve is a wheated bourbon, which means that instead of using the more common rye in the grain mash bill, it uses locally grown wheat. The grain mash gives the bourbon a sweeter flavor profile with notes of vanilla and caramel. 

When mixed with apple cider, the bourbon flavor comes through, and the sweetness of the cider helps balance out the taste. The sweetness of the apple cider mirrors the caramel notes in the bourbon, while the acidity helps balance out the sweetness and bring out the vanilla flavor. 

8. Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey known for its distinct flavor profile. It has a complex flavor resulting from its unique aging process [1]. 

Woodford Reserve has a complex flavor like vanilla, caramel, and oak, with sweet fruit and spices notes. When mixed with apple cider, the bourbon flavor is mellowed and complemented by the sweetness and tartness of the apples. 

Read: Woodford Reserve & Bulleit Bourbon Comparison

What Does Bourbon Spiked Apple Cider Taste Like? 

Bourbon Spiked Apple Cider is a flavor combination that is becoming increasingly popular. The flavor profile of bourbon-spiked apple cider is sweet and spicy with a strong apple flavor. The bourbon taste is also evident, but it does not overwhelm the other flavors. 

The spices in the cider complement the bourbons’ sweetness, while the apple flavor helps balance out the drink’s booziness. The overall flavor is reminiscent of a freshly-baked pie. 

Read:

How Do You Choose The Right Bourbon? 

How Do You Choose The Right Bourbon? 

To choose the right bourbon, first, consider the flavor profile of the bourbon. Is it sweet, spicy, or smoky? Second, think about how the bourbon flavor will complement the taste of the apple cider. You don’t want the two flavors to compete with each other. 

Finally, take note of any other flavor notes in the bourbon that you think will pair well with the apples, such as vanilla or caramel. By taking these factors into account, you can be sure to choose a bourbon that will enhance the flavor of your cider.

FAQs

Does bourbon go with hot apple cider?

Yes, bourbon goes with hot apple cider. It may be an odd combination at first, but they complement each other quite well. The sweetness of the cider helps to offset the bold flavors of the bourbon, while the warmth of the drink helps to bring out the subtle notes of the whiskey.

Can bourbon-spiked apple cider be served cold?

Yes, you can serve Bourbon Spiked Apple Cider cold. Mix apple cider, bourbon, and a few other ingredients. Serve over ice, and enjoy!

Are younger bourbons better for apple cider?

Yes, younger bourbons are better for apple cider because they have more esters responsible for the fruity flavors. Older bourbons can be earthy and smoky, while younger ones are fruity, which complements well with apple cider. 

Final Thoughts

Bourbon and apple cider is a flavor combination that is perfect for gatherings. The taste of apple and bourbon is also evident, but it does not overwhelm the other flavors. The overall flavor is reminiscent of a freshly-baked pie. If you’re looking for a unique and delicious cocktail, you should try bourbon and apple cider!

What’s your favorite bourbon to use in apple cider? Let us know in the comments below!

Reference:

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/04/5-rules-that-make-it-bourbon.html
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