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10 Best Bourbon for Eggnog: Full Guide (2024 Updated)

Best Bourbon for Eggnog

Last Updated on February 18, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Eggnog is a classic cocktail drink synonymous with holidays, as it is always present in special festivities like Christmas and Thanksgiving.  While brandy is the most traditional liquor for eggnog, bourbon can make it more flavorful and tastier. We made a comprehensive list of the best bourbon for eggnog. Read on. 

What is Bourbon for Eggnog?

Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is often used as an ingredient in eggnog, a traditional holiday drink. It adds a rich, warm flavor to the creamy eggnog mixture, enhancing its overall taste. When making eggnog, bourbon is typically added in small amounts to provide a hint of its distinct flavor without overpowering the drink.

Top 10 Bourbons For Eggnog You Shouldn’t Miss

10. Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey 

Bourbon Whiskey Bottle | Liquor Laboratory

Average Price: Roughly $37.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Bulleit has a gentle spiciness and strong kick from a large amount of rye on its mash bill. Its flavor profile can elevate and give a nice twist to your eggnog. 

The rich medium amber bourbon has nice oak, maple, nutmeg, caramel, and vanilla notes.

It adds a good kick and sweetness to the cocktail and boasts a high alcohol content.

9. Evan Williams Black Label Kentucky Straight Bourbon

man holding bottle of Evan Williams Black Label

Average Price: Roughly $15.99 (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Evan Williams boasts full caramel and black pepper notes, which makes a great alcohol base for eggnog.

It adds more spice to your cocktail and is an excellent affordable option. 

Evan Williams is a well-aged Kentucky straight bourbon producing rich, smooth, and easy-to-enjoy whiskey. 

8. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon

Close up Shot of Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bottle

Average Price: Roughly $56.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 56.4%

Why We Like It:

Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon may not be an affordable option for a cocktail base, but this bourbon has a big, bold flavor that will make your eggnog hard to resist. 

Wild Turkey Rare Breed features bold and strong flavors of toffee, caramel, clove, and pepper.

Also, its spicy nutmeg and cinnamon flavor profile can give a new take to your eggnog. 

Read: Top Alcoholic Eggnog Brands

7. Four Roses Bourbon 

Bottle of Four Roses Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $19.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Four Roses bourbon is well-loved because of its bold yet smooth-tasting notes.

While it is mostly consumed on the rocks and sipped neat, it makes a great alcohol base for cocktails like eggnog. 

Four Roses add an element of sophistication to your bourbon cocktail.

The sophisticated bourbon has mellow aromas of butterscotch and caramel, and since it is on the sweeter side, it is easy to drink and goes down smooth. 

Read: How Long Does Pennsylvania Dutch Eggnog Last?

6. Angel’s Envy Bourbon 

Pouring Angel's Envy Bourbon Bottle on a Jigger

Average Price: Roughly $36.99 (Total Wine

Alcohol Content: 43.3%

Why We Like It:

Angel’s Envy bourbon is finished in port wine barrels, enhancing the whiskey’s flavor without challenging it.

If you are in for a special treat, Angel’s Envy can be your go-to bourbon for eggnog. 

Angel’s Envy is an incredibly well-rounded bourbon full of toffee, dried fruits, and maple syrup aroma and taste.

It has a slight kick at the back, but it is smooth. 

5. Wild Turkey Bourbon 81 Proof

hand holding Wild Turkey Bourbon 81 Proof bottle with liquor shelf on a background

Average Price: Roughly $16.49 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40.50 %

Why We Like It:

Wild Turkey Bourbon 81 Proof is a Kentucky bourbon whiskey with a bold and full flavor profile that does not easily fade on cocktails, so it is ideal for eggnog. 

It has corn as the dominating grain as a requirement to be labeled a bourbon [1], and rye and malted barley are the other grains on its mash bill. 

The bourbon has bold pepper, toffee, and clove flavors, and the honeysuckle shines through.

Also, it features cinnamon and nutmeg in the back of the palate and ends with honey and vanilla. 

4. Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey bottle on top of a table

Average Price: Roughly $32.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Knob Creek is an extremely complex bourbon whiskey you can try if you want a high-end bourbon to mix in eggnog. 

The flavors include sweet and spicy, like pepper, caramel, sugar, and vanilla. It has high proof, so it is strong and bold but finishes softly. 

3. Old Grand Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

close up shot of Old Grand Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon Bottle Label

Average Price: Roughly $15.49 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

The iconic Old Grand Dad from James B. Beam Distilling Co. is best served as a cocktail because it has a full and layered flavor profile. 

The bourbon has high rye content giving the cocktails like eggnog a nice kick of alcohol and spice. 

2. Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving

Bottle of Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving

Average Price: Roughly $9,998.99 (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving bourbon whiskey is the most expensive whiskey on the list of best bourbon for eggnog.

“Fortunately, it’s a really good aging warehouse for bourbon too, so not only does the warehouse look good, it produces some of our best whiskies,”

– Harlen Wheatley, Master Distiller

While expensive, it has the right balance and unmatched tasting notes. It makes a nice and amazing cocktail combined with cream, egg, and milk. 

The barrels inside the warehouse that survived the tornado in April 2006 were exposed to the direct heat of the summer sun, gaining extra flavor [2]. 

1. Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky 

close up shot of Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky bottle label

Average Price: Roughly $39.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Instead of rye, Maker’s Mark bourbon whisky mixes corn and malted barley with wheat. The result is a less harsh, creamier, and sweeter bourbon whiskey. 

Maker’s Mark boasts a rich and complex flavor of vanilla, brown sugar, spices, and oak.

It can make good and tasty eggnog and is also a great choice for Manhattan and Old Fashioned

In Summary

Bourbon is a classic eggnog alcohol base, and it can make the cocktail more flavorful and tastier. 

If you are on a strict budget, you can buy affordable bourbons like Old Grand Dad and Wild Turkey. 

However, if you want the best bourbon for eggnog, go for Maker’s Mark bourbon.

It boasts an unmatched, bold, rich flavor profile best for eggnog. 

 

FAQs Related to Best Bourbon for Eggnog

What type is the Best Bourbon for Eggnog?

Typically, a bourbon with rich flavors and a smooth finish is preferred for eggnog. Look for bourbons with caramel, vanilla, and oak notes.

Is brandy or bourbon better for eggnog?

Brandy is better for eggnog as it is the traditional alcohol for the recipe.
Brandy lends a nice warm, tasting note that does not hide behind the eggnog, making it the most suitable liquor. 
However, bourbon makes an excellent addition to eggnog’s sweet, comforting, and creamy taste. 

How do you make eggnog with bourbon?

Prepare good-quality bourbon, eggs, sugar, whipping cream, whole milk, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and grated nutmeg to make eggnog with bourbon. 

Beat the yolk, egg white, and whipping cream in separate bowls, combine whip cream and yolk, then gently fold the egg white mixture. Gently stir the remaining ingredients and serve. 
 

How long does bourbon eggnog last?

Homemade bourbon eggnog will last for two to three days.

However, when it comes to store-bought eggnogs, it comes with a sell-by date and may last for at least a year or twelve months. 
 

Should I use a high-proof bourbon for eggnog?

It depends on personal preference. Higher-proof bourbons can add more intensity to the drink, but they may also overpower the delicate flavors of the eggnog. Opt for a bourbon with a proof that complements the richness of the eggnog without overwhelming it.

Are there any specific bourbon brands recommended for eggnog?

Several bourbon brands are known for their compatibility with eggnog, including Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, and Knob Creek. However, the best brand ultimately comes down to individual taste preferences.

Should I choose a bourbon with a smoky flavor for eggnog?

While some people enjoy the complexity that a smoky bourbon adds to eggnog, others may find it overpowering. It’s best to stick with bourbons that have a balanced flavor profile unless you enjoy the smoky undertones.

How much bourbon should I add to my eggnog?

The quantity of bourbon may differ based on individual taste preferences and the particular recipe being used. A common ratio is 1 to 2 ounces of bourbon per serving of eggnog. Start with a smaller amount and adjust according to taste.

Can I use flavored bourbon in eggnog?

Flavored bourbons, such as those infused with cinnamon or maple, can add an interesting twist to eggnog. However, be mindful of how the additional flavors interact with the traditional eggnog ingredients. It’s best to experiment in small batches to find the right balance.

Should I age my eggnog with bourbon?

Aging eggnog with bourbon can enhance the flavors and create a smoother, more mellow drink. However, it’s not necessary, and the aging process can take several weeks. If you decide to age your eggnog, ensure that you adhere to a reliable recipe and appropriate storage instructions.

Can I substitute bourbon with another spirit in eggnog?

While bourbon is the traditional choice for eggnog, you can experiment with other spirits such as rum, brandy, or whiskey. Each type of spirit will contribute its distinct flavor profile to the drink, so be sure to adapt the recipe accordingly.

Should I use a single barrel or blended bourbon for eggnog?

Both single barrel and blended bourbons can work well in eggnog, depending on your preference. Single barrel bourbons may offer more nuanced flavors, while blended bourbons can provide consistency and balance. Choose based on your taste preferences and budget.

Is it necessary to use top-shelf bourbon for eggnog?

Using a top-shelf bourbon can certainly elevate the flavor of your eggnog, but it’s not essential. There are plenty of affordable bourbons that work just as well in eggnog, so choose a bourbon that fits your budget and taste preferences.

References:

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/04/5-rules-that-make-it-bourbon.html 
  2. https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/buffalo-trace-releasing-rare-e-h-taylor-warehouse-c-bourbon/ 
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