Liquor Laboratory

15 Best Bourbons to Collect in 2024 (Hard to Find)

Best Bourbons to Collect

Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Bourbon is a type of American whiskey made primarily from corn and aged in charred oak barrels.

There are many different brands and styles of bourbon, and some are considered to be more collectible than others.

So what are the best bourbons to collect? Let’s find out.

Top 15 Bourbons Every Collector Must Score 

15. Michter’s 10-Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Close Up Shot of  Michter's 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: approx. $342.99/750ml (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 46.4% ABV

Why We Like It: Michter’s 10-year bourbon is a versatile spirit that experts and beginners can enjoy.

If you’ve tried Michter’s 20-Year, you shouldn’t miss this one. It must be a staple in your mini bar at home; however, it’s very hard to find this bottle today. 

14. E.H. Taylor, Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving

Bottle of E H Taylor Warehouse C Whiskey

Average Price: approx. $9,998.99 /750ml (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: This incomparable expression has been rated an exceptional performer, justifying its hefty price.

If you’re tempted to spend a lot of money on Warehouse C, we suggest getting your hands on Tornado Surviving, which is more worth it. 

13. Barrell Bourbon Batch 27

Close Up Shot of Barrell Bourbon Batch 27 Bottle Label

Average Price: approx. $91.99/750ml (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 57.9% ABV 

Why We Like It: This limited-edition bottle is made from a blend of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana bourbons aged 5 to 15 years.

The notes prevalent in this whiskey include cherry and oak, making it a great and cool bottle to own. 

12. Elijah Craig 23-Year Single Barrel

Elijah Craig 23 Single Barrel Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: Approx. $222.99/750ml (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: Elijah Craig 23-Year single barrel doesn’t over-oak. Its robust tannins support a variety of flavors, such as orange peel, vanilla, and cinnamon.

As one of Elijah’s high-grade rye barrels from their best facility, this expression reached its full aging potential while maintaining its taste and smooth finish.

11. Hirsch The Horizon Straight Bourbon

old man holding bottle of Hirsch The Horizon Straight Bourbon

Average Price: approx. $39.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV 

Why We Like It: This new expression from Hirsch is transparent and should appeal to whiskey lovers.

Made with MGP’s juice from Indiana, expect flavors and notes unusual for a Kentucky Bourbon. If you love more earthy notes and good spice, this is for you. 

10. Evan Williams 23-Year Straight

close up shot of Evan Williams 23 bottle label

Average Price: approx. $16.49/1.75L (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 53.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Evan Williams 23 is an incredibly versatile whiskey you can enjoy in almost any way possible.

Aside from collecting, this bottle is a better choice if you’re planning on drinking it. You’ll like its chocolate, cherry nose, and nuanced flavor profile. 

9. Bardstown Bourbon Collaborative Series

Bottle of Bardstown Bourbon Co. Plantation Rum Finished Bourbon

Average Price: approx. $42.49/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 50%-59.2% ABV

Why We Like It: Bardstown collaborative series used barrels from different sources, including The Prisoner winery in California and Armagnac from France. 

“The robust profile is a direct result of the care and coordination in shipping these flavorful barrels. The day they are emptied in Grand Rapids, they are filled with bourbon in Bardstown. The rich waves of chocolate malt from KBS carry through the entire aging process and balance beautifully with classic bourbon.”

— Dan Callaway, Product Development VP/ Master Blender.

There’s a delicate blend of floral bouquets complemented by chantilly cream, grilled peach, and pecan, and it creates a distinct and complex finish that’s perfect for any occasion. 

8. Four Roses Single Barrel 

man holding bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel

Average Price: approx. $45.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV 

Why We Like It: You shouldn’t miss this limited-edition expression, as it’s one of Four Roses’ best bottles in their 2020 lineup.

If you love their small-batch spirits, expect better overall flavor here. It’s more complex, with notes of vanilla and maple, and the palate is full of sweet and savory flavors. 

7. Willett Single Barrel Family Estate 4 Year Old

3 Bottles of Willett Single Barrel Family Estate 4 Year Old

Average Price: approx. $70/750ml (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 55% ABV

Why We Like It: This Willett 4-year-old single barrel features a very pungent aroma, full of sweet and candy corn flavors on the palate with some heat on its finish.

With its high proof, expect a strong cinnamon flavor, with some gingerbread cookies coming in.

6. Blue Note 9-Year-Old Premium Small Batch

Blue Note 9 Year Bourbon Whiskey Bottle and Glasses

Average Price: approx. $48.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46.5% 

Why We Like It: This unpopular Blue Note 9-year-old is a premium Tennessee-style whiskey. It has a strong maple syrupy flavor with candied orange notes.

If you want to collect one bottle or haven’t tried any expression from this brand, this spirit is a good way to start.

5. Woodinville Straight Bourbon Port Cask Finish 

Bottle of Woodinville Straight Bourbon Port Cask Whiskey

Average Price: approx. $51.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV

Why We Like It: This dark and sweet bourbon has a lot of character and complexity, and we love how it performs to any drink.

The fig and date notes usually prevalent in Scotch whiskey are present in this drink. Also, the lingering finish adds some chocolate to this mix.

4. Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Bottles on table

Average Price: approx. $23.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%-63.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: All spirits in this collection could have been chosen as the best.

The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection [1] is an excellent investment piece, as the stunning ryes from Buffalo Trace’s renowned brands, such as George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare, and Weller, are present here–ideal presents for any special occasion.

3. Booker’s 10-Year-Old 25th Anniversary Edition

Booker's 10-Year-Old 25th Anniversary Edition Bottle and cocktail drink on table

Average Price: approx. $93/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 65% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Booker’s anniversary edition bottle is particularly meaningful as it’s the last example of the brand’s unconditioned and cask-proof whiskey.

Fred Noe Jr. dedicated this bottle to honor his father, and it’s available in only 1,000 cases.

2. Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bottle Label

Average Price: approx. $56.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 58.4% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Wild Turkey [2] Rare Breed features a unique combination of spirits aged 6, 8, and 12 years old, which gives it a smooth and creamy flavor.

This is a great blend of flavors and aromas and embodies bourbon’s real essence.

1. Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel Bourbon Whiskey Bottle on table

Average Price: approx. $249/750ml (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 64.6% ABV 

Why We Like It: Our top collector’s bourbon expression is this Blanton’s SFTB. The unique thing about this bottle is that it has eight different tops, each with its own letter, spelling out “B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S.”

If you want a higher-proof spirit, this limited-edition is bottled at over 120-proof, featuring notes of oak and spice, with a beautiful butterscotch finish. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What bourbons appreciate in value?

Bourbons that appreciate in value are old and rare ones. Older bourbon expressions are more valuable compared to younger expressions.

Also, rare bourbons or limited-edition bottles worth more than widely available ones. 

Can you make money collecting bourbon?

Yes. Collecting bourbon can make money, making it a source of passive income.

Selling them in the future gives ROI, and limited-release bottles may cost more in the years to come. 

Which bourbon to collect?

The choice of which bourbon to collect depends on personal preferences, rarity, and brand reputation. Coveted options for collectors often include limited editions like Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, and sought-after single barrels, such as those from Four Roses or Elijah Craig.

What is regarded as the best bourbon?

Determining the “best” bourbon is subjective and varies based on individual taste preferences. However, bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, George T. Stagg, and William Larue Weller, often part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, are frequently regarded as some of the finest and most sought-after in the whiskey world.

What is the No 1 bourbon in the world?

Designating a single bourbon as the number one in the world is challenging due to diverse tastes and preferences. However, bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, and Four Roses Single Barrel consistently receive acclaim for their quality, flavor complexity, and historical significance, earning them top rankings in the eyes of many enthusiasts.

What is a premium bourbon?

A premium bourbon typically refers to a higher-quality whiskey that often comes with a higher price tag. These bourbons may exhibit exceptional craftsmanship, unique flavor profiles, and may include limited releases or special editions. Brands like Blanton’s, Woodford Reserve, and Angel’s Envy are often considered premium bourbons due to their commitment to quality and distinctive characteristics.

Which is the smoothest bourbon?

Determining the smoothest bourbon is subjective, as it depends on individual taste preferences. However, bourbons like Maker’s Mark, Blanton’s, and Woodford Reserve are often noted for their smooth and well-balanced profiles, appealing to those who seek a mellow and easy-drinking whiskey experience.

Is collecting bourbon a good investment?

Collecting bourbon can be a good investment under the right conditions. Limited editions, rare releases, and bottles from discontinued distilleries can appreciate in value over time, making them potentially lucrative investments. However, the market can be unpredictable, and success depends on factors such as bottle rarity, condition, and overall demand. Collecting bourbon should be approached with a passion for the spirit, as the investment aspect may vary based on market trends and individual bottle characteristics.

Is it a good idea to invest in bourbon?

Investing in bourbon can be a good idea for those with a keen understanding of the market and a passion for whiskey. Limited editions, rare releases, and well-aged bottles can appreciate in value over time, making it a potentially lucrative venture, but success depends on factors such as market trends, bottle rarity, and overall demand.

Which whiskey is worth collecting?

Whiskeys worth collecting often include limited editions, discontinued releases, and those from renowned distilleries. Brands like Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, and rare expressions from Scotch distilleries like Macallan or Glenfiddich are commonly sought after by collectors for their quality, uniqueness, and potential for appreciation in value.

Who is the king of bourbon?

The title of the “king of bourbon” is subjective and varies among enthusiasts, but figures like Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr., known for his contributions to the bourbon industry, or iconic brands like Pappy Van Winkle, often hold esteemed positions in the bourbon world.

Does Jack Daniels qualify as bourbon?

No, Jack Daniel’s does not qualify as bourbon. Despite being a Tennessee whiskey, which shares similarities with bourbon in terms of production, it undergoes an additional charcoal filtering process known as the Lincoln County Process, disqualifying it from meeting the specific criteria required to be classified as bourbon.

Is bourbon better than whiskey?

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, so the comparison is more about subcategories within the whiskey family. Bourbon is known for its distinctive characteristics, including a mash bill with a minimum of 51% corn and aging in new charred oak barrels. Preferences for bourbon or other types of whiskey depend on individual taste, with factors like flavor profile, sweetness, and intensity influencing personal choices.

Why do people collect bourbon?

People collect bourbon for various reasons, including a passion for the spirit, the pursuit of rare and unique bottles, and the potential for investment. The limited availability of certain releases, the craftsmanship involved in bourbon production, and the thrill of finding sought-after bottles contribute to the appeal of collecting. Additionally, the social aspect of sharing and trading rare bourbons within a community of enthusiasts enhances the overall experience of bourbon collecting.

Final Verdict: Best Bourbons To Collect

If you’re an existing bourbon collector or want to start gathering exceptional bottles, all these expressions are a great addition to your liquor cabinet. 

From Michter’s 10-Year to Four Rose Singe Barrel to Blanton’s SFTB, these bourbon expressions are perfect for collecting and drinking. 


  1. Buffalo Trace’s Coveted Antique Collection Is Back—And We Tasted Them All
  2. The history of Wild Turkey
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