Liquor Laboratory

10 Best Cherry Bourbons Tasted & Ranked (2024 Edition)

Best Cherry Bourbon

Last Updated on March 9, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Bourbon whiskeys aren’t just vanilla and caramel; there are a variety of flavors, like peach, orange, peanut butter, and apple, among the popular ones. 

But did you know that there are also cherry-forward expressions? If you like the flavors of cherries, then the bottles we’ll feature today will surely leave you wanting more.

Let’s get straight to it– here are the best cherry bourbons you should try now.   

Top 10 Cherry-Forward Bourbons To Try (Ranked) 

10. Ugly Dog Michigan Cherry Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Bottles of Ugly Dog Michigan Cherry Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: approx. $25 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV 

Why We Like It: This blend of whiskey and Michigan cherries is unique as it’s made with a small batch of whiskey. 

We like the vibrant and sweet cherries, as well as the hints of spice and alcohol.

Just a quick piece of info, Ugly Dog has a history of blending different types of fruit juice before Prohibition.

9. Blue Spirits Cherry Whisky

Blue Spirits Cherry Whisky Bottle on a Table

Average Price: approx. $61 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: This unique blend of cherry bourbon has a pleasant nose and a well-rounded overtone.

We prefer it as a mix to any cocktail or drink, especially when paired with a maraschino cherry. The finish is filled with caramel and vanilla with a hint of citrus. This whisky is lively.

And if you want to pass on cocktails, this cherry whisky is excellent on the rocks, too. 

But what’s the best bourbon cherries?

8. Jeremiah Weed Cherry Bourbon

Jeremiah Weed Cherry Bourbon

Average Price: approx. $18 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Jeremiah Weed Cherry Bourbon blends herbs and spices infused with a cherry flavor. 

This one stands out due to its cherry flavor and high ABV compared to low-proof liqueurs. So expect this drink to be boozy yet very fruity.  

7. Red Stag Bourbon Black Cherry

Hand Holding Jim Beam Red Stag Bourbon Black Cherry Bottle

Average Price: approx. $19 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV

Why We Like It: Jim Beam’s Red Stag [1] is a blend of black cherry and Kentucky Straight Bourbon with dark and soft cherry aromas. 

“Red Stag is not your father’s bourbon. It provides a fresh, contemporary taste that appeals to both longtime Jim Beam fans and new consumers who may not have previously considered the bourbon category.”

— Brian Gallagher, Sponsorship Marketing Manager for Beam Global 

This drink is versatile, and you can enjoy it as a shot, mixed with other spirits, or as a cocktail.

6. Cleveland Underground Black Cherry Wood Bourbon Whiskey

Cleveland Underground Black Cherry Wood Bourbon Whiskey Bottle with Fireplace on a Background

Average Price: approx. $50 per 750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 47% ABV 

Why We Like It: We describe this cherry bourbon as a well-rounded and rich drink. It’s made with black cherry wood, so the flavor is light (as expected). 

Though we can’t be sure if there are no artificial preservatives or sugar added to this spirit, it’s apparent in the flavor profile. 

However, the lighter the flavor, the more intense the alcohol (94-proof). Overall, this is a good pour, though it’s not budget friendly (lol!)

5. Rebel Reserve Cherry Bourbon

Rebel Reserve Cherry Bourbon

Average Price: approx. $20 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV 

Why We Like It: Rebel Reserve is the Rebel Yell’s older version, made with wheat, representing the spirit of the South. 

The sweet and tangy flavors enhance by the bourbon’s warm and comforting taste. 

These flavor combos make for an incredibly flavorful and refreshing drink. We highly recommend this cherry bourbon over ice or in Manhattans.

4. Hayes Parker Cherry Kentucky Bourbon

3 Bottles of Hayes Parker Cherry Kentucky Bourbon

Average Price: approx. $13 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Hayes Parker Cherry Bourbon is an excellent example of how Kentucky whiskey is known for its smooth and refreshing characteristics.

We like the mellow flavors enhanced with a splash of cherry. It’s a good cherry and bourbon treat that gives the fruity yet boozy feel. 

3. Traverse City Cherry Bourbon

Close Up Shot of Traverse City Cherry Bourbon Bottle

Average Price: approx. $38 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV 

Why We Like It: This smooth whiskey is infused with real cherries with a hint of sweetness—making it a perfect drink to enjoy on its own or as a Manhattan mix. 

The cherry flavors complement the cinnamon and brown sugar notes. Besides, there’s a rich note of vanilla in this spirit, which linger up to the finish. 

2. Evan Williams Cherry Reserve

Evan Williams Cherry Reserve Bottle and A Glass of Cocktail Drink

Average Price: approx. $14.99 per 750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV 

Why We Like It: If you like the traditional Evan Williams Bourbon, you should also try their Cherry Reserve—made from the same recipe. 

What’s interesting is the apparent flavors of cherry in this spirit, which is even more, tastier due to the addition of spicy cinnamon, fruit, and caramel. 

The finish is packed with cherry marzipan–simply satisfying.    

1. Warrior Cherry Bomb Bourbon

Bottle of Warrior Cherry Bomb Bourbon on a Desk

Average Price: approx. $33 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV 

Why We Like It: If the cherry flavors from other bottles are already satisfying and rich, you’ll be surprised that this Warrior Cherry Bomb Bourbon can defeat the best with its flavorsome spirit. 

 It has the usual alcohol content, but the flavors are robust, with cherry and oak dominating the profile.

Despite the intensity, the flavors are perfectly balanced. Overall, it’s smooth and delicious.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are cherry bourbons rare?

Cherry bourbons can vary in rarity depending on the specific brand and production methods.

While some distilleries may produce limited editions or experimental batches with cherry-infused flavors, these are often harder to find and may be considered rare in the broader bourbon market.

However, it’s essential to note that the popularity of flavored bourbons, including cherry-infused varieties, has increased in recent years, leading some brands to offer these options more widely.

Are cherry bourbons expensive?

The cost of cherry bourbons is influenced by several factors, such as the brand reputation, aging process, and the overall quality of the bourbon. Generally, flavored bourbons, including those with cherry notes, may be priced slightly higher than their traditional counterparts due to the additional steps involved in infusing the cherry flavor.

Limited editions or rare releases with cherry undertones can also command higher prices in the market.

It’s advisable to explore different options and compare prices to find a cherry bourbon that aligns with your budget and preferences.

What bourbon has a cherry flavor?

Several bourbons feature a distinct cherry flavor profile, either through natural aging processes or intentional infusion. Brands like Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark, and Wild Turkey have produced cherry-infused bourbons that highlight the sweet and fruity notes of cherries.

Additionally, some craft distilleries may offer unique cherry-flavored expressions, providing consumers with a diverse range of options to explore.

Reading product descriptions, reviews, and seeking recommendations from experts or enthusiasts can help identify bourbons specifically known for their prominent cherry flavors.

What does cherry bourbon taste like?

Cherry bourbon offers a delightful and nuanced flavor profile that combines the rich, caramel notes of traditional bourbon with the sweet and slightly tart essence of cherries. The infusion of cherry flavor can add complexity to the bourbon, creating a well-balanced and harmonious taste experience.

The sweetness from the cherries complements the warmth of the bourbon, providing a smooth and enjoyable sipping experience. Depending on the brand and production methods, the intensity of the cherry flavor may vary, ranging from subtle undertones to more pronounced notes that linger on the palate.

Ultimately, the taste of cherry bourbon is a unique and subjective experience, appealing to those who appreciate the fusion of classic bourbon characteristics with the distinctive essence of cherries.

What is the smoothest sweetest bourbon?

Determining the smoothest and sweetest bourbon is subjective, as individual preferences vary, but some bourbons are commonly praised for their smooth and sweet profiles.

Brands like Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, Blanton’s, and Buffalo Trace’s Eagle Rare often receive acclaim for their smoothness, complemented by sweet notes of caramel, vanilla, and honey.

Exploring different bourbon expressions and seeking recommendations from enthusiasts can help find a bottle that aligns with personal taste preferences.

Is there a cherry whiskey?

Yes, there are cherry-flavored whiskeys available in the market. These spirits often feature a combination of the rich, smoky qualities of whiskey with the sweet and tart notes of cherry.

Popular examples include Jim Beam Red Stag, which infuses black cherry flavors into the bourbon, creating a harmonious blend of sweetness and depth.

Additionally, craft distilleries may produce their own cherry-infused whiskeys, offering a diverse range of options for those seeking a unique and flavored whiskey experience.

What bourbon does John Wick drink?

In the John Wick film series, the titular character, portrayed by Keanu Reeves, is often seen drinking a bourbon known as Blanton’s Single Barrel.

This particular bourbon is renowned for its high quality and distinctive bottle design, featuring a horse and jockey atop the stopper.

Blanton’s is a single barrel bourbon known for its rich, smooth flavor profile, making it a fitting choice for the sophisticated and discerning taste of the iconic action hero.

What alcohol has a cherry flavor?

Various types of alcohol can have cherry flavors, and it’s not limited to a specific category. Cherry-infused spirits include cherry-flavored vodkas, cherry liqueurs, cherry brandies, and even cherry-infused rums. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, some bourbons and whiskeys are crafted with cherry notes.

The choice of cherry-flavored alcohol depends on personal preferences, as each type of spirit offers a distinct taste profile.

Exploring different options in the cherry-flavored alcohol category allows individuals to discover the diversity of cherry-infused beverages and find the one that suits their taste preferences best.

Does Jack Daniels qualify as bourbon?

No, Jack Daniel’s does not qualify as bourbon. While it shares similarities with bourbon, such as being a type of whiskey and undergoing the same production process, Jack Daniel’s is technically classified as Tennessee whiskey.

The key difference lies in the additional step known as the Lincoln County Process, where the whiskey undergoes charcoal filtering before aging in barrels.

This unique process sets Tennessee whiskey, including Jack Daniel’s, apart from traditional bourbons.

Do expensive bourbons taste better?

The taste of bourbon, like any whiskey, is subjective, and the correlation between price and taste is not absolute.

While some expensive bourbons are crafted with high-quality ingredients and aged for extended periods, delivering complex and nuanced flavors, there are also reasonably priced bourbons that offer exceptional taste experiences.

Factors such as personal preference, brand reputation, and individual tasting preferences play a significant role in determining whether an expensive bourbon is perceived as tasting better.

Do bourbon cherries go bad?

Bourbon cherries, typically maraschino cherries soaked in bourbon, can go bad over time. The alcohol content in bourbon acts as a preservative, but eventually, the cherries may lose their flavor and freshness.

Proper storage is crucial to prolong their shelf life; keeping them in a cool, dark place and refrigerating after opening helps maintain their quality.

Checking for any signs of spoilage, such as off smells or changes in color and texture, is advisable, and if detected, it’s best to discard the bourbon cherries to ensure a safe and enjoyable consumption experience.

Is bourbon smoother than Scotch?

The perception of smoothness in bourbon versus Scotch is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. Generally, bourbon is known for its sweet and mellow profile, thanks to the predominant use of new charred oak barrels in aging. In contrast, Scotch often exhibits a more diverse flavor spectrum, influenced by factors like peat, region, and the use of different types of barrels.

Some may find bourbon smoother due to its sweetness, while others may appreciate the complexity and smoothness of certain Scotch whiskies.

Ultimately, the choice between bourbon and Scotch comes down to personal taste preferences and the specific characteristics one seeks in a whiskey.

What is the smoothest bourbon to drink straight?

Identifying the smoothest bourbon for straight sipping is subjective, as individual preferences vary; however, some widely appreciated options include Maker’s Mark, Blanton’s, and Woodford Reserve, known for their balanced and mellow profiles with notes of caramel, vanilla, and a smooth finish, making them enjoyable choices for those who prefer sipping bourbon neat.

Is bourbon smoother than whiskey?

Bourbon and whiskey are not mutually exclusive categories; bourbon is a type of whiskey. The perceived smoothness between the two depends on the specific expressions and individual taste preferences.

Generally, bourbon tends to be sweeter and smoother due to its production regulations, requiring it to be aged in new charred oak barrels, imparting a mellower flavor profile compared to some other types of whiskey.

Is Jim Beam Red Stag cherry flavored?

Yes, Jim Beam Red Stag is a cherry-flavored bourbon. Infused with natural black cherry flavors, it offers a unique twist to traditional bourbon, combining the classic warmth and richness of Jim Beam with the sweet and fruity notes of cherries, providing a distinct and flavorful drinking experience.

What is a cherry whiskey?

Cherry whiskey refers to a type of whiskey infused or flavored with cherry notes, creating a harmonious blend of the spirit’s inherent characteristics and the sweet, slightly tart essence of cherries.

Examples include cherry-infused bourbons, cherry-flavored Tennessee whiskey, or other variations where the cherry flavor is added during the production process, providing consumers with a diverse range of options to explore and enjoy. These cherry-infused whiskeys can be sipped neat, on the rocks, or used as a flavorful component in cocktails.

The infusion of cherry flavor adds complexity and depth to the whiskey, appealing to those who appreciate the fusion of classic whiskey qualities with the distinctive taste of cherries.

What liquor smells like cherries?

Several types of liquor can exhibit a cherry aroma, depending on their production processes and flavor profiles. Cherry brandy is a notable example, where the distilled essence of cherries imparts a pronounced and sweet cherry scent.

Additionally, some cherry-infused liqueurs, such as cherry schnapps or cherry-flavored vodkas, can also carry distinct cherry aromas.

In the bourbon category, cherry notes may be present in certain expressions, especially those that undergo cherry-infused processes during production.

What are the main flavors of bourbon?


Bourbon is known for its rich and complex flavor profile, with key characteristics that often include notes of caramel, vanilla, and a warm, slightly sweet finish. The aging process in new charred oak barrels contributes to the development of these flavors, along with hints of oak, spice, and sometimes a touch of smokiness.

The mash bill, which is the combination of grains used in production, also influences the taste, with corn providing sweetness, rye or wheat adding spice or smoothness, and malted barley contributing to a malty complexity.

The interplay of these elements creates a diverse range of bourbon flavors, making it a versatile and enjoyable spirit for sipping neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails.

Final Verdict: Best Cherry Bourbon

If you want something beyond the usual vanilla and caramel flavors of bourbon whiskeys [2], we suggest trying any of the cherry-forward expressions above. 

The spice of cherries is evident in these bottles, along with the low or high alcohol content.

But if you ask us about the best one so far, try the Warrior Cherry Bomb Bourbon. 

It has the usual ABV of flavored liqueurs, but it gives satisfaction much like any other quality and traditional bourbon.    

References:

  1. Jim Beam taps mobile to introduce Red Stag bourbon
  2. 20 things you never realized about bourbon whiskey
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