Clicky

15 Best Whiskey Brands for an Old Fashioned Cocktail (2022)

Last Updated on September 19, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Old Fashioned is an enduring classic – a crowd-pleasing cocktail you can sip on year-round. But to achieve the best-tasting classic blend, you will need the best whiskey for Old Fashioned. 

This guide will give you the best whiskeys you should try for your Old Fashioned cocktail. Scroll down. 

Top 15 Whiskeys For Old Fashioned 

15. Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey

Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Around $50.59 (Drizly)

Distillery: Tuthilltown Distillery

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Hudson Baby bourbon whiskey is made from 95% corn and 5% malted barley. It is a complex whiskey with great intensity and a long finish.

The flavor profile is rich in salted caramel, oak, and vanilla, which works beautifully in an Old Fashioned cocktail. 

14. Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey

Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Around $32.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Bulleit Distilling Co. 

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Bulleit bourbon is a classic bourbon that is best to sip neat, but it has a complex and bold flavor ideal for classic cocktails like Old Fashioned and Mint Julep. 

The bourbon whiskey is mildly spiced but carries sweet oak and slight toffee notes. The spiciness combines well with the aromatic orange peel, angostura bitters, and sugar. 

13. Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Around $23.49 (Drizly)

Distillery: James B. Beam Distilling Co. 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Jim Beam Kentucky Straight bourbon is a refined, smooth and elegant base for Old Fashioned cocktails. It is one of the affordable bourbon options for an Old Fashioned cocktail.

The complex bourbon is smooth, spicy, consistent, and has amazing tasting notes ideal for mixing. 

12. WhistlePig Rye 10 Year

WhistlePig Rye 10 Year

Average Price: Around $86.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: WhistlePig Distillery

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

WhistlePig Rye 10 Year is a small batch bourbon whiskey with a rye forward mash bill. It has interesting and remarkable tasting notes like Elijah Craig Small Batch and Larceny Small Batch bourbon and can make your Old Fashioned recipe exceptional.

WhistlePig rye whiskey has fruity notes with hints of peppery spice, wood, and slight spice notes that give the right balance to the bitters and a sugar cube. 

11. Eagle Rare 10 Year

Eagle Rare 10 Year

Average Price: Around $49.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Eagle Rare is the best bourbon you can get for your Old Fashioned cocktail. It has a complex and woody flavor profile with slight spice because it contains less than 10% rye on its mash bill [1]. 

Most people enjoy it neat, but since it has more pronounced tasting notes, it benefits highly from the bitters and sugar of an Old Fashioned cocktail. 

10. Rittenhouse Straight Rye Bottled-In-Bond

Rittenhouse Straight Rye Bottled-In-Bond

Average Price: Around $28.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Rittenhouse BiB is an affordable rye whiskey with distinct notes of big fruit flavors and pepper.

It has a nice flavor profile that can elevate your Old Fashioned cocktail because it blends well with sugar cubes and bitters. Rittenhouse has a dryer finish and notes of spice and sweet caramel. 

9. Elijah Craig Barrel-Proof

Elijah Craig Barrel-Proof

Average Price: Around $86.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery

Alcohol Content: 63.63%

Why We Like It:

Elijah Craig Barrel-Proof is a high-proof bourbon that came from a single barrel so expect that it has an enormous variety of flavors.

It has a long, lingering finish with bold flavor and spicy notes, unlike Elijah Craig Small Batch, making it perfect for an Old Fashioned cocktail. 

8. Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey

Average Price: Around $34.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Buffalo Trace can be a brilliant pick for your Old Fashioned cocktail because it releases more flavor when combined with sugar and bitters. The Buffalo Trace bourbon has hints of toffee, brown sugar, and molasses that can make a delicious drink. 

Moreso, the Buffalo Trace Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is an affordable spirit, so it will not break your bank. Check out this Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned cocktail recipe

7. Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond

Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond

Average Price: Around $23.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Evan Williams BiB is robust enough for Old Fashioned because it offers a different flavor profile from pepper to the sweet and fruity palate.

Aside from its affordability, the bourbon barrels are aged in a government-bonded warehouse [2], so you are sure you are getting a high-quality spirit.

6. Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky

Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky

Average Price: Around $31.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Maker’s Mark Distillery

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

If you are not into spicy rye whiskey, Maker’s Mark can be a great whiskey for your Old Fashioned. It may not contain rye, but it has a pretty rounded finish that can help elevate your classic cocktail.

It offers heat upfront and is rich in toasted oak notes, dark chocolate, baking spice, and dark fruit like a Larceny bourbon. 

5. Woodford Reserve Wheat Whiskey

Woodford Reserve Wheat Whiskey

Average Price: Around $39.21 (Drizly)

Distillery: Woodford Reserve Distillery

Alcohol Content: 45.2%

Why We Like It:

Woodford Reserve Wheat whiskey has a sweeter and softer flavor profile than Woodford Reserve Double Oaked because wheat is its dominant grain.

It boasts hints of baked apples and floral and fruit flavors that can enhance the taste of bitter and sweetness of simple syrup of an Old Fashioned. But which bourbon is almost the same as Woodford Reserve?

4. Widow Jane Oak & Apple Wood Aged Rye

Widow Jane Oak & Apple Wood Aged Rye

Average Price: Around $50.14 (Drizly)

Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery

Alcohol Content: 45.5%

Why We Like It:

Widow Jane is a rye whiskey that adds spin to your Old Fashioned because it contains bold flavor and sweetness you cannot find on a cheap rye whiskey.

It has a rye-forward aroma with a hint of cornbread that adds depth and layer to your classic cocktail. 

3. Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey

Four Roses Single Barrel on desk with negroni cocktail

Average Price: Around $49.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Four Roses Distillery

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Four Roses Single Barrel is a full-bodied and smooth premium whiskey with a mellow flavor profile great for Old Fashioned.

Every Four Roses bottle has a rich flavor and aroma of oak, toffee, and vanilla, giving any cocktail an instant upgrade in taste. 

Four Roses Single Barrel has a sweet and fruity palate with a well-developed flavor like the Four Roses Small Batch that surely fits the taste of an Old Fashioned. 

2. Sazerac Rye

Sazerac Rye on table with glass

Average Price: Around $33.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Sazerac Rye is exotic, rich, lustrous, and spicy rye whiskey that you can use in Old Fashioned and not just in a Sazerac cocktail. It has a mellow spice with a sweetness that compliments well with the mixer. 

1. Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey

Old Overholt Straight Rye on desk with glass

Average Price: Around $19.99 (Drizly)

Distillery: James B. Beam Distilling Co. 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Old Overholt whisky is a nice, reasonable whiskey that gets the job done because it is a well-balanced, popular and affordable spirit. It is the bartender’s go-to cocktail base because it has a gentle proof and great flavor profile. 

FAQs 

What kind of whiskey is best in an Old Fashioned?

Bourbon is the best type of whiskey for an Old Fashioned because it gives a smooth, sweet, rounded, and mellow flavor profile.

However, nowadays, rye whiskeys are getting popular because it gives a drastic change to the classic cocktail. 

What’s the best Old Fashioned whiskey recipe?

The best Old Fashioned whiskey recipe contains 2 oz bourbon, one teaspoon sugar, three dashes of Angostura bitters, one teaspoon water, and an orange twist.

Go with a high-proof bourbon because it can elevate the taste and give a bolder kick to your cocktail. 

Final Thoughts

Old Fashioned is a classic mixed drink you can level up with a decent whiskey. Old Overholt, Sazerac Rye, and Woodford Reserve are some of the best spirits you can use as a cocktail base. 

The best type of whiskey you can use for Old Fashioned is bourbon, but rye is getting popular because it gives a nice kick and spice to the cocktail.  

References:

  1. https://www.pastemagazine.com/drink/whiskey/buffalo-trace-bourbon-rye-buying-guide-prices-brands-value/#eagle-rare
  2. https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-27/chapter-I/subchapter-A/part-5/subpart-F/section-5.88

Leave a Comment