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Best Blue Run Kentucky Straight Bourbon Price & Review (2024)

Blue Run buying guide

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Lydia Martin

You probably know Blue Run Bourbon as Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer Jim Rutledge’s work. 

With this Master Distiller in charge, do we expect nothing but good things for this bourbon? We sampled their 13-year-old offering to give you a full, unbiased review of the bottle. 

So, What is the best blue run kentucky straight bourbon price and review.

About Blue Run Bourbon 

blue run kentucky straight bourbon price
blue run kentucky straight bourbon price

Blue Run is a complex, layered whiskey with soft oak and nutty flavors. This small-batch bourbon is aged for 13 years in new charred oak casks and bottled at 113 proof (56.5 percent ABV). 

This bottle is Blue Run’s first release in the bourbon market. This precious spirit features all the hallmarks of being a Rutledge whiskey, from the exceptionally smooth and mellow flavor profile to a long, dry yet slightly sweet finish. Despite the high proof, it almost has no palpable burn (and we’re not sure how the Master Distiller does it). According to brand CEO Mike Montgomery, Rutledge had the “best palate in the world.” 

Blue Run’s signature weighty, hand-numbered bottle was designed by Devon McKinney, the creative mind behind some of the Nike sneakers you probably own. It features the brand’s gold butterfly medallion, which symbolizes the metamorphosis the whiskey industry is going through as it reaches a broader audience. 

Key Facts 

Key Facts 

A Brief History

Blue Run Spirits is pretty young in the bourbon game — the company was founded in 2019 by a group of friends who had a passion for bourbon and creating fine products for the modern whiskey fan. 

While the group loved bourbon whiskey, none of them had the technical experience necessary for bourbon-making — one of them was a Nike designer, the other Facebook’s first director-level employee, another a hospitality executive, a political advisor the last one a philanthropist. 

The group knew they had to get someone who knew the bourbon industry like the back of his hand on board. They partnered with Jim Rutledge, a former Master Distiller for Four Roses and Bourbon Hall of Famer with over 50 years of experience as a whiskey veteran, as their “Liquid Advisor.” 

How It’s Made 

Blue Run Bourbon Distillation Process

Rutledge had a strong influence on which barrels are suitable for bottling that there are only 2,600 bottles of their 13-Year-Old in circulation. It contains a blend of bourbons sourced from undisclosed Kentucky distilleries, bottled at cask-strength, and non-chill-filtered. 

Mash Bill

The company has not disclosed its mash bill publicly. However, we can assume that they’re following the industry standards by using at least 51 percent corn, alongside a percentage of rye and malted barley. 

Ownership & Distillery 

Blue Run 13 Year Old

Blue Run Bourbon is owned by Blue Run Spirits, run by five corporate juggernauts who had previously worked for Nike and Facebook, among other companies. They source their b ourbons from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery, but rumor has it that they have a contract with Castle and Key Distillery (which had been distilling bourbon since the late 1800s). 

Price & Value 

A 750ml bottle of Blue Run 13-Year-Old Bourbon will cost you at least $170, depending on where it’s bought. 

We have absolutely no problem paying this price for the whiskey as everything, from the bottle’s design to the actual whiskey inside, feels, looks, and tastes expensive. Of course, we have to thank Rutledge for the well-aged whiskey because no doubt the impeccable taste of his palate is behind its success. 

Paying $170 for a bottle of bourbon whiskey is not for everyone, though. You still can get good bourbons for less than $100 if you’re not willing to shell out this much money.  

Blue Run Golden Rye

Tasting Notes 


This whiskey has nuanced tasting notes: it starts sweet, with brown sugar, browned butter, and caramel, balanced with baking spices and an aged oak flavor. The mouthfeel is just right, neither too light nor too creamy, with a little of that spice and potency you would expect from the high proof. 


It has vanilla on the forefront of the nose, laced with caramel and aged oak — basically what you would expect in a traditional Kentucky Bourbon. There is also a bit of spice and heat on the nose from the high proof, but nothing too overwhelming. 


It has a dark copper hue, almost like russet. 

Alcohol Content & Finish 

A Glass of Blue Run Bourbon

It is bottled at cask strength with 113 proof (56.5 percent ABV).

The smoothness continues to this bourbon’s dry finish, which is pleasant, long, and delicious. It has a hint of cinnamon and other baking spices, with a bit of sweetness from brown sugar and honey and tartness from dark cherry and golden raisins. 

Where To Buy Blue Run Bourbon 

You can buy Blue Run at select retailers across the United States and Canada. You can also buy from online stores like Total Wine, Wine Searcher, and Drizly for your convenience or purchase directly from Blue Run’s website. 

Who Is Jim Rutledge? 

Jim Rutledge

Jim Rutledge is the “liquor advisor” of Blue Run Spirits, in charge of sampling barrels to determine which ones are good for selling. The company also notes that all of Blue Run’s future releases will be personally selected and distilled by Rutledge himself. 

Rutledge is a Bourbon Hall of Famer with over 50 years of experience in the bourbon industry. He is the former Master Distiller of Four Roses Bourbon and is, quite frankly, the reason why this iconic bourbon is what it is today. 

How To Drink Blue Run Bourbon 

The best way to enjoy Blue Run Bourbon is to drink it neat, so you know exactly the kind of quality bourbon Rutledge puts out. Make sure that you use the proper glassware, such as a Glencairn glass, for the best experience in both aroma and flavor. 

You can put a pipette of water or have it with ice, as both will open up the aroma and flavors of the whiskey even more. Allow the bourbon to acclimate to the ice before you sip to get the full experience. 

You can also put this in cocktails if you wish, but we advise not to — the mixers will not allow for the bourbon’s complexities to shine through. But hey, if you shelled out $170 for this whiskey, you can have it any way you wish. 

Common Blue Run Bourbon Prices

Common Blue Run Bourbon Prices

Bottle Type Size Alcohol By Volume Average Price
Blue Run Straight Bourbon 750ml 47.5 Around $90 
Blue Run Straight Bourbon 14-Year-Old 750ml 56.5 Around $200
Blue Run Kentucky Straight Bourbon 13-Year-Old 750ml 56.5  Around $200
Blue Run “Reflection I” Kentucky Straight Bourbon 750ml 47.5 Around $90 
Blue Run Kentucky Straight High Rye Bourbon 750ml 55.5 Around $100 
Blue Run Single Barrel (13.5 Years) 750ml 64.5 Around $250

Compared to Other Bourbons 

Compared to Other Bourbons 

Sam Houston Bourbon

The Sam Houston brand has a 15-year-old offering that’s priced more or less the same as Blue Run. It has perfectly nuanced flavors, with vanilla, honey, and other baking spices. It is made from a corn-heavy mash bill of over 74 percent, with 18 percent rye and 8 percent malted barley. 

Stellum Bourbon

Stellum Bourbon

Stellum Bourbon is made from the wondrous blend of three Indiana whiskeys, with two being straight high-rye bourbon and the last one almost exclusively corn. [1] Because of this, it has vastly different flavors than what you would expect Kentucky whiskeys to have — it is more savory, with rosemary, thyme, oak, and fennel notes. 

A bottle of Stellum Bourbon costs around $60, depending on where it’s bought, making it significantly cheaper than Blue Run. 

Yellowstone Bourbon 

Yellowstone Bourbon was named after the first national park in the United States. It has been around since the late 1800s, but in 2015, the spirit was revamped when Steve and Paul Beam (of Jim Beam ancestry) took hold of the brand. 

The brothers believe in preserving the authentic Kentucky bourbon flavor, so Yellowstone has the signature oak, toffee, and old leather, rounded out with rye spice. Learn about who makes Yellowstone bourbon here

A bottle of Yellowstone costs around $40 per 750ml, which is also significantly cheaper than Blue Run. 

Related Post: Blade & Bow Bourbon Review

Popular Blue Run Bourbon Cocktail Recipes 

Popular Blue Run Bourbon Cocktail Recipes 

Cranberry Manhattan

Prep Time: 2 minutes 

Total Time: 2 minutes 


  • 2 oz Blue Run Kentucky Straight High Rye Bourbon 
  • 5 dashes cranberry bitters
  • 0.5 oz sweet vermouth 
  • 0.5 oz dry vermouth 
  • Orange peel 


Pour all ingredients (except the orange peel) into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well until combined. Strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange peel. 




Prep Time: 3 minutes 

Total Time: 3 minutes 


  • 1.5 oz Blue Run Bourbon 
  • 0.75 oz Campari 
  • 0.75 oz sweet vermouth 
  • Orange peel 


Pour all the liquid ingredients into a mixing glass and stir well. Add crushed ice to the mixture and stir until the mixture turns cool. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Squeeze the orange peel over the cocktail to express its oils before dropping it in as garnish. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How rare is Blue Run bourbon?

Blue Run bourbon is considered relatively rare due to its limited availability and small-batch production.

The brand emphasizes quality over quantity, releasing a select number of bottles from carefully curated batches. Each release of Blue Run bourbon is highly anticipated by whiskey enthusiasts and collectors alike, leading to high demand and often quick sellouts.

Additionally, Blue Run bourbon’s reputation for exceptional flavor and craftsmanship further contributes to its desirability among whiskey connoisseurs.

While not exceedingly rare in the sense of being unattainable, Blue Run bourbon is sought after for its scarcity and quality.

How much is a bottle of bourbon in Kentucky?

The price of a bottle of bourbon in Kentucky can vary widely depending on factors such as the brand, age, quality, and location of purchase. In general, standard bottles of bourbon produced by well-known distilleries may range from $20 to $50, while premium and limited-edition releases can be priced significantly higher.

Some rare or collectible bourbons may command prices of several hundred dollars or more per bottle. Additionally, prices may be influenced by factors such as taxes, distribution costs, and retailer markups.

Ultimately, the cost of bourbon in Kentucky, as in any other location, is determined by various factors and can vary from one bottle to another.

How long is Blue Run bourbon aged for?

Blue Run bourbon is aged for a minimum of four years, a crucial period during which the whiskey develops its flavor, character, and complexity. Each batch of Blue Run bourbon is carefully aged in charred oak barrels, allowing the whiskey to interact with the wood and absorb desirable flavors and aromas.

While Blue Run bourbon’s exact aging duration may vary slightly from batch to batch, the brand’s commitment to quality ensures that each release meets its standards of excellence.

The aging process is a vital aspect of bourbon production, contributing to the whiskey’s depth, richness, and overall drinking experience.

How much bourbon is in Kentucky?

Kentucky is home to a significant portion of the bourbon industry, with numerous distilleries producing a vast quantity of bourbon each year. While it’s challenging to provide an exact figure on the total amount of bourbon in the state at any given time due to production fluctuations and inventory turnover, Kentucky is widely recognized as the heartland of bourbon production in the United States.

The state’s favorable climate, limestone-rich water, and long-standing tradition of bourbon-making have contributed to its prominence in the industry.

Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries range from large, well-known operations to small craft producers, collectively producing millions of barrels of bourbon annually.

What is the No 1 bourbon in the world?

The designation of the “No 1 bourbon in the world” can vary depending on factors such as sales volume, brand recognition, and critical acclaim. Several bourbon brands are highly regarded and frequently cited as among the best in the world by whiskey enthusiasts and experts.

While opinions may differ, some bourbon brands consistently receive accolades and recognition for their quality and craftsmanship.

Examples of such brands include Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Four Roses. Each of these brands offers a range of expressions, from standard bottlings to limited editions, catering to a diverse range of tastes and preferences.

Where is Blue Run bourbon made?

Blue Run bourbon is produced in Bardstown, Kentucky, a historic town often referred to as the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” Bardstown is renowned for its long-standing tradition of bourbon-making and is home to numerous distilleries, both large and small.

Blue Run bourbon is crafted by a team of experienced distillers who adhere to traditional techniques and modern innovations to create a high-quality whiskey.

The brand’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail is reflected in each bottle of Blue Run bourbon, which showcases the rich flavors and complexity characteristic of fine Kentucky bourbon.

Why is Kentucky bourbon so popular?

Kentucky bourbon’s popularity can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, Kentucky boasts ideal conditions for bourbon production, including a temperate climate, limestone-filtered water, and ample grain resources.

These factors contribute to the creation of high-quality bourbon with rich flavors and smooth finishes. Additionally, Kentucky has a long-standing tradition of bourbon-making, dating back to the late 18th century. This heritage, combined with the state’s reputation as the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” lends credibility and prestige to Kentucky bourbon.

Furthermore, the bourbon industry in Kentucky is supported by tourism, with bourbon enthusiasts from around the world visiting distilleries, participating in bourbon-themed events, and immersing themselves in the bourbon culture.

Overall, the combination of favorable environmental conditions, historical significance, and cultural appeal has contributed to the enduring popularity of Kentucky bourbon.

Is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey?

Yes, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a specific designation that refers to bourbon whiskey produced in Kentucky according to strict regulations set by the U.S. Federal Government.

To qualify as Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the whiskey must adhere to certain criteria, including being made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn, distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged in new charred oak barrels, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof. Additionally, the whiskey must be aged for a minimum of two years in Kentucky.

This designation underscores the importance of Kentucky’s role in bourbon production and emphasizes the state’s commitment to quality and tradition.

Final Verdict: Blue Run Kentucky Straight Bourbon Price

If you’re one who appreciates fine bourbon and is looking for a sign to purchase a $170 bottle, this is it. 

The combination of John Rutledge’s unparalleled palate, the luxurious bottle design by Devon McKinney, and the marketing strategy behind Blue Run Bourbon is a recipe for success — and we’re glad that the whiskey inside the bottle backs it up. The whiskey has a wonderful mouthfeel, with a perfectly proportioned sweet and spicy flavor profile. 

Of course, not everyone can afford to shell out $170 for a whiskey, which is a shame. Still, bourbon lovers won’t regret buying this bottle as it’s a guarantee that you’ll enjoy every sip. 

We’re excited to see the brand’s subsequent releases. 


  1. How An Indiana Distillery Revolutionized Kentucky Bourbon
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