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10 Best Bourbons You Can Only Get in Kentucky (2024 Updated)

Best Bourbons You Can Only Get in Kentucky

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Lydia Martin

As the name suggests, Kentucky is the only place where you can get your hands on true Kentucky bourbon. In fact, 95% of the world’s bourbon supply comes from Kentucky.

Here’s the top list of bourbons you can only get in Kentucky that will not disappoint you.

Top 10 Bourbon You Can Only Get in Kentucky 

1.  Heaven Hill 6-Year-Old Green Label

Heaven Hill 6-Year-Old Green Label on desk, Bourbon You Can Only Get in Kentucky

Proof: 90

Price Range: Roughly $33.32 (Drizly)

Tasting Notes:

Heaven Hill 6-Year-Old Green Label is one of the great-tasting whiskeys made by a very known distiller, Heaven Hill distillery.

It is sweet and fruity and it has notes of citrus, oak, vanilla, and caramel. The finish is long and pleasant, with a slight warmth from the alcohol. 

2. Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse Select

Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse Select on desk

Proof: 100

Price Range: Roughly $45.99 – $70 (Jim Beam)

Tasting Notes:

Jim Beam’s Urban Stillhouse Select is a great bourbon that’s big on the palate and pride of Louisville.

At 100 proof, it’s got a nice kick, but it’s still smooth enough to enjoy neat, on the rocks, or as a cocktail.

As for the tasting notes, expect to find plenty of vanilla and oak, with just a hint of sweetness.

3. Old Forester President’s Choice

Old Forester President’s Choice on desk

Proof: 110-120

Price Range: Roughly $164.98 (Drizly)

Tasting Notes:

When it comes to the tasting notes, expect to find subtle vanilla and oak flavors with a hint of caramel.

Tasting notes include a hint of spice on the finish. So if you’re looking for a unique bourbon as a perfect souvenir, give Old Forester President’s Choice a try. 

Read: Places To Buy Brother’s Bond Bourbon Online

4. Bulleit Barrel Strength

Bulleit Barrel Strength on desk with cocktail and cobbler

Proof: 120

Price Range: Roughly $60.99 (Total Wine)

Tasting Notes:

Bulleit Barrel Strength is a high-proof spirit well-aged in an oak barrel and has a strong, full-bodied, rich taste.

The tasting notes for Bulleit Barrel Strength include oak, vanilla, caramel, and spice with a smooth and long finish.

Best to sip neat or on the rocks, but it is also great for making cocktails. 

5. Four Roses Single Barrel Cask Strength

Four Roses with cocktail and chocolates on table

Proof: 100

Price Range: Roughly $78.99 (Total Wine)

Tasting Notes:

Four Roses Single Barrel Cask Strength is a bourbon whiskey with a minimum age of seven years.

The brand has high rye mash bill content, and like most bourbons, its tasting notes include caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, and oak.

The whiskey is smooth with a long finish, and it is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

6. Maker’s Mark Private Select

Maker’s Mark Private Select on desk with glass and nuts

Proof:108-114

Price Range: Roughly $72.99 (Drizly)

Tasting Notes:

Maker’s Mark Private Select is proofed at a higher abv than the classic Maker’s Mark cask strength.

The wheated bourbon is matured for five years and nine months for richer and more contact and complex flavorings.

You will notice wheat, vanilla, oak, and fruit flavors when tasting the spirit. It is also smooth and well-balanced, making it enjoyable to drink. 

Read: Maker’s Mark vs Bulleit Bourbon

7. Evan Williams 23-Year

Evan Williams 23-Year on table with glass

Proof: 101

Price Range: Roughly $1,366 (Wine Searcher)

Tasting Notes:

Evan Williams is a bourbon whiskey that has been aged for 23 years.

The tasting notes for this whiskey include oak, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. The taste of this whiskey is very smooth and mellow, with a deep and rich flavor.

It is a great bourbon for sipping, so bring home one for your home bar.

8. Knob Creek Old Town Barrel Pick

Knob Creek with glass and cheese on desk

Proof:120

Price Range: Roughly $39.99 (Old Town Tequila)

Tasting Notes:

The Knob Creek Old Town Barrel Pick is made with a special blend of new and old-growth oak barrels.

The result is rich and smooth with vanilla, caramel, and oak notes. Just be sure to sip slowly, as this bourbon packs a punch!

9. Noah’s Mill Small Batch Bourbon

Noah’s Mill with glass and oranges on table

Proof: 114

Price Range: Roughly $58.99 (Total Wine)

Tasting Notes:

Noah’s Mill is a small batch of bourbon that has been a cult favorite among whiskey lovers for years.

Bottled at 114 proof, it is a high cask strength bourbon you can buy in Kentucky. The high abv gives a bold flavor perfect for drinking neat or on the rocks.

The tasting notes for Noah’s Mill include caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice. 

Read: Our Recommended Kentucky Bourbon Tours 

10. Woodford Reserve Distillery Series

Woodford Reserve Distillery Series on desk with cocktail

Proof: 86 – 100

Price Range: Roughly $300 (Wine Searcher)

Tasting Notes:

The Woodford Reserve Distillery Series is a line of premium bourbons produced at the Woodford Reserve Distillery.

The distillery uses a unique process that involves aging the bourbon in barrels charred on the inside.

Tasting notes for the Woodford Reserve Distillery Series include vanilla, oak, and caramel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can bourbon be made anywhere besides Kentucky?

Yes, bourbon can be made anywhere besides Kentucky–it can be made anywhere in the United States [1].

Many people think of Kentucky when they think of bourbon, and that’s because 95% of bourbon is produced there.

Small craft distilleries are making excellent bourbon in the whole country. Know more about the Kentucky Bourbon Festival here

Can you buy rare bourbon in Kentucky?

Yes, you can buy rare bourbon in Kentucky. The best place to buy rare bourbon is Kentucky, where bourbon is made. There are a few places in Kentucky that specialize in selling rare bourbons.

Some of the more well-known stores include The Bourbon House in Lexington and Liquor Barn in Louisville. But what’s the best place to buy whiskey online?

What kind of bourbon can you only get in Kentucky?

While there may not be a specific type of bourbon that can only be obtained in Kentucky, there are exclusive releases, limited editions, and distillery-only bottlings that bourbon enthusiasts can access by visiting Kentucky distilleries.

Many distilleries offer unique expressions or barrel picks that are only available for purchase at their respective locations. These special releases add an element of exclusivity for visitors to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

What liquor is only made in Kentucky?

Bourbon is the specific type of liquor that is closely associated with Kentucky and is recognized as a signature product of the state. To be labeled as bourbon, the whiskey must meet certain criteria, including being produced in the United States and containing a mash bill that is at least 51% corn.

While bourbon can be made in other states, Kentucky has a long-standing tradition and reputation for producing some of the finest bourbons globally.

What is the official bourbon of Kentucky?

There isn’t an official bourbon of Kentucky, as the designation of “official” may vary based on individual preferences. However, Kentucky is renowned for being the birthplace of bourbon, and the state is home to numerous iconic bourbon distilleries.

Brands like Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve, among others, contribute to the rich bourbon heritage of Kentucky. Each of these distilleries produces its own unique expressions, contributing to the diverse world of Kentucky bourbon.

Is Jack Daniel’s a Kentucky Bourbon?

No, Jack Daniel’s is not a Kentucky Bourbon. Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey, specifically produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee. While Tennessee whiskey and bourbon share some similarities, including the majority corn mash bill and new charred oak barrel aging, Tennessee whiskey undergoes an additional step known as the Lincoln County Process.

This involves filtering the whiskey through sugar maple charcoal before aging, imparting a distinct character to Tennessee whiskey. Kentucky Bourbon, on the other hand, is produced in Kentucky and follows specific guidelines set for bourbon production.

What’s the most popular bourbon in Kentucky?

Determining the single most popular bourbon in Kentucky can be subjective, as preferences vary among consumers. However, several bourbons from Kentucky are widely acclaimed and popular both locally and internationally.

Brands such as Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, and Jim Beam are among the most recognized and consumed bourbons in Kentucky. Each of these distilleries has a unique history, production process, and flavor profile, contributing to their popularity.

Why is the best bourbon from Kentucky?

Kentucky is often considered the epicenter of bourbon production for several reasons. The state’s climate, with its hot summers and cold winters, facilitates the aging process by allowing bourbon to interact with the charred oak barrels more intensely. The limestone-rich water in Kentucky contributes to the overall quality and flavor of the bourbon.

Additionally, the state has a long and storied history of bourbon production, with skilled distillers and a commitment to traditional craftsmanship. The combination of these factors, along with adherence to strict production standards, contributes to the perception that the best bourbon comes from Kentucky.

Why is Kentucky bourbon so popular?

Kentucky bourbon’s popularity is attributed to a combination of heritage, tradition, and the unique qualities imparted by the state’s environment. The limestone-filtered water, the quality of the grains, and the distinct aging conditions in the region contribute to the flavor profile that bourbon enthusiasts appreciate.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which allows visitors to tour and taste at various distilleries, has also played a significant role in promoting the spirit and creating a cultural affinity for Kentucky bourbon.

Why is bourbon so expensive in Kentucky?

The cost of bourbon in Kentucky can be influenced by several factors. Limited editions, special releases, and premium expressions may command higher prices due to their rarity and unique characteristics. Additionally, the demand for certain bourbons, especially those with a cult following, can lead to increased prices.

The costs associated with production, including quality ingredients, aging in new charred oak barrels, and adherence to strict production standards, also contribute to the overall expense. Furthermore, some bourbons are marketed as luxury or collector’s items, further influencing their pricing. While there are bourbons available at various price points, the perceived value, craftsmanship, and scarcity of certain expressions can contribute to higher prices for specific bottles in Kentucky.

What alcohol is famous in Kentucky?

Bourbon is the most famous and iconic alcohol associated with Kentucky. Known as America’s native spirit, bourbon is a type of whiskey that meets specific production criteria, including being made in the United States and containing at least 51% corn in the mash bill.

Kentucky is renowned for its bourbon production, and the state’s distilleries, such as Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace, contribute to the global reputation of Kentucky bourbon.

What drink is Kentucky known for?

Kentucky is primarily known for bourbon, and the most iconic drink associated with the state is the Bourbon and Coke or a classic Bourbon neat or on the rocks.

Mint Julep, a cocktail made with bourbon, mint, sugar, and ice, is another famous drink associated with Kentucky, particularly during the Kentucky Derby. Bourbon-based cocktails, such as the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, are also popular choices in the state.

What are the 5 rules of bourbon?

The rules that define bourbon, often referred to as the “Five Rules of Bourbon,” are:
Made in the United States: Bourbon must be produced in the United States.
Majority Corn Mash Bill: The mash bill, or grain mixture used in production, must be at least 51% corn.
New Charred Oak Barrels: Bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels.
Limited Distillation Proof: The spirit must be distilled to no more than 160 proof and entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof.
Bottled at 80 Proof or Higher: Bourbon must be bottled at 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume) or higher.
Adherence to these rules ensures that a whiskey can legally be classified as bourbon.

What is the best bourbon in the world?

Determining the “best” bourbon is subjective and varies based on individual taste preferences. Various bourbon brands receive high praise and accolades, and the title of the best bourbon may change from year to year. Some well-regarded bourbons include Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, and Blanton’s, among others.

Whisky competitions, awards, and expert reviews can provide insights into highly regarded bourbons, but ultimately, the best bourbon for an individual depends on their personal taste preferences and the characteristics they value in a whiskey.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to bourbon, Kentucky is the best place to find the spirits. Many manufacturers in the state offer a unique palate of bourbon that you can’t find anywhere else. 

If you are looking for a truly authentic Kentucky experience, then your best bet is to head to one of the many bourbon distilleries located in the state.

Whether you are a fan of the classics or looking for a new bottle of distilled spirit, Kentucky is the place for all your bourbon needs.

Reference:

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/04/5-rules-that-make-it-bourbon.html
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