A Drinker’s Delight To The Bluegrass State’s Signature Spirit
Figuring out Kentucky bourbons can be as difficult as picking the Kentucky Derby winner. But PubClub.com’s Jack Tingley – a Louisville native who is no stranger to this spirit – handicaps the field in this ultimate guide to the Bluegrass State’s favorite beverage.
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (no age statement, 90 proof) $20-$25 is distilled, aged and bottled at the most award-winning distillery in the world. The taste is rich and complex, with hints of vanilla, toffee and candied fruit. The smooth finish lingers on the palate.
Old Forester Signature (100 proof, 4 years), $20-$25, Old Fo’, an unspoken Louisville favorite. Robust sipped neat and long-lasting on the rocks, Old Fo’ is great in cocktails, a bargain not to be ignored because of its affordability.
Wild Turkey 101 (no age statement, 101 proof), $20-$25 This is a great old-time liquor with earthy notes on the nose and a leathery backbone on the palate. Drinks surprisingly easy for its proof and adds great complexity to cocktails.
Knob Creek Small Batch (9 years, 100 proof), $25-$30 This is a powerful bourbon for just 100 proof. Lots of oak, caramel, dried fruit and vanilla—bourbon the way it’s supposed to be. On the rocks make for some great sipping. Ideal for cocktails.
Just for fun! Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon (6 years, 100 proof), $10-$15. I paid $12.99 yesterday in Louisville. It’s arguably the best dollar-for-dollar bourbon bargain ever. Solid on the rocks. Great in cocktails where that 100-proof sting cuts right through any sugary additions. Delicious! The catch is it is only sold in Kentucky… EVAN WILLIAMS WHITE LABEL BOURBON 750ML BOTTLED IN BOND AT 100 PROOF is the same recipe and same distillery as Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon. $15-$20 and you can buy it in California.