1792 Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barton Distillery

In 1876, John D. Willett — one of Kentucky's original bourbon aristocrats — transferred his interest in the Willett & Frenke Distillery to his son-in-laws, Benjamin Mattingly and Thomas Moore. Mattingly and Moore continued to operate the Willett & Frenke Distillery together until 1881, when Mattingly finally sold his stake in the company to a group of investors. Within a few years, Thomas Moore acquired complete control over the distillery and eponymously renamed it. Moore would continue to operate the distillery for another five decades, until he was ultimately forced to close his doors at the onset of Prohibition. Today, the Barton 1792 Distillery operates on the same site as the historic Tom Moore Distillery, and continues to use the same methods that Moore used over a century ago when distilling his own bourbon. 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made from a mash of 75% corn, 15% rye and 10% barley. While the use of corn in the bourbon's recipe adds classic notes of butterscotch and roasted nuts, the heavy use of rye in the bourbon's mashbill yields a more complex and full-bodied whiskey. After the grains are harvested, they are mashed and fermented before being distilled through a copper-pot still. After distillation, the bourbon is aged in new, American oak casks in Warehouse Z on the distillery's estate in Bardstown, Kentucky. Warehouse Z is situated on the edge of a bluff and as a result, enjoys the intense heat and humidity that are ideal for maturing whiskey. “In order to create this unique bourbon,” says Ken Pierce, Barton 1792’s master distiller, “the finest barrels are selected and tasted from the best aging warehouses. Only those barrels deemed ‘exceptional’ are then bottled individually, one by one. This preserves the distinct character of each barrel.” Once the bourbon has matured for a minimum of eight years, it is brought to proof with water drawn from the Tom Moore spring. The iron-free, Kentucky limestone water — the same water used by Moore over a century ago when crafting his own whiskey — adds a subtle touch of complexity and depth to the bourbon. Like the standard issue 1792, the single barrel’s nose is carried by sweet butterscotch notes, though a bit fruitier overall, with hints of ginger and Fuji apple. The palate is caramel-forward, with just a nip due to the rye, leading to a sweet finish tempered with warm bitter cloves. Previous limited edition releases from 1792 sold well and became scarce quite quickly, and we expect the same from this award-winning distillery’s new single barrel release.

$35 Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Situated on the Kentucky River in Frankfort, Kentucky, Buffalo Trace Distillery takes its name from an ancient pathway that migrating buffalo used when travelling westward. The trail was well-known among Native Americans and was eventually used by pioneering settlers who crossed the Ohio River and followed the buffalo trace to the Western frontier. Buffalo Trace Distillery is the oldest continually operating distillery in the United States, and includes the rich legacies of master distillers such as E.H. Taylor, Jr, George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp and Elmer T. Lee. Today, the distillery is still family-owned, operating on the same 130 acres of land adjacent the Kentucky River as it has for over 200 years. Similarly, the distillery’s flagship bourbon has been made using the same process for over 200 years. Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made from a mash of yellow #2 dent corn, plump rye grains and malted barley, which is cooked and cooled before. Deep amber color, along with an aroma of vanilla, caramel, mint and molasses. Palate offers sweet notes of brown sugar and toffee, which give way to oak, dark fruits, baking spices and anise. The finish is both mellow and complex, with lingering notes of vanilla, oak and rock candy.

$35 Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Golden honey color, along with an aroma of gentle toast, fresh tobacco and bananas. Notes of chocolate, almonds, melons, raisins and dried fruits on the palate, which are complemented by a subtle vanilla undertone. Finish is long and fierce, with hints of roasted nuts and corn.

$40 Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Heaven Hill Distillery

Aroma of warm spices, smoke and burnt caramel. Notes of chewy leather, chili peppers and habanero, which are complemented by subtle touches of dried fruits, vanilla and cinnamon. Finish is warm and lush, with bold notes of roasted corn, cloves and woody spices. In 1837, Henry McKenna emigrated from Ireland to the United States. After spending nearly two decades as a farmer in Kentucky, McKenna founded an eponymous distillery in 1855. At the time, McKenna focused on the production of wheat whiskey (the only crop he was harvesting at the time) and was able to distill enough whiskey to fill one barrel each day. As word of McKenna's high-quality whiskey spread, McKenna was able to triple his distillation capacity, and began experimenting with the production of bourbon. Following his death in 1893, McKenna's three sons — Daniel, Stafford and James — began operating the business. Today, Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey honors the rich family tradition and pioneering spirit of the McKenna family. The bourbon, which is made from a mash of primarily corn, is the only extra-aged bottled-in-bond single barrel bourbon available today. Pursuant to the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897 (27 C.F.R. 5.21), any spirit...

$50 Maker’s 46 Bourbon

Hints of wood staves on the nose, caramel, and sweetness. The palate harbors rich complex flavors, a crescendo of wood blending with deep, complex, rich notes of vanilla and caramel, The finish is smooth a subtle. On October 1, 1953, William Samuels Sr. purchased Burks Distillery, which was situated in Loretto, Kentucky, for $35,000. Five years later, the distillery released the first bottles of Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky, which featured the distillery’s distinctive red wax seal. The distillery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1980. Made from a mash of corn, wheat, and malted barley, Maker’s bourbon is aged in limestone cellars and handcrafted in small batches. They are one of the few distilleries that rotate their barrels from the upper to the lower levels of the aging warehouses during the aging process. This ensures that the barrels get equal treatment, evening out the differences in temperature fluctuation that occurs during the maturation process. This is the first new Makers Mark recipe in at least five decades. Maker’s 46 is Maker’s Mark with a French Twist. A full-fledged Maker’s Mark, aged for an extended period in seared French oak staves. The staves were sourced from the Independent Stave Company, who experimented with 10 virgin French oak staves, testing several different levels of sear to caramelize the wood sugars and seal in the bitter tannins of the oak. The final staves, labeled “Profile 46,” were then added to the barrels of original Maker’s Mark, and aged in Maker’s limestone bourbon cellars. The French oak staves create a smoother, bolder, more complex flavor profile, imparting more spice, sweetness, and vanilla onto the spirit. Bottled in a hand-dipped square-shaped vial at a solid 47% ABV.

Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon Whiskey

During the late 19th century, an overwhelming number of distilleries throughout the United States were still not aging their whiskey. As a result, some retailers would add juices and syrups to sweeten the whiskey, while others would add acid and tobacco to give their whiskey its signature, amber hue. In 1870, George Garvin Brown — a young pharmaceuticals salesman from Kentucky — saw the need for a consistently high-quality whiskey that would remain unadulterated after distillation. After saving $5,500, Brown and his brother opened the doors to J.T.S. Brown & Bro. Distillery and began distilling bourbon. Unlike other distilleries at the time, Brown aged his bourbon, which was named Old Forester, in oak casks and bottled it in a sealed glass bottle to ensure authenticity and quality. Since its introduction in 1870, Old Forester has been on the market continuously, even during Prohibition, when it continued to be sold for medicinal purposes. It is the only bourbon continuously distilled and marketed by the founding family before, during and after Prohibition. Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon is the third release in the Old Forester Whiskey Row series. A 115 proof expression that “celebrates the brand’s continued distillation during Prohibition. For 13 years, the production, transport and sale of alcohol was strictly prohibited. However, Old Forester was granted a permit to continue distilling on Louisville’s Whiskey Row. The 115 proof expression represents a barrel sample that company president Owsley Brown I would have batched at the beginning of Prohibition.” On the nose this 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon is an intense medley of cherry preserves, drippy caramel, dark chocolate, thickened maple syrup and seasoned oak spiciness. On the palate are notes of dark caramel, layers of malt nuttiness and sweet graham cracker, all warmed by green peppercorn and coriander spice, brightened with a hint of cedar. For the finish a tart apple crispness gives way to a long smoky finish full of toasted marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker sweetness.

$45 Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Distiller’s Select

Nestled amid the rolling hills of bluegrass and thoroughbred farms sits one of Kentucky’s oldest and smallest distilleries. The iconic Woodford Reserve Distillery sits on the grounds of a National historic landmark. It is Kentucky’s oldest distilling site where the legendary Elijah Pepper began crafting whiskey in 1812, beginning a dynastic legacy in Kentucky Bourbon. It was on this same sacred soil that years later, Master Distiller James Christopher Crow developed his whiskey-making methods, alongside Oscar Pepper, “which today have become common practice, including the implementation of sour mash into fermentation.” Revolutionizing concepts of sour mash and yeast propagation, and modernizing the process of whiskey production in the US. Produced under the Brown-Forman Corporation, Woodford Reserve Bourbons are premium spirits crafted in small batches and aged in new char oak barrels. This artisanal process allows them to “craft using all five sources of bourbon flavor, giving it its distinct taste and crisp, clean finish.” Woodford Reserve’s Distillery houses an impressive 500-foot-long gravity-fed barrel run, along with their iconic copper pot stills, and 100-year-old cypress wood fermenters. Their facility also has one of the only heat cycled barrelhouses in the world. An impressive mechanism which gives Woodford Reserve its color and signature flavor. As the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is “comprised of more than 200 detectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit & floral notes.” The smooth and decadent flagship bottling has been winning awards since 1999, with an exhaustive list of accolades that includes a winning streak of Gold and Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition four consecutive years (2011-2014).