Saturday, January 1, 2022

Best Bourbons of 2021 - List Roundup

Picture from Gearmoose []

As 2021 draws to a close, we are once again inundated with yearly roundups of the best of 2021 lists. It seems everyone and their brother has come out with some version of the Best Bourbons of 2021. Below are a few of these lists.

Our first list comes from 


  • Best Overall: Henry McKenna Single Barrel 
  • Best Value: Maker’s Mark
  • Best for Sipping: Widow Jane 10 Year
  • Best Kentucky Bourbon: Evan Williams Single Barrel
  • Best Tennessee Bourbon: Heaven’s Door
  • Best Under $50: Four Roses Single Barrel
  • Best Under $100: Willett Noah’s Mill
  • Best High-Proof: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel
  • Best Barrel Strength: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
  • Best Wheated: Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch


Digital media website VinePair brings us our second list.


  1. Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series FAE 01
  2. Old Forester The 117 Series “High Angels” Share
  3. Knob Creek 12-Year-Old
  4. 1792 Single Barrel
  5. New Riff Single Barrel
  6. Pinhook Vertical Series “Bourbon War’ 5-Year
  7. Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel
  8. A. Smith Bowman “John J. Bowman” Pioneer Single Barrel


Our next list comes from Wine Enthusiast and is based on price and overall satisfaction. (Highest price to lowest).


  • Angel’s Envy Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks Bourbon; $350.
  • Four Roses 2020 Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength; $150.
  • Barrel Private Release A01A Bourbon; $110.
  • 18th Street Distillery Spirit Thief Selection Bourbon; $100.
  • Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Spring 2020 Edition; $90.
  • Kuiper Belt Aged 8 Years Straight Kentucky Bourbon; $85.
  • Peerless Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon; $70.
  • Milam & Greene Single Barrel Straight Bourbon; $55.
  • Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon; $45.
  • George Remus Bourbon; $40.
  • Navigator Straight Bourbon; $40.
  • Blue Note Juke Joint Bourbon; $30.
  • Winchester Double Oak Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished With Sherry Cask Staves; $30.


Digital media website brings us our next list based on price and overall satisfaction.


  1. Maker’s Mark 46
  2. Noah’s Mill Bourbon Whiskey
  3. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
  4. Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey
  5. Four Roses Small Batch Select
  6. Black Bourbon Society’s Maker’s Mark Private Selection: Recipe 2
  7. Knob Creek 12-Year-Old Small Batch Bourbon
  8. W.L. Weller 12-Year-Old Bourbon Whiskey
  9. W.L. Weller C.Y.P.B
  10. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20 Year


Whiskey blog supplies the next list. This is "a list of [their] personal preferences for what [they] enjoy the most but many of the choices do correlate positively with popular opinion."


Seven best bourbons that are not easily obtained:


  1. W.L. Weller
  2. George T Stagg
  3. Pappy Van Winkle 15
  4. Pappy Van Winkle 23
  5. Four Roses Al Young
  6. Michter's 20
  7. Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel


Nine best bourbons that are obtainable:


  1. Weller 12
  2. 1792 Full Proof
  3. Rebel Yell 10
  4. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10
  5. Old Forester 1920
  6. Blanton's Gold
  7. Blanton’s SFTB
  8. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
  9. Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition


Two best budget bourbons:


  1. Four Roses Single Barrel
  2. Eagle Rare 10


Individual Awards:


Best Overall: W.L Weller (BTAC)

Best High Age (15 years +): Pappy Van Winkle 23

Best Pound for Pound: Weller 12

Best Value Budget Bourbon: Eagle Rare 10

Best Barrel Proof: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

Best for First-Timers: Buffalo Trace

Best from Small Craft Distillery: Kings County Distillery Barrel Proof

Best Single Barrel: Four Roses Single Barrel

Best Small Batch: Elijah Craig 12

Best Bottled in Bond: Colonel EH Taylor Bottled In Bond

Best Wheated: Rebel Yell 10

Best High Rye: Wild Turkey 101

Best Smooth Bourbon: Blanton’s Gold Edition

Best Non-Kentucky Bourbon: Balcones Baby Corn

Lots of differing opinions but I've always said the best bourbons are the ones you enjoy.  

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