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Our 6 favorite bourbon brands and bottles in 2024

Buy these bourbon bottles in 2024

Bourbon glass
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Bourbon is referred to as America’s “native spirit.” If you didn’t know it already, particular rules regulate what a bourbon is. While we won’t get into them all right now, the most important (in our opinion) is that to be considered a bourbon whiskey, the spirit must be made in the US (but not just Kentucky, regardless of what bourbon purists might have you believe) and it also must have a mash bill of at least 51% corn (although many have a much higher percentage of corn).

This corn-based spirit is known for its sweet, complex flavor profile featuring notes of vanilla, caramel, oak, cinnamon, and gentle spices. While 95% of all bourbon is made in Kentucky, it’s also made all over the United States, with a ton of the spirit coming out of places like Washington State, Texas, and even New York.

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Why bourbon?

We drank our fair share of bourbon in 2023. We enjoyed younger, less complex, sweeter 2-4-year-old expressions and prosperous, complex, nuanced bottles ten years and beyond. We drank it neatly with a splash or two of water (if a high proof required this) on the rocks on a fantastic summer night and mixed in cocktails like the classic Old Fashioned, whiskey sour, and Mint Julep while we watched the Kentucky Derby. We’ll drink more bourbon in 2024 because, when it’s well-made, it’s such a complex, flavorful spirit. It’s the kind of liquor you always want to have on your home bar cart.

Whiskey cocktail
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Our 6 favorite bourbons for 2024

2023 was a year when we drank a lot of our favorite bourbons. But we also tried new brands and brands we hadn’t had a chance to try before. We drank bottles you can get everywhere, limited releases, and sought-after unicorns. We expect more of the same in 2024. Below is our list of the six bourbons we plan to drink early and often this year.

Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Chicken Cock

6. Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon

This whiskey is more than a gimmicky-sounding name. It’s an authentic throwback brand, and it’s also a great, flavorful, nuanced bourbon. This award-winning bourbon whiskey was distilled, aged, and bottled in Kentucky. On the nose, you’ll find notes of charred oak, raisins, vanilla beans, and toffee. The palate is known for its flavors of oak, butterscotch candy, vanilla, light spices, and sweet toffee finish. It’s 90-proof, so expect a little pleasing, warming heat at the finish.

Union Horse Reserve Straight Bourbon
Union Horse

5. Union Horse Reserve Straight Bourbon

If you’ve never tried Union Horse’s bourbon, 2024 is the time to grab a bottle. We suggest it’s Reserve Straight Bourbon. It is non-chill filtered and was matured for a minimum of five full years in charred oak barrels before being bottled. Made with a sour mash recipe featuring corn and rye, it begins with a nose of oak, vanilla, butterscotch, and rich oaky wood. Sipping it neat reveals notes of maple candy, vanilla beans, charred wood, and butterscotch. It’s mellow, sweet, and highly memorable.

Remus Repeal

4. Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon

Made to commemorate the anniversary of the end of Prohibition, Remus Repeal Reserve is an eagerly awaited annual release. It’s a blend of hand-selected bourbons, the oldest being aged since 2007 and the youngest since 2014. The most recent release is Remus Repeal Reserve Series VII, which is known for its aromas of dried cherries, candied nuts, and oak. Drinking it brings forth notes of cinnamon, charred oak, raisins, cherries, and butterscotch.

Bib & Tucker 6-Year Bourbon
Bib & Tucker

3. Bib & Tucker 6-Year Bourbon

2024 is the perfect time to get on the Bib & Tucker bandwagon. This award-winning small-batch bourbon was aged for a minimum of six years in new, charred American oak casks. The result is a complex, memorable sipping whisky with notes of vanilla, wood, and gentle wintry spices on the nose and candied pecans, vanilla beans, charred wood, and toffee on the palate.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon
Wild Turkey

2. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon

It doesn’t matter if it’s 2024 or 2034; we enjoy Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon every year. This small batch, barrel-proof whiskey is a blend of 6, 8, and 12-year-old bourbons. This award-winning bourbon deserves a permanent place on your home bar cart. It’s known for candied almonds, cracked black pepper, vanilla, and honey aromas. Sip it neat with a splash or two of water and let it open up to find notes of toffee, vanilla, oak, and gentle spices.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon
Elijah Craig

1. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon

2024 is another year when we’ll have Elijah Craig Barrel Proof sitting on our home bar cart. Named for the former Baptist preacher who some believe invented bourbon, this barrel-proof expression is released a few times per year. Each batch is slightly different, but you can bet you’ll find flavors like toffee, peppery rye, vanilla beans, cinnamon sugar, oaky wood, and gentle wintry spices. It’s bold, rich, and deserves to be sipped slowly on a cool night.

Whiskey in glass
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Picking the best bourbon for you

If you’re independently wealthy, you can just go out and grab a few cask strength bourbons, wheated bourbon, small batch limited releases, and everyday mixers. But most of us don’t have hundreds of dollars burning a hole in our pocket. That’s why grabbing one cheap everyday mixer (like Evan Williams Black Label), a nice barrel strength bourbon (like Wild Turkey Rare Breed), and a small batch craft bourbon (like Union Horse Reserve Straight Bourbon) is a great idea.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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