The Best of Bourbon
While the designation might sound phony, it was decreed by an act of Congress five years ago. And since we’re law-abiding drinkers, we decided to find you the latest and greatest bottlings. Cheers!
PARKER’S HERITAGE COLLECTION MASTER DISTILLER’S BLEND OF MASHBILLS BOURBON ($80): The newest member of the Parker’s Heritage Collection is a unique blend of a rye-heavy bourbon and a wheat-heavy bourbon. The result is quite complex and quaffable. There are just 7,500 bottles, which are currently being distributed across the country.
FOUR ROSES 2012 LIMITED-EDITION SMALL BATCH BOURBON ($100): Four Roses also mixed things up for its limited-edition small-batch release. The whiskey is a combination of four different bourbons created from four different recipes, each aged for between 11 and 17 years. The finished product has both sweet-fruit and toasted-wood notes. It should be on store shelves next week.
HILLROCK ESTATE DISTILLERY SOLERA AGED BOURBON ($80): For 14 years, Dave Pickerell was Maker’s Mark’s master distiller, and he’s now working on a number of projects, including Hillrock Estate Distillery’s ground-breaking Solera Aged Bourbon (pictured above). The liquor, made from rye and barley grown on-site, matures in a series of casks. It’s launching later this month.
BUFFALO TRACE EXPERIMENTAL COLLECTION 19-YEAR-OLD GIANT FRENCH OAK BARREL ($46.35 FOR 375 ML) AND 23-YEAR-OLD GIANT FRENCH OAK BARREL ($46.35 FOR 375 ML): There are big barrels, and then there’s Buffalo Trace’s pair of 135-gallon French-oak monsters. These specially constructed casks, which are almost three times larger than standard ones, were filled with whiskey 19 and 23 years ago. However, the alcohol is not technically bourbon, since the barrels were not new when they were filled.
LARCENY KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY ($25): While most bourbons are made from corn, barley, and spicy rye, a few, like Maker’s Mark and Pappy Van Winkle, use a formula of corn, barley, and sweeter wheat. You can add another one to the list: Larceny. The liquor, which came on the market this month, is a potent 92-proof.