The Latest and Greatest Bourbons

The best new bourbons thus far this year, from the affordable to the extravagant.

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Bourbon is a unique style of American whiskey that’s been around as long as America itself. The corn-heavy category can trace its origins back to the 1770s, but in all this time, it’s never observed the sort of global stature it’s enjoying today. According to the latest data from the Distilled Spirits Council, the industry’s largest trade group, American whiskey accounts for some $5.3 billion in annual revenue. 

If you think it shows any signs of slowing, you clearly haven’t been to a liquor store lately. Entire aisles are allocated to the brown beverage in question, with new releases constantly vying for attention on the shelf. For avowed lovers of the liquid, it can feel pretty overwhelming to keep up with what’s new and next. They might even have a monthly budget to consider. Though hopefully it’s not too constrictive, considering the steep pricing on some of this stuff. 

But worry not, oh fellow bourbon buffs. It’s my professional responsibility to stay on top of the finest offerings coming to bottle each and every day. Over the past several months alone, I’ve met with some exquisite expressions across all price points. So, without further fanfare, let me introduce you to the best new bourbons I’ve tasted thus far this year, arranged from affordable to extravagant.  

Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old

Despite the unprecedented popularity of bourbon, you needn’t spend a fortune to secure a beautiful example of such. And when people ask me to rattle off reasonably priced standouts, this 90-proof, age statement gem is often front of mind. It’s rich in body and adds an exclamation point to each of the traditional tasting notes of the category: vanilla, caramel and cinnamon. No surprises in the execution, this comes from one of the most legendary families in Kentucky bourbon making. Later this year, those three generations of Russells will cut the ribbon on a refurbished visitors center. Expect some new editions of their Reserve to arrive as a result.

$42, Shop now

Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old. Russell's Reserver

George Dickel Bottled in Bond

I’m wading into contentious waters here, since this is actually a “Tennessee Whiskey” and not a “bourbon” according to its label. But proper whiskey geeks know that the former is actually just a more specific style of the latter; a charcoal filtered bourbon that hails specifically from the Volunteer State. Whatever you want to call this one from Dickel, just know that it’s downright delicious. It noses with candied cherry, coats the tongue in a textured nuttiness and brings a lasting butterscotch to the fold. Debuting in May 2024, this is the fifth release in an ongoing series of bottled-in-bond liquids. It has already picked up significant accolades along the way, including Double Gold at this year’s prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. 

$48, Shop now

George Dickel Bottled in Bond. George Dickle

Old Forester 1924 10 Year Old Straight Bourbon

I’ve got one word for you—well, two: graham crackers. This 100-proof dessert dram is caked in the confection in question. Those sweeter elements rise to the fore as a result of a higher percentage of corn used in its production, as opposed to traditional Old Forester. After a decade in the barrel, that mashbill affords aromas of honey and orange marmalade, tastes not unlike s’mores, and lends a little bit of campfire smoke in a slightly spicy finish. 

$115, shop now

Old Forester 1924 10 Year Old Straight Bourbon. Old Forester

Bardstown Bourbon Company Amrut Collaborative Series

Bardstown Bourbon is a brand committed to innovation; mining new elements in an industry that’s proudly restrictive of pushing production boundaries. The latest entry in its Collaborative Series underscores the point. Although it holds plenty of bourbon in the bottle, it’s actually a blended American whiskey, incorporating some elements of rye which have been finished in barrels formerly filled with Indian Single Malt. The disparate elements collide here to expert effect, resulting in a savory start to the sip—herbal and incense-like—before brown sugar and threads of cacao come calling in the back palate. As such, it’s likely to be one of the more complex American whiskies you’ll sample all year. 

$160, shop now

Bardstown Bourbon Company Amrut Collaborative Series. Winters Photography Co.

Michter’s 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Michter’s famously only unveils this decade-old debutante whenever its crafters feel it’s ready for the ball, which means we might sometimes go years in between releases. It’s usually well worth the wait, as is the case with this one from April. It’s a single barrel offering, so tasting notes might fluctuate ever-so-slightly depending on your particular bottling. And that’s kind of the point: something uniquely awesome. But no matter the exact number of your black wax capped decanter, expect a blast of butterscotch (or maybe that’s maple syrup?) in the 47.2 percent ABV pour, before a distant echo of cedar and tobacco leaf can be heard calling out from the back. 

$290, shop now

Michter’s 10 Year. J Sprecher

W.L. Weller Millennium

For bourbon geeks, W.L. Weller is a lineup of whiskies in need of no introduction. For everyone else, this historic series is notable for being the first widely-produced example of wheated bourbon. Its namesake distiller first used the grain in place of a more traditional rye back in 1849. It resulted in a softer and sweeter take on the spirit, a style which was eventually adopted by brands no less notable than Pappy Van Winkle. Today both those labels are produced in virtually the exact same way by the same parent distillery, Buffalo Trace. Like its more famous sibling, Weller has become harder to find and way pricier to own. That reality will be compounded exponentially for this, its oldest and rarest offering to date. If you’re lucky enough to hunt down a decanter, expect a whiskey with elongated threads of leather and chunks of charred pineapple. Not exactly tasting notes typical to bourbon—and for good reason: the 99-proof release actually contains a blend of bourbons and wheated whiskies (distilled without the use of corn), which all entered barrels between the years 2000 and 2006. It’s the first Weller release in modern times to not actually be a bourbon at all. Sadly, that won’t make it any easier to find. 

$7,500, Shop now

Weller Millennium. W.L. Weller

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