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Avion Silver Tequila Cleans House at International Spirit Awards: Double Gold, Best Tequila & Best White Spirit

Avion Tequila Avion Silver Tequila Cleans House at International Spirit Awards: Double Gold, Best Tequila & Best White SpiritNot Just a Hollywood “Entourage” Tequila Anymore

By Matt Goldstein

When we first reviewed Avion Reposado Tequila, we knew it was more than the just the hype it was getting for being on HBO’s Entourage.  That show was severely suspect; however, Avion Tequila is certainly not.  Both smooth and complex, the Avion Reposado was a flat out stud.  Now, it seems that the Avion Silver Tequila has cleaned up winning 5 awards at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition including a Double Gold Medal, Best Tequila and the prestigious Best White Spirit.  Crushing the competition at the world’s most prestigious spirit competition will solidify Avion as one of the best tequila’s in the world, period.

When Avion was unknown, the marketing campaign behind this tequila put in prime time on one of HBO’s most popular shows.  Now that it has won so many awards, expect the marketing campaign to step on the gas full throttle.  Avion tequila has arrived as a main stream tequila, not only proving to be one of the best, but soon to be one of the best sellers.  We can’t wait to get our hands on the silver and the anejo.

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The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3: A Hand Crafted Single Malt Masterpiece

balvenie tun 1401 batch 3 single malt scotch whisky 225x300 The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3: A Hand Crafted Single Malt MasterpieceHand Selected By Balvenie’s Malt Master of 50 Years

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

With 103 single malt distilleries in Scotland there are only 5 which are still family owned.  Speyside in Scotland has 48 of these distilleries, the highest per capita in the world and the Balvenie has the most diverse and prestigious range if not in all of Speyside, perhaps in all of Scotland.  The only distillery with its own cooperage on site, the Balvenie grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and has its own coopersmith on site.  This hand crafted artisan style is unprecedented in single malt scotch production.  Now, the Malt Master for over 50 years, Dave Stewart,  has hand selected 10 of their best casks to create the Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3.  Hand pumped from the cask, the ranges in years of the 10 whiskies are from 22 to 44 years.  The Balvenie Tun 1401 is a cask strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky at plus 50% ABV.

Tasting Notes of the Tun 1401 Batch #3

Slightly peated, with legs in the glass, and flavors of butterscotch, this smooth and complex whisky has a dry mouth feel and slightly bitter flavor.  Smooth, warm complex, dry and sweet, this is simply one of the best single malts in the world period.  The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3 comes with our absolute highest recommendation possible.

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Best Malbec’s Under $10: Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 Malbec

don paula wines 300x126 Best Malbec’s Under $10: Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 MalbecFeatured Wine of the Week

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Don Paula wines from Argentina’s Mendoza region can now be found all over the world, and after only two years on the international scene, Don Paula was already landing awards in Europe and America.  97% of Don Paula’s production is exported to 60 countries all over the world and we found a bottle in Sophia’s in Margate NJ, an upscale Greek restaurant.  Recommended by our favorite bartender and surfer, George, the Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 Malbec was the perfect choice for a complex red when you’re not looking to break the bank.  For about $10 a bottle, the Don Paula Los Cardos is simply one of the best malbec’s you can buy in the price range.

From the Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza region,  the desert climate has ooor clayey soils.  Also, the climate is characterized by its warm days and cool nights, with an average temperature variation of 14°C (57.2°F).  The estate is located at 1,050 meters (almost 3,445 ft) above sea level and the average annual rainfall in this area is 200 mm (7.87 in)managed using sustainable agriculture practices.

Tasting Notes if the Don Paula Los Cardos 2010 Malbec:

Slightly bitter, tart and complex, flavorful and well balanced.  Notes of fruits and bitter herbs, this red wine is soft, with a perfectly balanced finish.  We absolutely recommend the Don Paula Los Cardos Malbec for about $10.

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World’s Best Irish Whiskey: The Bushmills 21 Years Aged Malt Irish Whiskey

bushmills 21 yo single malt 111111 300x300 World’s Best Irish Whiskey: The Bushmills 21 Years Aged Malt Irish WhiskeyHappy St. Patty’s Day!

By Matt Goldstein, Amy K. Haight & Kevin Hussey

About a year and a half ago when my cousin Sari and her fiancé Kevin got married, Kevin’s father bought the groomsmen a bottle of Bushmills 21 Year Irish whiskey which meant a lot to us because Kevin’s father came right off the boat from Ireland and is a bartender at an Irish bar in Manhattan called Desmond’s.  It was a great moment and a beautiful wedding.  Unfortunately I was so hung over from the rehearsal that it was difficult to even look at the battle.  Honestly, when I woke up the morning of the wedding I didn’t think I would be able to go to the actual wedding.  Even more unfortunate, the groomsman and I crushed the bottle before Kevin could even get a taste.

So when Bushmills sent us a sample of each of their whiskey’s we thought it would be fitting to taste the 21 year with Kevin since he missed out on the beautiful gesture from his father.

The Bushmills 21 Year Malt Irish Whiskey is aged for a minimum of 19 years in Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon seasoned casks, then transferred to Madeira casks for the final 2 years of the whiskeys maturation.  The Bushmills 21 year is perhaps the most complex Irish whiskey but smooth, sweet, syrupy and oaky.  It’s sweet, soft, fruity and simply one of the best Irish Whiskeys in the world period.  The Bushmills 21 Year comes with one of our highest recommendations but it also comes with a steep price tag, about $100.  We definitely recommend this over the comparatively priced Jameson 21 year.

Bushmill’s uses 100% malted barley to make their whiskey and the Old Bushmills Distillery is about 100 miles northwest of Belfast in Northern Ireland and has been making whiskey in the same area for more than 400 years.

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The Tullamore Dew 10 Years Aged Irish Whisky

Tullamore Dew 10 Year Irish Whisky The Tullamore Dew 10 Years Aged Irish WhiskyTriple Distilled, Aged in American and Spanish Oak

By Matt Goldstein

A few weeks ago we were invited to the Tullamore Dew Irish True event in Philadelphia.  This tour featured free Tullamore Dew, free Irish food, Irish music and some boxers sparring in a “secret” room.  While the boxers were barely sparring, the free food and free whisky was pretty god dam awesome.  Unfortunately, the other people attenting this party weren’t there to pick up their 3 complimentary bottles of Tullamore Dew so they could review it for their whiskey web site.  We’ve had the Tullamore Dew original many times and we’ve had the pleasure of tasting the 12 year, which is simply one of the best Irish whiskies on the shelves.  However, this is the first time we’re tasting the Tullamore Dew 10 year, after all, we can’t buy every bottle of liquor one the shelf.

The Tullamore Dew 10 Years Aged Irish Whisky is a triple distilled spirit matured in Spanish and American Oak casks.  This whisky is thin, salty, and a light thin gold color.  With a sweet, syrupy mouth feel, slightly bitter, dry, with a light malty flavor, the Tullamore Dew 10 years is a good sipping Irish whisky and definitely one of the better Irish whiskies, very close to the 12 year.  The Spirit Journal recently gave Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Reserve 4 Stars/Highly Recommended.  We recommend this whisky as well.

Tasting Notes from Tullamore Dew:

Colour: Medium amber gold.

Nose: Spicy, oily and fresh malty notes with more complex toasted wood and vanilla undertones.

Body: Medium bodied, balanced with malt, spice and citrus fruits. Complex oily flavours with faint notes of Christmas cake and a touch of leather.

Palate: Smooth and full; woody undertones, giving way to sweet Olorosso nuttiness with just a touch of spice.

Finish: Rich, long, malty and spicy notes. Pleasantly dry finish with slightly lemony and sweet notes lingering

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The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more…

powers 12 year special reserve irish whiskey1111 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...St. Patty’s Day Special: The Best Irish Whiskeys

By Matt Goldstein and Sommelier Tom Pittakas

In honor of this St. Patty’s Day, the Whiskey Goldmine has compiled our list of the best whiskeys from Ireland.  From sipping neat, on the rocks or in a shot, we give you a magnum opus of whiskey classics.  The following whiskeys are an absolute must try! 

 

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powers 12 year special reserve irish whiskey1122 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...1. Powers Special Reserve 12 Years Aged Irish Whiskey

Powers Special Reserve 12 years aged is crafted from the finest Irish Barley and water, triple distilled and matured in American Oak casks.  Powers 12 doesn’t need to any ice; this whiskey should be sipped neat.  Scoring 91 points from Malt Advocate Magazine, Powers 12 is a complex and flawless whiskey. The regular Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland.  Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.

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2. Redbreast 12 Year Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Redbreast 12 Year is perhaps the smoothest Irish whiskey in the world.  With a scotch like complexity and slight sweetness, Redbreast has a perfect whiskey flavor with a flawless bite.  Redbreast 12 Year is the only aged pure pot still whiskey in the world and is matured in sherry and bourbon casks.  

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Tullamore dew 12year bottle The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...3.  Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve

Founded in Tullamore, Offaly County in the heart of Ireland in 1822, this “legendary” Irish Whiskey is famous for it’s copper pot still blend.  Triple distilled and aged in American Oak and Spanish Olorosso Sherry Casks, Tullamore Dew 12 is a sweet and complex Irish Whiskey with notes of malt, nuts and oak.  “Give everyman his Dew!”    

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4.  Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

The Jameson 18 is a Blended Irish Whiskey is handpicked by the Master Distiller.  Aged in American Oak Bourbon Casks and Olorosso Sherry Casks, the Jameson 18 Year Old is a classic! 

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tyrconnel single malt irish whiskey 300x189 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...5.  Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Aged in Madeira casks and scoring a 98 by the beverage tastings institute, the Tyrconnell is a bit pricey but also critically acclaimed.  Tyrconnel 10 Year has pioneered the single malt revolution in Irish Whiskey.  It’s an absolute must try. 

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6.  Knappogue 12 Years Aged Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Distilled in copper pots with malted barley and aged in oak casks, Knappogue 12 is made with pure Irish spring water which creates a very light, smooth and easy drinking style.  Well rounded with medium intensity and a clean finish, Knappogue is a uniquely light but complex whiskey that still retains character. 

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bushmills single malt 16 year old irish whiskey The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...7.  Bushmills 16 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Bushmills 16 Year Old is triple cask matured in a combination of seasoned American Oak Bourbon Casks and Sherry Olorosso Casks, and finished for a few months in Port Wine Casks.  The triple cask maturation gives this whiskey one of the best finishes in the world. 

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8.  Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Scoring a 93 by the Beverage Tasting Institute and a 90 by Wine Enthusiast, this little known but critically acclaimed single malt Irish whiskey is very well rounded and one of the most underrated Irish Whiskeys ever made.

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Jameson 12 year old special reserve irish whiskey 1111 The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...9.  Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve  

The Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve Blended Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled, pot still and sherry cask blend.  The 12 year took the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2007 & 2009.  The Jameson 12 is very smooth and dry with a great scent and taste of malts; with notes of oak, wood and spice.  The Jameson 12 is a full bodied Irish whiskey, with a slight sweet, rich and full finish.

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1o.  Tullemore Dew Blended Irish Whiskey

Tullamore Dew is the 2nd best selling Irish Whiskey in the world and is also growing the fastest.  Tullamore Dew has won 22 gold medals in the last 10 years and is simply one of the best whiskey shots in the world.   

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11.  Green Spot

 

Powers Whiskey The Top 10 Best Irish Whiskeys: Powers, Jameson, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew and more...12.  Powers Gold Label

Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland.  Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.

 

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13.  Bushmills 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

14.  Michael Collins Single Malt Irish Whiskey

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The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch: Simply one of the Best Whiskies in the World!

Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch: Simply one of the Best Whiskies in the World!What Single Malt Scotch Whisky was Meant to Be…

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Only 180 people populate the Isle of Jura, and the Jura distillery lies on the east side of the island.  Distilling scotch on the remote island of Jura dates back to the 1600’s and the Jura distillery just celebrated their 200 year anniversary in 2010. The island of Jura is just 7 miles wide and 30 miles long with one road, one hotel and one distillery.  In Gaelic, the people of Jura are known as Diurachs and known for their hunting, shooting, fishing, sailing, lobster, and of course, single malt scotch.  The Jura 16 Year Single Malt is aged just off the beach on the Isle of Jura and gets much of its complex characteristics from the ocean air.  Matured no less than 16 years, this single malt Scotch whisky is simply one of the best in the world period.  All we can say is WOW!

The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting Notes:

With a scent of ocean air, oak and syrup, thw Jura has notes and flavors of oak, syrup, honey and has real complexity.  Smooth yet very complex, this is the perfect single malt scotch and comes with our highest recommendation.

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Ty Ku Soju: A Japanese Style Soju Spirit

Ty Ku Soju 11 279x300 Ty Ku Soju: A Japanese Style Soju SpiritA Korean Style Vodka with Half the Alcohol

By Matt Goldstein

One of the largest selling spirits in the world, Korean soju, is now being made all over Japan by numerous distillers. TyKu, a premium sake brand has branched out into multiple spirits and their soju is available on American shelves. In Korea, most drink Chamisul by Jinro, and Korean BBQ is designed to match the spices of the food with the soju. Mixing the soju with Korean beer is also part of the culture, about a shot of soju dropped into a full beer. About half the alcohol as vodka but made with a grain base like most vodka’s, soju also has half the calories. Ty Ku boasts that their soju is half the calories and twice the taste of vodka but the tastes are very different as soju is a mellow, sweet flavor completely different from vodka.

Soju also known as Shochu in Japan is the #1 distilled spirit in the world. Tyku soju Its superiority made in small batches and cold filtration. TY KU Soju is crafted from the all natural ingredients with no additives, no preservatives and no sweeteners.

The Ty Ku Soju Tasting Notes:

Served neat at room temperature, the Ty Ku Soju is sweet, soft and very smooth. Slightly complex the Ty Ku Soju is good but not great but it does get better as you sip. We like the Ty Ku but recommend the Chamisul at less than half the price. The Chamisul is much more complex and less than half the price.

BARLEY – The highest quality in the world, handpicked in Oita, Japan.

SPRING WATER – Naturally filtered by the cedar forests of the Kyushu Mountains.

KOJI – Handmade white koji evokes and enhances flavor and aroma.

*68 calories, 0 carbs, 0 pro, 0 fat per 1.5 oz as tested by Warren Analytical Laboratories. TY KU Soju, 24% alc/vol (48 proof). Produced in Japan. Imported & bottled by TY KU Soju, Rochester, NY.

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Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky Real Bang for the Buck!

Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky 225x300 Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky Real Bang for the Buck!A Double Gold Medal Speyside Triple Malt

By Matt Goldstein

A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman.  Released in the UK in 2006, Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge.  Of course there are a lot of gold medals for whiskeys these days but the Monkey Shoulder lives up to the hype, especially for its price.  Available for about $35-40, the Monkey Shoulder blend includes Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie single malts.

 

The Monkey Shoulder Tasting Notes:

Thick for a blend and light gold in color with a slightly red tint, Monkey Shoulder has a sweet scent of honey and syrup.  With a sweet flavor, this is a solid blended scotch whiskey in whish the slightly spicy flavor and finish provide a very proficient complexity.  The triple malted blend works very well and for the price, the Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky is a straight up stud!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONKEY SHOULDER WHISKY ARRIVES IN AMERICA!

“Most Coveted Spirit” Makes Long-Awaited Stateside Debut

 

NEW YORK  IWSC Distiller of the Year William Grant & Sons announces the arrival of the ground-breaking blended malt Scotch whisky, Monkey Shoulder, on American shores! Often referred to as one of the “most coveted” spirits in the U.S. due to its popularity among the bartending community and whisky connoisseurs, Monkey Shoulder has just landed exclusively in Illinois!

An irreverent nod to the traditional distillery malt-men who painstakingly turn malt barley by hand and wooden schiel, the “MonkeyShoulder” moniker refers to the colloquial term of a once common temporary injury, when after a long day’s work, a maltman would feel as though he had a monkey on his shoulder. While the injury is fortunately a thing of the past, the dedication to quality and craftsmanship involved in the hand turning of barley lives on in the Monkey Shoulder distillation process and the name today.

 

Since first appearing in bars across the United Kingdom in 2006, Monkey Shoulder has redefined whisky drinking for a new generation of Scotch whisky drinkers looking for an upgrade.  What sets Monkey Shoulder apart from other whiskies is its unique combination of provenance and personality.  By marrying five generations of award-winning distilling experience with a uniquely cheeky contemporary style and commitment to innovation within the Scotch category, Monkey Shoulder represents the ideal pairing of style and substance.  A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman, to ensure its signature smooth flavor.

 

“Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Scotch whisky – one rooted in heritage and tradition but firmly grounded in the contemporary world.  Connoisseurs appreciate that Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Speyside whisky from a known world class distiller, while whisky newcomers are drawn to the mixability of the quality liquid and the irreverent and cheeky personality Monkey Shoulder presents to the category,” said Cindy Wang, Senior Brand Manager, Monkey Shoulder.

 

Under the scrutiny of William Grant & Sons award-winning distillers in Dufftown, Scotland, Monkey Shoulder is crafted in small batches of only 27 cases and offers a beautifully sweet and rich vanilla flavor, with brown sugar and creamy toffee notes balanced with oak and just a hint of spice.  Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge.

 

“Having caught the eye of the world’s leading bartenders, it’s high time my talented and influential friends in the U.S. have the opportunity to obtain and appreciate a bottle of Monkey Shoulder without a trip to London,” said Dean Callan, global brand ambassador, Monkey Shoulder.

Monkey Shoulder will be available in the Chicagoland area starting January 6th in top bars and select liquor stores and will be rolling out in Texas later in 2012. Those fortunate enough to discover Monkey Shoulder will be able to enjoy it neat, on the rocks or in a range of innovative cocktails.

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The Top 10 Best Kentucky Straight Bourbons: Elmer T. Lee, Knob Creek & George T. Stagg

elmer t lee portrait master distiller 188x300 The Top 10 Best Kentucky Straight Bourbons: Elmer T. Lee, Knob Creek & George T. StaggElmer T. Lee Takes the Top Spot with a Signature Rye Mash Style

By Matt Goldstein & Sommelier Tom Pittakas

Over the last few years Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has had a major resurgence as the whiskey and spirit world catch on to the complexities and the excellence of the greatest American Whiskey.  Not only Bourbon, but American Rye’s are also in the midst of a renaissance as the country’s best distillers are proving we can rival with any whiskey makers in the world.  We’d take a $30 Kentucky Straight Bourbon over a $50 Single Malt Scotch any day of the week.  Over the past few years we’ve tasted every bourbon we could possibly get our hands on and these are the best bourbons on the market.  We tried to stay away from special releases and bourbons that are simply too expensive as there is no need to spend too much money to find the perfect bourbon.  Under U.S. law, Bourbon must be made with a 51% corn mash and aged in newly charred oak barrels.  Bourbon must be from Kentucky and aged 2 years in order to be called a Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

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Elmer T Lee kentucky straight bourbon whiskey 169x300 The Top 10 Best Kentucky Straight Bourbons: Elmer T. Lee, Knob Creek & George T. Stagg1.  The Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

A two time gold medalist at the San Francisco World Spirits competition and rated 91 by Wine Enthusiast, Elmer T. Lee is produced and distilled at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort Kentucky.  With a heavy rye mash for a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, the Elmer T. Lee is very balanced and subtly is its genius.  The Elmer T. Lee bourbon is bottled only when master distiller emeritus, the 91 year old Elmer T. Lee decides that it’s time.  After all these years, Elmer T. Lee is still a master at his craft.  Not only is this rated our top bourbon, but you can find it in the stores for about $35.00 and Elmer T Lee is simply one of the best buys for any spirit on the shelves.  Made with a “Rye Recipe,” the Elmer T. Lee focuses more on the rye and grains than the sweetness of the corn mash.  The rye style Bourbon makes a subtle, complex yet easy drinking style.  Spicy with hints of cinnamon and honey, the Elmer T. Lee is rounded out by beautiful malts and grains.  Perfectly balanced and flavorful, this Bourbon comes with our highest recommendation for any whiskey.  Elmer T. Lee is still the master of the bourbon craft.

 

knob creek single barrel reserve 300x287 The Top 10 Best Kentucky Straight Bourbons: Elmer T. Lee, Knob Creek & George T. Stagg2.  The Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey:

A special release of the small batch collection by Jim Beam, the Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is 9 years aged in newly charred American Oak Barrels, hand selected, and bottled at 120 proof.  Exceptionally smooth for 120 proof, the Single Barrel Reserve has a light but sweet and smoky scent.  With flavors of grains, malts, and an overall sweet flavor with notes of oak and wood, vanilla, chocolate and caramel.  This bourbon is a flat out masterpiece and perhaps Jim Beam’s magnum Opus, not to be confused with the original Knob Creek, also a stud in the world of bourbon.

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3.  Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey:

Winning our first ever double blind taste test, even before our web site went live, Blanton’s is considered the original single barrel bourbon, a brilliant idea that has caught fire throughout the industry.  An everyday work horse for bourbon, Blanton’s is stored in an iron clad warehouse but continuously heated to age and mature the bourbon.  Sweet, smoky and creamy, Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is an perfectly balanced whiskey and simply one of the best Bourbon’s on the market period.

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george t stagg 123x300 The Top 10 Best Kentucky Straight Bourbons: Elmer T. Lee, Knob Creek & George T. Stagg4.  George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon:

Selected as the #1 spirit in the world by the Spirit Journal and defeating perennial 5 times champion in a row, Highland Park 18 Year Single Malt Scotch, the George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon is now one of the most coveted whiskeys in the world.  Winning award after award and finishing 2nd in our very own double blind taste test, the George T. Stagg is one of the most complex bourbons and whiskeys on the planet.  Uncut and unfiltered, and bottled at 141 proof, this Bourbon Whiskey is for the serious whiskey drinker, one who appreciates every complexity in the glass.  Once the whiskey cools down, flavors of oak, fruit, and vanilla ice cream give a perfect mouth feel.

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5.  Black Maple Hill 16 Year Small Batch Old Bourbon:

Although we did not want to select a bourbon this expensive, we could not resist adding the Black Maple Hill 16 Year to our top 10 list as it is not only one of the best bourbons in the world but one of the best whiskies period.  With flavors of caramel, oak and nut, the Black Maple Hill 16 Year is the quintessential small batch bourbon, made in classic fashion, bottled at 95 proof from a single barrel.

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6.  Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon:

Bottled at 107 proof, the Pappy Van Winkle 15 was Rated 98 by the Beverage Tasting Institute.

7.  Michter’s 10 Year Old Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon:

Named the “best american whiskey” by Food and Wine Magazine, not only is this one of the best bourbons in the world, but Michter’s American whiskies might even be better than their bourbons.  Single Barrel 94.4 proof.

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8.  Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Handcrafted and bottled at 94 proof, Woodford Reserve is the quintessential sweet bourbon..

9.  Basil Hayden’s 8 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

From the Jim Beam small batch series, the price for Basil Hayden’s is excellent for how well rounded and beautiful this bourbon is.  Easy drinking at 80 proof.  .

10.  Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Winner of multiple gold medals, this single barrel is very complex for a young whiskey.  Bottled at 100 proof.

Editor’s Note: Selection limited to Bourbons available in PA, DE, NJ, NY, and MD.

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