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30 Popular Bourbons You Can Find Almost Anywhere

by Owen Ingalls May 07, 2024 5 min read

30 Popular Bourbons You Can Find Almost Anywhere

Bourbon, America's native spirit, has a rich and storied history that is as varied as the brands that distill it. From historic distilleries that have crafted bourbon for generations to newer artisanal makers, this glossary explores over thirty distinguished American bourbon brands.

Each entry not only reveals the unique flavor profiles that include notes of vanilla, caramel, spices, and oak but also delves into the heritage and innovation that define these iconic labels. 

Whether you're a connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, this guide provides a comprehensive look into the world of American bourbon, showcasing the diversity and craftsmanship of this beloved whiskey

1. Maker's Mark

Known for its hand-dipped red wax seal, Maker's Mark offers a smooth and approachable flavor with notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak. It's a staple for both newcomers and seasoned bourbon enthusiasts.

2. Woodford Reserve

A staple in Kentucky, Woodford Reserve is rich with flavors of dried fruit, spices, and chocolate, overlaid with a classic vanilla oak aroma. It's complex and balanced, ideal for sipping.

3. Buffalo Trace

This iconic brand produces a bourbon that is sweet with notes of brown sugar and spice that mingle with oak and caramel. Buffalo Trace is a versatile bourbon, good for cocktails or enjoying neat.

Read: 10 Best Whiskeys to Stock Your Home Bar

4. Bulleit Bourbon

Known for its high rye content, Bulleit Bourbon offers a bold, spicy character with undertones of maple, oak, and nutmeg. It's a favorite for creating robust cocktails.

5. Jim Beam

As a highly recognizable brand, Jim Beam delivers consistent quality with a slightly oaky vanilla flavor alongside hints of spice and caramel. It's affordable and widely used in mixed drinks.

6. Wild Turkey

Known for its deep and complex flavors, Wild Turkey features bold notes of sweet vanilla, pear, and hints of spice. It maintains a robust proof, making it strong and full-bodied.

7. Knob Creek

This small-batch bourbon from Jim Beam has rich flavors of toasted nuts, grains, and oak. It's known for its long, full-bodied finish and higher proof.

8. Four Roses

Unique for using five yeast strains and two mashbills, Four Roses offers a floral, fruity profile that is smooth and mellow, with pear and apple notes complemented by honey and spice.

9. Pappy Van Winkle

Highly sought after for its scarcity, this bourbon is rich with flavors of caramel, vanilla, and cherries. Its long aging process imparts deep complexity and a smooth finish.

10. Elijah Craig

Often credited with inventing the process of aging bourbon in charred oak barrels, Elijah Craig offers a toasty vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon profile, making it a great sipping whiskey.

(Learn about the difference between bourbon vs whiskey)

11. Angel's Envy

Finished in port wine barrels, Angel’s Envy has a distinctive, rich sweetness with underlying notes of vanilla, ripe fruit, and a smooth, malty finish. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a refined taste.

12. Blanton's

The original single barrel bourbon, Blanton’s is known for its notes of citrus, caramel, and spices with a creamy vanilla background. It is smooth and refined, often served neat.

13. Basil Hayden's

Light-bodied with a mild flavor profile that includes notes of peppermint, tea, and a slight hint of vanilla. Its lower proof makes it a softer option for those new to bourbon.

14. Old Forester

Celebrated for being the first bottled bourbon, Old Forester delivers consistent quality with a rich, sharp flavor profile of cherry, clove, and smoky char, along with a sweet aroma.

15. Stagg Jr.

Known for its high proof and intense flavors, Stagg Jr. offers notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, and cherries underpinned by a strong, spicy oak presence. It’s a robust, hearty bourbon.

16. Eagle Rare

This bourbon stands out for its complex aromas and flavors of toffee, orange peel, herbs, and honey. It's a smooth, well-aged spirit that bourbon lovers admire for its elegance.

17. Larceny

A wheated bourbon known for its smoothness, Larceny has a creamy profile with hints of buttery caramel and vanilla. It's sweet and easy to drink, making it a great choice for a wide range of palates.

18. Russell's Reserve

Offers a rich, woody flavor with toasty sugar, orange, and vanilla notes. Crafted by Wild Turkey’s master distillers, it’s known for its craftsmanship and depth.

19. Jefferson's

Very innovative with their aging process, including aging at sea, Jefferson’s offers a bright palette with floral notes, a light spice, and a pleasurable sweetness.

20. Hudson Baby Bourbon

Distilled from 100% New York corn, Hudson Baby Bourbon is rich and smooth, with a unique character of vanilla and caramel with a hint of apple.

21. Rowan's Creek

Named after the water source that runs through the distillery, Rowan’s Creek is smooth with a woody flavor punctuated by hints of spice and fruit.

22. Booker's

An uncut, straight-from-the-barrel bourbon, Booker's is intense and flavorful with notes of tobacco, leather, and dried fruit. Its high proof delivers a bold taste experience.

23. Michter's US*1

Known for its single barrel and small batch expressions, Michter's delivers a rich,flavor profile with notes of caramel, oak, and soft fruits. It's perfect for sipping neat due to its refined and elegant nature.

24. Belle Meade

This bourbon is crafted using a high-rye content, resulting in a spicy kick complemented by sweet caramel and vanilla notes. Belle Meade is robust and invigorating, ideal for cocktails.

25. Widow Jane

Distilled in Brooklyn, New York, Widow Jane bourbon is known for its bold flavors of cherry, orange, and dark chocolate, derived from the mineral-rich waters of Rosendale, New York.

26. Kings County

This craft distillery from Brooklyn offers a young but full-bodied bourbon with notes of caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It's known for its rich, grain-forward flavor.

27. Breckenridge

With a high-rye mash bill, Breckenridge bourbon is spicy and bold with undertones of dark chocolate and caramel. It’s crafted in the Rocky Mountains, using snowmelt for a unique purity in flavor.

28. Peerless

A storied brand that has been revived, Peerless offers a purely sweet and oak-laden taste profile with hints of citrus and spice. It is known for its strictly sweet mash process and single-barrel bottling.

29. New Riff

A relative newcomer, New Riff embraces full-bodied and spicy flavors with a bold, high-rye content. It offers notes of peppercorn, citrus, and caramel, appealing to those who enjoy a spirited bourbon.

30. High West

Based in Utah, High West is known for its innovative blends and barrel finishes. Its bourbons offer complex arrays of spicy, floral, and sweet notes, making them highly versatile for both sipping and mixing.

This glossary of Bourbon Brands highlights the diverse and rich profiles available across the United States, catering to an array of tastes from the sweet and smooth to the bold and spicy. Whether you're a cocktail aficionado or a bourbon purist, each brand offers a unique story and flavor profile worth exploring.

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