With Labor Day just a few short days away, much of America is looking forward to the three-day weekend. Whether you’re hosting a cookout, heading to a party, hanging out by the pool or spending the weekend watching College Football, this is an ideal weekend to relax with some whiskey. Here are five great American whiskey options to enjoy neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail.
Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon
Knob Creek 9 Year is a great option for a go-to bourbon. Produced by Beam Suntory at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, Knob Creek is a rock-solid brand, and this particular expression is a winner because it’s relatively inexpensive — especially given its age — without being bottom-shelf and easy to find across the U.S. This is a jack-of-all-trades bourbon that works great in a cocktail, on the rocks or neat.
Knob Creek 9 Year delivers caramel and cinnamon on the palate, and a solid amount of burn is present in this 100-proof dram.
Old Forester 1920 Bourbon
High-end but not opulent, this “Prohibition Style” bourbon from Old Forester is a great pick for bourbon enthusiasts. Bottled at a whopping 57.5% ABV, this bourbon might be a little much for novices, but it’s a truly great bottle that is almost universally available. It’s rich and sweet with some good structure on the palate, albeit with a solid amount of heat.
Maker’s Mark Bourbon
A bourbon staple, the 45%-ABV Maker’s Mark offers the perfect sweet and easy pour for a barbecue. Maker’s Mark isn’t super complex; it has loads of brown sugar and not a ton else on the palate. It isn’t going to blow your mind with its quality, but it’s rock-solid at a good price.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
Spicy and rich, Elijah Craig Small Batch is a great bang-for-your-buck purchase. This release used to feature a 12-year age statement, but Heaven Hill removed it, making this is a no-age-statement bourbon. Bottled at 94 proof, this bourbon is hot on the palate with lots of vanilla and oak.
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye Whiskey
If you prefer rye whiskey to bourbon, here’s the pick for you. Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye is a spicy rye that’s often slept on. If you’re a rye fan who hasn’t tried this bottle, that needs to be corrected. Bottled at 104 proof, this is a really great, thoroughly enjoyable whiskey.
Typically priced between $60 and $75, Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye can be ordered online from ReserveBar.
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