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In honor of National Bourbon Day, let’s list our favorite bourbons

Today is National Bourbon Day, and even though every day is a holiday of some sort now, this is one I can actually get behind. As Kentuckians, we’re raised to respect certain things in life: basketball, horse racing, and the slow burn of a nice brown water. So, in the spirit of the spirit’s day, I put together this list of my favorite bourbons, which, admittedly, is pretty short since I don’t drink it that often these days.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch

I didn’t consider myself a Four Roses fan until I tried the limited edition small batch from 2014 at a bourbon tasting at Beaumont Inn (more on them below). I was floored by the citrusy/spicy flavors, which were perfectly balanced with hints of honey and mint.

Kentucky Owl

I’m biased here since I know the people behind it, but Kentucky Owl is a terrific bourbon. About nine years ago, fifth-generation Beaumont Inn innkeeper Dixon Dedman decided to resurrect his family’s old distillery through a partnership with Mark and Sherri Carter, friends and fellow innkeepers/winemakers from California. Kentucky Owl was born again, and bottled for the first time two years ago. Since then, it’s made plenty of noise, winning Garden & Gun‘s “Made in the South” award for Best Drink and selling out in a matter of weeks. Batches sell out as they’re released, so if you can find a bottle, buy it.

Woodford Reserve

My favorite of the “mainstream” bourbons, Woodford is a good go-to if you’re in a bar with a limited selection. Plus, their distillery is my favorite to visit. If you’re looking for a quintessential bourbon tour to take your friends from out of town on, Woodford’s picturesque setting in the middle of horse country is hard to beat. Tack on a few extra hours and have lunch at Wallace Station or Grey Goose in nearby Midway.

Willett Family Estate 13

I had a chance to sample the Willett Family Estate Single-Barrel 13-year-old bourbon at that same tasting at Beaumont Inn and it was pretty special. I also visited the small, boutique Willett distillery near Bardstown, which was a nice change of pace from giant distilleries like Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve. Willett is making their own bourbon now, but until a few years ago, each bottle was simply a blend of other distilleries’ surplus that the family bought in the barrels and aged themselves until ready for purchase, making each bottle a mystery.


Your turn. Let’s hear your favorite bourbons, and to further celebrate the day, check out Drew Franklin’s post on this year’s Bourbon Classic from a few months back.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 Comments for In honor of National Bourbon Day, let’s list our favorite bourbons

  1. NostraDanis
    6:33 pm June 14, 2017 Permalink

    Noah’s Mill, with Nose Whistle a close 2nd.

  2. CommonMan79
    7:02 pm June 14, 2017 Permalink

    Any of the E.H. Taylor bourbons

  3. BigBlue4EverUK
    8:43 pm June 14, 2017 Permalink

    Angel Envy, Russell Reserve

  4. bkirby99
    9:29 pm June 14, 2017 Permalink

    Four Roses Small Batch, Bulleit, Weller.

  5. Luether
    9:41 pm June 14, 2017 Permalink

    Gotta get up pretty early in the morning to beat out Woodford Reserve…

  6. BG Cat
    11:06 pm June 14, 2017 Permalink

    Evan Williams

  7. You had [email protected]
    12:15 am June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Wathen’s, Weller, 12 yr Elijah Craig, Noah’s Mill,

  8. als071685
    12:30 am June 15, 2017 Permalink


  9. FroggyFrog
    2:22 am June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Bakers 107

  10. damage_control
    10:00 am June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Four Roses is the best overall bourbon for my taste. From their top shelf stuff to their regular, everyday batch, it is all great. I’ve tried most of the top shelf brands like Pappy, Blantons, and Booker’s, but I’d still take a single barrel batch of Four Roses over most of, if not all of them.

  11. JHFrauenhoffer
    10:15 am June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Have you been to the Wilderness Trail Distillery in Danville yet?

  12. satcheluk
    9:15 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

    Bookers, on ball ice, wait 3 minutes. Enjoy!