Being a bourbon person, I often get asked for recommendations - a task I find very tricky because it can be such a personal thing. The last thing I want to do is send someone in the wrong direction in their bourbon consumption (the horror!). But, there are a few that I find myself coming back to as recommendations in certain scenarios. I’ve chosen bourbons that are relatively easy to find.
Best bourbon for a cocktail: Wild Turkey 81 or 101
If you’re looking for a bourbon to mix up an old fashioned, manhattan or sour - look no further than Wild Turkey. The price is right - so you won’t feel bad about mixing it up. And I find it has enough of a backbone that it stands up well to juices, bitters and ice.
Best for a daily sip at home: Four Roses Single Barrel
Beautiful spice, well structured and delicious. The price point for this single barrel offering is surprisingly great so, feel free to sip on this one each and every night and enjoy all it has to offer.
Best to bring to a party: Maker’s Mark 46
Enjoy this one with ice, neat, in a solo cup, teacup or proper Glencairn glass. It’s easy to drink and uncomplicated. You won’t even feel bad about leaving this one behind at your host’s house because it’s pricey enough it feels like a proper host gift, but not so pricey that you’ll want to smuggle your half-drunk bottle back home under your coat.
Best introduction to barrel proof: Booker's
Easy to get a hold of, full-bodied, velvety and easy to sip - this bourbon works well with or without a splash of water. I find it’s not overwhelming for a barrel proof offering, so it’s good for those who are new to high-proof whisky.
Best bourbon to grab if you see it: Elmer T. Lee
Don’t ask questions. Just buy this bourbon. It’s getting more and more difficult to get hands on. The price is amazing for some really incredible juice you can hang your hat on. Sip it slowly and send some to me.
Best bourbon to savour: Colonel EH Taylor Single Barrel
Bring this one out at the end of a special meal as an aperitif or for a special occasion. It’s a beautiful pour (in a beautiful bottle) with lots of complexity and a rich, caramel finish. This whisky is one to savour.