Top 10: Bourbon Of The Year 2016
If you've ever wondered... “What are the Bourbon Gents favourite bourbons this year?” And “I wish they would tell me them in a snappy top ten format in ascending numerical order” then you're in luck!
After many hours of heated debate in the Bourbon Gents HQ we have finally come to an agreement on our joint top 10 favourite bourbons in our collection for 2016.
Now before we start, the Gents would like to issue a few caveats;
This is a combined list so will not accurately reflect our individual review scores on the website.
The list only contains drinks we have both tried and that we actually own.
We reserve the right to be flaky and change our minds, so this is the list as it stands at the time of getting our heads together and writing this thing. 2017's list may be completely different!
This is just our opinion you don't have to like it or agree with it.
The Bourbon Gents Top 10 Bourbons - 2016:
1 - Noah's Mill
Not much discussion was needed for the number one spot. The highest rated bourbon we have reviewed on the site and also unequivocally Mav's all time favourite. The Gents both agree that this complex and mature drink is a must have in any collection, and one you should seek out and try for yourselves. We love it, and we're confident you will too.
2 - Wild Turkey Rare Breed
The Gents are big fans of all the Wild Turkey offerings but this one is the stand out choice. The barrel proof volume just makes the normal Wild Turkey flavours even more intense and rich. Like the Noah's Mill, this a complex drink and both Mr Pie and Mav look forward to unlocking more of the flavours and smells as we progress in our tasting abilities. We also deserve a pat on the back for not making any fowl based puns in that summary!
3 - Four Roses Single Barrel
While the Four Roses Yellow Label was poorly received, and gained the lowest score so far on the website, the single barrel offering is something else altogether. This bourbon has won plenty of awards and the Gents can see why. It's very smooth for a higher volume bourbon and ideal as what the whisky world calls a 'sipping drink'. The Gents also want to give a shout out to the outstanding bottle design!
4 - Blanton's Gold
The first decisive inclusion on the list! Mr Pie raved over this bourbon in our review and gave it his highest score so far (9). However Mav was less impressed and, while still rated it above average, could not look past the peppery rye taste on the pallet. That said though this is a joint list and this bourbon deserves it's place in the top half. Complex and full bodied with a long finish that doesn't burn, plus another great bottle!
5 - Woodford Reserve Double Oak
Another big favourite of Mr Pie, this bourbon starts out as regular old Woodford but is then taken to a whole new level by being further matured in separate, charred oak barrels – the second barrel deeply toasted before a light charring. A lovely dram that takes an existing classic and somehow makes it even better!
6 - Booker's
Part of (and in the Gents opinion – best of) the Jim Beam small batch collection. A rich, hot, fiery, intense dram that is full of deep and complex flavours. At 63.7% volume (the bottle we have) it's not going to be for everyone, but those who crave the higher barrel proof drinks this is a must have.
7 - Knob Creek Rye
Mr Pie had to sneak one rye into the list! Strangely for a bourbon website run by two people who call themselves the 'Bourbon Gents' this 'not classified as a bourbon' drink was the first bottle we reviewed on the site. Mr Pie's love of high rye based drams is well known to our readers by now, but this one even managed to win over Mav too. An excellent drink with hints of spice, pepper, herbs and oak.
8 - Stagg Junior
Hot hot hot! This drink is like a nuclear explosion on the tongue but then gives way to smoothness that is unexpected considering the 67.2% volume. We described it as 'a monster' of a drink in our review, but both came away fans of the beast and glad to have it in our collection.
9 - Knob Creek Small Batch
Another of the Jim Beam small batch collection, and the most amusingly named bourbon for those in the UK (knob haha!). Seriously though this is a drink that you can go back to time and time again. It has the right balance of sweetness and spice, with the hints of oak that shine through on those more mature bourbons.
10 – Wild Turkey 81
The cheapest and most readily available of any of the bourbons on our list. However that does not make it any less worthy to be on here. Highly reviewed and loved by both the Gent's, and a bottle that is never out of our collection. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this offering and, while it doesn't have the kick or complexity of some of the other on our list, it more than holds it own and remains easily the Gents go to recommendation for anyone starting out their journey in the bourbon world.