5 Best Available Bourbons You Can Find Anywhere For The Holidays
We get it.
You’re running late, you need whiskey, and you have precious few hours to snag that bottle for the Thanksgiving party you’re attending, or that holiday office party you refuse to drink punch at for the third year in the row. While we have a fat stack of more personalized purchasing suggestions on the way for those with precious time and plenty of planning, here are 5 whiskeys you can find anywhere that are guaranteed to elevate your Thanksgiving or holiday meal.
Hot off a fresh redesign and new glass, Knob Creek’s 9 Year Bourbon is a ubiquitous bottle, available in all 50 states and many foreign countries as well. It presents one of the best values in bourbon, bearing a 9 Year age statement, 50% ABV bottling proof and prices that squarely put it in the “every day drinker” camp.
Always easy to find, always delicious, and never too expensive for a week night pour, Knob Creek 9 Year stands tall at the front of our suggestion for whiskey that won’t steer you wrong.
Bold and full of spice, Four Roses Small Batch is ol’ reliable for many, and one of our favorite cocktail whiskeys on the shelf. To some folks, cocktail whiskey means a bottle that misses the mark or just doesn’t match up to your tastes. For us, it means a solid pour that can stand up to great Vermouth, bold bitters, a decadent Luxardo cherry or just well made ingredients. Four Roses Small Batch does all of these things, and also drinks great neat or on the rocks.
For those of you with more aesthetically minded tastes, this is one of the better looking “everyday” whiskeys out there – looks great incorporated into a dinner table center piece!
I know what you’re thinking: “Turkey on Thanksgiving? How daring.”
You’re not wrong, but I’ve also never shown up to a gathering with this high proof, higher value, bourbon and seen a look of disappointment among the hosts. Available in 750ml, liters, handles, even minis, there’s an appropriately sized Turkey for your group. In lieu of suggesting a bougie cocktail: Wild Turkey and Ginger makes for a zesty, enjoyable cocktail thats easy to pour and even easier to enjoy.
Bourbon? From Tennessee?
You know it. At 8 years old, this release from Dickel quickly became a staple of my bar. It’s well aged, has great depth and complexity, is available everywhere that sells their less expensive “12” release and Rye, and it won’t break the bank.
Impressively complex with a bit more tannin than the other suggestions here, this is a perfect pour for those neat drinkers. Additionally, with a price tag that won’t break the bank, you won’t shriek when you find it used in a cocktail, whether it’s whiskey & coke or a high end old fashioned.
Last and far from least, Elijah Craig is one of the most reliable pickups on the market. High rye and packed with flavor, it’s proofed at 47% ABV, making it a perfect sweet spot drinker.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon can stand up to ice, it’s a smooth and complex sipper neat and it works great in my favorite bourbon cocktail of all time: the Gold Rush.
In short, there’s a lot of whiskey work leaving on the shelf out there. Digging into a new brand, or fact checking that eager liquor store attendant who’s trying to move slow selling whiskey is a game for a different day.
When you need great whiskey, and you need to be able to find it anywhere, these are your guaranteed winners. Perfect neat, on the rocks, in a cocktail, these rock start selections ensure you’ll always have something great in your glass, no matter what you’re celebrating. They also don’t cost so much that you can’t leave those last couple ounces behind as a token of appreciation for your host.
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