Best bourbon?

I noticed there are threads for scotch and vodka so we need one for bourbon too.
What do you think is the best bourbon? I can't pick just one but I think that buffalo trace and Elijah Craig are both very good, especially at ~$30 for a fifth.

The 10 year Eagle Rare might be the greatest value out there at $25 a bottle. The 17 year Eagle Rare is really special but I think the price has jumped to over $100. I think I paid $65 for a bottle a few years ago. The biggest complement I've received is when some of my Scotch friends reluctantly tried some and didn't reject it!
Basil Hayden is my all time favorite. But, hey, Makers Mark, Blanton's, Van Ripple, the single batch Wild Turkey and Jack Daniels are all on my shelf---in fact, I'm having a JD now...Silver Select or something like that or is it Rare Breed????

Never had Eagle Rare. The 17 yr stuff sounds really good. Think that will be a xmas present to myself!! Thanks for the link.

Here's to you.
10 year eagle rare is great stuff too. I also like makers mark, but I think it is a little overpriced and it is a little too refined at times fir my tastes (sometimes I want something with more balls).

Pappy VanWinkle 20 yr. old, if money is no object. Rowen's Creek is good and reasonable at ~$40. I need to try the Eagle rare. Happy Holidays!!
Makers Mark is my favorite. Jack Daniels is not bourbon. It is Tennessee sippin' whiskey. :-)
Makers Mark as long as I can remember.I'm 64.Taste expensive and is.Visit Star Hill farm if you get a chance.JD
I've been a scotch guy for a long time (and still am), but have recently been "turned on" to the the merits of fine American whiskey. I am loving the "Antique Series" bottled by Buffalo Trace:

William Larue Weller
Geirge T. Stagg
Thomas H Handy Sazerac
Sazerac 18

And, the Van Winkle's:

Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye

Next up is the Parker's Heritage 27


Woodford Reserve. It's smoother, has a bit more caramel, and is "deeper" than Maker's Mark. Knob Creek is my second choice.
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Hello from happy consumer of Crown Royal that is in my abdomen almost every weekend at least 400ml straight no ice. No heavy withdrawals next morning as well. The language becomes a-little distorted after the 10th shot:-). Always order doubles at the bar I trust.
Slightly sweet and yummy over ice with some branch.

12 year old, straight up. Too good.
Pappy Van Winkle 23-year old is the "best". I suspect those making other suggestions above have not tried it, as it costs c. $220 a bottle.
Makers Mark is good. My favorite is Bushmills, Irish Whiskey. (I guess that means it's not bourbon?). It's amazing how many movies there are where the characters are drinking Bushmills, almost always out of Baccarat Harmonie tumblers.....(????)
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All whisky is good, but "bourbon" has a legal definition. Among other things it must be US made, mash made from 51% or more corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels. Bushmill's and Crown are not "bourbon." BTW, many of the nominations above are made at the Buffalo Trace distillery - they just use different recipes, and age them different lengths of time, in different parts of the warehouses.
My cost-is-no-object favorite is the 23-year Pappy. The 20-year old is my "regular," and that is a terrific Bourbon too. I also like Black Maple Hill, but, it too is somewhat pricey.

In the less costly category, I like Blantons and Jefferson Reserve.
+1 for the Van Winkle 20 Yr Old, and the 23 Yr Old is really something very special. My "everyday" is their 12 Yr Old Family Reserve. Unfortunately, none of these are easy to find on a regular basis in the Northeast.

I had the pleasure of meeting Julian and Preston Van Winkle during an event that our two companies did together in Lexington, KY. The following day they gave me a tour of the Buffalo Trace distillery. Part of their arrangement with Buffalo Trace is that Van Winkle gets the first pick of the barrels and they occupy the most desirable locations in the aging warehouse.
The buffalo trace distillery makes some very good stuff.

I think heaven hill also does good work at a lower price point. They make Elijah craig and my favorite budget bourbon, Evan Williams black label.

Funny how little mention has been made of beam products ...

I don't know that I would say it is a beam product. They both have the same parent company but makers mark was independant for a long time.

Beam does make bookers, knob creek, basil haydens, and Bakers, which are well thought of.

Just an "Andy Rooney thought...."

Didja ever wonder what's with all the "B" names for brands of bourbon? Blanton's, Booker's, Bulleit, Basil Hayden, Baker's, Black Maple, Beams Choice, Buffalo Trace...

Sorry, couldn't help it.
Booker's is my favorite - Or at least it will be when I run out of Hirsch 16yr & 20yr (the Michter's stuff).
Also like Jefferson's Reserve, Knob Creek.
Bulleit if I'm feeling... well, a little zany!
Jim Beam Black: Best bang for the buck.
I favor Makers Mark in Manhattans.
Lloydc is right on about the differentiation between bourbon and whisky. From my days working marketing with Seagram amd then Buckingham-Wile in NYC I recall that bourbon is the ONLY authentic American distilled spirit.

My choice spirits have been Scotch and Bourbon for a long time. For me I like them both over ice or with a splash of cold spring water. Although I enjoy the expensive brands I am a regular for Old Grand Dad. It's more affordable and satisfies my palet quite nicely.

A lot of those folks responding to this question are wrongly identifying whisky as a bourbon. Take a taste test (organolyptic test) and experience the difference.
Lloydc and Sit

Travel to Ireland and have the other brown spirit. Midleton has a better flavor backbone than these red neck beverages. :)
I'm quite sure you are correct about the taste quality of Midleton. I'm rather well traveled myself and have had a good taste of such brands during my frequent trips to England and elsewhere. Wonderful spirits.

However, to call Bourbon a "redneck" beverage exhibits rather narrow thinking. Bourbon evolved as a true gentlemen's drink enjoyed by distinguished, fine gentlemen such as Robert E. Lee.

Do you feel the same way about the Eastern European peasant beverage, vodka?

I actally like American vodka, Titos, made in Austin, probably by red necks. :)
Agreed, Middleton and Ardberg are excellent antidotes to sobriety. But we were discussing bourbon.
Woodford Reserve, followed by Makers Mark, and the old Standard, Jack Daniels (Black Label) I don't care what is says on the label, it's bourbon.
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Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, and Maker's Mark. These are my favorites, as the term "best" can only be in the eyes (and palates) of the beholder.
I had both Woodford Reserve and Maker's Mark at a Christmas party last Saturday. Both are very good.

Again, Jack Daniels is not bourbon. Having grown up in Tennessee I'm well aware of its' appellation as "Tennessee sippin' whiskey". :-)

Knob Creek Kentucky Bourbon. Hide your keys and have a couple perfect manhattans.
blantons green lable
makers mark
woodford reserve

for some reason i preferred the lighter proof'd blantons over everything i've tried. im not a big bourbon guy, sad, cause i live so close to KY, the blantons green lable just doesnt have all that fire that i can't seem to overcome.

Some of you would argue that there is no fire in bourbon. different palates i guess. at 26 i think ive still got some time to settle in to my beverages.
Four Roses, Single Barrel. Ultra smooth, amazingly rich sippin' bourbon. In a warm handed, ever so slightly melted, ever so slightly swirled glass of "gels" with the sweet spot chair.
checking back in a year later:

Eagle Rare 10 year single barrel is about all I drink, bourbon-wise.
Eagle rare is good stuff.

I have been enjoying Old Weller 107 lately. It's got a nice rich chocolaty flavor.
George T. Stagg.

It will redefine your understanding of what bourbon can be. But drinker beware: 141 proof or so.
The Hirsch 16 and 20 year old bourbons are not cheap, but smooth and extraordinarily complex.
In selecting bourbons, one should distinguish between wheated (eg Makers Mark) and non-wheated (Knob Creek) as they are very different one from the other.
when you say 'wheated' are you referring to rye content? i dont care much for knob creek.

i notice that when i drink a bourbon like Bulliet, it has a much more raw or spicy flavor. i've been told thats because of the high rye content (relative to maker.)

i still think for my buck there's no better buy than Eagle Rare 10 year, if your going to drink it neat or on the rocks.
It means MM uses red winter wheat in the mash bill, of course all bourbons by law must be made from 51percent corn MM is no exception. Some other bourbons like Basil Hayden for example use a higher mix of rye, giving it a lighter, spicier character. That's what makes bourbons special, strict standards but leeway to make each unique.