In America, bourbon is big business. While it can technically be made anywhere in the US (as long as the regulations are met), 95% of all bourbon is produced in Kentucky, where the big brands are centered. In 2020 alone, bourbon distilleries in the Blue Grass State filled more than 2.1 million barrels, with production increasing by more than 350% since the dawn of the 2000s.
To say that bourbon whiskey is a popular style is an understatement. And a pretty massive one at that.
America’s native spirit (as declared by congress in 1964) is crafted by countless distilleries, but there’s a handful that sell better than all the others. We definitely love (and root for) the upstarts, but today I want to give the big boys their due. I’m highlighting my one absolute favorite bourbon whiskey expression from each of the best-selling brands. This can get a little confusing, as some of the brands are owned by the same distilleries, but if you’re going by name alone the top-selling bourbons brands are Bulleit, Old Forester, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Buffalo Trace.
I based this on my tastes alone without taking into account price or how sought-after a particular bottle is. Sometimes I chose the most expensive bottle. Sometimes it was somewhere in the middle. My palate, which is pretty thoroughly developed and tuned to bourbon, was the only barometer. Click the linked prices to have these picks delivered to your doorstep.
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