If you’re here reading this, that means your coziest frigid dreams include you + fireplace + tumbler glass in hand, filled with a few ice cubes and something dark and delightful. Newsflash: That something dark and delightful is for sure a delicious bourbon.
When the orange leaves start to fall to the ground (or we just blast the AC to fake it!) and everyone pulls their sweaters out from hibernation, bourbon is *the* ideal beverage to drink. For starters, it has a rich and soothing quality to it that will warm your insides beneath layers of knits. Plus, with notes like vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg, pear, and apple, bourbon is fully driving the cozy train here.
Since you’re inevitably craving that smooth sensation and a mid-autumn chill right now, peep our list of the 18 best bourbon brands for you to get your warm fix below. And whatever way you prefer to sip on it, just remember to embrace it by streaming folklore.
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if you want something dark
Saint Liberty Bertie’s Bear Gulch Bourbon Whiskey
Named in honor of Prohibition-era bootlegger Bertie Brown, this bottle contains notes of burnt brown sugar, vanilla, and cozy spices—perfect to sip slowly on its own.
if you want something sweet
Smooth and sweet, with hints of caramel, Majesty is ideal to mix in with a couple of ice cubes and drink as is. Also, the name is very regal so why wouldn’t you want to dive in?
if you want something full-bodied
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
After aging for nine years, you can really taste the bold flavors (and high alcohol content) of Knob Creek. But it truly tastes the best when combined with fresh mint and a hint of sugar for a classic julep. Derby hat not included, unfortch.
if you want something dessert-y
Shadow Ridge Spirits Company Bourbon Whiskey
You really get a sweet deal here. Not only is the bottle pretty as all hell, but the bourbon is also rounded out with flavors of caramel, toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon. QQ: Can I bake this into a pie too?
if you want something refreshing
Saint Cloud Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
For those nights when you want a cocktail but the idea of any extra steps makes you want to scream. The strong flavors here include peppermint, clove, and cinnamon. I’m very into this.
if you want something chic
Allow me to state the obvious: The people over at Stillhouse are on! their! game! with packaging. And they also make a mean black bourbon. This unique variation is aged, then left to “rest and mellow” in roasted coffee beans before it’s bottled. Mmm.
if you want something with a kick
Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This guy is a fave among regular bourbon drinkers—and for good reason. It has a spicy, warming finish that tastes unreal served on the rocks or in an old-fashioned.
if you want something fahncy
Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
If you’re the kind of person that trusts anything based on their accolades, then you’re about to be obsessed with this brand. Uncle Nearest recently won Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and after one sip of this smooth whiskey, you’ll understand why.
if you want something exclusive
Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon
As the name implies, this bourbon is made in super-small batches to guarantee quality, and *chef’s kiss* it lives up to that promise. The blend is a combo of four different Kentucky bourbon whiskeys, which creates a spicy yet sweet and caramel-y flavor. So. Good.
if you want something balanced
Okay, first off, this packaging is très chic and resembles a wine bottle, so we’re already sold. But appearances aside, this bourbon is also just really effing good. Sip it neat or experiment with a Kentucky mule (psst, just add some ginger beer and lime). Either way, you’ll be hooked.
if you want something grown up
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Want your friends to think you have your shit together? Leave this sleek, sophisticated bottle sitting on top of your bar cart. And offer to pour them a glass too. They’ll dig the smoky flavor and smooth finish.
if you want something fruity
Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
If you can get your hands on a bottle of this stuff, you’re v lucky. Made in small batches, Angel’s Envy is a rare find. But if you do get a chance to taste it, you’ll love its notes of vanilla, maple syrup, ripe fruit, and bitter chocolate.
if you want something affordable
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky
No list of bourbons is complete without Maker’s Mark. It’s a barback favorite, and you can’t beat the price point (save that $$$!). Plus, it has an easy finish. Even a bourbon newbie can enjoy it, no prob.
if you want something old
Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon
Apologize to your wallet rn, because this pick is gonna set you back a few. But we promise its unique flavor is worth the splurge. After aging in a charred white oak barrel for 10 years, this blend emerges tasting creamy, spicy, and, yup, expensive.
if you want something unique
Hit your friends with a fun fact when you pull out this bb: Blanton’s was the world’s first single-barrel bourbon. Obviously, that means they’ve had some time to perfect it. In fact, it’s so good on its own that the brand discourages mixing it with anything.
if you want something for cocktails
Four Roses Bourbon
Looking to chef up some mint juleps or manhattans? Four Roses is perfect for that. This stuff has a mellow, pleasant finish that makes it easy to incorporate into any cocktail your heart desires.
if you want something lemon-y
A classic Kentucky bourbon, Bulleit is smooth and packed with hints of clove, lemon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Hi, fall, this is your dream drink calling.
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