Christmas is upon us, which means that it’s the perfect time to kick back and relax with your friends and family whilst enjoying a glass of bourbon or two. But Christmas is no time to be enjoying a mediocre beverage!
Bourbon is a rich and mellow drink that is produced with at least 50% corn in the mash bill and then aged using new American oak. This creates a drink that is much sweeter than other liquors (particularly scotch and whiskey) and that is well-rounded and easy to drink.
But the fact is that not all bourbons are created equal. Want to treat yourself to something special as you toast on Christmas day? Here’s our pick of the best bourbon to drink over Christmas:
Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon
If you’re not eating turkey for your Christmas dinner then at least you can put it in your Christmas glass! Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon is a great choice for your festive tipple (and not just because of its name).
In 2015 the strength of this particular blend was increased to 56.4%, making it one of the more potent brands on our list. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon is blended from barrels of six to 12-year-old bourbon, which give it an interesting depth of flavour.
It’s much sweeter than you might expect, thanks to the mellow vanilla and caramel flavors that develop during the maturation process. As a result, this is the perfect bourbon to choose at the end of your meal, or if you have a particularly sweet tooth. Connoisseurs of the amber nectar rave about the flavour palette Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon offers, and if you invest in a bottle you’ll certainly see why.
We apologise in advance for the pun, but this is the kind of bourbon you’re definitely going to want to gobble up.
Pikesville 6-year-old 110 proof Straight Rye
Looking for something with a little more heat that will help to knock your socks off? Try Pikesville 6-year-old 110 proof Straight Rye. It’s the priciest bottle of bourbon on our list, but it has a unique flavour palette that makes it well worth the investment.
Whilst most bourbons tend to lead with corn as their main ingredient, this brand focuses on rye, which means that is has a hotter flavour. You’ll find overtones of cinnamon and liquorice that will leave a pleasantly warm feeling at the back of your tongue after every sip.
Mixing sweet with spicy, this bourbon brings you overtones of cherry syrup and cinnamon apple: two flavours that have quintessential Christmas charm. Does anything taste more like Christms than cinnamon apple? It’s the festive season in a glass!
We’re big fans of this big flavour bourbon, which is best enjoyed neat rather than blended into a cocktail so that you can really enjoy and appreciate the unique flavours that it offers.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 year old
Looking for a slightly more budget-friendly bourbon that is a good all-rounder and is sure to appeal to everyone as you toast the holiday season under your Christmas tree? Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 year old is a great pick.
The scents within this bourbon are very subtle, meaning that they are ideal for a more refined palette. If you’re looking for a bourbon that is less sweet and more masculine then this is a great pick: it has overtones of pipe tobacco and burnt wood. This is the perfect bourbon to enjoy with a cigar whilst celebrating life with your friends.
Whilst the first sip of this bourbon might not set the world alight, it is its lingering aftertaste that makes it exciting to drink. It leaves a mouthful of unique flavours that happily pair sweet with savoury and the earthy qualities of this surprisingly affordable bottle of bourbon mean that it’s one you could drink again and again.
Weller Special Reserve
Weller Special Reserve has received a new name and new labelling in 2018, but the bourbon maintains its same great taste. Rich in vanilla and caramel flavours, this is a surprisingly mellow bourbon that is a wonderful addition to a rich and masculine cocktail.
You’ll find hints of grain and a warm smoky flavour in this bottle, but it is the sweet flavours that dominate here.
This is bourbon as bourbon should be. It isn’t complicated, it’s smooth and easy to drink, and it comes in at a great price point too. Put simply, if you’re looking for a great drink with a high alcohol content then this is the perfect pick for you.
Barrell New Year Bourbon 2019
Finally, why not see in the New Year with a new bourbon? Barrell are well-known for their artisan craft bourbons which are made in relatively small batches, allowing the makers to really focus on their art.
Barrell New Year Bourbon 2019 is a wonderfully sweet bourbon consisting of all the flavours of a well-stocked dessert cart. Think winter fruits, marzipan and chocolate overtones.
It isn’t all sweet though: you’ll also find deeper flavours such as black walnut, poppy seed, and liquorice root. If you like to enjoy your bourbon as an end of meal sweetener, or if you just like your cocktails to be sweet and fruity, then this is the ideal choice for you. This certainly doesn’t have any of the heat or bitterness that you often find with rye-based liquor.
Thanks to the handmade, artisan feel of the brand, this is a bottle of bourbon that will impress over dinner or at a cocktail party. Share it with your friends and let them marvel at your good taste and your generosity!
What better time of the year to treat yourself than at Christmas? Why not put something special in your glass and enjoy the mellow taste of a fine bourbon. Winter and bourbon make the perfect pairing, sure to keep you warm on even the coldest of winter nights.
No matter which of the bourbons on our list you choose, you’re sure to have a great festive season when you’re surrounded by friends and family and you have a glass in your hand.
We wish you a Merry Christmas!