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10 Antique Bourbons Evaluated and Ranked for True Bourbon Connoisseurs

10 Antique Bourbons Evaluated and Ranked for True Bourbon Connoisseurs

Introduction

Bourbon enthusiasts all over the world are always on the lookout for a vintage bottle of their favorite drink. Vintage bourbons have a distinct flavor that cannot be replicated by newer editions of the same brand. So, it’s no surprise that bourbon collectors and connoisseurs consider vintage bottles a great catch. In this article, we’ll review ten of the best vintage bourbons ranked by UPROXX.

What Is Bourbon?

Before we delve further into the best vintage bourbons, let’s get a brief understanding of what bourbon is. Bourbon is a type of American whiskey and has to be made with at least 51% corn grain. However, it can also include barley and rye. It is typically aged in charred oak barrels, which give it a distinct flavor and rich amber color.

How Are Vintage Bourbons Different from Regular Bourbons?

Vintage bourbons are made using a similar process as regular bourbons, but they differ in their aging process. Vintage bourbons are aged for many years, which allows for more flavor and concentration of alcohol. This is why vintage bourbons have a more distinct taste, deeper color, and a generally more refined and sophisticated flavor profile than regular bourbons.

The 10 Best Vintage Bourbons, Reviewed and Ranked by UPROXX

1. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23-Year-Old

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23-Year-Old is one of the most sought-after vintage bourbons in the world. It is aged for 23 years, which gives it a rich, complex flavor and a smooth finish. Although it’s on the expensive side, this bourbon is worth the price for any bourbon enthusiast looking for a top-of-the-line bottle.

2. Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old

Another Van Winkle family bourbon, the Old Rip Van Winkle 25-Year-Old, is aged for 25 years and has a deep, honey-colored look. The flavor is sweet, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. This is another pricey bourbon, but if you can find it, get it to experience the best of vintage bourbon.

3. George T. Stagg (17-Year-Old)

The George T. Stagg 17-Year-Old is a rare find aged for long years. It has a bold, intense flavor, with undertones of caramel, vanilla, and oak. The finish is long and satisfying, with a smoothness that makes this vintage bourbon worth trying.

4. Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old

The Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old is a limited edition vintage bourbon that has a deep, rich amber color and notes of oak and toffee. At 90-proof, this is a strong bourbon that’ll leave you pleasantly surprised and satisfied.

5. Parker’s Heritage Collection 27-Year-Old

The Parker’s Heritage Collection 27-Year-Old is a rare bourbon, having been aged for 27 years. This creates a rich, velvety smooth flavor, with notes of dried fruit, oak, and vanilla. This exclusive bourbon is one for collectors, with its exceptional texture and taste.

6. Four Roses Limited Edition 2017 (13-Year-Old)

The Four Roses Limited Edition 2017 is a 13-year-old bourbon that has been aged to perfection. It is rich, smooth, and bold with notes of dark fruit, spice, and caramel. The finish is long and satisfying, with an aftertaste that lingers.

7. Jim Beam Signature Craft Vintage 2003

If you’re looking for a vintage bourbon that is slightly more affordable, the Jim Beam Signature Craft Vintage 2003 is an excellent choice. It is aged for 14 years in new charred oak barrels, giving it a deep amber color, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak.

8. W.L. Weller 12-Year-Old

The W.L. Weller 12-Year-Old is a bourbon produced in the Buffalo Trace distillery. It has a light, refreshing flavor, with hints of honey and vanilla. The finish is crisp and light, making it an easy and enjoyable drink that’s perfect for summer sipping.

9. Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old

The Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old is a popular vintage bourbon that has been aged for 18 long years. It has a bold, robust flavor, with hints of cinnamon and caramel. The finish is smooth and satisfying, making it a great addition to any bourbon collection.

10. Blanton’s Original Single Barrel

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel is an award-winning bourbon that has been aged for several years. It has a smooth, balanced flavor with notes of honey, oak, and vanilla. The finish is long and satisfying, making it a popular choice among vintage bourbon enthusiasts.

Conclusion

If you’re a bourbon enthusiast, trying out vintage bourbons should be on your bucket list. It’s an experience unlike any other. Although some of these vintage bottles are hard to find and come with a cost, they’re worth every penny and effort. You won’t be disappointed.

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Written by Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis has been writing about spirits for over 10 years. He is a frequent speaker at whiskey festivals and events around the country and has been a judge at several international spirit competitions. He is passionate about educating people about the history and culture of whiskey and bourbon and loves to share his knowledge with others.

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