The Velvet Kings: 10 Smoothest Bourbons, Ranked
Sugar, spice, and everything nice – bourbon’s unique blend of corn, rye, barley, and wheat make it the whiskey world’s darling. But there’s much more to this beloved beverage than meets the eye, especially when it comes to how it feels on the tongue. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 smoothest bourbons you should be sipping right now.
10. Wild Turkey 101
Roaring in at tenth place is the Wild Turkey 101. Don’t let the name (or the proof) scare you away – this is one expertly distilled drop. Its nose, robust with vanilla and dark berry, carries through to a velvety palate that melds subtle spice and sweet caramel. The finish, long and warming, truly seals the deal.
9. Maker’s Mark
No bourbon list is complete without mentioning Maker’s Mark. It’s a staple in the bourbon community for its sheer ability of showcasing smoothness and character in every sip. Vanilla and fruity essences are intertwined perfectly with oakey undertones, thus presenting a smooth and satisfying finish that’s hard to beat.
8. Buffalo Trace
Type “smooth bourbon” into Google, and Buffalo Trace will undoubtedly pop up. It’s a bourbon that has gained a legendary status for its top-notch quality and affordability. The mix of toffee and caramel sweetness plays off nicely against traces of spice, offering a smooth and consistent flavor profile that’s enjoyable to the last drop.
7. Four Roses Small Batch
The merit of Four Roses Small Batch lies in its unique recipe that combines four original bourbon recipes. It’s a symphony of smoothness where each sip brings notes of rich fruits, sweet honey, and mellow spice. The lingering finish leaves a creamy mouthfeel and the urge for another glass.
6. Knob Creek
Knob Creek is a delightful surprise for those who love a bold and rich flavor yet appreciate a velvety texture. The bourbon bears caramel and vanilla notes, with a hint of roasted nuts for complexity. This is a bourbon that wears its 100 proof like a velvet glove. Simply decadent!
Here come the top five – things are getting serious!
5. Basil Hayden’s
Basil Hayden’s stands out as a remarkably smooth bourbon due to its high-rye recipe. You can expect a clean, light mouthfeel accompanied by hints of peppermint and honey. Despite its easy sipping style, Basil Hayden’s maintains an intriguing depth that keeps you coming back for more.
4. Woodford Reserve
A triumph of balanced flavors, Woodford Reserve enthralls with a full-bodied mix of dried fruit, vanilla, and spice. It is exquisitely smooth to sip, with a rich, creamy mouthfeel that satiates the taste buds. Many bourbon lovers consider it a go-to for a reliably delightful bourbon experience.
3. Angel’s Envy
Bourbon purists may hesitate due to its port wine barrel finish, but one sip of Angel’s Envy puts any doubts to rest. This finishing process imparts it with luscious berry and chocolate notes on top of traditional bourbon flavors of caramel and vanilla. The result – a uniquely smooth bourbon that’s simply heavenly.
2. Blanton’s Single Barrel
Often considered an apex offering, Blanton’s Single Barrel is the epitome of what a smooth bourbon should taste like. It carries a complex and extremely well-balanced flavor profile of dried citrus, caramel, and vanilla, leading to a long, creamy finish.
1. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year
At the pinnacle of bourbon smoothness is the enigmatic Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year. This bourbon is truly stunning, with an effortless balance of sweet, oaky, and smoky flavors melting into an ultra-soft, profoundly rich finish. It quite simply redefines the word ‘smooth’.
In the End…
Remember, the smoothness of a bourbon can be somewhat subjective, entirely depending on your taste. While this list represents some of the smoothest bourbons on the market, there’s a captivating world of whiskey out there just waiting to be explored. So go on, do your own tasting, and find your perfect pour.