The good folks at Heaven Hill Distilleries have been releasing consistently good bourbon forever, and their Elijah Craig line is among their best. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is the beast of the bunch, with the latest batch tipping the scales at over 134 proof, aged for 12 years, straight from the barrel, non-chill filtered, and uncut. It sounds intimidating, and it is, but is also one of the best barrel proof bourbons on the market today.
Even with bourbon in high demand across the US, it's not typical outside of Pappy Van Winkle releases to see the kind of frenzy that Orphan Barrel have stirred up in their short time on the market. After two successful releases earlier this year, Rhetoric Bourbon is the third Orphan Barrel bottle to hit shelves, and it's sure to cause a stir as well. Rhetoric is a 20 year old bourbon that was distilled in both the new and old Bernheim distilleries in Kentucky. It's 90 proof with lots of character and flavor — with oak being the dominant taste. So if rare, old, and oaky are up your alley, Rhetoric certainly fits the bill.
As far as Kentucky Bourbon distiller's are concerned, it's hard to go wrong with the juice that the good folks at Wild Turkey churn out. That's why Russell's Reserve Single Barrel should be high on your radar, even before you take a sip. Of course, once you do have a taste you'll be treated to a bold, spicy, non-chill filtered dram of bourbon that Master Distiller Jimmy Russell is proud to lend his name to. It makes no apologies at 110 proof — but still manages to maintain an impressive balance between the sugar and barrel notes.