Elmer T. Lee Bourbon

When you get to the whiskey/bourbon aisle at your local liquor store, you're accustomed to seeing plenty of the booze named for a master distiller from the past. This applies well to Elmer T. Lee, but at over 90 years old, Lee isn't just a ghost from the past, but is still giving each barrel his personal stamp of approval before bottling. He's also responsible for introducing the world's first single barrel bourbon, Blanton's Single Barrel. After helping launch other single barrel successes, Buffalo Trace gave Lee a much deserved bourbon bearing his name, and it's among the best in its price range. Elmer T. Lee Bourbon ($30) exhibits plenty of caramel and nutty tastes up front, and some nice vanilla and honey remnants on the back end. It's a nearly perfect balance of heat and sweet. If you're just getting into reasonably priced single barrel bourbons, and want to sample one of the best, reach for a bottle of this stuff.

  • Booker's Bourbon

    Uncut and unfiltered, Booker's Bourbon ($50) is a must have for any true bourbon lover's liquor cabinet. Created by 6th generation Master Distiller Booker Noe — also known as Jim Beam's grandson — this drink is bottled straight from the barrel, and comes in at 121-127 proof. Yes, that's quite strong, but thanks to the oaky, smoky flavor and intense, complex finish, odds are you'll be sipping on each glass for as long as you can.

  • Jim Beam Devil's Cut

    The words "devil" and "bourbon" do have many connections — especially to those who've felt like hell after a night of drinking the brown stuff, or for those old enough to remember prohibition — but never have they been paired quite so well. Jim Beam Devil's Cut ($24) is made by taking the bourbon trapped inside the wood of an emptied barrel (as you should know, the Angel's Share is what's lost to evaporation) and remixing it into an extra-aged blend to create a full-flavored, robust, yet surprisingly smooth 90-proof whiskey that will have you feeling plenty devilish in no time.

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