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8 Best High-Roller Bourbons

You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why.

Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality. It’s a list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary state to state.

1. George T. Stagg ($80)


“It’s the perfect bourbon for a fall or winter night. It’s a high-ABV but smooth sipper that has great notes of dark ripe fruit.”—James Bolt, beverage director and host bartender at The Gin Joint

2. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof ($60)

“This cask-strength and non-chill-filtered bourbon is all flavor.”—Neal Bodenheimer, mixologist at and co-owner of Cure and owner of Cane & Table and Café Henri

3. Michter’s 10 Year ($250)

“Rich vanilla, dark caramel, maple syrup and raisin. Oaky and warm.”—Simon Ford, co-founder of The 86 Co.

4. Hirsch 16 Year ($2,200)

“For the highs of high rollers, if you can find this storied bottle, it’s the finest bourbon I’ve ever been privileged to taste.”—Michael J. Neff, bar director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge

5. Stagg Jr. ($65)

“With more availability than its big brother, George T. Stagg, this junior bottling doesn’t lack for proof or flavor. Spicy and assertive but rich and mellow enough to enjoy neat.”—Joaquín Simó, partner and bartender at Pouring Ribbons

6. Parker’s Heritage 2016 ($250)

“Crazy tasty and really cool to be able to taste something from the old distillery, plus charity [Parker Beam Promise of Hope Fund] yada yada.”—Morgan Schick, operations and creative manager at The Bon Vivants

7. Wild Turkey American Spirit 15 Year ($240)

“If you lined up all of the premium bourbons on the market today and tasted each one, this is the bourbon that will stand out above all of the rest. It offers all of the usual suspects of the flavor wheel at a tremendously smooth offering. It’s hard to find but well worth the search.”—Gary Patrick Crunkleton, bartender at and owner of The Crunkleton

8. Elijah Craig 18 Year ($200)

“Once my favorite everyday-drinking bourbon at about $40. Good luck finding it now. Special stuff from heaven—Heaven Hill, that is.”—Abigail Gullo, head bartender at Compère Lapin

Series & Type: Products
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