Spirits & Liqueurs Bourbon

9 New Bourbons to Try Right Now

These limited releases will give you plenty to brag about.

Bourbon bottles
Image:

Liquor.com / Laura Sant 

This year is shaping up to be a great one for limited editions. In particular, many bourbon producers are flinging open their doors and releasing some choice bottles that previously would have been extremely hard to get. 

Consider, for example, two bottlings previously available only in Kentucky: Beam Suntory Old Tub, inspired by a pre-Prohibition version of Jim Beam, and Heaven Hill’s seven-year-old Bottled-in-Bond, which replaces a now-retired six-year-old BIB. Add to that Blanton’s Gold, which had only been available outside of the U.S. until now. The higher-proof single-barrel version will still be available only in limited quantities stateside, though.

That said, bourbon lovers will want to break out the branch water, because the latest crop of whiskeys is coming in hot. We’re talking about alcohol heat: Whether barrel-proof or bottled-in-bond (which by definition is bottled at 100 proof), many of the newest bottlings are on the stronger side to maximize flavor. To be sure, all that gorgeous caramel, fruit and spice is amplified, but so is the alcohol fire. 

From a bottling that pays homage to women in the distilling biz to a sports-celebrity-inspired newcomer, these are nine bourbons to sip and savor right now.

  • Blanton’s Gold ($120)

    Blanton’s Gold

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant 

    Previously, Blanton’s Gold was only available outside of the U.S, but starting in summer 2020, this single-barrel version of Blanton’s will be available stateside, albeit in very limited quantities, with a new barrel released each year. It’s the same basic high-rye recipe as the standard version, bottled at 51.5% (versus the usual 46.5%) and packaged in the circular bottle with the familiar horse-and-jockey stopper on top.

  • Bradshaw ($40)

    Bradshaw

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    Calling all football fans: This 2-year-old bourbon from former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw has arrived. It’s bottled at 51.9% ABV, “as a tribute to Terry Bradshaw’s passing completion rate of the same number,” says its producer. Look for tinges of roasted nuts and vanilla, roughed up with a spicy-smoky finish.

  • Bulleit Blenders Batch 001 ($50)

    Bulleit Blenders Batch 001

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    The first in a new limited-edition Select series from the brand, this bottling spotlights Bulleit blender Eboni Major. Tied to Diageo’s Craftswomen program, intended to highlight the work of selected female distillers and blenders, this release is a high-rye bourbon, aged a minimum of nine years and bottled at 100 proof. It offers a rich and spicy sip, with cocoa, toasted oak and cinnamon fireworks.

  • Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled-in-Bond ($40)

    Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled-in-Bond

     Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    Previously, Heaven Hill had a six-year-old bottled-in-bond that was available only in Kentucky. That was retired in 2018 and replaced at the end of 2019 with this more widely available (and more expensive) seven-year-old BIB. Add water to this 100-proofer to release delicious notes of vanilla, brown sugar and spice.

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  • Hirsch’s The Horizon Straight ($40)

    Hirsch’s The Horizon Straight

     Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    The inaugural expression of this bourbon debuted in summer 2020, and additional expressions will follow starting in 2021. It’s made with two straight bourbons distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana: a five-year-old traditional bourbon mixed with a smaller amount of a six-year-old high-rye bourbon. The release’s design is meant to evoke travel and exploration, packaged in a flask-shaped bottle closed by a stopper marked like a compass.

  • Larceny Barrel Proof ($50)

    Larceny Barrel Proof

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    Another new entrant from Heaven Hill, this wheated bourbon is made with a blend of six- to eight-year-old whiskeys and is bottled at a massive 61.6% ABV for plenty of extra flavor and oomph. A whiskey this high-octane isn’t for everyone, but for those who enjoy a higher strength, there’s plenty of butterscotch, citrus and fiery spice to sip.

  • Old Tub ($23)

    Old Tub

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    From Beam Suntory, this is a limited-edition bottled-in-bond bourbon, which previously was available only at Beam’s visitors center in Kentucky. About the name: Before Prohibition, Jim Beam was named Old Tub, and the label is inspired by the brand’s late-1800s original. What’s in the bottle is designed to harken back to its early “rustic character”; it’s unfiltered and bottled at 100 proof.

  • Remus Repeal Reserve Series IV

    Remus Repeal Reserve Series IV

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    Named for bootlegger George Remus and produced to commemorate Repeal Day, this is the fourth annual release in the series. The 12-year-old high-rye bottling ($85) incorporates two mash bills, both distilled in 2008 at the MGP distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The first is 77% bourbon and 21% rye, the other 23% bourbon and 36% rye (the remaining components were not disclosed), for notable caramel and spice characteristics. This release debuts in September 2020 to coincide with National Bourbon Month and reaches full distribution by Repeal Day, December 5.

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  • Sweetens Cove Tennessee

    Sweetens Cove Tennessee

    Liquor.com / Laura Sant

    The first batch of this solo project from master blender Marianne Eaves, formerly the head distiller at Kentucky houses Brown-Forman and Castle & Key and backed by sports figures Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick, sold out quickly. This is the second release, which debuted in August 2020. It’s a 13-year-old single-barrel whiskey ($200), chosen for its sweet and spicy appeal and offered in limited quantities.