The 10 best bottles of Bourbon a gentleman can buy

Today's the day to swap your scotch for a different whisky. Let us show you how...

A blend of eight- to 12-year-old whiskies, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey boasts a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. Its taste is pleasantly sweet and contains notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak and leather. With a long and dry finish, and enduring flavours of toffee, dark fruit and anise, this is a classic – and the perfect bottle with which to start your bourbon stash.

Blending together 17 – 18 barrels of finest Four Roses Bourbon, the Small Bach Bourbon boasts a sweet and rich aroma with hints of maple syrup, ripe peach and apricot combining with spicy hints of wood. Full flavoured with ripe fruits hitting the palate balanced out with deep spice and dry wood notes, the bourbon has a pleasantly long finish with lingering sweetness – ideal for something different.

Boasting a distinct spiciness with undertones of pepper and honey, this light-bodied bourbon has a gentle bite with a dry, clean finish. A delicious colour of golden amber, it utilizes twice as much rye as many other bourbons, and thus is Gentleman’s Journal’s choice for an alternative tipple. Think spicy aromas with hints of tea and peppermint – the perfect cocktail bourbon.

Each bottle of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon Whiskey is handcrafted in small batches, bottled at 93.7 proof and aged 8 years in new charred oak barrels. The result is a distinctively smooth pour, equally worthy of rare occasions and everyday enjoyment. Unlike the Basil Hayden, which is begging to be poured over ice and turned into a summer cocktail, the RR is the scotch-est bourbon you’ll ever drink.

Just look at this bottle – a true thing of beauty. But, if you need more persuading, know that Makers 46 starts its life as fully matured Makers Mark – after which carefully-seared French oak staves are inserted into the barrel, allowing the caramelised wood sugars to intensify. Aged only during the winter for a slower maturation process, the result is an complex blend of rich caramel and vanilla notes with a long and smooth finish. As glorious in taste as its appearance suggests.

The mix of grains, yeast, and seven soothing years in new oak combine to give Baker’s Bourbon a deeply mellow, richly flavourful, medium-bodied taste. But it’s not all show. With a delicious aroma full of fruit and vanilla – alongside notes of toasted nuts – this warm amber liquor has a smooth and medium-long finish. This is a rare whisky – as it feels just as home in summer as it does in winter.

Until Prohibition New York was known for its rye whiskey. This feisty spirit was the basis for the legendary Manhattan cocktail, but had not been produced in New York for over 80 years. This is a return however; bottled at 46%, this Hudson Manhattan Rye is smooth, spicy and rich – a must have for the discerning cocktail-drinker.

In 1987, Thomas E. Bulleit Jr., fulfilled a lifelong dream of reviving an old family bourbon recipe by starting the Bulleit Distilling Company. Inspired by his great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit, who made a high-rye whisky between 1830-1860, Tom left a successful law practice and risked everything to experience life on the frontier. With flavours of honey, fresh cut grass, vanilla and some pepper spiciness, this is a classic Rye whiskey – and well worth your investment.

An interesting twist on Woodford Reserve’s classic straight bourbon. The whiskey is first matured in new charred white oak barrels, as usual, but before bottling is transferred to special heavily toasted, lightly charred finishing barrel. This gives it quite a different flavour to normal, with lots of spicy oak coming through on the palate.

The rarest of beasts – a British bourbon – Kings County Peated Bourbon is made with malted barley grown and smoked in Scotland. Aged in new barrels, this is a scotch-like bourbon with notes of sea spray, pretzels, dark chocolate and smoke – something very different to round off our round up.

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