Eagle Rare 10 Year provides an interesting experience for a great price, with all the right aspects to look for in a quality bourbon. Additionally, this bourbon has some unique traits that make it more intriguing. In 2014, Eagle Rare 10 lost it’s single barrel designation as Buffalo Trace moved the brand from a hand bottling line to a high speed line, which may allow for a little mixing of barrels upon changeover during bottling. Despite this, it’s no less of a contender for our Best Of list.


As for flavor profile, it starts with citrus and oak on the nose, a simplistically sweet palate, and then finishes full of toasted brown sugar and honey. While this may not be the most complex flavor profile, the individual elements can be more easily identified than many other bourbons. This presents a unique experience for new enthusiasts looking to become a bit more technical in picking out individual flavors, while still offering experienced connoisseurs enough depth to enjoy as an everyday sipper.


Producer: Buffalo Trace

Distiller: Buffalo Trace, Kentucky

Proof: 90

Fair Price: $30-$40


Full Review: http://www.breakingbourbon.com/eagle-rare-10-year.html


Official Website: http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/brands/eagle-rare

As the story goes, Mr. McKenna came to America in 1837 from Ireland and settled in Kentucky where he set out to create a better bourbon using his family’s recipe. Today, Heaven Hill offers us Henry McKenna Single Barrel bourbon aged for 10 years per the exacting requirements of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. Henry McKenna Single Barrel shares the same mashbill as many other Heaven Hill brands (75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley), and also closely resembles the limited edition 2013 Parker’s Heritage Collection “Promise of Hope” single barrel bourbon in proof, age, and style. Though not nearly as buttery smooth as the Parker’s, McKenna’s similar no-gimmick style begins with an inviting nose, followed by a balanced palate, and finally ends with a wonderfully sweet and long-lasting finish. Though it has an MSRP of $30, it tends to run from $25-$35 depending on your state and store. It’s a solid deal anywhere in this range and is a bourbon every enthusiast should become well-acquainted with.


Producer: Heaven Hill

Distiller: Heaven Hill, Kentucky

Proof: 100

Fair Price: $25-$35


Full Review: Coming Soon


Official Website: http://www.bardstownwhiskeysociety.com/brands/henry-mckenna-single-barrel.php


Elmer T. Lee was one of the great master distillers at Buffalo Trace for 36 years, before retiring in 1985 and eventually passing in 2013. As the pioneer of mass produced single barrel bourbons, Elmer was responsible for bringing Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon to market. He was eventually honored by Buffalo Trace with a single barrel bottling in his own name.


With Elmer T. Lee bourbon you get a delicious single barrel that was pulled from the aging warehouses just in time, delivering a lot of nice subtle flavors without being overwhelmed by a woody taste. While this used to be available year round, the recent bourbon boom has made it much harder to find which is a shame because it’s truly delightful for the price. If you haven’t dived into the world of single barrel bourbons yet, this is a great place to start!


Producer: Buffalo Trace

Distiller: Buffalo Trace, Kentucky

Proof: 90

Fair Price: $30-$40


Full Review: http://www.breakingbourbon.com/elmer-t-lee.html


Official Website: https://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/brands/elmer-t-lee-single-barrel

Don’t let the unimpressive packaging fool you with this one, it’s a solid option that’s nearly impossible to dislike for the price. At 9 years old, 100 proof, around $30, and widespread availability, Knob Creek Small Batch provides a readily available option offering complexity, drinkability, and great value. While not quite a smooth easy-drinker, Knob Creek isn’t overly bold either offering a nice compromise to those sipping it. It’s further characterized as sweet and balanced, with nearly a decade in oak giving it enough complexity to sip neat, enough potency to add ice without ruining it, and a low enough price to allow for guilt-free higher-end cocktail mixing. It’s versatile in that sense, and as a result you’ll find it in just about every liquor store and bar across the country. Knob Creek Small Batch is a solid everyday drinker and often the best option when you find yourself at a bar with a limited bourbon selection.


Producer: Jim Beam

Distiller: Jim Beam, Kentucky

Proof: 100

Fair Price: $32-$36


Full Review: Coming Soon


Official Website: http://www.knobcreek.com/knob-creek

Four Roses has been named American Whiskey Distiller of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015 by Whisky Magazine, and for good reason. They utilize two mashbills and five yeast strains to create 10 unique bourbon recipes, age them in single story rackhouses, and produce consistently high quality bourbons as a result. Their standard 100 proof Single Barrel bourbon is always their OBSV recipe (O = produced at Four Roses distillery | B = mashbill of 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley | S = straight whiskey | V = yeast strain with characteristics of light fruitiness, light vanilla, caramel, and creamy).


At 100 proof the bourbon is a full-flavored affair falling somewhere in between smooth and bold, with a nice balance of sweetness and spice then ending with a delicious, long-lasting finish. Being a single barrel, there is some variation among bottlings, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find one you don’t like. It’s also interesting to note that Four Roses releases single barrel, barrel proof versions of all 10 recipes via private selection. So when you decide to take it up a notch be sure to seek out one of those variations for a more intense experience, different flavor profile, and of course a higher price.


Producer: Four Roses

Distiller: Four Roses, Kentucky

Proof: 100

Fair Price: $35-$45


Full Review: http://www.breakingbourbon.com/four-roses-single-barrel.html


Official Website: http://fourrosesbourbon.com/bourbon/single-barrel/

Smooth Ambler is a craft distillery located in West Virginia. Established in 2009, they went the route of distilling their own spirits while sourcing older ones from other distilleries in order to bring quality aged whiskeys to market right out of the gate. Their “Old Scout” line denotes their sourced whiskeys; those that are “scouted” from other distilleries and selected based on the qualities Smooth Ambler’s tasters feel fit the desired flavor profiles. The flavor profile of their 7 year bourbon is comprised of chewy pipe tobacco and burnt wood rounded out by chocolate and dark cherry fruit. There’s an underlying earthy quality that comes forward in the sip making it one that might pair nicely with a cigar. Overall it makes for an easy-drinking bourbon, much more so than the 99 proof would suggest. Quite simply, this is good bourbon for a good price with a 7 year age statement.


Producer: Smooth Ambler

Distiller: Sourced (currently MGP in Indiana)

Proof: 99

Fair Price: $35-$40


Full Review: http://www.breakingbourbon.com/smooth-ambler-old-scout-7-year.html


Official Website: http://smoothambler.com/spirits/old-scout-bourbon/


Last Updated on 8/2015

Nick, Eric & jordan


Breaking Bourbon Team


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