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Kentucky Bourbon

Updated: Oct. 23, 2018

While the exact history of bourbon is up for debate, most agree that bourbon production first emerged in late 1780s Kentucky. These days, the bourbon arena is flooded with a seemingly endless variety of tastes and brands, both old and new. Do you prefer smooth and sweet? Interested in a balanced bourbon perfectly suited to making Manhattans? Whether you’re pouring Old Fashioneds every Friday or sipping it neat, we found a bourbon that’s right for you.

Our team assessed insights from every perspective that matters—from real consumers and trusted experts to brands and retailers. Our findings are laid out so that you can home in on the criteria that’s most essential to you.

Kentucky Bourbon

While the exact history of bourbon is up for debate, most agree that bourbon production first emerged in late 1780s Kentucky. These days, the bourbon arena is flooded with a seemingly endless variety of tastes and brands, both old and new. Do you prefer smooth and sweet? Interested in a balanced bourbon perfectly suited to making Manhattans? Whether you’re pouring Old Fashioneds every Friday or sipping it neat, we found a bourbon that’s right for you.

Our team assessed insights from every perspective that matters—from real consumers and trusted experts to brands and retailers. Our findings are laid out so that you can home in on the criteria that’s most essential to you.

The Quid Pick

Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses stands out from its competitors because of its unique combination of five proprietary yeast strains and two separate grain selections. The result is a smooth, easy drinking bourbon with sweet notes and a slightly fruity palate. This whiskey will satisfy both bourbon newbies and experts alike.

Quid Score

91

|

Lowest Price

$50

Top Ten Kentucky Bourbon

The Quid Pick might not be ideal for everyone. Different people have different tastes. Here are the Quiddity-approved top 10 Kentucky bourbons.

Our methodology

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bourbon?

Bourbon is whiskey distilled from a mash that has at least 51% corn. It must be produced in America.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

Bourbon is a subcategory of whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Whiskey in general is a spirit distilled from grain mash. This mash can consist of barley, corn, rye, and/or wheat. Whiskey can be made all over the world, but its grain selection and where it’s produced determine the type of whiskey it is. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is distilled from at least 51% corn, and is distilled in America.

What is straight bourbon whiskey?

A straight bourbon whiskey is when a bourbon is considered a straight whiskey.

Straight bourbon whiskey follows the same mash rules as bourbon, but the aging process and alcohol content by volume determines if the bourbon can be considered a straight whiskey. Straight whiskey must be aged for at least 2 years and cannot exceed 80% ABV once it’s distilled.

Does bourbon have to be made in Kentucky?

No. Sure, 95% of bourbon comes from Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Distillers Association. But by law it doesn’t have to be made the Bluegrass State. It just has to be made, per the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, in America “from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn.”

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