Mrs. Soph-isticated Style asked that I put together a Bourbon Gift Guide as she knows I have refined my pallet over the many years I attended The University of Kentucky. I have tried to break down the selections below into some different price points so you can surprise all the bourbon drinking men in your lives this Father’s Day or around the holidays.
Cover image via Esquire
Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) / Pappy Van Winkle
I figured antiques meshed well with the blog so what better place to start than with the Holy Grail of bourbons. These are some of the hardest bourbons to come across and are what you could call the “big spender bourbons.” As the popularity of bourbon has grown over the past decade, it has gotten much harder to get your hands on these bottles at retail prices and the secondary market for these bottles is bananas! (BTAC retail pricing about $99, Pappy depending on the age $49.99-$249.) Secondary market pricing ranges anywhere from the hundreds to the thousands, which you will see in the links below. My best advice is to befriend your local liquor store manager and get on a list. These are released in the fall and there are blogs and websites that actually track when they get reports of the first bottle being sold state by state. Happy hunting…
**Keep in mind the links below are meant to be a point of reference if you want to have more information to take with you when going to your local liquor stores. They are not affiliate links and many are much higher than the pricing you will find in stores.
Another bourbon that has become increasingly difficult to find, but I have found it will sporadically show up throughout the year if you keep checking with your liquor store. Currently this is my go to choice at home and at restaurants if available. It’s smooth and delicious and I have even gotten Sophie (Mrs. Soph-isticated Style) to enjoy a taste. I think her favorite part is the bottle stoppers though. “Beginning in 1999 a collector’s set of eight different stoppers was produced. The set features a horse and jockey in different strides and poses resembling the stages of a horse race, from beginning to end. Each stopper is marked with a single letter that spells Blanton’s when the set has been completed. The final stopper, marked by “S” always finishes the race in victory!” Retail at about $63
Booker’s was my go-to for a very long time since I could usually find it at restaurants and in stock at liquor stores. This bad boy tastes great but packs a punch coming at you with a proof of anywhere from 121 to 130.6 depending on the batch (typical spirits are 80 proof). Retail about $60
Lesser Known Gems
This group of bourbons for the most part should be readily available throughout the country but might not be bourbons that everyone has tried, making them great gifts. These bourbons range in price from $39.99-$48.99.
Rowan’s Creek– I received this bottle as a gift and was pleasantly surprised. Leading up to our wedding, we had a stock the bar party thrown for us, after that party Mrs. Soph-isticated Style put a ban on ole’ boy from buying anymore bourbon…or so she thinks…
Basil Hayden– I feel like Basil Hayden has started to become more and more popular but it is a bourbon that people fall in love with the first time they have it.
Michter’s – Another great bourbon that I don’t think many people typically go for and a good one order at the bar and look like you know what you’re talking about.
The Old Stand By’s
These are affordable, solid popular bourbons that you can never go wrong with gifting to someone, whether they’re new to the bourbon game or a grizzly vet. Retail $24.99-$31.99
Maker’s Mark– Probably one of the most popular and recognizable bourbons there is. This is the bottle with iconic red wax.
Knob Creek– Another one with a good kick to it. It always reminds me of hard work, blizzards and why I grow a beard every winter (I guess I will have to contribute more to the blog if you want to hear why, but I think I might have maxed out my word limit and won’t be invited back)
Woodford Reserve- A classic well-respected bourbon. Probably the first bourbon that many young bourbon drinkers feel like is their first big buy. I was always a fan of Knob Creek but Woodford seems to be more of a fan favorite.
THE G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time)
No bourbon list would be complete without the aristocrat of bourbons, Kentucky Tavern (KT). This was the bourbon of choice in college which cost $11.99 for a handle. Looks like it is up to $15.99 these days. Probably not the bourbon you want to get your father or husband, but if you have a son in college I can bet this is what he’s buying. For this reason, I cannot leave it off my list because it holds a special place in my heart!
There are a lot of other great bourbons out there, but I wanted to get a few that I enjoy at different price levels to hopefully help everyone out with a great tasting gift. There you have it, my first attempt at writing a blog about interiors and fashion…
AKA Mr. Soph-isticated Style