Rich Report Recommends: The 7 Best Bourbons To Drink This Fall

Rich Report Recommends: The 7 Best Bourbons To Drink This Fall
Courtesy of Malt Review

There are attainable goals and frustratingly elusive goals.

Some of the new bourbon releases that have been released over the past few months have been excellent, some of them being readily available, while others have been limited editions, requiring a considerable amount of tenacity and deep pockets in order to obtain. These days, it seems that bourbon is divided into two categories: what is easy to obtain and what is frustratingly difficult to find. There is no doubt that one does not necessarily trump the other in terms of quality, but the hype around certain releases does irritate some whiskey fans a lot.

I believe that both whiskeys are worth checking out based on their quality or lack thereof. We have compiled a list of some of the best new releases from this fall, and many of them continue the trend of barrel finishes, bottled in bond, high proofs and interesting combinations of liquid from disparate distilleries that have been gaining popularity in recent years. In this article you'll find nine of the best drinks to add to your shopping cart.

Courtesy of Heaven Hill Distillery

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond Fall 2021

There are two bourbons from Heaven Hill that are released twice annually, each with a unique vintage and age statement. There are three fundamental characteristics of the bourbon: it is always bottled-in-bond, it is always made at a single distillery during a single distilling season, it is bottled at 100 proof, it is always bottled in a fancy decanter, and it is always made using the same wheated mash.

An 11-year-old bourbon, distilled in 2010, will be released in the fall of 2021, the second release to feature that age statement after the first one released in 2018. The barrels were pulled from Heaven Hill's rickhouse EE in 2018. Among the notes in this Kentucky bourbon are honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and caramel, giving it a layered palate with a hint of sweetness from the wheat in the mash. There's a retail price of $110 for this item, but it’s certainly another collector’s item that will be incredibly expensive.

Courtesy of Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 Limited Release: FAE-02

In the Maker’s Mark series of wood finishing bourbons, we have another mouthful name, and another tasty bourbon from this storied Kentucky distillery. The second release of the year is FAE-02, the second release of 2021, which serves as a complementary whiskey to last spring’s FAE-01. A major component of Maker’s whiskey’s flavor is fatty acid esters, and it is for this reason that they do not chill filter their whiskeys.

A new release, like all others, is finished with custom-built oak staves, but this time these staves were “double-heat-treated virgin French oak barrel staves that undergo an infrared exposure prior to a flame toast finish.” The liquid was given a softer, more full-bodied taste by this method, as opposed to the bolder tobacco and dried fruit notes that were present in FAE-01, according to Maker's director of innovation Jane Bowie. There is no doubt that fans of the series will notice that this new release is a bit sweeter than the earlier release of the series, but if you have a bottle tucked away, you should try them side-by-side.

Courtesy of Crafts Spirits Magazine

Widow Jane Lucky Thirteen Bourbon

As part of its young craft bourbon collection, Widow Jane distillery in Brooklyn uses a variety of heirloom corn varieties to make its own young craft bourbon. As well as sourcing mature barrels from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee, the company also ages and blends the barrels in its Red Hook warehouse, utilizing limestone mineral water from the upstate New York region. Originally, Lucky Thirteen was a private single barrel program crafted by Widow Jane president and head distiller Lisa Wicker, bottled at various proof levels, but it is now available on a year-round basis.

While the distillery is no longer producing a single barrel whiskey, they are blending small batches of barrels for each batch, so it is not a single barrel whiskey anymore. It is a 13-year-old bourbon bottled at 93 proof, slightly higher than the 10 year-old 91 proof bourbon. This is another example of the artful selection and blending of barrels, which has resulted in a very pleasant sipping bourbon with notes of fig, vanilla and oak that is extremely fruity, oaky, and well balanced.

Courtesy of KY Supply Co

King of Kentucky 2021 Edition

A regal name for bourbon dating back to the late 1800's has a long history in the world of whiskey. This brand was acquired in 1936 by Brown-Forman, and it was sold as a blended whiskey until it was discontinued in the late 1960's as a blended whiskey. Having been released four times, The King returned to the market in 2018. With an age of 14 years and a proof of 130, this is a big, bold bourbon. In the opinion of master distiller Chris Morris, 33 barrels from two production days that were 12 days apart were selected for this release. The nose is pungent with a slight barbecue sauce note, along with vanilla and caramel notes, which make the whiskey almost savory.

These flavors explode on the palate, particularly the caramel, along with intense fig, spiced pear, and cinnamon honey notes. Despite the fact that this is a big whiskey, there is a lot to be reaped from it. This drink is available on shelves in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois as well as the secondary market. The retail price for this drink is $250, but you can expect to pay more than 10 times that amount if you go to the secondary market.

Courtesy of Michter's Distillery

Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon 2021

It has been three years since Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon was released for the last time. While Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon is sometimes polarizing, the distillery blames shortages of its whiskey for the infrequency of releases after the first was released in 2014, followed by two more in 2015 and 2018. It is, however, returning for the fourth time in a row, the whiskey being aged in new barrels made from wood that was air dried for 18 months and toasted but not charred and finished in new barrels made from wood that was not charred. 

It has been argued that oak dominates this finish, while proponents argue that it imparts a special flavor of butterscotch, spice, and toasted almonds. Some people would argue that this finish becomes the dominant note. The toasted barrel finish isn't for everyone, and I have noticed that some versions have been more enjoyable than others. On the nose, this batch has a lot of vanilla and citrus notes, and on the palate, there are notes of nutmeg, leather, and tobacco, as well as a deep copper hue.

Courtesy of Limestone Branch Distillery

Yellowstone 2021 Limited Edition Bourbon

There are two descendants of Jacob Beam, the man who founded bourbon, who are behind the Limestone Branch Distillery, who manufacture the whiskey brand Yellowstone, which is produced at the Limestone Branch Distillery in Kentucky. As a brand, Yellowstone is one that has a long history, but in 2015, the brand has been made up of barrels sourced from around the world and selected by Stephen Beam, the master distiller.

In this year's Limited Edition release, a blend of seven and fifteen-year-old bourbon is incorporated, with some of the seven-year-old bourbon finishing in Amarone wine casks. There was no doubt in my mind that the barrel finish on this rich red wine held for at least two years, and according to tasting notes, the barrel finish imparted notes of pepper, tobacco, dark chocolate and stone fruit to the already mature bourbon. Despite its heft and heat, the 101 proof bottle gives it some edge without overwhelming the palate with alcohol.

Courtesy of Malt Review

Four Roses 2021 Limited Edition Small Batch

In addition to being a blend of four of the 10 recipes that are produced at the distillery by combining two mash bills and five different yeast strains, the Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch is another winner created by Brent Elliott, the master distiller. Several whiskeys have been aged between 12 and 16 years. The 16-year-old whiskey from the OBSV recipe makes up more than 60 percent of the blend, while the 14-year-old OBSQ, the 12-year-old OESK, and the 16-year-old OESV are also included in the Small Batch.

For a detailed explanation of what those codes mean, check out the website, but the result is a delicious bourbon with lingering spice notes and fruit, oak, and vanilla notes.

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