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Ten of the best Bourbon releases from 2023

Even if you’re forever loyal to a certain bottle, it never hurts to try new things and 2023 was very kind in that regard for Bourbon.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the best new Bourbons from 2023

Although the growth of American whiskey did slow in 2023, Bourbon is still in high demand with US alcohol delivery service Drizly revealing its best-selling whiskies over the last 12 months were indeed Bourbon brands.

And Kentucky’s finest distilleries weren’t afraid of daring to do things a bit differently to their norm, with Luxco experimenting with a wine finish for its Rebel 100 Bourbon, Buffalo Trace playing around with peat, Jefferson’s ageing its whiskey in the tropics and Maker’s Mark releasing its oldest expression to date.

If you’re looking to freshen up your regular Bourbon rotation for the New Year, read on for 10 of the best new releases from 2023.

Wild Turkey Generations

Wild Turkey Generations whiskey bottle

The Russells are a household name in American whiskey having overseen Wild Turkey’s direction for nearly 70 years now, and this release saw a first-time collaboration between the family’s three generations of distillers: Jimmy, Eddie and Bruce.

The 60.4% ABV Bourbon, titled Generations, was made through a blend of four whiskies, handpicked by the trio. Jimmy (Wild Turkey’s long-time master distiller since 1954), his son Eddie (also master distiller) and grandson Bruce (now associate distiller) each chose a whiskey of personal preference, which were then blended together for a final liquid that has flavours of vanilla, caramel and dark cherry, eventuating into notes of pepper and aged oak.

RRP: US$450

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength

They say first impressions are the most important and Owen Martin certainly nailed his on his Angel’s Envy debut.

Having been announced as the brand’s new master distiller in September 2022, Martin, in the run up to his first release a year later – the brand’s annual cask-strength Bourbon, finished in Port barrels at a higher proof – spent six months tasting single barrels to get the liquid just right.

And while the release still offers returning customers the classic taste of previous releases, Martin wanted to put his own spin on the liquid and bottled it at 59.1% ABV – the lowest proof in the series yet.

RRP: US$270

Rebel 100 Bourbon Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Finish


While US Bourbon fans unfortunately couldn’t get their hands on this international exclusive, those in the UK, Australia and Germany were treated to something entirely new from Lux Row Distillers’ Rebel 100 Bourbon: a finish in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

The wine-finish gave way to a more ‘unique’ profile that consisted of dried dark fruit, oak, red grapes and leather, with hints of blackberries and raspberries and a light spice – matching up well with Bourbon’s familiar flavours of toasted wheat and vanilla.

RRP: £44 (US$54.50)

Jefferson’s Tropics Aged in Humidity: Finished in Singapore


Jefferson’s Bourbon kickstarted its new series that pits whiskey against different climates with Singapore, taking 720 barrels of its matured Kentucky Bourbon to the tropics of Southeast Asia for 18 months of ageing in non-climate-controlled warehouses.

In leaving the barrels to sit and sweat it out in the region’s hot conditions – in Singapore, 85 miles north of the equator with an annual humidity average of 83.9% – the process was said to have an almost ‘slow cook’ effect on the liquid, heightening sweetness and enhancing its caramel flavours.

RRP: US$100

Remus Highest Rye Bourbon


Luxco-owned distillery Ross & Squibb pushed the limits of how much rye a Bourbon can offer with the latest release in their Remus whiskey range – possessing a mash bill of 51% corn, 39% rye and 10% malted rye.

Aged for six years and bottled at 54.5% ABV, the Bourbon was made in mind of rye whiskey’s immense popularity heading into the Prohibition era. Drinkers that scored a bottle can detect notes of maple and candied fruit, with a spicy cinnamon and lingering saddle leather finish.

RRP £59 (US$76.26)

Buffalo Trace Experimental Peated Bourbon


The 26th release in Buffalo Trace’s Experimental Collection – a range created to ‘push the limits of innovation’ in American whiskey – saw the distillery take a page out of the Scotch playbook and implement peated malt in its Bourbon-making process.

Peat is rarely used in Bourbon and here, the ingredient is subbed in for standard malted barley on the rye mash bill for a smokier aroma. Bottled at 45% ABV and aged for nearly 10 years in new charred white oak casks, the rest of the Bourbon’s profile is rounded out with hints of leather, mahogany and cacao beans, with flavours of ‘light smoke’, brown butter and toffee all introduced through the addition of peat.

It’s a good one to have around the house for any Scotch drinkers that are still on the fence about Bourbon.

RRP: US$46.99 per 375ml bottle

A Smith Bowman Cask Strength Bourbon Batch #3


Sazerac-owned microdistillery A Smith Bowman’s annual cask-strength releases are always in high demand (the 2022 edition won a Gold medal for Bourbon aged over eight years in our 2023 American Whiskey Masters blind tasting), and last year’s December drop was no different with the initial buying period decided by an online lottery.

The third batch of the Bourbon was aged for nine years and bottled at a whopping ABV of 67.55%, carrying notes of candy apple and toasted toffee. And like many higher-proof Bourbons, it also has a strong and crispy finish.

RRP: US$99 

Maker’s Mark Cellar Aged

Maker's Mark

Although they’ve historically always gone for taste over age in terms of bottling, the team at Maker’s Mark have never had anything against age statements, it was just that they just hadn’t yet found a way to produce a 10-year-plus whiskey to their satisfaction… until Cellar Aged.

The expression is the distillery’s oldest release to date and was made by moving the brand’s six-year-old barrels from its traditional warehouse to its ‘one-of-a-kind’ limestone whiskey cellar for a further five to six years of ageing – almost twice as long as the flagship Maker’s Mark bottle.

The final product – a blend of 11- and 12-year-old whiskies, bottled at 57.85% – has aromas of dark stone fruit and caramelised sugar, with notes of big oak, dark vanilla and fruit on the palate.

RRP: US$150



Trifecta was the first release from Blue Run Spirits since the brand was bought by brewing giant Molson Coors. As hinted on by the name, three is the big number here, with the expression blending a trio of Bourbons together – aged six, eight and nine years – chosen from the brand’s impressive 5,000-barrel inventory.

The six-year-old forms the base of the liquid, with the eight- and nine-year-old whiskeys then blended in by Blue Run’s whiskey director Shaylyn Gammon for balance, which the older ‘wood heat’ whiskeys offer through their positions at the top of the warehouse where temperature is at its highest.

Sporting an ABV of 58.55%, it has an array of notes, including brown butter, baked bread and white chocolate, as well as a warm and weathered oak finish.

RRP: US$180

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old


Buffalo Trace revealed its 2023 Antique Collection in autumn to much fanfare and the distillery didn’t fall short on expectation, headlining the lineup with the oldest Eagle Rare Bourbon (at the time) in the range’s 23-year history.

When we say ‘at the time’, just a month later Buffalo Trace broke that record with the release of a 25-year-old Eagle Rare.

Back to the 17-year-old, it was bottled at 65% ABV as a tribute to the original Eagle Rare brand that launched in 1975. And after a 19 year and three month age period, the expression’s notes came out with dark chocolate and cherry pie, plus an early ‘cigar box’ finish.

As with A Smith Bowman’s cask-strength release above, it also won a Master medal in our American Whiskey Masters 2023 blind tasting. The judges gave the spirit top honours for its “nice malty aroma with sweet coffee notes” and “silky texture with a touch of heat and spice”.

RRP: £102 (US$124.99)

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