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Jason Wilson's Bourbon Recommendations

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bourbon is one of the best values in the liquor store. You can buy some of its finest expressions at prices that don't break the bank.

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Note: In cases where no age is listed, that is because it is not declared by the distillery, but those bourbons have all aged at least seven years.

Excellent at Under $40

Buffalo Trace, 90 proof, $20

One of the best-value whiskeys in the world. Versatile for sipping neat or in cocktails. Buttery, with notes of sweet corn and honey.

Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage (1999), nine to 10 years old, 86.6 proof, $26

Slightly more mellow than the usual 90-to-100-proof offerings but with an explosion of flavor: nutty, fruity, light caramel.

Eagle Rare Old Single Barrel 10 Year, 90 proof, $27

Amazing value. Elegant and winelike, with raisins, maple, even tropical fruit, and just enough spice and oak so it's not too sweet.

Maker's Mark, six years old, 90 proof, $27

Proves age isn't everything. One of the few wheated bourbons. Lush on the tongue, with hints of mint mingling with the vanilla and burned caramel.

Knob Creek, nine years old, 100 proof, $30

Great go-to brand for those who like a little higher proof in their old fashioned.


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