I wrote this up for a friend, but thought it might be more generally interesting.
Some of my favorites (in preferential order)
#1 ) Good luck hunting for pappy's, but if you're lucky enough, the 20 year is the best bourbon I've ever had (yes, better than the 23, but if you can get that too, do).
#2) Orphan Barrel Redemption - It's a close runner up to Pappy's, really delicious. Only moderately cheaper.
#3) George T. Stagg - barrel proof. It's like someone loaded pappy's into a double barrel shotgun and shot it down your throat, then poured petrol down the hole, and lit it on fire. 147 proof. Mix with water (I don't recommend that often).
Bourbons for Bar Fights
- Stagg for a very classy bar fight or military commanders... wear your monocle.
- Bookers (barrel strength, 127 proof on average) great smokey taste.
- Wild Turkey Select, but it seems a bit obvious.
Bourbons for tasting
- Rowens Creek
- Widow Jane / Widow Jane's Rye
- Noah's Mill
- Jeffersons - the older the better.
- Buffalo Trace
- Eagle Creek
Bourbons for Cocktails
- Bulleit - Bulleit Rye
- Four Roses
- Basil Haydens
- Angels Envy
- 1792, also good for tasting if you're already drunk.
People like it, but I don't... might be worth trying if you're one of "those" people.
- Knob Creek
- Woodford Reserve.
- Makers Anything
Haven't Tried it, but seems interesting:
- Col. E.H. Taylor - anything
- Whistlepig Rye
- Breaking and Entering
- Redemption Rye
BOLO - (be on the lookout - pick this up regardless of not having tried it)
- Orphan Barrel Lost Prophet