Cask strength is also known as barrel proof, which signifies that your bourbon has been poured straight from the barrel as it is, without being diluted.
Depending on the type of person you are, this may be catastrophic or something that isn’t worth the fuss over as it’s bourbon, it tastes smooth regardless of whether it’s been diluted or not.
We’re not the sort to lie to our readers and it may be just a liquor, but quality bourbon that has been made and matured using the best methods and strategies available is worth that extra effort.
Therefore, we have found the best barrel-proof bourbons that are out of this world for their smooth and rich flavors, as well as the age-old methods used to make them.
Ideally, you’re going to want a liquor that forces you to have to mutter the words, “Damn, that’s smooth” after every sip.
Then you know you’ve got a full-proof and original bourbon straight from the barrel it’s been hibernating in.
Now, 80 proof is the lowest legally allowed alcohol level for bourbon, which when it comes down to it, is a pretty damn good level.
However, it just isn’t 100 now, is it? Many releases are less than 100 proof, now barrel proof or cask strength is typically in the range of 110 proof and higher. Hope that puts it into perspective.
The vast majority of whiskey and bourbon liquors have been watered down to an extent, sometimes 40-46% due to the level of strength in the alcohol itself.
However, if you’re a whiskey or bourbon enthusiast, this will just not do!
So, we’ve found the best barrel-proof bourbons available that is 100% proof original from the barrel after maturing, and you can hold us to that!
Best Barrel Proof Bourbon – Our Top Picks
Bourbon is an age-old alcoholic drink that is as fine like wine when it comes down to it, there’s nothing like kicking back at the end of the day or weekend, with a delicately crafted whiskey glass that has just an inch or so of bourbon poured into it.
This is the type of drink that must be accommodated by the glass with just as much raw sophistication as the bourbon itself.
And once you’ve got your glass to hand, you can let your worries and problems effortlessly float away. That is true redemption.
And when redemption begins, so does your appreciation for the drink in your hand.
This Redemption 9-year-old barrel-proof bourbon is as amber and golden as honey, with just a horse lengths touch of royal ruby hues.
It has the freshest Madagascan vanilla pod essence with caramelized toffee and dark roasted coffee beans with hints of lavender honey.
It is pleasantly smooth and mellow through the mouth, and there are notes of smoked meats and white pepper.
These have become the signature flavors of this brand of bourbon and any lover or enthusiast of liquors will appreciate the delicacy that this alcohol is.
This brand of bourbon was actually named Distiller of the year in 2015, it has been distilled by MGP ingredients and MGP was built in 1847.
When it was later acquired by the Seagram’s corporation which set the bar for whiskey and bourbon production in the states.
This knowledge and expertise of making exceptional Rye and bourbon whiskey has been passed through many generations of bourbon makers and this is what makes it such a special bourbon.
Redemptions bourbon is bottled at 108.2 proof percent to be exact and is made with 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley. Actually, in the 16th and 17th centuries, rye was the number one spirit in America, and for a fantastic reason.
Because rye was widely available and makes divine whiskey ad bourbon, it was the original spirit that is used to make cocktails for use in bourbon today such as the old-fashioned.
- Custom engraving available – personal message and statements
- Beautifully made bottle – can be used afterward when bourbon is empty
- Luxury holders available for bottles – velvet and leather
- May not be to some people’s tastes – unusual notes
Bourbon is one of those drinks that can be enjoyed more, the more you know about the heritage and the beginnings of the brand itself. In other words, the older, the better!
The Garrison brother’s single-barrelled bourbon is the embodiment of authentic and exceptional bourbon, they consider themselves the holy grail of custom craftsmanship in the bourbon world, and we couldn’t agree more!
What makes this bourbon brand so authentic and popular is their decision-making during the bourbons distillation process, barrels selected for their special program are a year older than most and each has its own distinct flavorings and notes.
No two bottles are the same because of this which can be just what every bourbon enthusiast needs in their home. The bourbon inside each barrel is a beautiful dark copper color and the nose is more pronounced compared to other mixes.
The nose delivers butterscotch, oak, vanilla, and nutmeg aroma and creates an environment fit for warmth and authenticity. It’s the sweet oak flavor that really drives this taste!
Bourbon may be the type of drink that whiskey lovers like the way it is, there’s nothing to hide with bourbon and whiskey, it’s straightforward and upfront on your taste buds.
There’s no beating around the bush with the taste and aromas, if you don’t like bourbon, you must learn too! Because missing out on having your own unique bottle every time, is a pity for any bourbon drinker.
- 94 proof – highly distilled originally
- Unique bottle – design has been well thought out for the brand and the drink inside
- Each bottle is unique – with different levels of notes
- Drink Responsibly – strong alcohol
291 Colorado Bourbon whiskey is not your traditional southern bourbon, it’s poured straight from the barrel and skips that signature dilution stage that other bourbons go through before being manufactured and sold.
This way you get a bourbon that focuses on that pure burn you get with each sip rather than something that’s been watered down, those who are regular drinkers will taste the difference!
The owner and founding distiller, Michael Myers, a former New York fashion and beauty photographer has a love for whiskey and a passion for the old west!
He aimed to replicate the taste and aroma of an older time and generation through this bourbon which has resulted in a bourbon finer than life itself.
It’s rugged, refined, and rebellious. Just how bourbon should be!
This bourbon has some interesting notes to – you’ll like this joke – take note of!
The flavors are endless however some of the most prominent ones could be banana, caramel, cherry, pepper, eucalyptus, leather, and cinnamon.
We wouldn’t usually think that these combinations work together, however, in this bourbon they just are the perfect fit. The most commonly picked up flavors are rich caramel and oak, what can you pick up on?
This single barrel bourbon whiskey is aged in American white oak deep char barrels and finished in toasted Aspen staves. This bourbon has been referred to as liquid gold.
And when you taste it you’ll understand exactly why. This bourbon is distilled, grain, to barrel, to bottle. And that’s all there is to know.
- 127 proof – 64% alcohol
- Sweet, strong, and thick notes – a multitude of flavors
- Multiple sizes available – 750ml bottle or 6 packs
- Delivery delayed – may take up to 2-3 weeks for delivery, nonbrand related issue
- Available in selected states – not inclusive to every state
The Elijah Craig barrel-proof bourbon is a Kentucky distilled bourbon fresh out of the United States of America! It has been aged for a total of 12 years to give you the best experience possible out of a barrel-proof bourbon drink.
Don’t be afraid of the high proof of the Elijah Craig bourbon, it has a very smooth and rich flavor that is easy to sip at due to its high proof quality and years of mellowing.
They say to sip this bourbon whiskey, is to sip it in its purest form and we don’t doubt that for a second! It’s uncut, straight from the barrel, and without chill filtering.
Each bottle has been hand-labeled with its unique proof and batch number to provide you with the most authentic American experience.
From batch to batch the variance in proof changes and presents a unique opportunity to explore this bourbon’s potential, however, the nose, taste, and finish of every sip are pure Elijah Craig, and that’s all that matters.
- Great palette – black pepper and cinnamon spice at the back of the throat
- Nicely layered finish to show off all flavors – fades slowly
- 40% alcohol – with fruit notes of apples and oranges throughout
- Drink responsibly – a high percentage of alcohol should always be drunk with caution
This unique brand of barrel-proof whiskey is 50% ABV making it over 100 proof bourbon.
It’s a terrific and affordable bourbon that is more spicier and complex than any other bourbon, it has amazing warmth to it and should definitely be added to every bourbon collector’s cabinet.
This bourbon has the power to be purchased once and convince all of your friends to try it for themselves, it’s just that good!
All of the colors of this bourbon come straight from the barrel it’s been aged in, at Coopers’ crafts, they raise their own barrels by hand, then toast and char them to bring out the unique characteristics of the bourbon.
So it’s aged in a unique chiseled and charred American white oak barrel that fully deepens the bourbon’s exposure to wood, creating a complex flavor that just keeps on giving.
The design of the bottle has been kept to the American standard with small illustrations of the past and fonts that carry through the authenticity of where bourbon originates from.
- 100 proof – no watering down process whatsoever
- Barrels are toasted and charred – to create a complex flavor
- Multiple sizes available – including the 750ml bottle
- 50% alcohol – so drink responsibly
Breckenridge preserves the essence of their raw barrel character by bottling the bourbon at a whopping 105 proof, they recommend for the true experience, to sip 20 samples at 8:00 am sharp, before coffee.
It has deep burnt umber hues with aromas of rich butter caramel and toasted almond paste. It has a medium body with a luscious vanilla sugar flavor that any bourbon drinker out there will appreciate for all of its glory and well-balanced finish.
We love the level of consideration and design that has gone into each bottle of this bourbon as the more authentic the bourbon is to its roots, the more glorious the experience of drinking it can be.
The shape is the classic bourbon bottle shape and the cork inside can be seen from the outside of the bottle, there’s nothing more southern and western than this bourbon!
So don’t miss out on the chance to try a bourbon that has been barrel-proofed to over 100, there’s no water distillation of this bourbon brand.
- 52.5% ABV – strong bourbon that is 105 proof
- Vanilla and sugar flavors – for a sweet and delightful experience
- Rich colors – burnt umber hues with hints of copper red
- Risk of purchasing again – because it’s just that good!
Buyer’s Guide for Barrel Proof Bourbon
Notes And Aromas
When narrowing down your perfect barrel-proof bourbon or whiskey, the notes and aromas within the distilled bottles are just as important as how barrel-proof they are.
You may have something original and free from being diluted down with water, and it may be straight from the barrel into your home, but does the bourbon have anything special about it that you can taste, smell, and feel?
All bourbons have sweet and smokey flavors that make them what they are, but the ones that experiment with more risky and exotic tastes to complement the drink, are worth the extra research!
Is your bourbon 100% or above, barrel proof? Has it been poured and manufactured from the barrel it was born into?
Ask yourself these questions before fully committing to a bottle or brand of bourbon to be sure about your purchase.
The higher the proof percentage or number, the less watered down the bourbon and it all depends on what you prefer on a personal level with your bourbon.
Do you like it as strong as they come, or do you prefer something more mellow and subtle in taste?
When we think of bourbon and whiskey, our minds drift back through the ages and history has a habit of repeating itself.
What we as mankind loved a few hundred years ago, we have a tendency to love now in our bourbons.
We like that raw and pure burn in the back of the throat from bourbon, and the more authentic the brand is to using traditional methods when making their bourbon, the better!
The company name also plays a part as well as the design on the bottle, this is what draws you in when buying bourbon from the counter.
As much as we hate to admit it, we work and make decisions based on visuals, that is just how our brains work, so something that is the personification of bourbon in the visual aspect on the bottle, is going to be more pleasing to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Uncut And Barrel-Proof Bourbon?
Barrel proof bourbon is a bourbon that has been bottled without being diluted beforehand, it is pure delicious liquor sraight from the barrel.
And this is exactly how some people prefer their bourbon, especially if they drink it often or frequently.
Bourbons that are not 100 proof, have been diluted with a percentage of water, so 80 proof bourbon, would have 20% water diluted after being transferred from the barrel.
And so on. Barrel-proof bourbons will usually say uncut on the bottle, so keep an eye out for this if that’s what you’re looking for. Barrel proof is one of the purest forms of bourbon you can get.
Is Bourbon Gluten-Free?
The FDA does consider bourbon to be a gluten-free product, despite the number of grains involved in the making and distilling process.
The ingredients list for bourbon is sweet and short, it’s made from corn, wheat, water, and yeast and some of the most commonly used grains are wheat, barley, and rye.
While barley, rye, and wheat all contain the gluten protein, the gluten inside is actually removed during the bourbons distillation process, in which the gluten molecules are separated from the stuff used to make the final bourbon product!
Each one of these splendid barrel-proof bourbons has been hand-picked for your best interests when it comes to what makes bourbon so rich and smooth.
It truly is in the barrel proofing and while there is no one way to enjoy bourbon, we think the best way for the bourbon enthusiasts out there, is to enjoy it straight from the barrel.
Just like each of these bourbon bottles.