The Upgrade

Like Bulleit Bourbon? Try These Three Upgrade Whiskeys Next


December 5, 2019 Drinks By

Everybody has a go-to bourbon, but sometimes, whether by choice or by limited selection at the liquor store, a backup bottle is needed. With Bulleit Bourbon, only one of these scenarios is possible. Love it or hate it, Bulleit is on every shelf in every town, city and state. But drinking one whiskey for the rest of time isn’t exciting. Here are three whiskeys to reach for next.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded

Price: ~$25
Proof: 100
Like-for-Like: Bulleit bourbon is made from a mashbill (grain recipe) of 68 percent corn, 28 percent rye and 4 percent barley. That rye percentage is exceptionally high for bourbon, and plays a large part in giving it its distinctive high-spice flavor. Old Grad-Dad bourbons are a little under the radar but share a fierty mashbill (63 percent corn, 27 percent rye and 10 percent barley). Its bonded offering is several proof points higher than Bulleit, but the two bottles are far more alike than they are different.

Four Roses Single Barrel (OBSK)

Price: ~$45
Proof: 100
Spicy Sipper: Forever one of the best values in all of bourbondom, Four Roses Single Barrel is a known commodity. But the brand’s arsenal is far vaster than it gets credit for. Case in point: there are 10 different variants of Four Roses Single Barrel, each a different combination of mashbill (high- and low-rye) and yeast strain (five options). A bottle of FRSB with “OBSK” means you’re getting a high-rye mashbill (“B”) with an extra-spicy yeast strain (“K”). Drink it with an ice cube.

Bulleit Barrel Strength

Price: ~$50
Proof: 119
Turbo-Charged Bulleit: How much do you love Bulleit? This is the brand’s standard mashbill bottled at its barrel proof — a staggering 119. Expect a taste bud suckerpunch.

The Best Bourbon Whiskeys You Can Buy in 2019

Everything you ever wanted to know about America’s favorite brown spirit, including, of course, the best bottles you can actually buy. Read the Story

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Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol's home and drinks editor. He's from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He's interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

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