World's Best Bourbon

The Best Bourbon of the Year Goes Against Everything Whiskey Drinkers Once Held Dear


March 24, 2020 Drinks By

The following may read like science fiction to longtime whiskey drinkers: the winner of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition’s “Best Bourbon” category is Barrell Bourbon Batch 021, a three-part blend of bourbons sourced from Tennesse, Indiana and Kentucky, none of which were distilled or matured by Barrell Craft Spirits, the independent bottler behind the whiskey.

In the whiskey world, blends were once an afterthought; an attitude born from a time when “blended” was code for watering down good whiskey with grain spirit to make more money. More recently, non-distiller producers (or NDPs) have come under fire — these are companies that purchase barrels from larger distillers, and thus don’t make the whiskey they sell. Barrell’s blend of straight bourbons that make up the 021 batch is both of these things, and yet more than 40 judges at the world’s largest spirits competition have named it the best bourbon of the year.

Batch 021, like all of Barrell’s expressions, was released at cask strength (106). The company has made its name sourcing and blending quality, cask strength spirit. Barrell released 12,500 bottles of the product in the winter of 2019. It retails for $90 and is available in 45 states. If you’re interested, we recommend scouring delivery services for stock and ordering soon — you can expect it to sell out soon.

The Best Bourbon Whiskeys You Can Buy Right Now

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

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email
Sign Up for Gear Patrol Newsletters
Get the best new products, deals,
and stories in your inbox daily.

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy and to receive email correspondence from us.