For whiskey cocktail lovers, the Old Fashioned is king.
While most other classics call for a specific type of whiskey, the Old Fashioned is open to all, whether you’re a fan of sweet bourbon, spicy rye or even Irish whiskey. While we love each one for a different reason, bourbon gives the drink a rich sweetness and deep oaky flavor that’s simply irresistible. If you’re trying to mix up a bourbon Old Fashioned for yourself, these six bottles do the job well.
Elijah Craig Small Batch ($30)
Elijah Craig Small Batch is one of our favorite bourbons, hands down. Not only is it incredibly smooth and flavorful, it boasts an excellent price point for the quality. This full-bodied bourbon delivers rich flavors of warm spice and subtle smoke to the classic Old Fashioned and gives it a sweet, toasty finish. Garnish the cocktail with a syrupy Luxardo maraschino cherry for an extra rich finish.
We can always count on Buffalo Trace to deliver consistent quality and wide availability, no matter where in the country you might be. They’ve been distilling bourbon the same way for more than 200 years, so we trust the liquid in every bottle is delicious. This whiskey adds serious depth to an Old Fashioned and lends notes of brown sugar, toffee and dark fruit. If you’re a fan of classic flavors, you’ll love Buffalo Trace in the Old Fashioned.
While Baby Bourbon is more of a splurge than the other whiskies on this list, the liquid is totally worth the price tag. This bourbon is truly special stuff. It’s distilled from 90 percent Empire State corn that’s sourced within 10 miles of the distillery, and it’s aged in both 53 gallon barrels and small barrels to give it more wood contact. In an Old Fashioned, it adds mellow notes of vanilla and caramel with a fantastically smoky twist.
Wild Turkey Longbranch ($39)
This Texas-inspired bourbon is a collaboration between Wild Turkey and the brand’s most recent creative director, Matthew McConaughey, and it’s a delicious addition to their portfolio. To pay homage to the Lone Star State’s barbecue culture, Longbranch is infused with mesquite and oak charcoals, which lend a smoky, slightly savory flavor that isn’t overwhelming. This stuff is like summer in a glass, and it gives the Old Fashioned notes of peaches, honey and brown sugar. Not to mention the bottle is beautiful, so it makes a great gift for the cocktail enthusiast.
Four Roses Small Batch ($34)
This highly-awarded bourbon is covered in medals for a reason. While Four Roses already makes an excellent namesake spirit, their Small Batch bottling is perfectly balanced and exceptionally affordable for its high quality. On the palate, it delivers bursts of red berries and spice with a rich, smooth finish. If you’re new to the Old Fashioned (or simply love easy-drinking), Four Roses Small Batch is a best bet.
Heaven Hill is one of the oldest distilleries in America, and their Kentucky Straight Bourbon is one of the best values for any home bar. For less than $10, this iconic bourbon will add candied, spiced notes and a classic vanilla-tinged finish to the Old Fashioned. It carries an almost citrusy note, so fans of brighter cocktails will love mixing this into their drink. If you’re a bourbon lover and have yet to try this bottling, there is no time like the present to get acquainted.