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The 10 Most Expensive Bottles of Bourbon Ever Made

Bourbon Trace

Bourbon is one of the most popular cocktail drinks and has been for many years. It is mainly thought of as a man's drink, however, it is used in some mixed drinks. The most common way is a shot of the bourbon with either a splash of water or an ice cube to soften the strong bourbon taste.

Bourbon is made with grains, such as rye, wheat, rye and barley. The grains are used in various combinations to create recipes known as mash bills. The fully fermented mix is distilled, then set into oak barrels that have been charred.

The mix, going in, is at 125 proof, and there is where it will sit for years, aging and becoming the spirit everyone loves. After aging, masters of the drink will taste test it to determine if aging is complete.

There are a wide variety of brands of Bourbons and price ranges. For those who are Bourbon fans, you may have wondered how much some of the most expensive bottles of Bourbon cost.

Well, here is a list of the top 10 most expensive bottles of Bourbon.

10. Michter's 20 Years Old Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey - $1,339

Aged for 20 years, this Bourbon was bottled at 114.2 proof and has a color of dark amber mixed with light red tones. It leaves a nice thick coat on the glass, a sign of a rich Bourbon. The taste is creamy with a hint of old leather left to linger on the pallet.

This is one of the most expensive bottle off Bourbon ever, and only a number of the bottles are made each year. In 2015, only 267 bottles were made and this is one where you will either dive right into the bottle, like a child at Christmas, or if you are a collector, you might just appreciate having one of Michter's 20 Years Old Single Barrel Bourbon in your collection. This Bourbon sells for $1,339.

9. Old Rip Van Winkle ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve’ 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey - $1,343

Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle was only 18 when he stated working for W.L. Weller & Sons liquor wholesales and just fifteen years later, he and a partner bought the firm. This Bourbon has a huge following. Famous chefs such as David Chang and Anthony Bourdain are some of the biggest fans.

There have been many Bourbon enthusiasts that show up with the slim hopes of owning some of the Bourbon that is primarily made from corn and aged in charred oak barrels. One of the distinguishing differences in this brand is the use of wheat as a secondary grain as opposed to rye.

Pappy Van Winkle ages his Bourbon for a variety of different years, depending on what the are making. Years rank from 10, to 12, 13, 15, 20 and 23 years. The 23 year old aged is 95.6 proof and a bottle sells for $1,343.

8. Willett Distillery Family Estate Bottled Single Barrel 22 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey - $1,347

This 110 proof Bourbon has a distinct rye flavor that you taste right away. Some people say that on a second sip, there is more of a burn but not a bad burn, not unpleasant at all. It is more of a black pepper spice tingle.

You should also get a hint of orange peel with a mix of mint and vanilla. Willett Distillery's Single Barrel 22 Year Old Straight Bourbon has a silky smooth sensation going down.

There is so much going on with this Bourbon that it drives serious Bourbon drinkers back to it time and time again, if you can afford to pay the $1,347 per bottle.

7. John E. Fitzgerald Very Special 20 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey - $1,748

This Bourbon has been ranked 96 by Beverage Tasting Institute and gives you the rich scents of toffee, cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Once the Bourbon leaves your mouth, what lingers on the palate is a maple syrup, teaberry, black raspberry and dusty dried corn flavor with a warmed cinnamon and polished oak flavor at the finish for an impressive 20-year aged, wheated Bourbon.

This is one of the most sought after Borubons among collectors and enthusiasts and sells for $1,748 a bottle. When you hold a bottle of the John E. Fitzgerald Very Special 20 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey in your hands, you will see a very dark and ruddy Bourbon that says it's one of the most spectacular Bourbons available.

6. Old Rip Van Winkle ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve’ 20 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon - $1,924

This Bourbon comes from a special family recipe that is aged for 20 years for a smooth and rich flavor. It's intense and enticing with its hint of citrus flavoring, combined with dried fruits and vanilla.

One of the most elegant Bourbons, this Bourbon finishes aging at 90.4 proof and has won multiple awards, including the Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2014 as well as a Silver medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2014. This Bourbon can be purchased for $1,924 a bottle.

5. Old Rip Van Winkle ‘Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve’ 23 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey - $2,794

Another Rip Van Winkle "Pappy Van Winkle" Bourbon hits the list and sells for $2,794 a bottle. Only 3,000 bottles of this Bourbon are produced each year, making it a rare find. Aged for 23 years and is meant to be enjoyed Neat.

You will notice the hints of oak and sweet vanilla on the palate along with maple, citrus, honey and spice. So fine a Bourbon, it was rated Extraordinary-Ultimate Recommendation and was named as a Chairman's Trophy Finalist at the 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

4. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey - $2,892

Bourbon enthusiasts know this Bourbon well. It is incredibly well and very wanted among collectors. Distilled back in 1974 and aged in a 400-barrel batch for 16 years, this is a 91.6 Proof Bourbon.

The flavor is a warm vanilla, oak, spice and caramel flavor at the first taste. At the back of the palate as it goes down, you get another hint of vanilla added with a rich toffee. There is no burn to the Bourbon, only smoothness from start to finish and if you can get your hands on a bottle, you will pay $2,892 for it.

3. Parker’s Heritage Collection 2nd Edition 27 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey - $3,103

The Parker Heritage Collection 2nd Edition 27 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon has a deep amber hue that draws you in from the start. When you sniff the spirit, you get a toasty oak scent that is prominent in a pleasing way.

You might describe a bit of a Bit-O-Honey and caramel mixed with vanilla, all swirling up in a sweet sensation. When you first taste the Bourbon, you'll notice a bit of fruitiness and oaky cabernet. It is a pure treat to drink and some may prefer to add a splash of water or ice cube to soften the mixture. This Bourbon from the Parker's Heritage Collection sells fro $3,103.

2. Old Fitzgerald Very Old 8 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey - $3,146

This is a very old Bourbon, distilled in 1950 and bottled in 1958. The Stitzel-Weller distillery is a legendary in Bourbon and is one of the most historical Bourbons on the market to date and it is extremely hard to find a bottle anymore.

One of the things that makes it rare and different is in the distilling process where wheat was switched to rye as the secondary grain. On smelling the drink, you get the hints of fruit, spice, caramel, wood and brûlée and vanilla.

On the palate, you'll get a taste of the spice, caramel, dark fruit, wood, and red licorice. It is described as a fantastic Bourbon, perfect for sipping again and again. So rare and extraordinary, this Bourbon, that you will have to pay $3,146 for a bottle, if you are able to get your hands on one.

1. Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey - $3,690 -$5,000

Micter's Distillery was the United State's first distilling company and along with about all the other distilleries in the US, during prohibition in 1919, it was forced to close.

This brand was resurrected in 1990 and in celebration of the distillery, a combination of a variety of select casks that were 20 years old, along with 30 year old whiskey was mixed. Once the barrel blending took place, the mixture was hand-bottled and finished with an 18 karat gold lettering label then boxed in special boxes.

The Bourbon is a golden honeycomb and gives you a brawny spice, tough leather and oaky taste to the palate. These are very special bottles of Bourbon for collectors and enthusiasts and sell in the upwards of $3,690-$5,000 a bottle.

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Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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