12 Most Expensive Bourbon from Kentucky and Why
Believe it or not, there are several of us who take pride in our evening drinks. While I grew up drinking the cheapest thing I could find on the shelves, I now do what I can to find a decently priced drink that goes smoothly. And no, I’m not talking about the difference between Coors and craft beers.
I’m talking about liquor, like bourbon. After a long day, there’s nothing like a chilled glass to wind down while you’re cooking or relaxing by a fire. However, some consumers truly empty their pockets for a decent bottle, like the most expensive bourbon from Kentucky. While you can buy bourbon from anywhere, there’s something really special about Kentucky bourbon.
The water gets filtered through limestone and is free of iron deposits, which helps smooth the flavor. And we all know that Kentucky boasts some of the richest, most fertile soil in the country, which is ideal for making the most essential ingredient in bourbon, corn!
Kentucky is also the ideal location for fermenting thanks to its hot summers and cold winters, helping the liquid move in and out of the charred barrels. All-in-all, if you’re a bourbon consumer and want to check out the most expensive bourbon from Kentucky, check out this list.
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12. Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $468.99
Orphan Barrel Whiskey is a really interesting company. They seek out some of the most delicious and rare barrels that have been hidden away, or leftover from previous sales, and bottle them up for collectors everywhere to ensure every drop is used. And for this 22-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, it might be a great addition to your collection. It’s not as extreme in price range, sitting at around $469, and has a 45.2% ABV. The bottle is beautifully decorated with the label. The Bourbon was originally distilled in Louisville, KY but is bottled in Tennessee. Its tasting notes consist of hints of toasted grains, cherries, and oak wood, followed by dark chocolate with ripe banana and baking spices of clove and anise.
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11. William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon, $2,400
One of the most expensive bourbons comes from Buffalo Trace Distillery which has been around for over 200 years making the finest whiskey based in Frankfort, KY. They are home to some of the most amazing brands as well, like the William Larue Weller bourbon, which is an uncut and unfiltered bourbon. With an ABV of 62.65%, the fragrant has caramel corn, new leather, plums, light toffee, and pipe tobacco. The tastes have marshmallows, salted almonds, nougat, figs, and dates.
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10. Kentucky Owl Bourbon Batch 1, $3,000
Kentucky Owl was founded in 1879 and has some of the finest bourbon, as well as the most expensive bourbon from Kentucky. Their distillery has several batches, but the first is always the most expensive. While their eleventh and twelfth batch costs around $500, the first costs around $3,000 with an ABV of 59.2%.
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9. Mitcher’s 20-Year-Old Bourbon, $4,999
Mitcher’s Distillery is one of the most well-known brands when it comes to Kentucky bourbon. It’s been awarded with the most admired whiskey in the world in 2023 and proudly offers some of the greatest liquor in the world. The company was founded in 1753 and is one of the first whiskey companies, consisting of some of the finest single-barrel and truly small-batch whiskeys available, making each purchase unique. This one, in particular, is a high price of $4,999.99 and is a 20-year bourbon, with intense notes of black cherry, rich molasses, honeysuckle, roasted pecans, and toasted charred oak.
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8. A.H. Hirsch Reserve Straight Bourbon, $8,999.99
From Bomberger’s Distillery, recently known as Michter’s Distillery, we have the Lawrence, Kentucky bourbon with a 45.8% ABV worth over $8,900. This bourbon is considered to be one of the best in existence and has been featured in several publications such as Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, and US Weekly. With tasting notes of toffee, vanilla, oaky smoke, baking spice, and black pepper, this is one of the most expensive bourbons that you need to add to your collection.
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7. Mitcher’s 25-Year-Old Bourbon, $9,899.99
Another one by Mitcher’s Distillery, we have a 25-year-old bourbon that has an incredible price tag of $9,899.99. With a 58.1% ABV, this is a limited release with complex notes of molasses, holiday spice, chocolate, smoke-roasted nuts, dried fruit, melted butter, and vanilla. For someone who has a bit of extra cash lying around and wants to add something unique and limited, this is the one for you.
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6. Eagle Rare Double Eagle Very Rare Bourbon, $14,999.99
One of the main reasons why I have ever kept a bottle of liquor unopened was just from its vessel. I’ve realized that a lot of times, you’re not just paying for a quality quality liquor, but also the quality of the bottle that is used to hold it. One example of this is the Eagle Rare Bourbon which is truly beautiful. This very limited 20-year-old bourbon has matured twice as long as the other standard bottles in their distillery. With a beautiful glass eagle soaring at the cap and one at the bottom of the bottom, it’s a gorgeous addition to any collection. For only $14,999.99, you can experience this beautiful whiskey tasting of toasted oak, and hints of vanilla and caramel in its astonishing vessel.
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5. Willet Family Estate 21-Year-Old, $15,399.99
For a truly unique and most expensive bourbon from Kentucky, check out the Willet Family Distillery. Their story began in 1684 and has been going strong in the industry over the years, creating some of the most brilliant whiskeys. One such example is their Estate Bottled Bouron, which only exists for the sole purpose of the family’s Private Barrel Selection program, and is one-of-a-kind in its existence. For $15,300 you can experience the toasted honey, cocoa, and warm, sweet tobacco with a sprig of mint.
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4. The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, $17,413.99
Closing in on our number one spot for the most expensive bourbon, we have The Last Drop Buffalo Trace Bourbon for $17,400, an astounding number for liquor. However, with only 240 bottles ever produced, the number seems a bit justified. When the distiller was sold to the Sazerac Company in 1992, they brought the whole site. Hidden away in the corners of the warehouses were some tiny parcels of old whiskey, according to their story, which gives us this beautiful bottle.
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3. 1990 Van Winkle Family Reserve 16 Year 90 Proof, $29,999
If you’re a fan of good bourbon, then you might have heard the name of Old Rip Van Winkle. Or maybe you studied literature in college and had to read about him. Either way, he’s an incredibly important name in history for various reasons. The distiller was founded by Julian Van Winkle and has been in the industry for more than 100 years creating some of the finest, and most expensive bourbon. One product is the 1990 Reserve 90 Proof bourbon which costs around $30,000.
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2. Redemption Limited Edition Anciety 36-Year Bourbon, $36,697
From Redemption Distillery, we have the second to last most expensive bourbon from Kentucky. Their Ancient series includes one of the most impressive bourbons, with a 36-year-old bourbon that is 97.6 proof. With only 18 of them in the world, the $36,000 price tag makes a bit more sense. It has aromas of leather, grilled meat, cherry wood, and cigars, and notes of dried orange and cinnamon with sweet smoke. It’s one of the most unique options on the list and one you certainly want to keep an eye out for.
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1. Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Family Reserve, $59,999
And of course, our number one spot for the most expensive bourbon from Kentucky belongs to the man himself, Rip Van Winkle. They’ve created some of the most luxurious bourbons over the years, and this one just takes the cake. With a 100-proof, 50% ABV, this was originally released with a price tag of around $1,800, but many years later, it’s gotten an amazing name and is now worth around $59,999 if you can get your hands on it. With notes of oak, vanilla, and caramel, it’s one of the best and most expensive bourbons you can add to your collection.
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