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November 04, 2008

Kentucky Bourbon: Favorite Tastes

Manhattan
Kentucky, Manhattan country.

In Condé Nast Traveler's November issue, writer Joseph Ward tells the tale of the Bourbon Trail and all the stops along the way. Ward writes, "Bourbon tends to be high proof, especially in increasingly popular cask-strength bottlings. Younger whiskeys have a pronounced vanilla flavor that fades in older examples." Below, some fine specimens:

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey: Dried-fruit and spice aromas with some herbs and a smooth taste with a little heat. It's clean with a touch of sweetness on the finish. $28-$32

Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
: Toffee, dried fruit, and a whiff of old cognac. Powerful, with some heat on the finish. $42-$45

Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky: One taste and you'll see why this elegant spirit caused a stir 50 years ago. Good balance on fruit and wood, without the kick on most traditional bourbons. $22-$25

Booker's Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey: This cask-strength whiskey has such intense caramel and fruit aromas and flavors, you won't believe it's 124 proof (the second glass will make you a believer). $45-$50

Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey: Tobaco on the nose along with fruit and grain and not much oak. This ten-year-old is lovely and sweet with a persistent, warm finish. High class. $29-$33

Check Condé Nast Traveler's November issue for more on this great American spirit, including cocktail recipes, a Bourbon Trail distillery tour with nearby dining and lodging, and bourbon's backstory.

Further reading:
* Bourbon Deluxe: Joseph Ward takes a long, slow sip of America's homegrown whiskey
* Catch of the Day: International noshables

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Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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