It’s time to consider the bourbon world’s “one-of-a-kind” experience: the single barrel. Single barrel whiskey is arguably the purest expression of a bourbon’s character that money can buy. The beauty is in the simplicity: Generally speaking, every bottle you see with that moniker can be traced back to one single barrel, where it spent its entire life from distillation to bottling.
That barrel had a unique life experience, whether it choked in the heat of upper warehouse floors, mellowed at ground level, lived in sunlight next to a window, or even leaked just a little.
All of these things can contribute to the uniqueness of the whiskey inside the barrel. And because of all the factors, it’s impossible to say with certainty that any two barrels will ever taste alike. But having a great, unique whiskey isn’t actually as expensive as it sounds. In fact, we collected a few great single barrel bourbons well under $100 that you should try tonight.