This may seem like a silly question as some are difficult to compare, tastes change, and rankings are often silly or useless. With that said, I am really interested in your thoughts, SB. What are your favorites, and why?
For clarification, when I say top five, I mean however YOU define it. For example, if you mean best regardless of price then that is fine. If your best means value per dollar, then use that in your criteria.
I would also encourage those of you (like myself) who are new or have less experience with premium or limited bottles to participate.
Here are mine:
1. 2014 Russell Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel ($50) - I love the mouth feel of this one, almost like taffy. After I finished it the first time I remember smelling the empty glass for several minutes and loved the fruity, floral aroma.
2. Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV ($35) - My FRSB collection is four recipes right now and I have only tried the standard OBSV. I love the cherry sweetness - reminds me a lot of the RRSB.
3. Wild Turkey 101 ($26) - I did a blind SBS with this and Blanton's and enjoyed the 101 a great deal more. Some things I have read lead me to believe there were some problems with WT stuff either currently or a while back but all of my 101 experiences have been very pleasant. It just seems so...classic. And American.
4. 2012 Booker's ($55) - My wife got this bottle as a gift and we nursed it to the end. It is extremely smooth for a 120+ proof whiskey and what it doesn't have in spiciness it definitely has in chewiness.
5. Ellijah Craig 12 ($23) - Among the 90 proofers I have tried, this one is my favorite neat. I revisited it recently and was pleasantly surprised at how the bottle opened up after a couple months.