September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, celebrating America’s native spirit. If you’re not a bourbon drinker, here is a primer to help you decide where to start, ranked from best to worst.
1792: Fine-tasting, but you’ll pay for the privilege. This is a must for the man who knows what he wants and is willing to spend extra for it.
Woodford: Exquisite, and surprisingly light for bourbon. Not quite the experience that 1792 offers, but more affordable and easier to find.
Knob Creek: Some mash men swear by Knob Creek, but I think it’s overrated (and accordingly, overpriced). My current theory is that the easy-to-spot label is what makes it so popular in bars, especially the loud ones where your communication with the barkeep is reduced to pointing and gesticulation.
Maker’s Mark: Perhaps the most famous bourbon in America, this bourbon is strictly for cocktails. Save the better bottles for when you’re looking for a finger of the straight stuff, and use the Maker’s Mark in your Old Fashioned.
Jim Beam Black: Oh, seriously. Now you’re not even trying.