HomeSipWhiskeyHelluva High Proof: 4 High-Proof Whiskeys to Get You Through the Holidays

Helluva High Proof: 4 High-Proof Whiskeys to Get You Through the Holidays

by Jim Casey
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Around the holidays, the proof is not in the pudding. It’s in the whiskey. At least, it should be—especially if you need a little extra holiday spirit to get through those family gatherings. But not all high-proof bourbon is created equally. In fact, if you’re just high-proof hunting the shelves of your local liquor store, you’re bound to burn out quicker than a cheap Christmas light. Of course, we’ve got four high-proof bourbons that we highly recommend for your upcoming family festivities.

1792 Full Proof

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Barton 1792
  • Location: Bardstown, KY
  • Proof: 125
  • Price: $50-$65
  • Helluva Sip: 1792 Full Proof packs a 1-2 punch. The smoky rye heat is in your face from the first sip, but the bold-tasting bourbon counters with sweet hints of toffee, vanilla pudding, and dark fruit. It’s a back-and-forth heavyweight flavor battle—and we’re sitting ringside.

Larceny Barrel Proof (B521)

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Heaven Hill
  • Location: Bardstown, KY
  • Proof: 121
  • Price: $55-$65
  • Helluva Sip: Larceny drops its Barrel Proof three times each year (January, May, and September). This release from May 2021 is an exceptional wheated winner, with notes of dried cherry, toasted oak, cinnamon candy, lemon zest, and leather. In addition, the finish is a long, savory, delightful burn that makes this bottle a high-proof steal, like its moniker implies.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace
  • Location: Frankfort, KY
  • Proof: 127.3
  • Price: $80-$100
  • Helluva Sip: The Colonel lives up to the high-proof hype by delivering a caramel-flavor bomb, while the subtle notes of cinnamon and dried oak balance out the juice with just enough heat. Basically, EHTBP is a perfectly symmetrical sip every damn time—like a juiced-up version of Small Batch.

Old Kirk Single Barrel

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Distillery: Undisclosed
  • Location: Bardstown, KY
  • Proof: 126.5
  • Price: $100-$150
  • Helluva Sip: Rumored to be a product of Willett Distillery, Old Kirk can be hit or miss among purple-top enthusiasts. But it’s a smash hit for us with a motley mix of notes, including rye-forward heat, oaky smoke, and fresh-bake fruit cake. Indeed, Old Kirk’s off-profile pop will confound your palate in the best possible way.
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