The Best Kentucky Bourbon Mini Bottles to Stuff Your Stocking

by Jim Casey
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photo by Outsider

We’re not opposed to stuffing an entire fifth of bourbon into a stocking (in fact, we recommend it), but mini bottles make a more subtle stocking selection. Coming in at 1.7 oz., mini bottles—also sometimes referred to as nips or airplane bottles—are just the right size for tasty cocktails when around the campfire, tailgating, or traveling. Let’s take a little nip trip along Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail this holiday season. Here are four bourbons that make perfect stocking stuffers.

Woodford Reserve

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Distillery: Woodford Reserve – Versailles, KY
  • Proof: 90.4
  • Price: $5
  • Best Stuff-er: With notes of cinnamon and citrus, Woodford Reserve can serve as a complementary bourbon to the classic Hot Toddy. Of course, the tripled-distilled juice is perfectly capable of getting the job done on its own, too.

Maker’s Mark

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
  • Distillery: Maker’s Mark – Loretto, KY
  • Proof: 90
  • Price: $5
  • Best Stuff-er: With its hand-dipped red wax seal, Maker’s Mark is the most recognizable bourbon on the shelf—or in the stocking, in this case. Kentucky’s highly accessible wheated bourbon makes an easy-drinkin’ Old Fashioned or a neat treat when you’re warming up around the fireplace.

Willett Pot Still Reserve

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Distillery: Willet – Bardstown, KY
  • Proof: 94
  • Price: $9
  • Best Stuff-er: Sure, you’ve got to pay a mini-premium for this bottle of Willet Pot Still, but it’s worth every cent. It’s a delightfully holiday-worthy sip of buttery toffee and cinnamon—and the coolest glass mini decanter on the market.

Elijah Craig Small Batch 1789

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  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Distillery: Heaven Hill – Bardstown, KY
  • Proof: 94
  • Price: $4
  • Best Stuff-er: Elijah Craig Small Batch is one of our Top 3 picks for the Classic Old Fashioned. Not only is it very affordable, but this Kentucky staple, with notes of sweet fruit and spice, drinks neat when you don’t feel like mixing.
photo by Outsider
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