Top Shelf: Elevate Your Home Bar With 5 of the Best-Looking (and Tasting) Whiskey Bottles

by Jim Casey
top-shelf-elevate-your-home-bar-with-5-of-the-best-looking-and-tasting-whiskey-bottles
photo by Outsider

A well-known adage among chefs is that “you eat with your eyes first.” Well, at Outsider, we drink with our eyes first, especially when it comes to our whiskey bar. If you’re eager to elevate your home bar, we’ve got 5 bottles that are top shelf in both looks and taste. After all, if the juice is no good, you’re just buying glass.


Maker’s Mark Private Selection

  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
  • Website | Insta
  • Proof: 110.2
  • Price: $70-$80
  • Why We Love the Bottle: Every bar needs an icon. And the hand-dipped red wax seal from Maker’s Mark makes it the most recognizable bottle on the shelf. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a “Slam Dunk” bottle (extra wax due to “human error”) to bolster your bar.
  • Why We Love the Juice: Each barrel of Private Selection is unique (with a Stave Profile of 10 custom oak stave finishes). This pick from Whiskey Tango in Ozark, MO, is a mouthwatering blast of cinnamon, brown sugar, and rich oak.

Blanton’s Single Barrel

  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Proof: 93
  • Price: $70-$85
  • Why We Love the Bottle: While the stubby, faceted bottle is an immediate eye-catcher on every bar, it’s the bronze horse/jockey stopper atop the cork that makes Blanton’s unmistakable. It’s the holy hand grenade of bourbon. Pull the pin.
  • Why We Love the Juice: This horse is a consistent winner on our bar. The OG of single-barrel bourbon features notes of honey, light fruit, mild pepper, and leather. Solid, just like the bottle.

Four Roses Single Barrel

  • Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Proof: 100
  • Price: $45
  • Why We Love the Bottle: The decanter-shaped bottle looks especially regal with its four embossed glass roses and oversized crown that tappers to the cork. Our royal decree? Buy it.
  • Why We Love the Juice: Four Roses hits the palate with a fragrant combo of dark fruit (plum, cherry, raisins) and minty, black pepper. The sub-$50 sipper is fit for a king, but priced for the peasants.

Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered

  • Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Proof: 115.78
  • Price: $85-$90
  • Why We Love the Bottle: The towering amber bottle of Nevada juice, which is overgrown with embossed desert sage, is a blazing reminder of how the West was won with its pair of waxed-stamped dueling Colt revolvers (aka smoke wagons).
  • Why We Love the Juice: Smoke Wagon brings the heat with the high proof, but the notes of cherry, chocolate, and toffee make this whiskey a sweet, oaky treat. Go ahead, skin that Smoke Wagon.

Redwood Empire Grizzly Beast

  • Type: Bonded Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Website | Insta
  • Proof: 100
  • Price: $85-$90
  • Why We Love the Bottle: The lean, stoic bottle features a beautifully sketched red label with an aggressive grizzly bear emerging from a grove of giant sequoias. This bottle begs to be placed front and center on your bar.
  • Why We Love the Juice: The amber-colored juice from the four-grain mash bill delivers a non-aggressive sip of caramel, baking spice, light citrus, and heavy oak. You’ll roar with approval.

Elevate your home bar with 5 of the best-looking (and tasting) whiskey bottles.
Outsider.com