Whiskey Newcomers: 10 Bourbons to Start Your Collection

In a recent live stream, Fred Minnick shared with whiskey newcomers how they can start their collection with 10 recommended bottles.

“You need to have a lot of everyday bourbons and just a touch of limited editions,” Fred tells viewers – and that doesn’t mean standing in line to try to win Pappy Van Winkle bottles in lotteries. He does, however, recommend seeking out at least one that’s a bit tougher to find in order to open up your palate and broaden your bourbon horizons.

“The more you learn about bourbon,” Fred says, “the more you will appreciate it.”

And it’s safe to say Fred has more than 10 bottles in his collection; heck, it’s Fred – he probably has more than 10 in his bathroom.

Here are the 10 whiskeys Fred recommends for starting your collection:

Four Roses Single Barrel: It’s a great example of a high-rye bourbon, creating a unique flavor profile.

Woodinville: It’s important to go outside Kentucky, he says.

Barrell Bourbon: A preferred line of blended whiskey, bottled at cask strength. And these are typically blends of straight bourbons, combining whiskeys from different distillers.

Maker’s Mark: “A great, great starter bourbon.”

Old Tub: Big cornbread note, “consistently fantastic” and under $25.

Knob Creek 9 Year: Highly underrated, fantastic bourbon for a great price.

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year: A Wild Turkey product in your collection is a must-have, and this is an affordable and strong example.

Buffalo Trace: Harder to find in some markets, this is from the distillery that brings us Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, Weller, Pappy Van Winkle and other favorites.

1792 Bottled in Bond: “So, so underrated.” Fred buys them in quantities.

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond: Winner of Fred’s Best Every Day Bourbon in 2019, it’s one that can be found pretty much anywhere, and it’s under $20.

*Note: Fred says you can substitute anything on the list for an Old Forester of your choice. Angel’s Envy is another one worthy of your first 10.

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