Fred Minnick Reacts to Gear Patrol’s Best Available Bourbons of 2021


May 20, 2021

List alert! Gear Patrol listed its 19 top available bourbons of 2021 – does the list merit the Fred Minnick seal of approval? Below are some highlights from the list, along with some of Fred’s thoughts.

Before we get into the bourbon, however, it should be noted that while Fred doesn’t necessarily take lists seriously, this particular list is one he is a fan of (and not just because he was quoted in the story, either).

Best Overall Bourbon: Knob Creek Small Batch 9-Year. Fred says: “Absolutely all for that one. It’s better than some of the $200 bourbons.”

Best Cheap Bourbon: Evan Williams Black Label. Fred says: “Not going to argue with that one,” although he would also throw in the Evan Williams Bottled in Bond as well.

Best Bourbon for Cocktails: Four Roses Yellow Label. Fred says: “One thousand percent agree, although I would replace it with Knob Creek in a lot of [cocktails].”

Best Craft Bourbon: New Riff Bottled in Bond. Fred says: “Hard to argue with it. I think that’s a stellar call-out.”

Best-Kept Secret: Old Grand-Dad 114 Proof. Fred says: “I don’t think it’s a secret anymore because all of us won’t shut our big mouths about it, but definitely one of the great products that you can find.”

Best Budget Sipper: Larceny Bourbon Small Batch 92 Proof. Fred says: “This is where Gear Patrol and I disagree. … If I’m going to pick my best budget sipper, I’m probably going to go with either Knob Creek or Evan Williams Bottled in Bond. I may go with Old Grand-Dad.”

Best Bourbon to Pair Food With: Maker’s Mark. Fred says: “I absolutely agree with this.” Goes great with everything from mustard to barbecue.

Smoothest Bourbon: Elijah Craig Small Batch. Fred says, “I mean, OK.”

Best Gateway Bourbon: Four Roses Small Batch. Fred says, “I agree with that.”

Most Nuanced Bourbon: Old Forester 1920. Fred says, “This was my Best Available Bourbon of 2020, so of course I’m going to agree with that one. I love that product so much.”

For the whole list and Fred’s reactions, watch the video above.