It's National Bourbon Day and, naturally, we're celebrating here in Kentucky, where bourbon has long been and continues to be a booming business. Make no mistake about it. The finest bourbons in the world are distilled right here in the Commonwealth and any bourbon-loving Kentuckian will tell you that.

My friend Jacob Kiper is the biggest bourbon aficianado that I know.  He started "diving into bourbon" about five years ago.  He picked up Clay Risen's American Whiskey Bourbon & Rye: A Guide to the Nation's Favorite Spirit.

Amazon
Amazon
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That booked instantly hooked Jacob. He's been pouring through books (and glasses) since! In fact, he's currently reading book #391 on the subject.

Oh, fun fact. Clay Risen writes for the New York Times and is coming to town early next year. He's the guest speaker at the Owensboro Bourbon Society in January of 2023.  I'm certain he and Jacob will have a lot of talk about it and pour over.

For National Bourbon Day, I thought it would be fun to ask Jacob for his "expert" opinions about the bourbons distilled here in Kentucky. I know he's familiar with most, if not all, of them, and could give a lightweight beginner like me some pro tips on the absolute best bourbons in the state.

Within moments, Jacob gave me his top five and he decided to focus on bourbons that are relatively easy for the average consumer to find on store shelves.

Here they are!

FOUR ROSES SMALL BATCH SELECT

Jacob Kiper
Jacob Kiper
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GREEN RIVER KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY

Green River Distilling Co.
Green River Distilling Co.
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MAKER'S MARK PRIVATE SELECT

Jacob Kiper
Jacob Kiper
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EH TAYLOR SINGLE BARREL

Jacob Kiper
Jacob Kiper
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WILD TURKEY 101

Jacob Kiper
Jacob Kiper
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Of course, Jacob has some more-than-honorable mentions too. Among his other favorites: Russell's Reserve Single Barrel, Maker's Mark 46 Cask Strength, and Four Roses Single Barrel OESK.

Here's Jacob chatting about his love of bourbon and how he developed this particular list of Kentucky favorites.

Cheers!  Happy National Bourbon Day!

LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.