Four Roses, Evan Williams, Bulleit Bourbon, Old Forester and Pappy Van Winkle are some highly reviewed bourbon brands. Approximately 240 bourbon brands are available for purchase, according to WineMag.com, as of 2015.
Although some of the same brands of bourbon consistently receive good reviews, critics often have multiple personal favorites from each brand that receive attention. Several critics praise Four Roses Small Batch for its sweet oak and caramel notes that qualify it for neat enjoyment. Bulleit Bourbon appears on several lists of top bourbons, but critics typically single out Bulleit Bourbon 10, which Bulleit ages for 10 years in American white oak.
Several bourbons by Pappy Van Wrinkle receive great reviews on WineMag.com and Gayot.com, such as Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve at 15, 20 and 23 years old. The Sazerac Company distilled and bottled Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve at Buffalo Trace, with old stock from the original Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Prices range from about $15 for the 15-year old bourbon, to $1,000 for the coveted 23-year old bourbon.
Similarly, critics praise Old Forester reserve for the coconut and spice it evokes on the palate, which is adequate on its own or mixed in cocktails. Some reviewers suggest Old Forester 86-proof distilled in the 1870 style, whereas other critics recommend Old Forester 2005 Birthday Bourbon.