11 Popular Double Barrel Bourbons, Ranked

There's a lot to learn about bourbon. If you've already mastered a few basics like the difference between bourbon and rye, it's time to go a little deeper and explore an interesting (albeit sometimes confusing) element of the spirit — the barrels in which it's aged. As a quick refresher, one of the requirements for whiskey to be considered bourbon is that it must be aged in new, charred American oak barrels. However, once that qualification has been met, there's no rule that says bourbon can't be aged again in a different type of cask.

Some distillers use this production method to bottle unique variations called double barrel bourbons. Since the simple difference between single and double barrel bourbon comes down to that crucial second aging period, things like the type of barrel used, how long the second round of aging lasts, and even the grooves in the barrel make a difference in the final product.

Double barrel bourbons range significantly in price, taste, and availability. After considering these factors (among others) along with our general expertise and experience with bourbon, we rounded up a collection of well-known top-shelf varieties — and ranked them. To help you find the perfect bottle, here are 11 popular double barrel bourbons ranked. 

11. Noble Oak Double Oak

Although this one rings in at the bottom of our list, Noble Oak Double Oak is still a perfectly good double barrel bourbon that has several great things going for it. First of all, the 90 proof bottle is affordable for a double barrel varietal, ringing in at about $35 a bottle. Second of all, there's an impressive mission behind this brand, as Noble Oak partners with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every bottle sold. Since the brand's inception in 2017, it has successfully planted nearly 1 million trees in various community-centric projects. It feels good to know you're drinking something that's helping the planet.

However, Noble Oak Double Oak falls slightly flat in terms of flavor. It features standard notes of vanilla and brown sugar, but even though it's finished in sherry casks, the flavors from the second barrel aren't as prominent as they are in other double barrel options. We wish it had a little more pizzazz, but it can make a great gift if you want to give someone something that gives back.

10. Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Angel's Envy Bourbon has plenty of fans. However, many of those fans don't realize they're actually drinking a double barrel bourbon. After all, each of Angel's Envy's offerings features a signature secondary finish before bottling. Our favorite is the Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which goes through a secondary aging period in ruby port wine casks. Furthermore, it isn't as inaccessibly expensive as some of its other expressions (it averages just over $50 a bottle).

The flavor from the port wine barrels isn't in-your-face, and this 86.6 proof bourbon still features the standard notes you'd expect from a moderately priced bottle. It has hints of maple and vanilla on the palate, with a touch of sherry on the finish. If you're not dead-set on selecting a double barrel bourbon that really emphasizes the second barreling, this is a solid option. If you want something that's less subtle, this might not be the one for you.

9. Rabbit Hole Dareringer

Rabbit Hole Dareringer is 93 proof Kentucky bourbon that's finished in PX sherry casks. PX sherry (which stands for Pedro Ximénez) is a type of extremely sweet dessert wine from Spain. As you can probably guess, the barrels used to make this sugary libation soak up some of that sweet wine, which gives the wood a distinct flavor that is then imparted into this bourbon during the aging process.

The mash bill in this one consists of 65% corn, 25% wheat, and 10% malted barley. The absence of rye combined with the sherry flavor from the barrels results in a bourbon that lacks spice, but is heavy on notes of dried fruit, cherries, almond, and vanilla.

The brand emphasizes the journey this bottle takes from Kentucky to Spain as well as the families who work together to make the production process possible. While the sherry notes are balanced, they're still pronounced, so if you like a more classic bourbon, this one might not be for you.

8. Kentucky Peerless Double Oak

First of all, we can't help but sing the praises of this bottle's unique, vintage-themed packaging. Even though you can't judge a bourbon by its bottle, Kentucky Peerless Double Oak is a nice double barrel expression and a pretty addition to your bar cart. The 108.4 proof bourbon isn't the cheapest option out there, with an average sticker price hovering around $100 for a 750-milliliter bottle. But it's a nice one to add to your collection. It's also not always the easiest variety to find, so if you see a bottle at your local liquor store, we recommend snagging it while you can.

Kentucky Peerless puts a lot of effort into selecting barrels with the right flavors, and the second barreling adds herbaceous and earthy notes. You'll notice hints of honey, cinnamon, and oak on the palate and a sweet, rich, long finish. The brand prides itself on being "grain to barrel" and on never adding water to its whiskey. We think it's a lesser-known producer that's worth checking out.

7. Jefferson's Twin Oak Toasted Barrel

There's a lot of science behind the second barrels that are used to age Jefferson's Twin Oak Toasted Barrel Bourbon. The team behind this doubled barreled, 90.2 proof bottle custom-developed them — with tasty results! Jefferson's uses flash-charred barrels with toasted groove staves to give its (already fully mature) bourbon even more flavor in this expression. The grooves in the barrel add surface area, so the bourbon can absorb all the delicious notes the oaky containers have to offer.

It's smooth and balanced, with noticeable hints of baking spices, toasted almonds, and of course, wood. With all the effort the brand puts into custom-making its barrels, you might think the final product would be exorbitantly expensive, but it rings in at about $88 — making it appropriate for a special occasion but not entirely unattainable. While there's something to be said for more experimental bourbon that's aged in unique casks, sometimes sticking to classic oak works wonders, and Jefferson's pulls off oak-on-oak in style.

6. Michter's Limited Release US*1

What sets this one apart is the fact that the barrels used in the second aging of this bourbon are toasted rather than charred, which results in an extremely nuanced, extremely delicious final product. Michter's Limited Release US*1 was created in 2014, and it's been winning the hearts of serious whiskey enthusiasts (when you see the price, you'll see what we mean about serious) ever since. It's part of Michter's limited-release collection, so both the price — which averages a cool $409 — and the scarce nature of the currently 91.4 proof bottle make it quite the collector's item.

So, what does this rare bottle taste like? It features notes of campfire, pecan, and cinnamon on the palate with vanilla and pear on the finish. The commitment to letting the air-dried wood that's used in the second barreling shine is clear in this variety. Michter's takes pride in offering a double barrel bourbon in which nothing is added or finessed, and Michter's undergoes a long process to toast its bourbon.

5. Jim Beam Double Oak

The history of Jim Beam began with a corn farm, and the brand has become synonymous with affordable bourbon ever since. Although you certainly can pay a pretty penny for a second round of aging, double barrel doesn't have to be expensive! Jim Beam Double Oak is the perfect bargain option if you want to explore this type of whiskey without breaking the bank. Charred white oak barrels are behind each stage of aging, and the additional round does wonders in terms of amping up the flavor and complexity of the spirit.

This bottle boasts five main flavor components: char, grain, sweet, fruit, and oak. These elements work in perfect harmony with one another for an 86 proof whiskey that tastes a lot more expensive than its sub-$30 price tag would suggest. It's deep and rich while still being nuanced enough to let the more delicate flavors shine. While drinking it neat or on the rocks is an obvious choice, its affordability means you can also use it as the base of a cocktail without feeling guilty.

4. Daviess County Double Barrel Finished Bourbon

Daviess County Double Barrel Finished Bourbon is a limited-release bottle that's worth seeking out. All of Daviess County's variations are made from a blend of wheated and ryed bourbons, and this 96 proof bottle is no exception. It goes through a second aging in Missouri White Oak barrels that are both charred and toasted — making it heavy on both chocolate and caramel notes.

This small-batch bourbon is a testament to how much of a difference putting the spirit through a second aging period can make. You'll notice notes of marshmallow and caramel on the palate and oak and vanilla on the nose. It goes down smoothly and is ideal for after-dinner sipping.

We also love this one because it's another bottle that aims to give back. Daviess County partnered with Ducks Unlimited, a non-profit that works to protect North America's waterfowl population, on this bottle to help raise awareness about the organization.

3. Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel

Sometimes it's best to leave a good thing alone. However, sometimes the best course of action is to take something good and make it great — which is the case with this double barrel bourbon. Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel uses fully mature Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon (which is already an excellent choice, as is) and makes it even better by putting it through a second barreling process.

The second barrels are custom toasted, and they give this bottle a distinctively sweet, oaky flavor. Less common tasting notes are also noticeable in this one, with hints of jasmine and even chipotle spice shining through. When you pour a dram of 94 proof Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel, you won't feel like you're drinking something run-of-the-mill. The flavors are bold and complex, but it's a luxurious drinking experience that's undeniably approachable. If you're not used to drinking whiskey neat, try this one — you might just become a convert.

2. Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky

Old Forester's double barrel expression pushes the limits of what's possible with a second aging period because the second barrels it uses are literally charred to the max. The result is a finished product that's made a name for itself amongst whiskey enthusiasts and garnered a reputation as one of the best double barreled bourbons out there.

Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky has roots that date back to (you guessed it) 1910 when a fire at Old Forester halted production. Since the mature whisky couldn't be bottled, it was stored in a second barrel instead — and a new world of flavor was unlocked. This 93 proof bottle is inspired by that historical moment when necessity acted as the mother of invention.

This one is extremely clean, crisp, and smooth. You'll taste notes of milk chocolate, caramel, and a touch of spice. At about $58, it's an incredible value, and you'll feel like you're drinking (as the name implies) a very fine whisky.

1. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked earns the number one spot on our list because it's easy to drink and balanced. In our opinion, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn't enjoy this one. It's also extremely rich, which you can tell before you even take a sip based on its unusually deep, dark brown color.

Woodford uses barrels that are both toasted and lightly charred for the second round of aging, which results in a nuanced and full-bodied bourbon. Although it's dark and toasty, there are still hints of fruit and spices that prevent this 90.4 proof bottle from tasting flat or heavy.

If you're already a fan of the sweet, caramel-forward flavor of standard Woodford Reserve (we know we are), then we implore you to try this double barrel variation. It's the perfect example of how adding an extra step to the production process can add an extra layer of delicious flavor.


There are numerous double barrel bourbon options on the market and no shortage of potential brands and varieties for a person to consider. We aimed to provide a versatile list of well-known double barrel bourbon whiskeys in this article that can potentially be obtained and consumed by anyone — whether a bourbon rookie or a seasoned vet.

We considered several factors when ranking the selected double barrel bourbons, including taste, availability, versatility, and cost. Additionally, the rankings were based on our general knowledge of bourbon (double barrel or otherwise), our firsthand experience with this spirits category, and research into brands that are popular with consumers and critics alike.