What Makes Old Carter Bourbon So Pricey?

With so many styles and distillers, whiskey is intriguing in its versatility. There are as many as 11 types of whiskey to explore, with American-produced bourbon offering a distinct corn-based interpretation. As with other whiskeys, bourbon varies in price, with everything from accessible well options to midrange and top-shelf offerings.

Near the top of the price range comes Old Carter Bourbon, with bottles regularly selling for $300 or more. Several factors go into such steep pricing, which nonetheless attracts bourbon fanatics. For one, there's the small batch size. The brand is run by Mark Carter and Sherri Carter, who oversee the production of every batch. There are numerous releases, but all come in small volumes, ranging from as few as one hundred bottles to a maximum of around three thousand. Many are exclusive to a brand social club, and distribution isn't widespread, with the spirit sold in only a dozen states.

Such rarity certainly drives up prices, but it's not all exclusivity; Many are dependably delicious. Such dedication to small-batch distillation ensures no two bottles are identical, and the flavors are typically complex.

Small batches and high quality give Old Carter a big price tag

Old Carter's founders started in the California wine business before heading to Kentucky to revive the Kentucky Owl brand. After selling the brand in 2017, they launched Old Carter, with its first spirits released in 2018. Although a young distillery, they've gone on to sell dozens of new bourbons every year.

The company works with different barrels, oftentimes double-barreling its bourbon and employing newly charred casks. Most expressions are blends, with occasional editions emphasizing single barrel rather than single malt liquors. Such experimental production means there's a whole lot of variety, and it can be tricky to know what's inside the bottle.

Some varieties are sweeter, with vanilla and fruit notes, while others veer into leather and spice territory. The proof varies, too, further adding to the complicated range. Most renditions are well-received, but every so often, a bottle does get a mixed review. Nevertheless, the brand's small production and attention to detail make it one of the best bourbon brands available.