Woodford Reserve’s triple-distilled bourbon is a restrained 90 proof, making it a relatively smooth sip. Throughout the month of September, head to Yardbird(Venetian, 702-297-6541) for a $25 flight of four special infused bourbons, including honey-orange Woodford Reserve, bacon Wild Turkey 81, apple-spice Knob Creek, and salted maple Maker’s Mark.
Pappy Van Winkle bourbons may be notoriously hard to find, but if you’re looking in the right places you’ll encounter them in select Vegas locations—take Morels(Palazzo, 702-607-6333), for instance, which is in possession of a limited supply of Pappy Van Winkle 15-year, and the Parlor Lounge(Mirage, 702-791-7111), an unsuspecting home to the brand’s elusive 10-, 12-, 13-, 15-, 20-, and 23-year bottles.
This small-batch rye whiskey may not be a bourbon, but its creator—Booker’s Bourbon founder Booker Noe, a grandson of Jim Beam and master distiller until his death in 2004—makes it a tough one to ignore. Newly released, it’s a surprisingly sweet rye, showcasing notes of caramel despite being 136 proof. A handful can be found at Culinary Dropout(Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 702-522-8100), Morels(Palazzo, 702-607-6333), and Todd English P.U.B.(The Shops at Crystals, 702-489-8080).
Known for its high rye content, Belle Meade Bourbon is a highlight of the selection from the Nashville-based Nelson’s Greenbrier Distillery, an independent operation boasting nearly 200 years of family history. The bourbon’s flavors of maple, honey, and vanilla are favorites of the bartenders at Delmonico(Venetian, 702-414-3737) and the Barrymore(Royal Resort, 702-407-5303).
The Jim Beam legacy continues with Booker Noe’s son Fred, whose Knob Creek brand of bourbons recently made this 100-proof bottle available to the public in three separate batches. Its 14-year aging process—the longest of any Knob Creek release—amplifies the brand’s full-flavored spicy notes; sample it at Delmonico (Venetian, 702-414-3737) or Hakkasan(MGM Grand, 702-891-7888).
A.H. Hirsch Reserve 20-Year
This is one of those unicorn bourbons you very well may never encounter again—distilled in 1974 at Pennsylvania’s original Michter’s Distillery, which shuttered in 1989, it’s one of an exceedingly small lot of bottles still available today and routinely fetches thousands of dollars at auction. In Vegas, though, you can see for yourself if it’s worth the hype at Sage(Aria, 702-590-9520), where it’s available for $125 per pour.
Offered exclusively in Vegas at Delano and Mandalay Bay, Angel’s Envy is a small-batch bourbon that’s finished in ruby port wine casks, imbuing it with a balanced sense of sweetness. Ask for it at Franklin(Delano, 702-632-7888), where you’ll also have a chance of snagging a sip of Jack Daniel’s commemorative whiskey Sinatra Select, released last fall.