Bourbon is a workhorse. It anchors a catalog of favorite classic cocktails, it plays nicely with a glass full of rocks, but it's also great neat as a slow sipper. This versatility also makes it solid choice year-round, no matter what the temperature is outside. The one problem with bourbon today is choice: there are so many good bottles out there, it can be a tough call deciding what to drink when. To make this decision easier, we put together this guide to some of the best bourbons out now — taking both price and quality into account — and the right occasions to consume them.
For Sipping: Evan Williams Single Barrel
A go-to for the non-occasion, Evan Williams Single Barrel is bottled by the vintage-style, rather than its age. It's a sturdy bourbon that's surprisingly smooth, considering it lacks the hefty, premium whiskey price tag. [$29; evanwilliams.com]
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco