The Best New Bourbons Released In 2022

The fuss surrounding the various varieties of whiskey may seem superfluous if you're unacquainted. But the intricate details that distinguish one type of whiskey from another are far from irrelevant. After all, just like a chocolate chip cookie has little in common with a snickerdoodle (beyond the general category of baked goods), clear distinctions exist between scotch and, say, bourbon.

For one thing, bourbon is a wholly American product; only U.S.-made whiskey can legally be labeled bourbon, provided it follows the strict standards set forth in a 1964 Congressional Resolution (via Kentucky Bourbon). The grain used in bourbon production must be at least 51% corn, and the whiskey must be aged in brand-new, never-before-used oak barrels that have been charred on the inside. A number of alcohol proof-level requirements — such as it being a minimum of 80-proof when bottled — exist for bourbon, as well, and it must be completely devoid of any preservatives or additives used for color or taste.

These stringent regulations haven't slowed down the industry, of course, and there's never a shortage of bourbons for sale at any given time — or new releases to anticipate each year. Since countless new bourbons were released in 2022, according to KY Supply Co, we decided to highlight some of the best of the bunch. If you're wondering which new bourbons are worth seeking out, keep reading, as we discuss some of the best new bourbons released in 2022.

Angel's Envy Cask Strength 2022

Since a liquor can only be categorized as bourbon if it follows precise guidelines, there's very little flexibility when it comes to the whiskey's production. But while bourbon must be aged in new (pre-charred) barrels, not all distilleries immediately bottle their bourbon upon removing it from the barrel. In fact, some take production a step further, including Angel's Envy, which often finishes its bourbon products with additional aging in port wine barrels. The 11th edition of its Cask Strength whiskey is no exception, with that final step helping the 2022 release become one of the year's best new bourbons.

Described by Angel's Envy general manager, Gigi DaDan, as the distillery's "most highly anticipated annual tradition" (via The Whiskey Wash), this year's Cask Strength bourbon contains a number of sweet notes. According to its website, a brown sugary sweetness can be detected in the 2022 Cask Strength's scent, while various fruit flavors, including oranges, are noticeable on the palate.

Earning a fantastic 9 out of 1) rating from Drinkhacker, it seems clear Angel's Envy's 2022 Cask Strength bourbon was worth fans' anticipation. While prices and availability vary, as of November 2022, a 750-mL bottle of the 119.8-proof whiskey was available for purchase at Bowery and Vine in New York City for $349.99.

Blood Oath Pact No. 8 2022

A name like "blood oath" may scare off the less-adventurous among us. But that likely doesn't bother the bourbon brand's creator, John E. Rempe, nor did it prevent the release of its Blood Oath Pact No. 8 in 2022. The eighth version of Blood Oath's limited-edition series is actually a blend of three different bourbons — each aged between eight and 14 years (via Blood Oath). This means the Blood Oath Pact No. 8 is one of the best new bourbons of 2022 ... and one of the best-blended varieties, as well.

Featuring the scent of cinnamon, and notes of butterscotch on the palate, the Blood Oath Pact No. 8 is bolstered by the unique bourbons used by Rempe in its production. Additionally, one of the whiskies in the blend spent time in Calvados casks (from Normandy, France) before bottling, giving this limited-edition whiskey distinctive apple flavors, particularly in its finish.

Earning an 8.9 out of 10 rating from The Whiskey Consensus, as well as a superb 9.5 rating from Drinkhacker, there's little reason to doubt your potential enjoyment of this 98.6-proof liquor. With an average price of $336 for a 750-mL bottle as of November 2022 (via Wine-Searcher), it's not exactly a bargain buy. But as one of the best new bourbons released in 2022, you won't end up with buyer's remorse.

Booker's Bourbon The Lumberyard Batch

While any of the new bourbons released by Booker's this year could be worthy of inclusion, we're choosing to highlight the Lumberyard Batch released by the distillery in 2022. A seven-year-aged bourbon, the Lumberyard Batch contains whiskey aged in several different warehouses and appears to be a strong contender for the sweetest bourbon we're highlighting among the year's new releases

The scent of this bourbon is heavy on vanilla, and the sweetness doesn't stop at the aroma for Booker's Lumberyard Batch. According to Drinkhacker, the bourbon is so sweet, in fact, that it's somewhat reminiscent of a homemade baked good in both its scent and taste. This fits with the bourbon's 4 out of 5 barrel review from Breaking Bourbon, which described a pecan pie-type flavor found on the palate.

Earning a 9 out of 10 rating from Drinkhacker, as well, Booker's Lumberyard Batch is clearly no slouch among 2022 releases. With an average price of $166 for a 750-mL bottle as of November 2022 (via Wine-Searcher), the 124.8-proof bourbon is also one of the most affordable new bourbons on our list, as well.

Four Roses 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch

When it comes to blending bourbon batches before bottling, there's clearly a method to the madness. We may not be able to follow along entirely, but we trust the experts, including the folks behind Four Roses 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon. Featuring four different bourbons, each aged between 14 and 20 years, the 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch was one of the best new bourbons released during the year — and, quite possibly, the woodiest of all.

An initial wood-like scent is noted by the distillery, with Drinkhacker finding a charred-oak aroma almost instantly upon sampling. Slightly sweet vanilla notes can be found on the palate while drinking the 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch from Four Roses, as well, with all roads leading towards an oak-heavy finish.

Considering bourbon is always aged in new oak barrels (via Kentucky Tourism), that flavor profile is hardly unique. But with an A- grade from Whiskey Reviewer and an 8.5 out of 10 from Drinkhacker, it does help make this 109-proof whiskey one of the best new bourbons of 2022 — which was available for an average of $229 per 750-mL bottle as of November 2022 (via Wine-Searcher).

George T. Stagg 2022

A company declaring it cares more about the quality of its product than the quantity sold is easy. Of course, following through on that belief is far more challenging — but it's not impossible, as demonstrated by the Buffalo Trace Distillery in 2021. After all, while its annually-released George T. Stagg bourbon is widely acclaimed, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader, its 2022 version is the first since 2020 — because the distillery didn't believe its 2021 version was up to snuff.

In the eyes of bourbon connoisseurs, that anticipation after a year away certainly helps elevate the 2022 George T. Stagg release. While this year's version somewhat altered the expected flavor notes from past releases of the 15-years-and-counting-aged bourbon (via Breaking Bourbon), that didn't seem to diminish the enjoyment found in this sweet-scented, slightly vanilla-tasting whiskey.

The only real knock on the George T. Stagg 2022 is the price tag. With a jaw-dropping average price of $1749 for a 750-mL bottle as of November 2022 (via Wine-Searcher), it's not ideal for cash-strapped bourbon lovers. But considering it received a 4.5 out of 5 barrel rating from Breaking Bourbon, and was described by "Whiskey Bible" author Jim Murray as "one of the whiskeys of the year" (via Buffalo Trace Distillery), there's no doubt it's one of the best new bourbons released in 2022.

Heaven Hill Heritage Collection 17 Year Old Barrel Proof

It may not be old enough to vote (technically), but the 17 Year Old Barrel Proof bourbon from Heaven Hill Distillery is more than equipped to deliver for the seasoned bourbon drinker. The inaugural entry in the Heaven Hill Heritage Collection series (via Heaven Hill), this new release is actually a blended whiskey featuring both 19-year-aged and 20-year-aged bourbons alongside the 17-year-aged namesake. And with a 4.43 star user rating (out of 5) on Distiller as of November 2022, it's obvious that combination makes this one of the best new bourbons released in 2022.

The oak-scented, sweet-tasting product contains notes of caramel in the aroma, on the palate, and in its finish, according to Breaking Bourbon (which gave the limited-edition release a very favorable 4.5 out of 5 barrel rating). And, according to an A grade from Whiskey Reviewer, the light-yet-flavorful 118.2 proof blended whiskey is actually substantially better than the notoriously expensive Pappy Van Winkle brand.

The 17 Year Old Barrel Proof bourbon from Heaven Hill was released in March 2022, though its short supply means it may be hard to find at the recommended $275 price more than six months later. Consequently, if you're eager to obtain a 750-mL bottle, be prepared to pay up, as the average price was an unreal $1878 as of November 2022 (via Wine-Searcher).

King of Kentucky 2022 Edition

A bourbon billing itself as the King of Kentucky needs to back up that claim. After all, while not all bourbon is from Kentucky, as much as 95% of the whiskey is produced in the Bluegrass state (via Kentucky Tourism). Now, we can't say for certain whether the new King of Kentucky bourbon — released in 2022 by the Brown-Forman distillery (via Breaking Bourbon) — is bonafide royalty. But if nothing else, the 15-year-old whiskey brings the flavor and more than belongs on our list of best new bourbons in 2022.

Packing an extremely potent alcoholic punch, the 2022 King of Kentucky comes in at a whopping 130.6 proof — or a fairly astonishing 65.3% alcohol by volume — so you won't need more than a glass or two to feel the effects. But it's more than just a sky-high ABV that prompts this bourbon's inclusion on our list. The slightly sweet-scented whiskey received exemplary reviews from multiple critics, as well, with a 9.5 out of 10 rating from Drinkhacker, and a 4 out of 5 barrel rating from Breaking Bourbon.

With an average suggested cost of $250 (via the Lexington Herald-Leader), and only 3,500 bottles produced, the clock is ticking on anyone interested in the King of Kentucky 2022 edition. But if you're willing to make the trek to select stores in and around Kentucky, it seems clear you won't be disappointed with your purchase.

Knob Creek 15 Years 2022

As a subsidiary brand under the Beam Suntory corporate tent — the company that owns Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, and Booker's, among others — there's no denying Knob Creek has some distinct advantages over smaller distilleries. But just as Blue Moon's creative credentials aren't affected by its Molson Coors-owned status, the stature of Knob Creek's parent company doesn't stifle its artisanal capabilities. In fact, the whiskey brand is capable of rivaling any other bourbon brand, as demonstrated by the release of its 15-year-old bourbon in 2022 — one of the best new releases of the year.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Knob Creek's 15-year-old 2022 release is the coincidental path it took to the market. As Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe told Robb Report in 2022, the distillery simply had "leftover 15-year-old barrels" of aging bourbon, and "decided to do it as a limited release" rather than combine it with other whiskeys.

With a heavy dose of oak notes (in the scent, taste, and finish, according to The Whiskey Jug, which gave it a B+ grade), the 100-proof bourbon won't leave you disappointed. After garnering a 92 rating from Robb Report, as well, it's clear the Knob Creek 15 belongs on this list — and is worth the fairly reasonable $143 average price for a 750-mL bottle as of November 2022 (via Wine-Searcher). 

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond Bourbon Spring 2022

Not every U.S.-made whiskey meets the requirements to be labeled bottled-in-bond, which requires a liquor to be aged at least four years and bottled at a minimum of 100 proof (among other requirements). Of course, if a bourbon does meet these strict barriers for bottled-in-bond status, it may choose to advertise as much in its name — like the Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon released in 2022 (via Heaven Hill Distillery).

The ninth edition of the distillery's Bottled-in-Bond series, this 17-year-aged whiskey features an alluring scent, according to VinePair, and a number of spiced flavors on the palate (via Heaven Hill). Notes of aged oak are present in the aroma, on the palate, and in the finish, as well, according to a 4.5 (out of 5) "barrel" review from Breaking Bourbon.

Of course, if you're looking to add the Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 2022 edition to your bourbon collection, it won't be cheap. After all, as of November 2022, a 750-mL bottle of the 100-proof whiskey was being sold for $1,399.95 — demonstrating its monetary value as one of the best new bourbons released in 2022.

Old Forester 117 Series Whiskey Row Fire

Of all the newly-released bourbons from 2022, none tops the fascinating backstory of Old Forester's 117 Series Whiskey Row Fire. Created using barrels that survived the 2015 four-alarm fire on Whiskey Row in Louisville, Kentucky (via PR Newswire), it's not unreasonable to suspect this bourbon would have made our list no matter its quality. Luckily, though, no rule-bending was necessary, and the Whiskey Row Fire bourbon belongs among the best new releases of 2022.

Less smoky than you may imagine given its history, the Whiskey Row Fire features a wood-heavy aroma along with a notable undercurrent of cherries (via KY Supply Co). Notes of honey and vanilla are present on the palate in each sip, as well, with both flavors lingering in the bourbon's finish.

Earning a highly-respectable 9 out of 10 rating from Drinkhacker, this 100-proof limited-edition offering from Old Forester is worth a purchase — if you can get your hands on it. Frankly, though, very few places appear to have the bourbon in stock anymore, with only two retailers selling it as of November 2022 on Wine-Searcher. The 117 Series Whiskey Row Fire was undoubtedly one of the best new bourbons from 2022.

Russell's Reserve 13 Year Old Bourbon 2022

Like a number of other successful companies, Wild Turkey doesn't seem content solely with its signature product. Consequently, the distillery has released a number of limited-edition whiskeys through the years. This includes a series of small-batch bourbons created by the company's long-time father-and-son Master Distillers, Jimmy and Eddie Russell (via Russell's Reserve). Released under the label Russell's Reserve, these bourbons have developed a reputation for supreme quality since 2001 — a streak that continued with its 13 Year Old Bourbon released in 2022.

Containing a fruity and saccharine aroma (via Russell's Reserve), the 114.8-proof bourbon doesn't stop with its pleasant scent. The presence of fruit continues on the palate, and prominent notes of aged oak can be found in the finish, as well, according to Breaking Bourbon.

With a 4.5 out of 5 barrel rating from Breaking Bourbon (along with a 4.47 user rating on Distiller), it's hard to find fault with this premium small-batch bourbon from Wild Turkey. If you can spare around $591 — or the average cost per 750-mL bottle as of November 2022 (via Wine-Searcher) — you, too, can see why Russell's Reserve 13 Year Old was one of the best new bourbons from the year.

Woodford Reserve Honey Barrel Finish Distillery Series 2022

Few U.S. whiskey brands can match the popularity of Woodford Reserve. Not only was it the 9th best-selling whiskey brand in the U.S. in 2021, according to The Spirits Business, but it was also able to sell more than one million cases of its products for the first time that year. Given this positive track record, we expected Woodford Reserve to release some stellar products in 2022. And, lo and behold, the Honey Barrel Finish from its Distillery Series makes our list of the best new bourbons released during the year.

Of course, as you can probably guess, the Honey Barrel Finish bourbon was, well, finished in honey barrels before bottling (via Woodford Reserve). Consequently, fans of sweeter-tasting bourbons may be more inclined to enjoy this new release. But while the honey flavor is indeed noticeable in its scent and on the palate, it was far from overwhelming, according to Whiskey Consensus — which gave the bourbon an 8.4 out of 10 rating in its review.

Considering the often impeccable quality of Woodford Reserve whiskey, it's no surprise its Honey Barrel Finish was one of the best new bourbons released in 2022. And if you'd like to see why, as of November 2022, a 375-mL bottle of the 90.4 proof liquor was available for $221.99 (via Frootbat).