14 Best Flavored Bourbons Of All Time Ranked

You may have heard the adage, "All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon." Before you take another sip of bourbon, we'll break it down for you: Basically, whiskey can only be classified as bourbon if distillers follow strict rules. According to the Distilled Spirits Beverage Alcohol Manual, bourbon must be fermented with a mix that contains at least 51% corn; it has to be distilled at an ABV of 80 (160 proof); and most iconically, it has to be aged in new, never before used charred oak barrels. And while most bourbon is made in Kentucky, it's not actually a requirement that bourbon is distilled in that state (via Dana McMahan of the Courier-Journal).

So with the rise in popularity of flavored whiskeys and bourbons, here is a shocking truth: Bourbon cannot contain added flavorings and still be considered bourbon (via TTB.gov.) So there's some debate as to whether or not these bourbons mixed with flavoring or liqueurs should be marketed as bourbon. But for the sake of ease, and because the last thing we need is another brain teaser when all we want to do is drink delicious spirits, let's just say the following flavored-whiskeys-that-were-once-bourbon are the best out there.

14. Old Forester Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is a cocktail that is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. A refreshing blend of bourbon, simple syrup, and fresh mint, it's traditionally served over a heaping mound of crushed ice. It's a basic cocktail that Old Forester Mint Julep makes even simpler. This flavored bourbon is actually a 60-proof premixed cocktail with a bourbon base, meant to be poured directly over shaved ice.

While some reviews compare the minty flavor of this bourbon to toothpaste, overall it seems to really hold its own. According to Paste Magazine, it tends to run sweet, thanks to the simple syrup, but once poured over ice, the water dilutes the flavor and it's far more palatable. In fact, in a blind Mint Julep taste test over on BreakingBourbon.com, the Old Forester Mint Julep came in second place, second only to an actual Mint Julep made by hand with straight bourbon. Seems like Old Forester Mint Julep makes for the perfect addition next time you're throwing a Kentucky Derby party, or just don't feel like messing with fresh mint or simple syrup.

13. FEW Cold Cut Cold Brew Coffee flavored bourbon whiskey

If you love Irish coffee, then you already know that whiskey and coffee work well together. So thankfully the makers of FEW bourbon leaned into this when they created FEW Cold Cut Cold Brew Coffee flavored bourbon whiskey, which is a blend of their straight FEW bourbon diluted with cold brew coffee instead of water. The result is a drinkable, subtle, and delicious bourbon that will please coffee lovers and coffee-phobes alike.

The bourbon benefits from cold-brewed coffee, which is less acidic and astringent than hot coffee, making for a smoother flavor. The coffee flavor isn't too strong and tends to linger more on the finish (via Whiskey Reviewer). According to Wine Magazine, it has tasting notes of mocha and peanut butter that lead to a peppery taste at the end. Mix it in a cocktail or sip it straight, this is a lightly flavored bourbon that deserves a spot in your home bar.

12. Old Camp Peach and Pecan Whiskey

Florida Georgia Line isn't just known for pop-infused country music with rap and hip-hop undertones. Award-winning duo Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley (BK) are also owners and founders of whiskey distillery Old Camp. That being said, Old Camp's original peach- and pecan-flavored whiskey contains all the smells and flavors you would find around a backyard bonfire — minus the homemade crockpot moonshine. You can mix it with cranberry juice, Sprite, or ginger ale for a sweet yet refreshing cocktail, or drink it straight for a smooth-tasting experience.

This is technically a whiskey, but it's too tasty for us to skip. Unlike other peach-flavored whiskeys from brands like Evan Williams, it has a very aromatic nose with heavy notes of roasted pecans, peaches, and just general sweetness. The Whiskey Wash expressed that the pecan hints were lost in the peach flavor and even found notes of watermelon candy in this full-bodied whiskey. Another review in Drink Hacker discovered flavors like bananas, brown sugar, and maple, but wanted more of that pecan essence to show through. Even though this flavored whiskey was described as an upscale peach-flavored Southern Comfort, there is nothing wrong with the classics.

11. Jim Beam Red Stag Bourbon

Jim Beam is a well-known name in the whiskey world for making good booze at a good price. And their cherry-flavored Red Stag Bourbon has been around since 2009, according to Liquor.com, making it one of the first flavored whiskeys on the market. Now, to be clear, Jim Beam Red Stag Bourbon is polarizing. While it sells well, people either love it or hate it. For one thing, like many flavored bourbons, it's technically not a bourbon, but a black cherry liqueur infused with bourbon. So if you're a bourbon purist, well, you're probably not drinking flavored bourbons anyway.

But for the Red Stag fans out there (and according to the almost 1,200 positive reviews on Influenster, the legion of Red Stag fans is thriving), this cherry bourbon is the perfect blend of the sweet, dark cherry liquor with the oaky, vanilla taste of Jim Beam bourbon. According to The Spruce Eats, the black cherry helps to cut down on the medicinal, too-sweet taste that can happen with maraschino-based liqueurs. Jim Beam Red Stag is great in a cocktail mixer, to make a cherry-flavored old fashioned, or according to Influenster, tastes great mixed right in with some Dr. Pepper.

10. Jim Beam Kentucky Fire Bourbon Whiskey

Even people who aren't fans of flavored whiskey have heard of Fireball, the omnipresent cinnamon-flavored whiskey that took the world by storm when it hit the market. Jim Beam was definitely riding on Fireball's coattails when it rolled out this flavored bourbon, but it seems that Fireball walked so that Kentucky Fire Bourbon could run. While Fireball is known for its mouth-burning, intense cinnamon heat, Jim Beam's version is a straight bourbon whiskey blended with cinnamon liqueur. The end result is a more bourbon-forward taste with a strong but not too dominating cinnamon-candy flavor, which comes through after a beat (via Drink Hacker).

Fireball may be the most recognizable cinnamon whiskey out there, but Jim Beam's version has been topping the charts. The Spruce Eats named it the best cinnamon-flavored whiskey, Wine Enthusiast bestowed it with a 90-point rating, and cinnamon-whiskey enthusiasts over at Influenster gave it mostly glowing reviews. So if you're looking for a spicy bourbon that won't leave your mouth numb, this is the bottle to buy.

9. Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

Okay, so technically this doesn't contain bourbon, but we had to make just one exception for this beloved flavored whiskey. Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey was one of the first of its kind and has won so many awards, it has earned its place on this list. After all, this peanut buttery booze won "Best Flavored Whiskey" at the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition in 2019 (via the New York Daily News). And Tastings.com gave it 93 points, awarding it a gold medal and rating it Exceptional. The site describes this drink as a whiskey with "flavors of Butterfinger bar, honey-roasted peanuts, and peanut butter cups." A dessert in a glass!

Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey was developed by the couple who used to own OB Noodle Bar in San Diego, California, according to Forbes. This flavored spirit was born when they started mixing a peanut butter-flavored whiskey shot, and the customers couldn't get enough. Now anyone can enjoy this 70-proof whiskey mixed with actual peanut butter for roughly $20 a bottle.

8. Southern Tier Pumking Pumpkin Whiskey

The pumpkin-spiced everything craze starts to hit the first day of September. From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin pie, donuts, and even beer, it's hard to escape the pumpkin-mania. That being said, you have probably never had pumpkin like Southern Tier's Pumking pumpkin-flavored whiskey. In addition to its Pumking ale, Southern Tier's pumpkin whiskey is quite literally "a pumpkin pie in a ... shot glass" with all the intense infusions of cinnamon, cardamom, buttercream, and flaky pie crust (via Brewbound).

This is not technically bourbon, but it is surprisingly versatile despite its pungent flavors. Southern Tier Distilling Company's recipes using its iconic pumpkin mix range from a riff on a White Russian to a pumpkin-flavored martini or fall-flavored Kentucky Mule. However, Beer Street Journal loves drinking this whiskey straight from the bottle, explaining that even the smell is something right out of a bakery. It is smooth and sweet without the artificial pumpkin pie flavor, making it worth the hangover and potential sugar high.

7. Wild Turkey American Honey Sting

There are plenty of honey-flavored whiskeys out there. But Wild Turkey American Honey Sting is a honey-flavored bourbon with a twist. According to its website, the Wild Turkey distillers have kicked it up a notch by adding ghost pepper. The end result is like if honey-whiskey and Fireball had a higher-end, bourbon-based baby. No wonder Men's Journal rated it as one of the best flavored whiskeys!

If drinking bourbon spiked with ghost pepper doesn't sound fun to you, have no fear. Reviews make it clear they didn't go overboard on heat (via Drink Hacker); the predominant flavor is sweet honey, oak, and vanilla bourbon, with just the slightest hint of heat sneaking up in the finish. At only $22 a bottle, the price won't sting either. So if you're sick of all the sweet flavored bourbons out there, be sure to give this spicy variety a try.

6. Brown Sugar Bourbon Whiskey

Formerly known as Heritage Distilling Co., Brown Sugar Bourbon got a facelift and a rebrand when it was purchased by actor Jamie Foxx, who is such a big fan of this brown sugar and cinnamon-flavored bourbon that he just had to get involved. Made for shooting, sipping, or mixing in cocktails, it's easy to see how the flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon would blend well with the oaky, vanilla, caramel notes in bourbon.

Brown Sugar Bourbon was awarded "World's Best Flavored Whiskey" for two years by Whisky Magazine. Tastings.com gave it a silver medal and highly recommends it, and a reviewer over at Bachelor on the Cheap raved about the brown sugar-flavored booze, saying it was reminiscent of warm French toast in the mornings. It's 60 proof, and at only $20 a bottle, it won't break the bank. Overall, this is a great dessert whiskey.

5. Ballotin Peanut Butter Chocolate

If you're that person who dug through every trick-or-treat bag to find the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, then this is the whiskey for you. (Assuming you are not still a child. If you're under 21, please just stick with candy for now.) Ballotin is a Kentucky-based bourbon distillery that has taken the genius step of blending not one but TWO flavors into its whiskey: peanut butter and chocolate. As we know, both flavors mix well with bourbon on their own, but together? They sing.

According to Good Spirit News, the peanut butter and chocolate flavors are present but don't overwhelm the whiskey flavor, which is a good thing. This means it tastes great on its own, mixed into a cocktail, or in a cup of coffee. Bachelor on the Cheap gave it five out of five stars, praising its Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Butterfinger flavors, with a smooth whiskey finish keeping it from being too sweet or cloying. In other words, it's the perfect drink for anyone who has aged out of trick-or-treating but still wants a little sweetness in their life.

4. Cask & Crew Ginger Spice Whiskey

Kentucky mules will never be the same again, thanks to Cask & Crew's ginger, spice, and everything nice whiskey. This blended Canadian and American whiskey is enhanced with natural citrus and ginger extracts to help bring out the whiskey's natural oaky and earthy flavors. On the nose, it has a very heavy freshly-grated ginger smell with lemon zest and a refreshing yet earthy finish.

A review in Drink Hacker found the original Cask & Crew rye whiskey had hints of maple and brown sugar with the heaviness of popcorn and cola. It seemed to be a good mixer but was not as aged as its other whiskey counterparts, giving it less dimension. Compared to the original and walnut toffee-flavored whiskey, the ginger-spiced Cask & Crew whiskey is ranked the best of the bunch — even if it's technically a whiskey, not a bourbon. It's similar to a ginger liqueur as opposed to a ginger whiskey, boasting a fruit-forward finish with hints of pineapple, peach, and even vanilla. It may not have the whiskey kick, but it's perfect for mixing or sipping for whiskey lovers and haters alike.

3. Heritage Distilling Cocoa Bomb Chocolate Whiskey

We have heard of love bombing, but hot chocolate bombing is the alternative we prefer to savor. Heritage Distilling Company's Cocoa Bomb chocolate whiskey is one of the best flavored whiskeys out there, naturally flavored with notes of chocolate, vanilla, and marshmallows, tasting like drinkable s'mores. It's the adult hot cocoa experience we have been needing and craving, without that artificial fake chocolate flavor.

Not only is it delicious on its own, but it makes a wonderful base for a uniquely flavored old fashioned, hot toddy, or even a chocolate martini. Good Spirit News tried the chocolate-flavored whiskey and found that the flavor was more like Cocoa Puffs cereal and less like hot chocolate, which was a pleasant and boozy alternative to your favorite childhood breakfast. While not technically a bourbon, it still maintains those oak or vanilla whiskey characteristics instead of becoming a flavored whiskey liqueur. It's a flavored whiskey that you can enjoy regularly or occasionally in many ways without that dreaded sugar crash.

2. Garrison Brothers HoneyDew Texas Honey Bourbon

At around $80 a bottle, this certainly isn't one of the cheaper bourbons on our list, but it is worth the price. This honey bourbon is so good that it has even won over some flavored-whiskey averse drinkers (per a Whisky Monster review). And the price tag is steep for a reason; the distillers at Garrison Brothers soak used bourbon barrels in honey and then place those honey-infused barrels in steel tanks full of their straight bourbon, where they age for another seven months (via Garrison Brothers). The result is a delicious bourbon that is literally infused with Texas Wildflower Honey.

By all accounts, Garrison Brothers HoneyDew is not overly sweet, and the bourbon flavor really shines through. The honey flavor is prominent, followed by caramel and charred oak. According to the Whisky Monster review, it has a floral finish, likely due to that real wildflower honey so meticulously infused. While this bourbon is a splurge, some things are worth the wait, and the cost. And Garrison Brothers HoneyDew Texas Honey Bourbon is definitely worth both.

1. Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon

Knob Creek has earned its keep as a well-respected bourbon amongst the (sometimes snobby) bourbon drinkers out there. So when the company also got into the flavored whiskey game, it's safe to say that many bourbonites were likely expecting to be disappointed. Luckily, Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon is a flavored bourbon that actually tastes like bourbon, but with just a slight flavor enhancement (via Men's Journal).

The reviewer over at Bourbon Blog, Tom Fischer, is one of those clear anti-flavored whiskey drinkers who was won over by Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon. He reports that the smoky flavor is subtle and not overpowering, helps to counter the maple, and keeps it from being too sweet. While these purists just wanted more bourbon, Intoxicology reviewers agreed that it's delicious enough to stand all on its own, or as part of a cocktail. And any flavored bourbon that can convert the skeptics is a winner in our book.