Eagle Rare Wins Sip’s Fan-Voted Bourbon Bracket (Here’s Why)

Eagle Rare Wins Sip's Fan Voted Bourbon Bracket

(photos by Brandon Chesbro: Outsider)

Sip Outsider pitted 32 of biggest names in bourbon against each other in a fan-voted best-bottle bracket. After thousands of votes were cast via Instagram and Twitter, one bottle emerged victorious: Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon.

During its championship run, Eagle Rare defeated Bulleit, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Col. E.H. Taylor, and Blanton’s. Not exactly lightweights. So what is it about the Eagle that makes it such a fan favorite?

Let’s get sipping to see why the Eagle soars.

Eagle Rare: At a Glance

  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
  • Location: Frankfort, KY
  • Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Age: 10 Years
  • Proof: 90
  • MSRP: $35 (but Eagle routinely costs $50+)
  • Website | Instagram | Twitter

The nose on Eagle Rare opens like a bouquet of in-season fruit blossoms, with plenty of sweet cherry, pear, and apricot. There’s nary a hint of ethanol. Instead, it’s just the mellow sweetness of fruit with a touch of caramel and light oak. Initially, the palate follows suit with notes of fruit (mainly cherry), oak, and light brown sugar. A little bit of chewing reveals a touch of white pepper and piney citrus, which, together with the aforementioned cherry and brown sugar, evokes an herbal fruit tea. Enjoyable, to say the least.

And really, my only quibble is the fleeting finish, which doesn’t give you much time to discern or relish the modicum of light cinnamon heat and raw almond. Instead, it immediately beckons you to sip again and again. Of course, that’s not a bad predicament with a full bottle on hand.

Is this bottle overly complex? Nah. But it’s even-steven. And there’s something to be said for that, especially in a room full of guests with varying palates from newbie to expert. Many times, even-steven wins the day (or night). In the case of Sip Outsider’s bourbon bracket, even-steven wins the month. Congrats, Eagle. And thanks for voting.

32 Bottle Bracket (click the bourbon below for Sip Reviews)

  1. Col. E.H. Taylor Small Batch
  2. Old Grand-Dad 114
  3. Stagg Jr.
  4. Crown Royal
  5. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof
  6. Redwood Empire Lost Monarch
  7. High West Double Rye
  8. 1792 Small Batch
  9. Old Elk Wheated
  10. Willett Pot Still
  11. Henry McKenna
  12. Woodford Reserve
  13. Garrison Brothers Small Batch
  14. New Riff Rye
  15. Four Roses Single Barrel
  16. George Dickel 8 Year
  17. Old Forester 1910
  18. Maker’s Mark Special Reserve
  19. Wild Turkey Rare Breed
  20. Buffalo Trace
  21. Eagle Rare
  22. Bulleit Rye
  23. Bourbon Company Original
  24. WhistlePig PiggyBack 6
  25. Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered
  26. Benchmark Full Proof
  27. Elijah Craig Small Batch
  28. Larceny Barrel Proof
  29. Blanton’s Single Barrel
  30. Basil Hayden
  31. Weller Special Reserve
  32. Blue Note Uncut