Whiskey King of the Hill 001

Let’s start with a question. A simple question. What’s your favorite whiskey? Sure, it’s an easy answer…until you start thinking about what the occasion is. Do you have a favorite summer whiskey? Perhaps a favorite autumn, or winter whiskey? Maybe a bottle or two tucked away for special occasions. No matter how we looked at it, we couldn’t name just one–so we decided to stop trying to!

In an attempt to constantly appreciate great bottles, and to keep an open mind toward new or different bottles, we wanted to come up with a way to expand our ever-growing list of favorites. Starting with our two winners from the 2019 Bourbon Battle Royale we will expand into an evolving head-to-head series we’re calling our Whiskey King of the Hill.

Each month a new bottle will go head-to-head with the current reigning champion. In true Bourbon Finder fashion, though, this will only feature bottles we are able to find and buy. Having an outstanding sample sent your way is always fun (and by all means send us samples) but we started The Bourbon Finder to share our love for bourbon–combined with the angst of remaining on the prowl just to find the bottles you need. Because this is hobby of passion, we understand that choices on the “best” bottles will always be subjective.; hopefully, we’re able to express our love for bourbon and other whiskey in a format that is enjoyable and helps our readers keep an open mind about their whiskey. We use some aggressive titling and like to refer to blind tastings as battles, but in reality there is enough controversy in the whiskey world–we’re really about trying to highlight the positive side of this hobby and enjoy the juice as well as the experiences that come along with having a pour.

With that out of the way–let’s crack into the first Whiskey King of the Hill! Sam and I got together and did our 2019 Bourbon Battle Royale, and came away with two different overall winners. I chose the 2018 release of Van Winkle Special Reserve “Lot B”, and Sam chose my EH Taylor Single Barrel (which is undeniably an exceptional offering that stands apart from every other EHT SiB we’ve tried). We’ll be blind tasting these bottles head to head on three different occasions, and at the end of January we’ll crown our first King!

Round One: EHT SiB

Sam’s Verdict: Colonel EH Taylor Single Barrel

John’s Verdict: Colonel EH Taylor Single Barrel

Round Two: VW12

Sam’s Verdict: Van Winkle 12 “Lot B” (2018)

John’s Verdict: Van Winkle 12 “Lot B” (2018)

Round Three: VW12

Sam’s Verdict: Van Winkle 12 “Lot B” (2018)

John’s Verdict: Van Winkle 12 “Lot B” (2018)

King of the Hill 001: Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 Year (Lot B) – 2018

Well this was a total slugfest! In split decision the Van Winkle 12 has taken the victory, and reigns as King of the Hill to begin 2020; however, as this bottle is nearly gone, it will likely only survive one more head-to-head battle. That poses an interesting angle to the next Whiskey King of the Hill!

We’re officially on the hunt for February’s contender. Who will take on the King in a head-to-head blind battle? Let us know what you think in the comments, or hit us up on Twitter or Instagram. Until next time…long may he reign!

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