I love it -- I really do!
I would not deign to suggest to any of you long-time single malt aficianados what label is 'best'. In exchange, I agree not to pay any attention to what you have to say about bourbon.
In a for-whatever-it's-worth vein -- here are my bona fides:
- I've bent an elbow with most of the current bourbon master distillers, while discussing their product;
- I believe I have tasted at least 90% of current bourbon brands, and many historical ones, dating as far back as 1899;
- I've traded bottles with Julian Van Winkle III, whose bottling are admired by many;
- I've helped select at least 10 single-barrel bottlings for various entities or groups, including myself.
My list of 'best' bourbons might proceed as thus:
For consistent high flavor quality, opt for Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (rye-recipe) or Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20yo (wheat).
For utter value, Old Weller Antique 107 Brand (107 proof, too; wheated), and Evan Williams black-label (rye).
I've excluded 'special', one-time or annual bottlings. Of these, if I could justify it by availability, I'd include ALL of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection barrel-proof offerings: G.T. Stagg (which I think is very fine, but something of a 'flavor of the month'), Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye, and William Larue Weller. Lots of luck finding them. I'm lucky to live in a location -- and have a relationship with a retailer -- that allows me to pluck them each year; Parker's Heritage Collection #1, released this Fall by Heaven Hill; Early Pappy 23yo (1999 or 2003 releases) -- the latter ones are over-oaked; Willett #1 22yo Single-Barrel (as in, ONE barrel, folks) rye; the defunct Wild Turkey 12yo; non-U.S. current WT 8yo; Evan Williams 15yo (the best bourbon Heaven Hill bottles).
The very best bourbons I've every tasted no longer exist, but have a commonality: they came from the shuttered Stitzel-Weller (later, Old Fitzgerald) Distillery, once operated by Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle -- Very Old Fitzgerald 8yo Bottled In Bond (pick the year), and W.L. Weller 8yo Special Reserve BIB (1940-distilled, bottled in 1948). The only current Stitzel-Weller bourbons are the Pappy 20 and 23. No shame in seeking them out in a qualilty-history daily double.