Devin doesn't usually drink Bourbon, so I had him try two very good bourbons: Elijah Craig Small Batch Barrel Proof C17 and Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch.
Colonel E.H. Taylor
This my benchmark for good bourbon. It smells like a good bourbon, and tastes like you would expect a good bourbon to taste. It's bright, fruity, and a little sweet with good multidimensional flavors and very easy to like. I brought it to a family Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved it. We would recommend not adding any water because it's already so great straight out of the bottle.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Barrel Proof C17
This one is a little more complicated. At 131 proof, we found it a bit harsh when drinking it neat. However, after adding water, it lost a bit of flavor. It seems to be very difficult to add the correct amount of water to this one, so it just becomes too much of a chore to drink. Given that the price is now inflated from the Whisky Advocate whisky of the year award, we recommend the Colonel E.H. Taylor small batch over the Elijah Craig, at least until the price for the Eljah Craig comes back down.