The year isn’t close to over yet, but there are already some great bourbons on the market, and in contention for best bourbon of the year. The first bourbon season of 2020 has offered some incredible frontrunners, from the likes of Heaven Hill, Angel’s Envy, and Bulleit.
The seasonality of bourbon releases actually has some legal heritage. Bourbon releases tend to have two peak seasons throughout the year, one in spring and one in the late fall. These coincide with the two official seasons of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, which established some of the first quality controls for the American whiskey industry. Most whiskeys don’t meet the bottled-in-bond requirements these days, as new blending and labeling conventions have taken over, but the release calendars nevertheless haven’t deviated much in the last 120 years.