What bourbon to get at Systembolaget
A one-stop travel guide to bourbon in Sweden!
So I’ve been telling you about Systembolaget. When you want a bottle, this is where you have to go. So–what do you get?
There are two main ways of getting something at Systembolaget: The first is walking your happy self directly into the store and picking something off the shelf. Depending on how big your Systembolaget location is (they categorize their stores from A-E, offering between about 500 and 2000 articles in total) you have about six to ten different American whiskeys to choose from.
The second is ordering online. You can get it delivered to your home, which is a new thing, but that’s not really economical unless you’re ordering larger quantities (or I’m just cheap). For the most part, you order it online then it gets sent from a distributor and finally about a week later your order shows up for collection at the Systembolaget store of your choice. This way, you have about seventy more American whiskeys to choose from. Some really great ones too!
Everyone loves a good list, so I’ve compiled two. The first list is the ten best American whiskeys to buy at Systembolaget, including order assortment. After that comes the five best, ordinary assortment only.
If you’re from outside of Sweden, unless you’re getting something not available in the US, you probably won’t ever need this list. We don’t really have something someone else doesn’t. But fair is fair, and maybe this is of interest to you anyway. I’m including the bottle price converted to dollars (as of November 2016), that could be entertaining!
Ordinary + order assortment:
1. Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel ($75)
2. Four Roses Single Barrel ($43)
3. Blanton’s Gold ($60)
4. Michter’s Bourbon ($72)
5. Bulleit Bourbon ($35)
6. Woodford Reserve ($44)
7. Buffalo Trace ($41)
8. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel* ($55)
9. Knob Creek ($52)
10. Four Roses Yellow Label ($30)
Ordinary assortment only:
1. Blanton’s Gold ($60)
2. Bulleit bourbon ($35)
3. Woodford Reserve ($44)
4. Bulleit Rye** ($38)
5. Maker’s Mark ($44)
In full disclosure, I haven’t tried all of the American whiskeys available to order. Many because of unreasonable pricing, some because I simply haven’t gotten around yet. Maybe whiskeys 8–10 will change, but other than that, I’m confident in my choices.
* Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (and Old Nr. 7 for that matter) is in every meaning of the word a bourbon, just that the brand rather calls itself Tennessee Whiskey. The coal filtration is not mentioned as a deviation from the bourbon law yada yada yada.
** Bulleit Rye, however is not a bourbon, but rye is close enough in profile and production to include here.
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