Dec 03

Ten High Bourbon – Review

Ten High BourbonTen High Kentucky Straight Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey

80 Proof

Price Point: $10 – $15 for 750 ML

Distiller: Barton Distilling Company



All of the whiskeys I have reviewed thus far have been shown in a favorable light.  Frankly speaking, it’s not easy to find a whiskey that I will not enjoy in one capacity or another.  I guess it’s a curse; a wonderful curse.

Ten High will most likely rank at the bottom of my reviews at it is probably the lowest quality whiskey I have ever tasted.  However, it’s still whiskey, and I can still fight through it and enjoy it.



The nose of Ten High is offensive.  Yes, that’s a harsh assessment, but I have pledged to be completely open and honest in this blog, and that’s just how I feel.  You’re really not smelling a bourbon, but a cheap, flavorless, well spirit.  It might as well be a vodka with brown food coloring.  It almost has the aroma of ammonia (try saying that 10 times fast!).

The taste isn’t much better.  Drinking it neat, as I always do for my reviews, Ten High repels rather than invites.  After a couple of seconds in your mouth, the flavor shows up a little, but not all that much.  It’s similar to other basic bourbons, such as Benchmark, but definitely missing a lot of those elements.

The aftertaste is nothing to get excited about.


Rating & Recommendations

Okay, so the moment of truth awaits; the rating.  At my lowest rating ever, I give Ten High a 52 out of 100.

After this review, if you still find the need to drink Ten High, or god forbid buy a bottle for yourself, drink it with a mixer.  No need to drink this stuff in the fashion of an Eagle Rare or Booker’s; clearly you are either on a budget or out of options at a friend’s house.

Do me a favor and don’t waste your time with Ten High.  Although it’s still technically a whiskey, you can find much better offerings for only a couple bucks more.




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  1. Richard Le Tempt

    I bought 2 cases of Ten High Kentucky Whiskey and it does not taste the same, I have been drinking it for years, wondered if you changed how you make it. Richard Le Tempt

  2. Joe

    I got an empty case for Johnnie Walker Blue from work, and I bought a bottle of Ten High to put in. For no other reason than it was the cheapest bottle that would snap in place at the liquor store I went to. I’m giving it to my uncle for Christmas tomorrow, nice to see if picked out an especially bad brand to really hit him in the gut.

  3. Hendoman

    I have been drinking Ten High for years. I agree with the review but it is in my budget, when i can afford it I drink 10 year old Speymore single malt. I have never likeked Jack Daniels or blended Scotch. Hendoman

  4. Count Scrofula

    I love Ten High. Consumer Reports turned me on to it in the late Sixties. It’s a fine Sour Mash and reminds my mouth of my youth.

    Ct. Scrofula

  5. Tony Burrows

    Had to tell you Ive been a fan for years but lately your bourbon has changed in taste to the point I cant enjoy it anymore, why the change it is a harsh flavor that leaves a bad taste.

  6. Andy

    I’ve had much worse booze than Ten High, been drinking it for years.

  7. neal vaughn

    I bought a 5th of ten high recently & tasted like dish water was mixed in with it. Not good at all. I dumped it.

  8. Dave Erickson

    We love 10 High and the price. The family goes through 1 to 2 bottles a week. But the new design 1.75 L bottle without the hand grip spots is harder to pour from when you’re in the 80’s with arthritic hands. Wish they’d bring the old one back. Am glad they at least kept using plastic at least, lighter weight and should it be dropped it won’t break. I drink Manhattans and it blends beautifully with a wee bit of sweet vermouth. Gallo is best.

  9. bob

    There’s no high like a Ten High

  10. Tony

    lately the taste has changed not happy they have done something different

    1. JJ

      The first time I tried this was in January, 2016. It was not very good but made a decent whiskey sour. The bottle was labeled Sour Mash Kentucky Bourbon with added flavors.

      When I bought another bottle yesterday, it had a very different smell and a horrible taste. I looked at the main label and while at appeared nearly the same overall as the last bottle, it did not mentioned the added flavors. The label in the neck showed it to contain 51% bourbon and 49% grain neutral spirits. In other words, the standard cheap “American” whiskey. There was no similar label on the first bottle. I am going to try to take it back.

    2. Kenneth Hipp

      i have been drinking Ten High for 30 years and all of a sudden the taste has changed not good at all when it shows Ten High Blend it is good but Ten High with flavoring or what ever it is is not good Just go back to the Ten High Blend
      KH Midlothian Va.

  11. DrBourbonstein

    So, Ten High isn’t good bourbon on its own, but as a mixer bourbon, it’s fine. Just add cola, or ginger ale, or seven up and it’s fine. It’s the grain vodka of the whiskey world. No reason to make it more than what it is. It’s a mixer. Do not drink it straight. Look, I like a good Weller, Laphroaig, Willett as much as the next person, but sometimes, you just want a good buzz. This does the job, and does so without busting the bank. And, as with just about anything else, it’s far and away better than Jim Beam. F*** that brown turpentine swill.

    1. Bruce

      I bought this for a steak marinade recipe..
      Was awesome..I don’t drink bourbon anyways so the price was perfect..

  12. J Wha

    I was in the back of a deuce and a half in nam returning to base. someone pulled out a bottle of ten high and passed it around with the chant NO ONE PASSES… I had been drinking beer all day and begged off so the chant began,,,, NO ONE PASSES…. so i took a gulp of this vile liquid and felt it go all the way down and hit my gut and immediately start back up… I stood up trying to maneuver ove the side but hit hte blow out point head on with the wind and spewed bar all over everyone in the truck…. in a bout 3 seconds everyone started barfing.. i think i woudl rather drink urine squeezed out of a flop hose mattress then drink TEN HIGH… all due respects… I told my son in law this story and i bought him a bottle of Woodford reserve distillers select and my son a bottle of Angels Envy… My soninlaw got me a bottle of TEN HIGH which i took ashot of and felt like i was back in nam… Ithit me like the flop house urine followed by a strong rancid vomit taste… ENJOY hahahaha

  13. Mark

    I enjoy trying bottom shelf bourbons. Recently purchased a bottle of 10 High Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. I thought it had very little flavor for a bourbon. After doing a little research, found that it is only 51% bourbon. I forgot to verify the label said STRAIGHT bourbon whiskey.

  14. Carrol

    I still like the Bourbon and like the price but I can’t open the bottles anymore! I have been purchasing from the same store for a long time that has the lowest price. All of a sudden the bottles won’t open. it is like they have been super glued shut. Desperately I have use all kinds of devices to open the bottle. I ruined 2 of my good quality knifes taking the lid apart piece by piece from the bottom up. I thought maybe it was just a bad batch but after several weeks it is the same old problem

    Can you tell me why this has happened? I can, of course, choose another cheap brand but I would prefer to simply be able to open the bottle.

  15. Betty Smith

    I live in Missouri. I always buy Ten High at one of two places. one time I bought one in another state & it tasted nasty. Just like soapy water. After checking there are two blends. One says “A Blend” the good one. Ther other says “With Natural Flavors” NASTY. I just bought (2) 1.75 bottles from Walmart. I did’nt check before I bought, but apperantly they have switched to the nasty blend with no warning to consumers. I want my money back. I have my recipe. If all stores go to the nasty blend we will be switching brands REAL QUICK

  16. George Dill

    I have been drinking ten high fir over20 years I would like to know what happen the taste is not the same it is like Chocolate smell and taste this is not right we pay good money for this and to me this is like HORSE PEE.

  17. Mark Rhodes

    My wife’s family has been drinking 10 High for probably 40 years. 26 years ago, after our marriage, I got hooked.
    All of a sudden there’s a big diffence in the the taste of what’s in the liter and what’s in the 1.75. The liter was the good old recipe of old. Now the 1.75 is sweeter and definitely not the same. What are you suits doing. More bottom line bull. trying to screw with a proven formula that has a following.
    I’m getting tired of going to 3 or 4 liquor stores to find the liter in stock. What are you experts doing to screw this up.
    I agree with George Dill and Betty Smith. Get rid of this Master (so called) Distiller who’s browm nosing the suits.

  18. Steve o

    Ten high is poison. I would not even put it in my gas tank

  19. Yoleberry

    I would love to visit the distillery that makes ten high. It is a poor quality whiskey.just would like to view the process. Save your money and for a few dollars more get a fair to good whiskey. I prefer Evan Williams. It is the Best Buy for the money out there.

  20. lauretta j

    I have been buying ten high for 30 years, don’t know what you have done to it but it’s awful now. spend my money just to throw it down the drain.can’t afford to keep doing this and I hate to change,

  21. Bourbon lover

    Old Crow is far superior for just a couple more bucks. Straight bourbon whiskey with no “grain neutral spirits”. 10 high is a mixer only, in fact it is a bourbon cocktail of straight bourbon and vodka, but, because it is 51% corn whiskey can be called bourbon.

  22. elden landolt

    I have to agree with some of the people here, I have been drinking 10 high for years and years and It now tastes like ?@#@?t. I have another 1.75 bottle and when that is gone, I will be switching to something that tastes like bourbon. If you can’t keep quality control then you need to fire some ones ass before your company goes down the toilet. I have been drinking 10 high since Vietnam and this stuff is shit. You have lost me as a customer. x loyal customer

  23. Jeff Cook

    I drink 10 high and have for years. It is not meant for drinking straight without a mixer. If you prefer on the rocks whiskey then spend the money for it. If you intend to cut your whiskey with a mixer then 10 high is a good value. Once a person adds a mixer the quality of whiskey matters little.


    Been drinking 10 High as the base for Manhattans for 20 years. Wish it did taste a little better but, as a mixer it does just fine for theprice. Being on a fixed income, you go with what you can afford. If Sour Mash was any more expensive I would be sober.
    Work on the last you folks at 10 High………PLEASE!

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