Mixed Drinks – American XXX Born Bourbon Whiskey Manhattan

If you read my original review of American XXX Born you know I wasn’t a huge fan. American XXX Born scored a whopping 1 out of 100. When your drinking it neat or on the rocks this bourbon burns and I figured that I might be better off using this whiskey to clean guns and carburetors.

So why did I make a Manhattan out of a whiskey that got a score of 1?

The main reason is my wife. She yells at me that I have too many bottles in the cabinets, and doesn’t understand why I buy new bottles when I have thirty or forty in the “bar”. This is why I’ve been trying to drink some of my less than stellar bottles in the form of Manhattans, because Vermouth does wonders for crappy bourbon.

I figured I’d give American XXX Born a shot, and if it was horrible in a Manhattan, I’d pour it out to make room for something better.

My American XXX Born Manhattan was created using my normal to 2 to 1 ratio. When I took a sip, I expected my mouth and throat to burn, ready to pour the bottle down the drain. I hesitated, letting the sip flow over the back of my tongue before I swallowed it, quite surprised that I wasn’t feeling the urge to regurgitate.

When mixed into a Manhattan, American XXX Born gets a huge jump in score. I know you may look at this and say, what? It only got a 35, but that is a massive 34 point increase from where it was starting. That puts this American XXX Born Manhattan at the lower range of the “If I Had Limited Choices” category.

Am I going to buy another bottle? Hell no. But I will drink the rest of this one so I don’t feel like I just pissed the money away.


41.5% ABV


  • Saves the money you spent on a bottle that isn’t fit to drink neat/on the rocks.
  • Makes a cheap bourbon at least drinkable when mixed into a Manhattan.


  • Still has a little funky aftertaste on the back of the tongue.
  • Makes me think about cheap alcohol I drank at college parties.
Basil Hayden’s Manhattan95$30 / 750mlManhattan
Balcones Lineage Manhattan92$40 / 750mlManhattan
Knob Creek Small Batch Manhattan69$30 / 750mlManhattan
Redemption Bourbon Manhattan53$30 / 750mlManhattan
Breaker Manhattan35$55 / 750mlManhattan
American XXX Born Bourbon Whiskey Manhattan35$25 / 750mlManhattan

Whiskey Gifts – 10 oz Lowball YETI Rambler

I originally bought these Lowball YETI Ramblers so that my Manhattans wouldn’t sweat and leave a ring on furniture. I tried a few other brands which were quite frankly cheaper, but they didn’t hold up nearly as well. After a few cycles in the dishwasher those cheaper brands either left a metallic taste to whatever I put in the cup, or the vacuum seal broke and the cup would collect water inside the double walled layer. Either way they cost me more money than just starting with these Lowball YETI Ramblers.

I have replaced all the smaller cups in my pantry with them. Mostly because everyone else in my family loves how they keep cold drinks cold, and you guess it, hot drinks hot. For me, it is all about keeping the cold drinks cold. When I make a Manhattan I want the first sip and last sip to taste the same. That means I want it ice cold coming out of the shaker. With a regular glass that last sip is warm before I get to it, and if I use ice, the last sip is cold, but diluted.

Thankfully these Lowball YETI Ramblers are amazing at keeping cocktails cold.

They are also nearly indestructible. The original two Ramblers I started with are going strong and they’ve gone through hundreds of dishwasher cycles, been left out on the deck in the rain, and been taken all over the country on vacations. When it comes to the perfect Whiskey Gift, these Lowball YETI Ramblers are perfect for everyone from the expert whiskey drinker to the brand new novice.

  • Made from durable stainless steel.
  • Uses double-wall vacuum insulation.
  • Includes YETI MagSlider Lid.
  • YETI Ramblers are BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
  • No Sweat Design makes sure your hands and furniture stay dry.
  • Tough Duracoat coating on the colored tumblers won’t crack, peel or fade.
  • Ideal drinking companion at home or around the campsite.
  • Dimensions are: 4 1/8 inches high, 3 ½ inches in diameter.

Awesome Whiskey Gifts

Glencairn Whisky Glass SetMust Have100Under $60
Lowball YETI RamblerMust have99Under $20
Titanium Hip FlaskMust have98Under $50