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25 Best Bourbons For The Money in 2024 (Review & Guide)

Best Bourbons For The Money

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The strict set of characteristics that regulate the quality and taste of bourbon sets bourbon apart from other types of whiskeys.

As a result, getting a bad bottle is absurd, so it can be challenging to determine which ones are bang for your buck.

Fortunately, we found numerous gems that stand out on the long list of the best bourbon for the money. Keep reading.

Top 25 Bourbons That Won’t Break Your Bank 

1. Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101 on desk, best bourbon for the money

Average Price: Roughly $26.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50.5%

Why We Like It: 

Wild Turkey is made of 75% corn and 13% rye with 12% barley. These grains helped with the complex flavor of this bourbon.

We find it a really good sipper with the not-so-sweet flavors. The taste is well-balanced from aroma to finish.

The notes of toffee, vanilla, and caramel flavors with strong hints of barrel spice are evident in every sip.

Read: Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon vs Rare Breed

2. Hirsch Selected Whiskeys The Horizon

Hirsch on desk

Average Price: Roughly $39.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Hirsch’s The Horizon is made of the traditional blend of corn, rye, and barley mash bill. The flavors incorporated during its four years of aging are interestingly delicious.

It holds enough choco-like sweetness that has gathered toasted oak flavors. It is great to sit and sip and holds the port even when mixed in cocktails.

It has well-balanced tasting notes of cinnamon, vanilla, rye spice, and toasted oak. It also has hints of cornbread, spice cake, and honeyed biscuits.

3. 1792 Small Batch

1792 Small Batch on desk

Average Price: Roughly $25.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Barton 1792 bottled in bond bourbon, is a high rye mash bill bourbon that offers complex flavors.

For eight years, the distillery aged this bourbon in new charred oak barrels intended to come out sophisticated and complex.

Rye spice is evident on the nose and palate, followed by caramel notes and sweet vanilla. It has a balanced sweet and spicy blend with dark chocolate burst. 

Also, it has rounded notes of cinnamon with banana, delicious créme brûlée, and toffee. As it finishes, peppery flavors reappear.

4. Smoke Wagon

Smoke Wagon on desk with glass and ice

Average Price: Roughly $33.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46.25%

Why We Like It:

This Smoke Wagon bottle is tricky to find regardless of being an entry-level bourbon.

It has an interesting viscosity that feels full in the mouth but not heavy. It has that level of creaminess that is pleasing.

The smell brings raw rye grainy smell with a bit of citrus, nuts, and oak. It tastes like corn cereals swimming in caramel and vanilla. 

The scent of young rye grain greets the nose with a hint of caramel, citrus, and toasted nuts.

The palate has the same flavors but fuller notes with fruit, pepper, and charred oak. 

5. Eagle Rare

Eagle Rare on table with glass

Average Price: Roughly $49.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Eagle Rare is one of the hardest bottles of bourbon to find. This small-batch piece is a low-rye bourbon whiskey with a very complex flavor.

We enjoy the marriage of strong and light flavors and sweet and spicy notes. It brings you traditional bourbon feels each time you take a sip.

It is not the best Kentucky bourbon, but this is a good bourbon for your money.

Eagle Rare has hints of herbs, orange peel, toffee, leather, and oak scent. It has full and bold oak flavors with almonds, nougat, and cocoa.

Also, it has undertones of earthy mushrooms and grass with a lingering dry finish.

Read: Our Favorite High-End Bourbons

6. Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Buffalo Trace with blood moon sour cocktail on desk

Average Price: Roughly $24.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

We liked the leveled sweetness with surprises on the sides when sipping a bottle of Buffalo Trace. It can be because they use low rye as their mash bill, blended with corn and barley.

The tasting notes changes, but the level of sweetness remains on the same part without being overwhelming.

It is one of the best-selling bourbons that you can enjoy neat regardless of the time of the day. 

The BT juice has a pleasant scent of vanilla, mint, and butterscotch.

To the mouth, it has a nice blend of pumpkin pie, brown sugar, caramel popcorn, and just enough spice with a long and smooth finish.

“We focus on delivering authentic products that consumers can have confidence in while balancing innovation with tradition.”– Harlen Wheatley, Master Distiller.

7. Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Basil Hayden’s with glass and cigar on table

Average Price: Roughly $33.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

This high-rye bourbon whiskey is not one of those whiskeys that have an intolerable smell and taste. The flavors are not complex, nor is it unforgettable.

However, this is a bottle that you wouldn’t mind sipping on a hot afternoon. It is a low-key but enjoyable dram.

It is perfect for beginners, novices, and anybody who is just in need of something to sip while waiting for the day to pass.

Basil Hayden has high notes of corn and cinnamon with white pepper, spices, and lemon.

The finish is swift and dry, which leaves a light and peppery cinnamon and vanilla oak taste.

But which bourbon is almost the same as Basil Hayden?

8. Broken Barrel Whiskey Co. California Oak Bourbon

Broken Barrel on desk with blackberry bourbon smash

Average Price: Roughly $36 per 750 ml (Wine Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 47.5 %

Why We Like It:

The flavors of Broken Barrel Bourbon Barrel Select California Oak are not exceptional, but we liked the sweetness of the red wine imprinted on the liquor.

The fresh oak and baked apple are enjoyable as you take a slow sip. A little harsh on the alcohol, but not much, and the broken barrel staves are noticeable.

There are hints of oak and red wine on the nose and dense on the mouth with full flavors of dark fruit, vanilla, and baking spice.

9. Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig with dried fruits on table

Average Price: Roughly $24.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 47%

Why We Like It:

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon has an interesting mash blend. The usual rye grain is lesser than the malted barley.

There is also no age statement on this bottle. The flavors are rounded and warm with enough smokiness, oak, and sweet treats.

The nose denotes sweet mash blended with fruits and vanilla. The palate has floral notes, rich caramel, marzipan, and wood cherry. 

It is very enjoyable to drink neat and not expensive to mix cocktails.

Read: Basil Hayden vs Woodford Reserve Bourbon

10. Russell’s Reserve 10 Years Old

Russell’s Reserve 10 Years Old on desk with glass

Average Price: Roughly $41.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Russell’s Reserve is a full-bodied bourbon with complex flavors. The spice notes are not very strong, but it gives the drinker the traditional flavors.

The tawny color gives the liquor an attractive look. It is not a perfect drink, especially with the bitterness in the mid-palate.

It is a great bourbon because of the complexity of the flavors that shifts instantly from sweet to floral and then earthy. 

The flavors transition from sweet caramel to creamy vanilla to cocoa and pine. It holds an earthy oak undertone with clove and an allspice finish.

11. Pinhook Bourbon Heist

Pinhook Bourbon Heist on table

Average Price: Roughly $41 per 750 ml (Vine Pair)

Alcohol Content: 49%

Why We Like It:

It is one of the rare bottles of bourbon that we wouldn’t mind searching for. For starters, we like the notable but not harsh alcohol.

The flavors, including alcohol, are similar to cask strength bourbon, which we appreciate.

The taste of the ingredients is all noticeable but not overpowering the other. It is complex yet smooth, a very sippable bourbon to our liking.

The aroma of butter, citrus, and rye bread greets the nose. Flavors of candied oranges and peaches, toasted nutmeg, vanilla, and coffee tickle the palate.

Read: Popular Everyday Bourbons

12. Evan Williams Single Barrel

Evan Williams Single Barrel on desk with glass

Average Price: Roughly $24.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43.3%

Why We Like It:

This single barrel expression of Evan Williams is a crowd favorite.

The dryness and nuttiness are signature flavors of Heaven Hill, which is a great addition to the complex flavors you will experience in every sip.

Evan Williams bourbon is one of the most enjoyable liquors you can find. 

The aroma of licorice (1), brown sugar, and toasted oak hit the nose.

Our tongues tasted dried nuts, cinnamon, orange peel, licorice, and spiced tobacco. It has a very long and smooth finish.

13. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Woodford Reserve with glass on table

Average Price: Roughly $39.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45.2%

Why We Like It:

Woodford Reserve is one of the bourbons we like because of the smooth and complex flavors.

It is very near the traditional flavor of bourbon but with surprises that are very pleasant to the mouth.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon has strong flavors but does not overlap the other, which makes it very enjoyable to sip. 

Round flavors of sweet caramel, burnt brown sugar, baking spice, and toasted almonds. Notes of dark chocolate and citrus with rye caress the palate.

Read: Woodford Reserve & Elijah Craig Bourbon Comparison

14. Maker’s Mark 46

Maker’s Mark 46 on desk with glass

Average Price: Roughly $28.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Maker’s Mark Bourbon is one of the crowd favorites, and it easily disappears from the shelves once it landed.

It is wheated bourbon with traditional flavors you will enjoy sipping or mixing in cocktails.

What we like about Maker’s Mark is the rich vanilla taste, the oak feel, the sweetness, and the spice.

The nose and palate hold the classic bourbon’s tasting profile and aroma. It has vanilla, oak, and caramel with butter, almonds, and leather notes. 

All work well together, which makes Maker’s Mark one of the best bourbons on the market. 

Read: What’s the Best Wheated Bourbon Below $100?

15. Chattanooga Whiskey 91

Chattanooga Whiskey 91 on table with cocktail

Average Price: Roughly $37.49 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45.5%

Why We Like It:

Chattanooga Whiskey 91 barrel-proof bourbon is different from other bourbon bottles.

These are small-batch bottles with flavors that are out of the ordinary. It is a mixture of corn mash, malted honey barley, malted rye, and caramel malted barley.

It was a brave move, but it surely produced a pleasant blend that can be drunk neat or on the rocks.

The palate has flavors of rich caramel, subtle earthy notes, black pepper, and oak char, and the finish is warm with light herbaceousness but smooth.  

Read: The Best Bourbon Below $100

16. Redemption High Rye Bourbon

Redemption High Rye on desk with bourbon mint julep

Average Price: Roughly $23.79 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

We like this piece mainly of its price point. However, we are not too eager with the flavors being a sipping bourbon as it is best to enjoy in cocktails.

We recommend this bottle of bourbon as a mixing base because It holds the port well as this is a high rye bourbon. 

As we opened the bottle, we are greeted with spice before a faint smell of vanillas, caramel custard, and oak.

The tasting notes begin with baking spice, mint, and chocolate fudge and end with an oaky taste. 

17. Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Old Forester with banana chips on table

Average Price: Roughly $24.26 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Old Forester has always been a crowd favorite, with its traditional tasting notes developed for more depth.

It may not be that enjoyable to have it neat since it is somehow hot. It is best with ice or mixed.

The nose holds a typical bourbon scent, vanilla, tobacco, and mint. The palate has sharp caramel and vanilla notes with freshly baked cornbread. 

Read: The Best Bourbon Below $50

18. Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek with corn chips on desk

Average Price: Roughly $38.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50%

Why We Like It:

Knob Creek is one of the best bourbons for us because of its bold and complex, perfectly balanced flavors.

The sweetness of brown sugar, black chocolate, and caramel blends well with black pepper spice.

The tasting notes denote maple syrup sweetness with spicy cinnamon and salty butter. 

It is also bottled almost at its cask strength, giving it more character. Here are other Knob Creek bottles to try

19. Four Roses Small Batch

Four Roses with glass on table with glass

Average Price: Roughly $35.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Four Roses Bourbon is one of the smoothest small batch bourbons we have ever tasted in this price range.

We like the balanced flavors of Four Roses, and the alcohol is not very imposing.

The spice notes are also average, making Four Roses a delicious bourbon for sipping on the rocks and mixing. 

The scent of spicy cedar and fruit will greet the nose. The palate has sweet oak and vanilla notes with hints of caramel, stone fruit (2), and floral notes.

20. Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Wild Turkey Rare Breed on a Desk

Average Price: Roughly $55.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 56.4%

Why We Like It:

Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a blend of 6, 8, and 12-year bourbon for an authentic bourbon drinking experience. Since it is aged longer, it has developed great character (3).

The small batch barrel-proof bourbon gives an intense vanilla and enjoyable mouthfeel that we enjoyed neat and on the rocks.

We like the smoky flavors of spice and grain and the lingering finish of the bourbon whiskey.

21. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked on a table

Average Price: Roughly $59.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45.2%

Why We Like It:

Woodford Reserve Double Oak has been barreled twice for a colorful and rich flavor profile. The second barrel adds sweet oak and soft character to the bourbon.

As we opened the bottle of this beautiful amber whiskey, the rich notes of toasted oak, dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, and sharp honey greeted us.

The rich mix of dark caramel, vanilla, apple, spices, and fruit explodes in our mouths.

22. Old Grand-Dad

Old Grand-Dad Bottle and a Glass on a Table

Average Price: Roughly $19.79 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Old Grand Dad is a high-rye bourbon whiskey, and it is specifically formulated for a spicier flavor profile that you can enjoy neat, with ice, or in cocktails.

Old Grand Dad has heady pears, apricots, caramel, and vanilla flavors, making it a crowd favorite.

23. Chicken Cock KY Straight Bourbon

3 Bottles of Chicken Cock KY Straight Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $57.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45%

Why We Like It:

Chicken Cock KY Straight bourbon is not a new brand, as it has existed since the Prohibition era (4).

It is a treasured gem by bourbon enthusiasts that only a few know, and we are lucky to get hold of a bottle.

It has an elegant aroma of oak tones with sweet notes of vanilla, caramel, and dried fruit.

Bottled at 90 proof, it has a welcoming bourbon heat, buttery mouthfeel, and a resolving vanilla finish.

24. Widow Jane 10-Year-Old Bourbon

Widow Jane 10-Year-Old Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $69.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45.5%

Why We Like It:

Widow Jane is one of the rarest and richest straight bourbon made from 5 barrel batches. It has a unique complexity and intensity that we enjoyed with a splash of water.

The cinnamon, cream, nutmeg, and vanilla are evident on the nose. We like the orange, almond, cherry, and maple tasting notes on the palate.

25. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $87.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 63.63%

Why We Like It:

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is in its purest form: without chill filtering, and straight from the barrel, so you can expect to taste the pure Elijah Craig.

We appreciate its rich aroma of toasted oak, vanilla, butterscotch, black pepper, and cinnamon. It has a nice layer of flavors that lingers as it cools down on our palate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much should be the best bourbon for money?

The best bourbon for money should have an average price of around $40 for every 750ml bottle. You can find savory bourbons that can be sipped or mixed without spending so much. 

Are cheap bourbons still high-quality?

Yes, cheap bourbons are still high-quality. Bourbon production did not require high expenditures compared to mass-produced bottles.

What is the proper way to drink bourbon?

There is no proper way to drink bourbon because you can enjoy it the way you prefer.

However, for a great drinking experience, we highly recommend drinking it neat to taste its complex and amazing tasting notes.

Is it ok to drink bourbon every day?

Yes, it is ok to drink bourbon every day as it brings health benefits to our bodies (5).

However, drink moderately to avoid any health problems.

What is the best bourbon under $100?

Wild Turkey 101 is the best bourbon for under $100.

For around $26.99, you can enjoy its complexity and unique tasting notes that you will not find in other bourbons with the same price point.

What’s the best reasonably priced bourbon?

Determining the best reasonably priced bourbon depends on individual preferences, but popular choices often include Buffalo Trace, Evan Williams Black Label, and Wild Turkey 101 for their impressive quality and affordability, providing a satisfying drinking experience without breaking the bank.

What is the smoothest bourbon to drink straight?

For a smooth sipping experience, bourbons like Maker’s Mark, Angel’s Envy, and Woodford Reserve are frequently lauded for their velvety textures and well-balanced flavor profiles, making them enjoyable to drink straight or on the rocks.

What are the best bourbons you can buy?

The best bourbons to buy vary based on personal taste, but highly regarded options include Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, Blanton’s Single Barrel, and Four Roses Single Barrel for their exceptional craftsmanship and unique flavor profiles, though availability and pricing may impact accessibility.

Is bourbon better than whiskey?

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, and the distinction between them lies in specific production criteria. While personal preference plays a role, bourbon’s sweeter and fuller-bodied profile often appeals to those who appreciate a smoother and slightly sweet taste compared to other whiskey styles.

Is Jim Beam cheap bourbon?

Jim Beam is often considered an affordable bourbon rather than a “cheap” one, maintaining a good balance of quality and price. It’s a widely available and reliable choice for those seeking a reasonably priced bourbon without compromising on flavor.

What is the smoothest bourbon?

Identifying the smoothest bourbon is subjective, but bourbons like Blanton’s, W.L. Weller, and Angel’s Envy are frequently praised for their smooth and mellow characteristics, providing a delightful sipping experience.

Is bourbon smoother than Scotch?

Generally, bourbon is perceived as smoother than Scotch due to its sweeter and less peaty profile. However, individual taste preferences play a significant role, and some may prefer the diverse and nuanced flavors found in different styles of Scotch whisky.

What is a good bourbon drink for beginners?

For beginners, a classic Bourbon and Ginger Ale or a Bourbon Sour can be delightful introductions to the world of bourbon, offering a balanced mix of flavors without overwhelming the palate.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

The primary differences between whiskey and bourbon lie in their production regulations. Bourbon, a subset of whiskey, must be made in the United States, contain at least 51% corn in its mash bill, and be aged in new charred oak barrels. Whiskey is a broader category encompassing various styles like Scotch, Irish whiskey, and bourbon.

What is the best budget-friendly bourbon for Old Fashioneds?

Affordable bourbons suitable for Old Fashioneds include Evan Williams Black Label, Old Forester Signature, and Bulleit Bourbon, providing a balance of quality and price, making them ideal choices for crafting a delicious and cost-effective classic cocktail.Top of Form

Final Verdict: Best Bourbon For The Money

The best bourbons are relatively inexpensive, though there are impeccable bottles special with a high price tag (6).

If you are only searching for a drink that you can sip without feeling guilty about the money you spent, Elijah Craig and Widow Jane are great bottles of bourbon.

However, if you want the best bourbon for your money, the best pick would be Wild Turkey 101. It has a good flavor, nice texture, versatility, and a reasonable price.


  1. Licorice – Uses, Side Effects, and More
  2. Stone Fruits
  3. The Effects of Aging on Liquor
  4. Prohibition History & Society
  5. 5 Reasons Drinking Whisky Is Healthy For You
  6. Why Is Bourbon So Damn Expensive?
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