Not every enthusiast can burn $200 for a bottle of bourbon. They could be a collector, someone looking for a special gift to a whiskey connoisseur, or a person with enough cash to burn.
No matter the reasons, our in-depth research will make sure you get your money’s worth with our list of best bourbon under $200.
Top 15 Bourbons Under $200 (Must Try)
1. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon
Blanton’s Single Barrel is the first commercial single barrel bourbon released in 1984. Towards the retirement of Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee, he decided to create one last product honoring one of the distillery’s earliest leaders, Colonel Albert Blanton .
At 93 proof, this whiskey went through six to eight years of aging processes and had a suggested retail price of about $60. After sitting in a glass, you can smell pleasant vanilla aromas with light traces of baking spices. The first sip is a solid combination of brown sugar, rye spice, and charred oak, with a subtle heat towards the finish.
2. Buffalo Trace Kosher
This whiskey went through the meticulous approval of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, ensuring that it had no prior contact with any non-Kosher spirits. The suggested price for this whiskey is around $40, and it uses the same wheat recipe bourbon as Pappy Van Winkle.
Despite that, its tasting notes are more similar to Weller Antique 107. It has a pleasant smell of summer fruits and soft vanilla, with a creamy palate featuring layered flavors of mild cinnamon and summer wildflowers. You can taste a slight bitterness towards the end due to its 47% ABV.
3. Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18 Year
Elijah Craig features the best bourbon under $200 with a premium quality craft and high age statement. For three years, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition awarded Double Gold Medals to this bourbon’s complex but smooth flavors. It is available for around $130 to $150 at local stores with 45% ABV.
The bottle here has a warm but incredibly strong smell of toasted oak and chocolate notes. It has a medium-bodied palate with contrasting nuts, vanilla, and caramel flavors. The heavy oak eventually overtakes other flavors towards a lingering finish.
5. Heaven’s Door 10 Year Old Redbreast Master Blenders’ Edition
Bob Dylan is not only one of the greatest singer-songwriters of this generation; he is also a founder of this bourbon line. He worked closely with master blenders Ryan Perry and Billy Leighton to create this full-bodied bourbon with 100-proof alcohol and a suggested price of around $100.
It started with ten-year-old Straight Bourbon and finished in casks previously used for Spanish sherry. It has a light aroma but a heavy palate. This whiskey has a vibrant sweetness of honey and other fruity flavors like pineapple, mango, orange, and banana.
5. Joseph A. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon
This bourbon is a product of a highly respected whiskey consultant, Nancy Fraley. Its initial price is approximately $175 with 50.35% ABV. The company’s ultimate goal in crafting Joseph A. Magnus Cigar Blend is a bourbon that perfectly pairs up with a cigar, like Sherry, Cognac, and Armagnac.
It is a combination of eleven and eighteen-year-old whiskeys, and it finishes in Armagnac casks before bottling. There are dark fruit notes, tobacco, and nuttiness in the nose. At the same time, the whiskey’s palate opens with cinnamon, toffee, and nutmeg flavors wrapped with old leather hints and a little spice.
6. Kentucky Owl Confiscated Bourbon
C.M. Dedman founded this brand in 1879. But before the start of the Prohibition Era, the government confiscated the barrels in Kentucky Owl’s warehouse, ending the business in 1916 . Eventually, his great-great-grandson, Dixon Dedman, relaunched the brand in 2014.
This 48.2% ABV whiskey, which ranges from $125 to $135, has the smell of burnt oak, caramel, and leather. However, the palate is a delightful balance of sweet and dry flavors. It eventually builds up to light bitterness and ends the shot with spiciness and dryness in the throat.
7. Knob Creek 15 Year Bourbon Whiskey
Knob Creek 15 Year bourbon, from the same Kentucky distillery as Jim Beam, has an aging process similar to Scotch Whisky. It has 50% ABV, which is a little strong, and a starting price of around $100. This Knob Creek expression is arguably the company’s best whiskey with the smoothest texture.
The heavy smell of dried cherries, nuts, char, and vanilla emerges from the bottle. These flavors are more prominent on the palate but with more earthy and rusty hints. It has a long finish with dark fruits and spice, which is appealing for Scotch Whisky lovers.
8. Larceny Barrel Proof
Launched in January 2020, Larceny Barrel Proof is the cheapest and most affordable among our list of best bourbon under $200, priced at around $50. Heaven Hill distillery produced this whiskey with other remarkable brands like Old Fitzgerald, Elijah Craig, and Evan Williams.
The first release of 2022 is the A122, which has a strong nose with noticeable heat. The palate is bolder and stronger with peppery elements and spice, almost masking the caramel and chocolate flavors.
9. Michter’s 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Michter’s 10-Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey is available at an average $150 retail price for a 47.2% ABV bottle. This American whiskey is one of the best bourbons with a high age profile.
It has a strong smell of alcohol but with subtle fruity aromas like mango, candied orange, and tart cherry. The palate has more spice than sweet flavors, and it is a little hot for those with sensitive taste buds. However, you can cut through the alcohol with a few drops of water.
10. Saint Cloud Kentucky Straight Bourbon 7 Year
Saint Cloud is a new player in the whiskey industry founded by Ray Walker, a seasoned winemaker in Burgundy, France. This bourbon is barreled-proof at 122 alcohol and transferred into bottles without filtration.
This drink, priced at around $150, is best enjoyed neat, or you can mix it up with your favorite cocktails. The nose has a rich blend of caramel, oak, and spices. Its high alcohol content is more evident in the palate with dried fruit and candied orange notes.
11. Weller Antique 107 Bourbon
Weller Antique 107 gained immense popularity after being associated with the renowned Pappy Van Winkle. The Buffalo Trace Distillery processed both of these wheated bourbons with the same mash bill, but Weller bourbon varieties are more affordable at around $50.
William Larue Weller introduced wheat whisky into the world in 1849, resulting in smoother whiskey with a well-balanced sweet and spicy tone. The smell is a sweet combination of caramel and vanilla with seasoned oak hints in the background. You can taste the 53.5% ABV towards the end with a dry taste of cinnamon.
12. Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17 Year
This 17 Year, bottled-in-bond bourbon is the oldest release of Wild Turkey Distillery in the American market . Master Distiller Eddie Russell handpicked a variety of barrels from different warehouses to create a smooth yet complex bourbon with refined taste.
The barrels from brick warehouses drive in the dominating wood smell and taste. At the same time, the barrels from wood warehouses maintained their sweet vanilla and caramel notes despite their age.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep, priced at approximately $150, is more expensive than Wild Turkey Rare Breed with only around $55. It has a pleasant creaminess to the taste buds with 86.8 proof.
13. Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Oat Grain
Every release of Master’s Collection from Woodford Reserve is a unique new blend that many fans look forward to. In 2018, the company released the Master’s Collection Oat Grain with modified mash bills of 66% corn, 18% oats, 12% malt, and 4% rye.
The additional oat gives honey flavors, dry fruit character, and cinnamon hints to the drink. It has a syrupy texture and builds up towards a smoky and warming finish. Oat Grain is one of the best bourbons with innovative ingredients available for about $100 to $130 with 90.4 proof.
14. 2021 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch
Four Roses bourbon only uses four recipes for this limited-edition whiskey, available for around $150. It combines both mash bills with a slight spice, floral essence, and delicate fruit yeast strains. The barrels went through an aging period from twelve to sixteen years before bottling the bourbon at 57.2% ABV.
The nose is a mix of ripe berries, rich vanilla, and subtle hints of dry mint. There is a strong heat in the palate that will make you want to dilute the drink with a little ice. It has a delicate black pepper spice and nutmeg taste in the middle, leading to a warm finish of dark chocolate.
15. 291 Colorado Barrel Proof Single Barrel Bourbon
Michael Myers, a New York fashion photographer, established 291 Colorado in September 2011. Since then, the company started releasing whiskey products that have earned numerous awards in different spirits competitions.
One of their best whiskeys is a Barrel Proof Single Barrel bourbon, with a price range of $100 to $110. This cask-strength bourbon has 64% ABV that gives a solid punch in every shot. It has a smooth texture with caramel corn and maple syrup sweetness.
What is the smoothest bourbon under $200?
The smoothest tasting bourbon whiskey under $200 is Knob Creek 15 Year. It is widely available at around $100. However, other brands also offer a smooth bourbon whiskey like the most famous Jack Daniel’s and the rarest Van Winkle.
Are bourbons under $200 considered expensive?
No, bourbons under $200 are not expensive if you pay for top-shelf and premium quality products. Additionally, most bourbons in this range have a high age statement, leading to a higher price.
Our list of best bourbon under $200 has several limited-edition releases that are hard to acquire. However, if you are lucky and friendly enough to find them at local liquor stores, don’t hesitate to grab a bottle, as it only comes once in a lifetime.
The bourbon whiskey bottles sold at secondary markets or online stores have ridiculously marked-up prices. That’s why it is important to know the suggested prices of these special products.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!