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Savor the Savings: Best Low Priced Bourbon

banner shot of bourbon bottles of the best low priced bourbon

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Indulge in the rich flavors of the best low-priced bourbon as we embark on a journey of affordable bourbon excellence. Discover hidden gems that deliver on taste, smoothness, and value, all while keeping your wallet happy. 

It’s time to elevate your bourbon experience without breaking the bank. Get ready to savor the best low-priced bourbon offerings that prove quality doesn’t always come at a high price.

Introduction

Criteria for Evaluating Low-Priced Bourbons

Taste profile

Flavor notes and intensity

Assess the range and quality of flavor notes present in the bourbon. Look for complexity and depth, such as caramel, vanilla, oak, spice, fruit, or chocolate. The intensity should be balanced, with no single note overpowering the others.

Consistency across sips

Evaluate whether the bourbon maintains its flavor profile consistently throughout the tasting experience. It should deliver a consistent and enjoyable taste from the first sip to the last.

Smoothness and complexity

Absence of harshness or burn

Check for a smooth and pleasant drinking experience without excessive alcohol burn or harshness. A well-made bourbon should provide a comfortable and enjoyable sensation on the palate.

Development of flavors throughout the tasting

Observe how the flavors evolve and interact during the tasting. A good bourbon will showcase layers of flavors, with new nuances and complexities emerging as you explore different sips.

Overall value for the price

Comparison with higher-priced alternatives

Consider how the low-priced bourbon stacks up against more expensive options. Evaluate whether it offers comparable quality, flavor, and complexity at a more affordable price point.

Satisfaction derived from the bourbon relative to its cost

Assess the overall enjoyment and satisfaction you derive from the bourbon in relation to its price. A bourbon that offers high enjoyment and quality for its cost demonstrates good value.

2 glass of bourbon cocktails prepared by the bartender ready to be served

11 Best Low Priced Bourbon

Evan Williams Black Label

Evan Williams Black Label is a popular entry-level bourbon with a rich, smooth, and easy-drinking character. It is known for its affordability and versatility. [1]

  • ABV: 43%
  • Average Price: $10-$20
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Evan Williams
  • Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: Minimum of 4 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet with notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and a touch of brown sugar.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak.
    • Palate: Sweet and medium-bodied with flavors of caramel and oak.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a mellow finish.
    • Finish: Smooth and warming with hints of vanilla.
  • Food Pairings: Barbecue ribs, grilled burgers, pecan pie.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Old Fashioned, Bourbon Sour.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Affordable and flavorful bourbon, Evan Williams Black Label offers a smooth, caramel-forward taste with a touch of oak. It delivers great value without compromising on quality.

Old Forester Signature

  • Old Forester Signature is a higher-proof bourbon with a robust, full-bodied flavor profile. It offers a balance of spice and sweetness.
  • ABV: 50%
  • Average Price: $20-$30
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Old Forester
  • Distillery: Brown-Forman Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: No specific age statement, but generally around 4-5 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Spicy with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Rich caramel, vanilla, and baking spices.
    • Palate: Spicy with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a lingering finish.
    • Finish: Warm and lingering with hints of oak and vanilla.
  • Food Pairings: Grilled steak, dark chocolate, pecan pie.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Manhattan, Whiskey Sour.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Old Forester Signature is a higher-proof bourbon with bold flavors of caramel, vanilla, and spice. It brings depth and complexity to cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour.

Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace is a highly regarded bourbon known for its exceptional quality and smoothness. It offers a balanced flavor profile with a touch of sweetness.

  • ABV: 45%
  • Average Price: $25-$35
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Buffalo Trace
  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: No specific age statement, but generally around 8-9 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet with notes of caramel, vanilla, and toffee.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, and dried fruits.
    • Palate: Rich and sweet with flavors of caramel, toffee, and cinnamon.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a velvety finish.
    • Finish: Smooth and warming with hints of oak and spice.
  • Food Pairings: Grilled pork chops, apple pie, crème brûlée.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Mint Julep, Boulevardier.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Highly regarded for its quality, Buffalo Trace bourbon offers a well-balanced flavor profile with rich notes of caramel, vanilla, and toffee. It’s versatile for sipping neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails.

a glass of bourbon cocktail garnished with lemon and mint leaves

Four Roses Yellow Label

Four Roses Yellow Label is a smooth and approachable bourbon with a mellow and slightly fruity character. It is a popular choice for both sipping and mixing.

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $20-$30
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Four Roses
  • Distillery: Four Roses Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: Minimum of 5 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Fruity with notes of pear, apple, and caramel.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Sweet corn, ripe fruits, and floral aromas.
    • Palate: Smooth and mellow with flavors of apple, pear, and caramel.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a gentle finish.
    • Finish: Soft and gentle with a touch of spice.
  • Food Pairings: Roast chicken, apple crisp, creamy desserts.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Whiskey Smash, Kentucky Mule.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Four Roses Yellow Label is an approachable and versatile bourbon with a slightly fruity and mellow character. It’s smooth and enjoyable, perfect for savoring neat or mixed into classic cocktails.

Jim Beam White Label

Jim Beam White Label is a classic yet cheap bourbon that embodies the traditional American whiskey flavor. It is known for its smoothness and approachability.

  • ABV: 40%
  • Average Price: $15-$25
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Jim Beam
  • Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: Minimum of 4 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Vanilla, oak, and light spice.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Sweet vanilla, corn, and a hint of oak.
    • Palate: Smooth and mellow with flavors of caramel, vanilla, and a touch of spice.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a silky finish.
    • Finish: Soft and medium-length with a lingering sweetness.
  • Food Pairings: Barbecue chicken, cornbread, peach cobbler.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Whiskey and Coke, Highball.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Jim Beam White Label is a classic bourbon known for its smoothness, approachability, and affordability. With sweet notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, it’s great for casual sipping or mixing into cocktails.

Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101 is a higher-proof bourbon known for its bold and robust flavor. It offers a balanced combination of sweetness and spice. [2]

  • ABV: 50.5%
  • Average Price: $25-$35
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Wild Turkey
  • Distillery: Wild Turkey Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: Minimum of 6-8 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Rich with notes of caramel, vanilla, and pepper.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak with a hint of spice.
    • Palate: Full-bodied with flavors of caramel, vanilla, black pepper, and oak.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a robust finish.
    • Finish: Long and warming with a spicy kick.
  • Food Pairings: Grilled steak, dark chocolate, pecan pie.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Old Fashioned, Boulevardier.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Wild Turkey 101 offers a bold and flavorful experience with notes of caramel, vanilla, black pepper, and oak. It’s a standout choice for bourbon drinkers and enthusiasts seeking a higher-proof option.

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig Small Batch is a premium bourbon known for its rich and intricate flavor profile. It offers a balance of sweetness, spice, and oak influence.

  • ABV: 47%
  • Average Price: $30-$40
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Elijah Craig
  • Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: No specific age statement, but generally around 8-12 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Caramel, vanilla, toasted oak, and baking spices.
    • Palate: Rich and full-bodied with flavors of caramel, vanilla, spice, and oak.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a rich finish.
    • Finish: Long and warm with lingering sweetness and oak.
  • Food Pairings: Grilled pork tenderloin, dark chocolate, crème brûlée.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Sazerac, Whiskey Sour.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Elijah Craig Small Batch is a premium bourbon with a rich and full-bodied profile of rich vanilla, caramel, spice, and oak. It’s a great choice for sipping or enjoying well-crafted cocktails.

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark is a well-known, approachable, and by far the best wheated bourbon with a distinct red wax-sealed bottle. It is known for its smoothness and signature flavor profile.

  • ABV: 45%
  • Average Price: $25-$35
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Maker’s Mark
  • Distillery: Maker’s Mark Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: No specific age statement, but generally around 6-7 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet with notes of caramel, vanilla, and wheat.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Sweet caramel, vanilla, and hints of fruit.
    • Palate: Smooth and soft with flavors of caramel, vanilla, and wheat.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a soft finish.
    • Finish: Medium-length with a touch of sweetness.
  • Food Pairings: Fried chicken, pecan pie, crème brûlée.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Mint Julep, Boulevardier.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Maker’s Mark is a softer and more approachable bourbon with notes of caramel, vanilla, and wheat due to the red winter wheat, corn, and malted barley used to craft this bourbon. Its consistency, iconic red wax seal, and reasonable price make it popular for neat sipping or classic cocktails.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is a premium small-batch bourbon known for its craftsmanship and complex flavor profile. It offers a balance of sweetness, spice, and oak.

  • ABV: 43.2%
  • Average Price: $40-$50
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Woodford Reserve
  • Distillery: Woodford Reserve Distillery
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: No specific age statement, but generally around 6-7 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Rich with notes of caramel, vanilla, spices, and oak.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Rich caramel, vanilla, toasted oak, and spices.
    • Palate: Full-bodied with flavors of caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, and oak.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a refined finish.
    • Finish: Long and warm with a touch of spice and sweetness.
  • Food Pairings: Grilled salmon, dark chocolate, crème brûlée.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Old Fashioned, Manhattan.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is a premium small-batch bourbon that exemplifies craftsmanship and complexity. With a rich and well-balanced flavor profile, it appeals to both enthusiasts and newcomers.

Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon is a high-rye bourbon known for its bold and spicy flavor profile. It offers a robust character with a touch of sweetness.

  • ABV: 45%
  • Average Price: $25-$35
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Bulleit
  • Distillery: Bulleit Distilling Co. (Produced at various distilleries)
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: No specific age statement, but generally around 6-8 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Spicy with notes of rye spice, caramel, and vanilla.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Spicy rye, caramel, and vanilla.
    • Palate: Bold and spicy with flavors of rye, caramel, and oak.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with a spicy finish.
    • Finish: Medium-length with a warm and lingering spice.
  • Food Pairings: Barbecue ribs, cornbread, apple pie.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Boulevardier, Whiskey Sour.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Bulleit Bourbon is a bold, spicy, high-rye bourbon. With notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice, it adds robust character to sipping and mixing in cocktails. It’s affordable, reliable, and versatile.

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old is an ultra-premium and highly sought-after Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. It is known for its exceptional age, complexity, and rarity.

  • ABV: Varies (Usually around 47-53%)
  • Average Price: $3,000-$5,000 (Prices may vary significantly due to rarity)
  • Type: Straight Bourbon
  • Brand: Pappy Van Winkle
  • Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery (Produced at various distilleries)
  • Production Methods: Sour mash method, aged in new charred oak barrels.
  • Aging Process: Minimum of 23 years.
  • Flavor Profile: Rich and intricate with notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and dark fruits.
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Nose: Deep caramel, vanilla, oak, and dried fruits.
    • Palate: Velvety and complex with layers of caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and oak.
    • Smoothness: Smooth with an exceptional finish.
    • Finish: Long and luxurious with a balance of sweetness, oak, and spice.
  • Food Pairings: Decadent chocolate, premium cigars, celebration-worthy dishes.
  • Recommended Cocktails: Old Fashioned, Sazerac, Manhattan, Boulevardier.
  • Why it’s a Good Choice: Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old is an exceptional and sought-after bourbon. Its extensive aging process and complex flavor profile of caramel, vanilla, oak, and dark fruit make it a coveted choice for connoisseurs and collectors. It represents the pinnacle of bourbon craftsmanship and is often reserved for special occasions or as a prized centerpiece in a collection.

FAQs

What is a good bourbon that is reasonably priced?

A good bourbon that is reasonably priced and widely regarded is Buffalo Trace. Buffalo Trace offers a solid flavor profile with notes of caramel, vanilla, and a cue of spice. 

It is known for its smoothness and balanced taste, making it a popular choice among bourbon enthusiasts. 

Additionally, Buffalo Trace is often praised for its value, as it provides a high-quality drinking experience at an affordable price.

References

  1. https://evanwilliams.com/ew-blacklabel
  2. https://www.wildturkeybourbon.com/products/wild-turkey-101/
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