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Recommended "not too expensive" bourbons--and maybe other whisk(e)ys

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    Recommended "not too expensive" bourbons--and maybe other whisk(e)ys

    I'm backing off on beer a lot--calories and that "too filling" sensation and, as a result, I've found bourbon (neat, no ice) to be a satisfying sipper. I've enjoyed most all I've tried--Jim Beam, JB Black Label, Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Evan Williams, Buffalo Trace, Jack (yeah, I know, it's "Tennessee Sippin' Whiskey")... so, my question is what do YOU find to be a good, reliable bourbon (or whiskey) priced in the range of less than $40-ish for 1.75 liters.

    That said, I DO enjoy sipping Grand Marnier or absinthe as well...
    Last edited by Willy; April 12, 2021, 07:31 PM.

    #2
    Four Roses is my go-to. Old granddad 114 for something a little nicer.

    Comment


    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      Four Roses, but actually I will sip three fingers of well whiskey, bourbon, and Scotch.
      I go easy sipping, just brisket Low and Slow,

    • jumbo7676
      jumbo7676 commented
      Editing a comment
      I really like Four Roses Small Batch.

    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm on a 4 roses kick right now. I bought it for mixing but it's not bad at all for a budget sipper.

    #3
    If you like Rye I recommend Rittenhouse. Usually around $30. Amazing especially at that price point.

    Comment


    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      One of my favorite mixing ryes, great value and not too shabby sipped neat either.

    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice bit in Rye Whiskey

    • shify
      shify commented
      Editing a comment
      Rittenhouse is my go-to for cocktails. Great rye at and even better price

    #4
    Miller Lite.

    Comment


    • Willy
      Willy commented
      Editing a comment
      Barf. ;<)

    #5
    Evan Williams 86 proof runs about $21 - $23 for 1.75 litres, and isn't half bad for that price range.

    Comment


      #6
      That's a tough one, it's like asking what's the best wine to drink. Do you have a "nice" liquor store with a somewhat knowledgeable staff that you can pose this question to? Even here in the culinary wasteland of The Great State of Jefferson we have a number of those proprietors.

      Comment


        #7
        I enjoy Evan Williams BIB (White Label). It's a great value for a 100 proof bottled in bond whiskey that is also quality. $29 at Total Wine for a 1.75. Jim Beam Black and their Bottled in Bond are both good value and quality bourbons and run just around $35 for a 1.75

        Comment


          #8
          My fave bourbons in that range are:

          Buffalo Trace ($28ish)
          Four Roses Small Batch ($35ish)
          Early Times bottled in bond...if you can find it currently since they're undergoing a change in ownership, it's usually $25 for a 1L bottle
          1792 Small Batch
          Old Forester 99 proof...significantly better than their 86 proof if you ask me. ($25-30-ish)
          Eagle Rare
          Wild Turkey 101 or Rare Breed
          Woodinville (different from Woodford Reserve, which is also good)

          If you're interested in ryes I can share my faves of that too but they're different enough I'll keep them out of this list.

          Comment


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            glitchy I'm sure it's just a different year's batch. No laws like that here, we have all proofs all over. Something tells me the 99 & 100 are nearly identical. Great value either way. I have 3L of that aging in one of my barrels right now...mmmm..

          • Willy
            Willy commented
            Editing a comment
            I’m fine with rye recs. Go for it!

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            glitchy My bad, brain fart. Old Foresyer was indeed 100 proof. The 99 I was thinking of was Ezra Brooks 99 (and it's not too bad either for bottom shelf)

          #9
          Evan Williams single barrel is great. Hard to go wrong with Buffalo Trace. If you go down the Scotch road let me know.

          Comment


          • Whiskeyman53
            Whiskeyman53 commented
            Editing a comment
            Evan Williams Single Barrel is priced at $25 at my local Total Wine. For the price and quality it's a steal for a single barrel bourbon.

          #10
          My go to’s have mostly been hit already. I”m too cheap to spend much over $30 most of the time:

          Old Forrester 100 proof, I’m with Huskee thinking it’s better tasting than the 86
          Four Roses Small Batch
          Bulleit
          Elijah Craig

          Once in a while I do Rye as well:
          Tenpleton
          Jack Daniels Rye is actually not that bad

          One or my buddies likes to try the expensive stuff and has always been a good pal, so when we get together I buy him a couple bottles of the $50-100 stuff to add to his collection and we sample it together. Most of it hasn’t impressed me that much over the $25-40 bottles. Angel’s Envy was extremely disappointing. One bottle stood out last time, but 6 of us sampled quite a few that night. Pretty sure that I think it maybe definitely was a Jefferson Reserve, but it might have been something more special like a Reserve Small Batch or aged in a special barrel type. I also tried one of the $60 bottles of Old Forrester and didn’t think it stood much above the 100 proof.
          Last edited by glitchy; April 12, 2021, 08:04 PM.

          Comment


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Good call on Elijah Craig, I forgot that one. Also, IMO, good call on Angel's Envy being disappointing, I think it's no good for its price.

          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Elijah Craig is a hidden jewel, have a freshly cracked bottle of it, even as we speak...

          • DogFaced PonySoldier
            DogFaced PonySoldier commented
            Editing a comment
            Ditto for the Elijah Craig, AND for thinking Angel's Envy was pretty "meh".

          #11
          Originally posted by Willy View Post
          what do YOU find to be a good, reliable bourbon (or whiskey)
          (reaches for keyboard )

          priced in the range of less than $40-ish for 1.75 liters.
          Hmm. I'd rather pay a little more and get a lot better stuff. So...

          Bourbon - Larceny 92. Usually about $30/750 but it's a really nice wheated bourbon.

          Blended Scotch - Monkey Shoulder or Shackleton. About the same price as above. These work well in cocktails too.

          Rye - Rittenhouse

          Also check out Costco branded stuff and Trader Joe's branded stuff. I picked up a single malt Scotch for $22 last winter that wasn't great compared to the better examples I can get.... but it was 1/4 to 1/5 the price and good.
          Last edited by rickgregory; April 12, 2021, 08:13 PM.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Gots me some Larceny sittin here, agree it's Good...

          #12
          Maker's Mark
          Knob Creek
          Buffalo Trace
          Beam Black
          Elijah Craig
          Longbranch
          High West
          Bulleit
          Henry McKennah's 12 y.o. b.i.b.
          Basil Hayden's
          George Dickel 12 year old Tennessee Sour Mash

          Reckon that there ^ oughtta git ya started, t'wards stumblin lol
          Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 12, 2021, 08:38 PM.

          Comment


          • Blues1
            Blues1 commented
            Editing a comment
            Basil and Knob Creek are always welcome here...

          • RustyHaines
            RustyHaines commented
            Editing a comment
            Just finished a 12 year old George Dickel last weekend (not all in one weekend !) Was very tasty and I'm looking for more.

          • latenight71
            latenight71 commented
            Editing a comment
            oh man, i love me some Tennessee sippin' whisky. i've drunken more than a bit George Dickel in my days

          #13
          I couldn’t think of the name in my post above so didn’t include it originally, but who’s tried Ancient Age? For the bottom shelf, my experience is that it’s actually pretty close to most of the other stuff in my list. It’s something like $15 for a fifth and $25 for a 1.75L locally. The funny thing is, it’s on the allocation system in Iowa, meaning it’s hard to find.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • Bkhuna
            Bkhuna commented
            Editing a comment
            They use to bottle one called Ancient Ancient Age 10 year old (not to be confused with AAA 10 star) that was a great bourbon. That stuff was amazing. Buffalo Trace no longer sells it.

          • rickgregory
            rickgregory commented
            Editing a comment
            My late Dad's bourbon. Blast from the past

          • crazytown3
            crazytown3 commented
            Editing a comment
            $7.02 for a fifth here at the state run store here in Utah. I think I will pick up a bottle on the way home.

          #14
          Weller if you can find it, the green label. I can find a 1.75L for $40 at my secret spot. But, that’s even getting hard to get now.

          Many have been named above, so you have a good list to try.

          But, my two go to bourbons - Buffalo Trace and Weller. I really like Woodford Double Oak as well, but that’s above your price range. But it’s good!

          Comment


          • Bkhuna
            Bkhuna commented
            Editing a comment
            Weller is allocated and we only get a little bit in Florida. One chain carries it and you have to be a Gold Card member to be able to even get on the waiting list.

            My local liquor store owner is heading to KY on a trip and has a couple of Weller 12 yo for me.

          • Greygoose
            Greygoose commented
            Editing a comment
            Weller Antique 107 fan here,,,,
            Was a best value awhile back at $24 . Ur lucky to find it anywhere now,,,

          #15
          Since you said go ahead for ryes, here's my recc's for those:
          • Templeton 6 (4 is good too, but a little too gentle methinks) Very bubble-gummy and delicious IMO
          • 1776 James Pepper Rye
          • Rittenhouse
          • Rare Breed Rye (yum!) from Wild Turkey
          • Pikesville
          • Peerless (pricey)
          • WhistlePig (pricey)
          • If you can find Alberta Distiller's "Alberta Premium", it's what a few WhisltePig expressions are currently using, so get it first!
          • Russel's Reserve Single Barrel rye
          • Pinhook
          • Woodinville

          Some cheaper ryes are fairly decent too:
          • Jack Daniels Rye, and even better is their Single Barrel Rye
          • Old Forester rye
          • George Dickel rye

          A rye which I love its bourbon brother but IMO their rye is bleh is Woodford Reserve Rye, tried it twice a couple years apart and I just can't appreciate it.

          Comment


          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Angel's Envy Rye? So delicious

            K.

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            fzxdoc I will have to sample it in a lounge or somewhere where I'm not investing in a bottle. I know all too well there are bourbons I love but don't like their rye counterparts (even though I LOVE ryes), so I hope this is the opposite- love the rye but not the bourbon. I remember that you are an AE fan, so I will update you if I get to try their rye!

          • DogFaced PonySoldier
            DogFaced PonySoldier commented
            Editing a comment
            I like the Woodford Rye, also the Knob Creek rye. One of my favorites for rye whiskey sours is Sazerac.

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