Five affordable great bourbons that are under $35

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®) /

Great bourbons do not have to be expensive or hard to find in order to be enjoyed.

Being a fan of great bourbons can often feel like a game of cat and mouse. Part of the fun can be hunting down hard to find whiskeys, but that can often come with high price tag or a several months-long search.

Top-end bourbon can also come with a higher cost that some consumers may be unwilling to pay.

New and old whiskey drinkers alike can benefit from having a reliable, affordable, “everyday” bourbon on his or her shelf.

New drinkers can use it as a launching point to find out what characteristics they enjoy most. They can use those enjoyed characteristics to seek out more refined bourbons with some similar and enhanced flavors.

Experienced drinkers all have a go-to that won’t break the bank. Not every night calls for a glass of Pappy Van Winkle.

Here are 5 great bourbons, in no particular order, that are widely available and cost under $35:

1)      Four Roses Small Batch– a floraly and fruity easy drinker. A subtle taste of baking spices keep this bourbon from being too sweet. 90 proof. A definite step up from their base Four Roses Bourbon. Four Roses Small Batch is something that is always in my home bar.

2)      Evan Williams Single Barrel– single barrel bourbons are bourbons that are bottled from just one barrel. This leads each batch to be different year to year. Evan Williams Single Barrel is one of the most affordable single barrel bourbons available on the market. 86.6 proof. Consistently rated high by experts and layman, Evan Williams Single Barrel is a great introduction to what single barrel bourbons have to offer.

3)      Old Grand Dad 114– a spicy and rich bourbon. 114 proof. Old Grand Dad packs a bit more of a “punch” than our first two bourbons both in alcohol content and in the spicy, long finish. Old Grand Dad 114 is the bourbon for you if you are looking for an affordable high proof bourbon that introduces you to the more intense flavors bourbon can offer.

4)      Elijah Craig Small Batch– a classic bourbon, with tastes of vanilla, caramel, spice and hints of smoke. 94 proof. Elijah Craig Small Batch is a great bourbon for beginner for its classic bourbon taste profile.

5)      Makers Mark– the iconic red wax topped bourbon. Makers Mark is a sweeter bourbon than the previous bourbons. Makers Mark is a wheated bourbon, meaning it uses wheat instead of rye in its mash bill in addition to corn and malted barley. This difference in mash bill, takes out some of the “harshness” that some people attribute to bourbon. Give this bourbon a try if you aren’t a fan of the traditional bourbon “harshness”. A great change of pace for new drinkers and experienced ones alike.

Honorable Mentions: Larceny, and Old Forester 100 Proof

These 5 great bourbons are excellent choices when looking for an affordable, easy to find bourbon. Cheers!

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