PDA

View Full Version : Cheap Bourbon Recommendations?



Enabler
04-28-2010, 15:42
Greetings and salutations: I looked where I could and the only thread I found was a couple of years old, not sure if it is still very useful. Anyway, I would greatly appreciate tips on inexpensive but decent bourbons. For instance, I like Old Grandad which we can get on sale around here for about $8 to $9 per bottle. I would go up in price from that, but just to give you an idea. Oh, and would it be available in California?

Thanks.

Dramiel McHinson
04-28-2010, 19:20
Greetings and salutations: I looked where I could and the only thread I found was a couple of years old, not sure if it is still very useful. Anyway, I would greatly appreciate tips on inexpensive but decent bourbons. For instance, I like Old Grandad which we can get on sale around here for about $8 to $9 per bottle. I would go up in price from that, but just to give you an idea. Oh, and would it be available in California?

Thanks.

Good Evening Enabler. Below is a list of whiskey that is generally inexpensive and decent pours in their shelf category. (no particular order and not all are bourbon)

Very Old Barton
Ezra Brooks
Old Charter
Seagrams 7 Crown
Evan Williams
Jim Beam
Jim Beam Rye
Old Overholt Rye
George Dickel
Early Times
Ancient Age
Elijah Craig

There are many options in the $10 to $25 range. The best advice I can give is your enjoyment will vary depending on what you personally like in a whiskey. If you like Old Grandad maybe other Beam products will also appeal to you. If you aren't sure you'll like something, try buying a 50ml bottle or the 200 to 325ml bottles. That way if you decide you don't like it then you haven't wasted much money or whiskey.

Having a drink in your favorite restuarant or watering hole isn't cheaper but you can decide with that one drink whether you want to buy your own bottle.

Finally, if you do buy a bottle and you aren't fond of the taste use it for cooking. We have several recipes on the SB.com and most have been vetted by experts :yum:

Enabler
04-28-2010, 21:53
Thank you. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

MGB
04-29-2010, 03:45
Finally, if you do buy a bottle and you aren't fond of the taste use it for cooking.

:cool:

Actually, a pretty good thread for those of us who are financially challenged when it comes to what my daughter calls "Opening the wallet and letting the moths fly out!"

Thanks to both. :grin:

ratcheer
04-29-2010, 03:49
My favorite "cheap" bourbon over the past few years has been Old Grand Dad 86-proof.

Tim

White Dog
04-29-2010, 06:03
If you're drinking it neat, as one should, you really need to spend at least $20 a bottle, since anything under that price includes lots of tails. At least, that's what I taste and smell in that category.

callmeox
04-29-2010, 06:26
If you're drinking it neat, as one should, you really need to spend at least $20 a bottle, since anything under that price includes lots of tails. At least, that's what I taste and smell in that category.

I'm looking at a number of sub $20.00 bottles in my cabinet that are drinkable and highly enjoyable neat.

No established member here would intentionally give anyone a bum steer when it comes to bottles that are high on the quality to cost ratio.

Josh
04-29-2010, 06:41
No established member here would intentionally give anyone a bum steer when it comes to bottles that are high on the quality to cost ratio.

There's a newish product from Beam called Red Stag that is a great value pour. I highly recommend it!

But seriously folks, check out the recommendations on member's profiles. Mine are divided into value and fancy sections.

theDon
04-29-2010, 07:35
If you're drinking it neat, as one should, you really need to spend at least $20 a bottle, since anything under that price includes lots of tails. At least, that's what I taste and smell in that category.

Absolutely not a true statement. McHinson's list is good with the Ezra B, Evan W, and Very Old Barton being sub $15 bottles. I'll add these sub $15 bottles also:

Weller 7r Special Reserve
Heaven Hill 6r Bonded
Evan Williams 1783
Tom Moore BIB (where available)

Res/st-or
04-29-2010, 07:43
Picked up a couple pints of Charter 101 for $4.99ea. I don't hate it.. Well worth the price me thinks.

Doggerlander
04-29-2010, 07:49
Another way to go is younger members of the same family. Benchmark is a good bet if you like Buffalo Trace. It seems a bit less complex and has more bite, but the family resemblance is there.

The reasonably priced 1.75 liter bottles in my cabinet are Evan Williams and Very Old Barton.

Ancient Ancient Age is reasonably priced, but in Ohio we can only get 10 Star not 10 Year.

unclebunk
04-29-2010, 08:24
I'll be the echo here: as others have stated, there are plenty of quality bourbons that are excellent when consumed neat that fall under the $20 price range. (In fact, a few fall under the $15 mark and deliver pure enjoyment. When I'm drinking Very Old Barton BIB I hold my head up high and never feel as if I've compromised on quality.) I also like OGD 86, current bottlings of Beam Black, Old Forester Signature, Old Weller Antique, Four Roses Yellow, Ancient Ancient Age and many others. Like I said, you can look knee high on the shelf and lower and still get kick-ass whiskey. Try 'em all and decide for yourself.

MGB
04-29-2010, 08:58
Try 'em all and decide for yourself.

That's a hell of an idea! :drinking:

CaptainQ
04-29-2010, 09:15
J.T.S. Brown, tasty and cheap.

matthew0715
04-29-2010, 09:54
Try 'em all and decide for yourself.

I'd love to BUT, and I don't know about where you live, but around here most stores only carry the bottom shelf brands in 1.75 liter size. I guess they feel those customers are only interested in value, so quantity sells. That's way too much whiskey for me to buy just to "try" another brand. That's why I've never tried JTS Brown, for example. That's how I used to decide how cheap is too cheap to be any good. Of course, I've been on SB.com long enough to know that t'aint necessarily so.

Do others have trouble finding bargain brands in smaller sizes?

-Matt

unclebunk
04-29-2010, 10:05
I'd love to BUT, and I don't know about where you live, but around here most stores only carry the bottom shelf brands in 1.75 liter size. I guess they feel those customers are only interested in value, so quantity sells. That's way too much whiskey for me to buy just to "try" another brand. That's why I've never tried JTS Brown, for example. That's how I used to decide how cheap is too cheap to be any good. Of course, I've been on SB.com long enough to know that t'aint necessarily so.

Do others have trouble finding bargain brands in smaller sizes?

-Matt

Hmm. That's an interesting dilemma, Matt. Around here (Chicagoland) I'm able to get my cheaper stuff in standard 750ml bottles, so if I'm not wild about something I can always invite a few friends over and we'll knock off the rest to make space on the bar. Keep in mind that there are some bottom shelfers that absolutely suck, in my view, and I wouldn't buy them no matter how cheap they were, though others here may like the very brands I can't stand. As a general rule of thumb, most of the less expensive bottled-in-bond bourbons I've bought have been quite good, having enough character to make them worthwhile. But if you're stuck with 1.75's it does make it riskier. Can you tell me what's available in 750's? Do you have any friends who might want to split a 1.75 with you?

Enabler
04-29-2010, 11:01
We have kind of that problem up here in Chico which is a relatively small town in Northern California. Stores have the cheap stuff in the big bottles, but I am going to hunt around some of the mom and pop stores. If I take a field trip to the Bay Area I can get to stores that have much much better selections. Also, I checked and there is a BevMo about 100 miles away. Road Trip!

matthew0715
04-29-2010, 19:45
Hmm. That's an interesting dilemma, Matt. Around here (Chicagoland) I'm able to get my cheaper stuff in standard 750ml bottles, so if I'm not wild about something I can always invite a few friends over and we'll knock off the rest to make space on the bar. Keep in mind that there are some bottom shelfers that absolutely suck, in my view, and I wouldn't buy them no matter how cheap they were, though others here may like the very brands I can't stand. As a general rule of thumb, most of the less expensive bottled-in-bond bourbons I've bought have been quite good, having enough character to make them worthwhile. But if you're stuck with 1.75's it does make it riskier. Can you tell me what's available in 750's? Do you have any friends who might want to split a 1.75 with you?

Actually, today I saw VG 80pf (not 90/the Fox), Old Crow, and Ten High (Bourbon Whiskey, a blend) in 1.75l only, at store #1. Other 1.75 bottles were just blended whiskey or Canadian. FWIW, I picked up Old Overholt Rye for $15, only sold in 1 liter bottles. So far it's good with diet ginger ale.:grin:

At store #2, I also saw Old Crow Reserve and Heaven Hill black label (86pf - didn't this used to have an age statement?) only in 1.75, but I know I've seen these in 750ml size elsewhere. I grabbed an OWA 7/107 for $22 since I know they've gone to NAS and a new bottle design.

-Matt

BigJim
04-30-2010, 18:33
Buffalo Trace is a fine whiskey for less than $30/quart

ILLfarmboy
05-02-2010, 09:54
If you're drinking it neat, as one should, you really need to spend at least $20 a bottle, since anything under that price includes lots of tails. At least, that's what I taste and smell in that category.


Most of the real cheapies, even the ones you wouldn't drink neat, started life out as the same distilate as the more expensive brands. Age, as the say takes out those "hog tracks".

unclebunk
05-02-2010, 11:42
Actually, today I saw VG 80pf (not 90/the Fox), Old Crow, and Ten High (Bourbon Whiskey, a blend) in 1.75l only, at store #1. Other 1.75 bottles were just blended whiskey or Canadian. FWIW, I picked up Old Overholt Rye for $15, only sold in 1 liter bottles. So far it's good with diet ginger ale.:grin:

At store #2, I also saw Old Crow Reserve and Heaven Hill black label (86pf - didn't this used to have an age statement?) only in 1.75, but I know I've seen these in 750ml size elsewhere. I grabbed an OWA 7/107 for $22 since I know they've gone to NAS and a new bottle design.

-Matt

Good pick-ups on the Old Overholt and (especially) OWA 7/107 which is one of my favorites. I've never done cartwheels over Old Crow, Ten High and Heaven Hill black label and probably wouldn't pick those up even in 750ml bottles if they were available, but that's just me. Others would no doubt disagree. (My last bottle of Heaven Hill Ultra Deluxe was actually quite tasty but it went like a flash in an all-night poker game, so my recollection of it is a bit fuzzy.) Most of the cheaper blends are crap and should be avoided. Just keep hunting and you'll find some excellent quality inexpensive whiskey out there before too long.

ethangsmith
05-02-2010, 15:44
I was hoping there was a thread on here about cheap bourbons. My finances currently prevent me from getting lots of good stuff so I've been sampling lots of the cheapies. I really like Cabin Still, which hasn't been mentioned on here yet. I am also a big fan of Old Heaven Hill BIB, Old Grand Dad BIB, and Early Times. Rittenhouse Rye BIB is really good stuff too.

kyrocklover
05-02-2010, 16:31
Old Heaven Hill 100 proof is not all that bad. Actually, I kind of like it. In my opinion, a fairly cheap upgrade would be Old Forester Signature. It is a 100 proof bourbon that has a nice taste.

unclebunk
05-02-2010, 16:49
Old Heaven Hill 100 proof is not all that bad. Actually, I kind of like it. In my opinion, a fairly cheap upgrade would be Old Forester Signature. It is a 100 proof bourbon that has a nice taste.

I couldn't agree more. OFS always has a place on my bar and is a big favorite when the boys come over.

unclebunk
05-02-2010, 16:51
I was hoping there was a thread on here about cheap bourbons. My finances currently prevent me from getting lots of good stuff so I've been sampling lots of the cheapies. I really like Cabin Still, which hasn't been mentioned on here yet. I am also a big fan of Old Heaven Hill BIB, Old Grand Dad BIB, and Early Times. Rittenhouse Rye BIB is really good stuff too.

All excellent suggestions. OGD BIB is one of my favorite budget bourbons (I like the 86 proof too), as is the Rittenhouse Rye BIB which can compete with other ryes at double the price.

p_elliott
05-03-2010, 08:30
I just found my first bottle of Ritt BIB a couple of weeks ago this is mighty fine rye whiskey.

unclebunk
05-03-2010, 09:03
I just found my first bottle of Ritt BIB a couple of weeks ago this is mighty fine rye whiskey.

And I bet the price was killer too (at least for what you get). There was a time not long ago that it was available here in Chicagoland for about $15 until our new booze tax increase kicked in last September. But it's still around $18-$20 which is hard to beat.

ethangsmith
05-03-2010, 14:38
It seems like the Rittenhouse BIB has a somewhat smoky flavor. I think that's what attracts me to it. Another good cheaper whiskey is George Dickel 12.

mcer
05-03-2010, 17:30
I bought some EW 1783 and find it very nice for the price. Anyone know the dif between 1783 and the regular bottling?

Thanks, Rene'

spun_cookie
05-03-2010, 18:26
Go over to some SB.comer's house and drink theirs. Guaranteed to be good and cheap :)