View Full Version : Very best bourbons under $20
Now that Christmas is over and we all have impending credit card bills due to arrive in January, what are the best bourbons out there for less than $20?
It is hard to say what are the very best bourbons for under $20 since everyone has different opinions as what is good and what is bad. That being said these are my favorites that are under $20, or right around there like $22-$24 are:
-Old Forester 100 Proof
-Ridgewood Reserve 1792
-Wild Turkey Russel's Reserve
-Evan Williams Single Barrel
-Elmer T Lee Single Barrel
-Eagle Rare 10YO 101 Proof
-Eagle Rare 10YO Single Barrel
-WL Weller 12 YO
-Ancient Ancient Age 10 YO
-Ezra Brooks 15 YO
-Old Commonwealth 10 YO (if you can still get it)
And my wife loves it so I'll add Four Roses
I think Mark summed it up nicely, and I would like to emphasize the Weller 12yo and the AAA 10yo. Both are bourbons I would pay twice the price asked and still feel like I got a good deal. Try the Old Forester 100 proof if you can find it with the "Black Diamond" label. One that Mark did not mention is Old Charter 12yo "The Classic". At only $15 or so it's a steal. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
That's a pretty representative sub-$20 list. My only addition would be Elijah Craig 12yo. (Beware though...EC12 is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it type of bourbon!)
My only addition would be Elijah Craig 12yo.
DOH, how could I have left that out! You are right, it is a love it or hate it bourbon Gary. It's one of the few bourbons I can say I only care for if it has a cube or two in it, but nonetheless, it is a very good bourbon for its price. Now let's just hope we don't see its price get inflated in 04'! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
The ones on your list that I am familar with are all more like $25-26, not less than $20. (Not that I would quibble with your list for quality at reasonable cost.)
The only low cost bourbon that I have tried is Evan Williams 7 yr. I think it sells for about $11. And it is a pleasant bourbon, good but subtle flavor, medium body but a short finish.
A state line divides Kansas City so prices vary widely. Some of these will cost more than $20 at various stores in the metro, but all can be found for sale under $20 somewhere on a regular basis.
At the $20 price point I can (and do) buy & recommend the following:
Old Fitz 1849
David Nichols 1843
Old Forester BIB & 86
Old Ezra 7 yr
Elijah Craig 12 yr
Old Grand Dad BIB & 114
Wild Turkey 101
Old Weller 12 yr
Evan Williams Single Barrel
Old Charter 10 & 12 yr
Old Overholt Rye
Wild Turkey Rye
Raise the price point to $25 and I'll add:
Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve
Elmer T. Lee.
Old Ezra Brooks 12-15 yr
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 yr
Van Winkle Rye
Yeah, some of em' can be around $25+, just depends where you live or how well you know a store owner and how close to his cost he is willing to sell you the stuff. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif The place I get my EWSB in the city charges near $30 for EWSB (don't forget that is Manhattan price) but I get it for somewhere around $22-24... If I get it while in VA at one of the Air Force or Navy bases class six stores, the price drops to $20 no tax.
Elijah Craig 12yo (snip ) it is a very good bourbon for its price. Now let's just hope we don't see its price get inflated in 04'!
Just to be on the safe side I bought a couple of 1.75L bottles of EC12yr on sale last week @ $22 each. Roughly $10/750ml for EC 12? Seasonal sale or no, THAT'S a bargain.
I also agree with the items in Mark's list and glad to see you've added "The Classic"...it is excellent. I'd also like to mention Barton's BIB. It is a good bourbon for the money!
I found a pretty good bargain (I think) last week and picked up a coupld of bottles of ORVW 10yr 90pr for 15 bucks apiece. Other stores in the area has the same for 25. But then, almost all the prices you guys give are a lot less than stores around here sell it for. Danged old state of Missouri (pronounced in this case MISERY)
I just did a search (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/search.php?Cat=) and found a fairly old thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=1682&page=&view=&sb=5 &o=) that discusses this exact topic as well... Seems like prices on some of the 'cheaper' pours have not changed much over the past few years while on the more 'boutique bourbons' we have seen a bit more of a price jump.
Before I read what everyone else answered, I will list mine:
Wild Turkey 101
Elijah Craig 12-year old
Old Forester 100-proof
Note that prices are higher here than in most areas, so some things I have to pay more than $20 for might be under it where you live. But all of those are actually under $20, here.
Oh, that is ironic. In Alabama, December is the only month when they don't run any sales at the ABC stores, because they know they will sell more than usual, anyway. (I just stock up in November.)
I've no quarrel with anybody's list so far, but:
I know it's not available everywhere -- and, that I'm showing my simple tastes here -- but Rebel Yell is closer to $10 than $20, and I think it's a fine drink. Add Weller Special Reserve and Antique 107 as items usually at or under the $20 price point.
And (I know, not a bourbon!), but I'd also include Wild Turkey rye to my "best under $20" list.
but Rebel Yell is closer to $10 than $20, and I think it's a fine drink.
Tell me more about Rebel Yell. I have seen it in local liquor stores but have never tried it. What is another bourbon similar in taste and body?
Originally a Stitzel-Weller product, my understanding is that Rebel Yell -- which once was marketed in only a handful of Southeastern states -- was an 80-proof version of 'wheatie' W.L. Weller's Special Reserve (90 proof). Weller, of course, is now owned and bottled by Buffalo Trace/Sazerac, and the Rebel Yell label belongs to David Sherman Corp., St. Louis. I've been told -- and, I believe from my own tastebuds -- that it retains its original wheat grain bill. It is very similar to the 7yo Special Reserve, with caramel and molasses undertones, and a great bourbon for its low price.
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