As I've written here before...here in Hawaii, a lot of Bourbon brands are hard to come by. We basically have all the mainstream, mass market brands in our liquor stores, and a few bars will occasionally carry some other brands...but all in all, there seems to be literally hundreds of brands of Bourbon that ya'all discuss on this board that I have almost no hope of ever seeing here.
So here's the basis for my question: I'm going to the mainland for my sister-in-law's wedding this weekend. I'm planning on stopping off at Lee's Discount Liquor Warehouse, as the last time I was there, I noticed they literally had an extensive section of Bourbon. This was back when I was much more of a Scotch guy, and I was there looking for a bottle of Talisker 18 year...so I paid a little attention to the Bourbon, but not too much.
Now, however, I have to say that Bourbon has literally changed my palate. This is both good AND bad. Scotch's I used to love...don't taste the same to me anymore. I still like 'em...just not as much as I used to...and I'm positive that a steady diet of Bourbon is responsible!
But I digress...
My real question for ya'all is this: given the current economic hard times (I'm hurting bad...one of the reasons why I started drinking Bourbon in the first place - far cheaper than the Single Malt Scotch I had grown so fond of,) if you were in my shoes, and you were going to be in a store that had a huge selection available that you knew you couldn't get back at home...and you had a very limited budget ($60 Tops!), which Bourbon would you choose to buy?
I'm planning on one...maybe two bottles.
I want to get a bourbon that is at a high proof (100 minimum), but is not too pricey, and not something that I can find easily here in the Islands.
Here are the Bourbon's I can get in Hawaii...
Maker's Mark, Just about all of the Jim Beam products, Woodford's Reserve, Evan Williams, Bulleit, WT101.
I also have found that I tend to favor the Rye-heavy whiskey's over the wheaters (well, the only wheater I've had the chance to try is MM, so I could be wrong).
What suggestions would you guys make?