Not wanting to share any of my good whiskey with people that wouldn't appreciate it, I set out a couple weeks ago to pick up something cheap for a party. Generally I would have reached for a bottle of Evan Williams, but by chance I decided on Virgin 101 for $10. Wow. In my opinion this stuff beats most bottles under $40. Evidently I'm not alone either. Jim Murray rated it as the top bourbon under 9 years old (http://www.scotch-tasting-bums.com/Blog,_Year_2/Entries/2011/10/26_2012_Whisky_Bible_Awards.html). It may not impress you as much as it impressed me, but for $10 how can you go wrong? The one catch: it only appears to be available in a few states (including AL and NC).
What's your go-to bottle under $20?