I'm a firm believer that the best products are made by using the best ingredients. About 50% of my bourbon consumption is via Manhattans and to me, the bourbon used makes a big difference in the final product. I'm not advocating using the priciest ones out there, but a good ~$20 bottle of bourbon (I'm using EC 12 yo right now with happy results) makes a better Manhattan made with Old Crow and the like. I know you probably don't disagree with that last statement. I guess I'm just saying that bottom bourbons don't make great Manhattans. They make passable Manhattans. Great Manhattans are made with great ingredients. And while I'm on the subject, toss those grocery store maraschino cherries and try the Michter's ones. Again, substituting a better product for an inferior one will just make the final product better.