I’ve had some requests from friends of the blog for lists of my favorite bourbons in certain price ranges. This sounded like a fun exercise, but there are some challenges. First, not all bourbons are available everywhere. Second, not all bourbons are the same price everywhere. Third, there are some bourbons I don’t usually care for, but I like some of the specially selected retailer bottlings. Finally, some bourbons are only released in limited quantities once a year. Some of them, like the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon and the Four Roses annual releases, vary quite a bit from year to year. Others, like the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC), are pretty consistent.
For my recommendations I have decided to include bourbons available in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky or Chicago, i.e. places where I shop. For all bourbons available in Michigan, the price I will be using is the state minimum retail price. Bourbons not available in Michigan will be marked with an asterisk and I will use the price listed at The Party Source in Covington, Kentucky. All prices are rounded to the nearest dollar before sales tax. I will note retailer bottlings I like in each category at the end of each list. For the purposes of this list, I have included Tennessee Whiskeys. Rye whiskeys are not included, but get their own very short list at the bottom.
Whew. So without any further ado, and without comment (mostly)…
Favorite bourbons under $25
*Heaven Hill Old Style, 6 y/o, Bottled-in-Bond (White Label) $9
*Very Old Barton, Bottled-in-Bond $13 (the 90 proof version is available in Michigan for the same price)
Old Ezra 101 $16
*Ancient Ancient Age 10 y/o (not to be confused with 10 star) $18
Geo. Dickel Old #12 $22
Elijah Craig 12 y/o $22
Old Forester Signature $22
Old Grand Dad 114 proof $23 (Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond is also a great value)
Retailer bottlings of Buffalo Trace and Old Weller Antique are also worth seeking out.
Favorite bourbons $25-$49
*W.L. Weller 12 y/o $25
Evan Williams Single Barrel (I like the 1994, 1997-2000 vintages) $29
Wild Turkey Rare Breed $35
Four Roses Single Barrel $40
Old Rip Van Winkle 107 $40
Retailer bottlings of Elijah Craig 18 y/o and Four Roses Single Barrel, Barrel Strength (OBSK, OBSV, OESO, or OESQ recipes) can be stellar.
Favorite Bourbons $50 and up
Pappy Van Winkle 15 y/o $65
Four Roses Ltd. Ed. Single Barrel $70
Four Roses Ltd Ed. Small Batch $70
Geo. T. Stagg $71
Parker’s Heritage Collection (Wheated or Cognac finish) $80
Under $25: *Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond $22
$25-$50: Bulleit Rye $25, Sazerac Rye $28
Over $50: Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye $60