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Give it up for the cheap bourbon

I love bourbon, and here are some of my favorites. Jack (Black, I know it's really american whiskey but I'm taking creative license. Woodford, Makers, Bookers, Knob, and on a special night, Hirsch are all very nice. But I want to talk about bang for the buck. For my money, Rebel Yell is as good as we can do here. I have enjoyed ancient age but can't get that here in Boston. Any other good cheap bourbon or american whiskeys?

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  1. Try a bottle of Evan Williams Black Label. It should be available for $10 or less.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      By the way, Chicago Mike has a Bourbon Whisky Tasting thread recently on this board. The last post was December 15. If you scroll down to find it, you might find some useful comments there.

      1. re: DavidT

        Just be sure it's the 10 years old whiskey from Evan Williams. I agree it's a great value. Costs vary greatly from state to state due to different tax rates.

      2. Evan Williams Single Barrel is very good, but still a bit less than the others you mention (at least in GA). If you can find it, Buffalo Trace is also in that ~$20 range and is very good. I went through a bottle of the Ancient Ancient Age and it's too bad you can't get that. Also have been drinking rye lately, and there are a lot of good, inexpensive examples (Rittenhouse, Old Overholt, etc).

        1. If you can get it in your area, try Old Forester. Should be in the $10 - $15 range.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Papa Kip Chee

            I second, third, and forth Old Forester. That whiskey is a work of genius.

          2. A long time ago, I had some whiskey that was sold in a mason jar (no kidding) with a label that was printed to look like it was hand-lettered. I don't remember the 'brand', but it was cheap and tasted like lightning in a jar. Did I mention it was cheap?

            1 Reply
            1. re: ricepad

              Sounds like Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey.

            2. The venerable orange label - Old Grand Dad particularly bottled in bond (100 proof)

              1. W. L. Wellers Special Reserve (7 year) is a good inexpensive bourbon, lots of wheat in the mash so it's smooth. Their same whiskey aged to 12 years old is a heckuva buy. If you like Rebel Yell this will probably be to your taste. They don't market this very aggressively outside of Texas, so if you see it...buy it.

                Old Charter 8 year is my favorite 'well' bourbon, their 10 year old is a nice step up, but their 12 year old "Classic" is worth the extra money. Still less than $20 a bottle, good whusk.

                Last but not least, Old Fitzgerald 1849. Old Fitz (another wheat recipe) but aged 8 years and sold at 90 proof. Worth looking for.

                1. Ten High $7.99 for 750ml.

                  1. For about $22 the Evan Williams vintage series is my favorite. i like it better than Woodford at twice the price.

                    1. We just had a 2nd blind tasting, which I'll post shortly.

                      The bottom line is that one reasonably-priced bourbon scored very high in both tastings...

                      W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7 year old. It's probably around 12 to 14 for a 750ml depending on your store, and very well worth it. Drinks favorably against very stiff expensive competition.

                      1. Oh the humanity... ;-)

                        First Jack "Crap" Daniels is Tennessee Whiskey, not "American Whiskey." Second IMO, you have succumbed to the perils of advertising, as JD is bottom of the barrel in quality. If you're looking for cheap and good go for Elijah Craig.

                        1. True that neither Jack daniels nor George Dickell are in fact "bourbon". Although it might be noted that with the exception of the Lincoln County filtration process they are subject to the same methods of production as real "bourbons"

                          And yes Theresa Jack Daniels is "American or US whiskey". It is however a very broad classification. The next step in the taxonomy of whiskey is whether it is "straight", "blended straight", or "blended".

                          1. Beyond bourbon, but within the "bang for the buck" in the whiskey category, if you can find a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye - Bottled in Bond (100 proof I think), buy it. Around $14-15, and it's a steal. Tastes right up there with the $30-40 bourbon crowd. Plus, you owe it to yourself to have a good rye in your cabinet, if you don't have one already.

                            1. For dirt cheap, I like Old Crow. I really find it rather palatable.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fistalee

                                Old Crow is my everyday and mixing Bourbon. The joy of Bourbons for me is the different tastes you get in all price ranges. I enjoy many expensive bourbons, but many cheap ones too. I like Old Crow better than Woodford Reserve.

                              2. old williamsburg
                                old smuggler
                                nasty, but will knock your cold right out
                                best served with my mom's chicken soup (made with huge chunk of meat), on a cold, wintery friday night

                                1. I really like Heaven Hill. Some bars that I used to frequent served this as their "well" drink, and I honestly can't tell the difference when mixed with coke. It's no Kentucky Gent, which tastes like a delicious version of rubbing alcohol.

                                  Evan Williams is very solid too. And whoever mentioned Elijia Craig, it's definitely pretty money. I drank a fifth of that at Virginia's Foxfield races one year and loved every sip (those I remembered, haha)

                                  1. I agree with those in favor of Elijah Craig, but to me, once you get above the $20 range, you are no longer in the truly "cheap" realm. In the $10 range, why not pick up a bottle of Ezra Brooks; if you've never tried it, it is really quite a nice bottle for what it is.