We are busy in the middle of a relocation, but we always have time to help our good friends at Drinkwire out, and we of course love talking about bourbon. So we took a break from moving and got a post put out. Enjoying good bourbon doesn’t have to break the bank and there are plenty of good bourbons out there for under $30. Here is our list of 5 favorite bourbons under $30, each listing is accompanied by our review.
#1: Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey 101 made our list because it is such a solid product. It is another great product from Wild Turkey. It’s 101 proof provides plenty of bang for your buck, so to speak, and the flavor profile is excellent.
Name: Wild Turkey 101
Bottled By: Austin Nichols Distilling Co.
Age: 6-8 Years
Notes: On the nose you will get vanilla, oak, and rye. At first we definitely noticed the rye with a slight vanilla and caramel taste which will fade allowing a sweet and spicy honey taste. The finish is spicy with oak, nuts, honey and the perfect amount of burn that quickly gives way to nice long warmth. Wild Turkey 101 is great bourbon. The rye is definitely prominent with this one. Wild Turkey 101 has quickly become an everyday bourbon for us due to the great taste, availability, and price. Due to the rising prices of some bourbons recently, I consider this a great value bourbon.
Price: Available at most places around $20 dollars for 750 ml.
#2 Elijah Craig 12 year
Elijah Craig made our list because wonderful flavor profile. It has plenty of rich flavors and offers quite a lot in a good bourbon, especially the toffee flavor, very enjoyable.
Name: Elijah Craig 12-year
Bottled By: Heaven Hill Distillery
Age: 12 years
Notes: The nose is all sweet corn with hints of apples, vanilla, caramel, rich syrup, and toffee. It’s very complex. To taste, Elijah Craig warms the tongue nicely with intense oak, vanilla, caramel, and toffee notes. Each sip is intensely flavorful and the finish is medium. You won’t find many 12-year old bourbons in this price range. Elijah Craig’s affordability combined with it’s rich flavors make it a great choice to sip neat or on the rocks.
History: Elijah Craig (1738-1808) was a Baptist preacher and entrepreneur in the part of the Virginia Territory that later become the state of Kentucky. He is sometimes credited with the invention of bourbon whiskey. His good and historic name has been appropriated by Heaven Hill Distillery for two of its premium bourbons, including this one.
Special thanks to Andy for submitting this great review.
#3 Buffalo Trace
Buffalo Trace made our list due to the simple flavor profile and also for being a great entry level bourbon.
Name: Buffalo Trace
Bottled By: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Age: 9 Years
Notes: Buffalo Trace is an all around great Bourbon. It has nice oak, caramel, and molasses flavors. It is sweet, which can probably be attributed to the length of time is spends in the barrel. It is an easy drinker and a great everyday pour. Don’t let the price fool you, this bourbon is definitely a mid shelf Bourbon. With some other Bourbons in this price range raising their prices, Buffalo Trace is quickly becoming the go-to Bourbon for many, and for good reason. We definitely took the price into consideration when we gave this one our rating. We enjoy Buffalo Trace with a splash or a cube.
History: Buffalo Trace distillery was started sometime before 1773 by Hancock Lee. The distillery has been known by many names throughout it’s history. It is located on what the company claims is an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River in Franklin County.
#4 Old Grand Dad 114
Old Grand Dad made our list because of wonderful flavors of oak and vanilla. They are very pure tasting and the strength of the bourbon is great for the price.
Name: Old Grand Dad 114
Bottled By: Beam Inc.
Notes: Old Grand Dad 114 starts of with some nice heat and heavy oak taste. The oak mellows but doesn’t fade, vanilla comes in but quickly fades away leaving you with a strong oak and alcohol taste. You will find that this Bourbon will be served best with a splash of water or on the rocks.
History: Old Grand Dad was named by Raymond B. Hayden after his grandfather Basil Hayden, Sr. who was a distiller himself during his lifetime. Old Grand Dad depicts a picture of Basil Hayden Sr. on each bottle and is one of the 10 best selling straight bourbons today.
#5 Bulleit Bourbon
Bulleit made our list because it is readily available, a great introductory bourbon, and its high rye allows you to make some incredible classic cocktails.
Name: Bulleit Bourbon
Bottled By: Diageo
Age: 6 Years
Notes: Bulleit Bourbon has a strong wood taste up front with a nice bite. More spicy than sweet which works out well for this Bourbon.You will definitely notice the rye in this. Bulleit Bourbon is what got me into Bourbon. This was my go to bottle for many years. I’m not sure if it was the solid, consistent quality of the whiskey or the bottle and the way it reminds you of the Wild West (you sure feel manly drinking this). This Bourbon was priced right at around $20 but with the latest price increase I will be reaching for other Bourbons which is a shame because I’ve always enjoyed this. If you haven’t tried it, it’s worth picking up to give it a shot.
History: According to Tom Bulleit, the Bourbon was originally created by Augustus Bulleit around 1830 who continued to produce it into the 19th century. Production was continued until his death in 1860. The current recipe is substantially different than the original which used 2/3 rye and 1/3 corn in the mash bill.