Best Bourbons Under $100 in 2023 - The Ultimate List
Never before has the choice of bourbon been so incredible. In 2023, there are countless releases to tantalize your taste buds and plenty of cost-effective options that won't break the bank. From small-batch specialities to classic labels, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best bourbons under $100 around this year. Whether you're an experienced connoisseur or just discovering the joys of whiskey flavours, our top picks offer complex flavour profiles that can elevate any gathering or provide an enjoyable nightcap.
Let's take a look at all these amazing bottles!
The Best Bourbons Under $100 – A Guide to Finding Quality
While finding high quality, yet affordable bourbons under $100, here are a few considerations to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.
- Age: The age of a bourbon can be relevant, as it often significantly affects its flavour and complexity. Most bourbons under $100 will range between 3 and 8 years, but remember that age isn't necessarily an indicator of quality.
- Mash Bill: The mash bill is the recipe for grains used in the bourbon. In general, bourbons under $100 are made from a mix of corn and other grains like rye, wheat, or barley. A good mash bill can add dimension to your whiskey and offer hints of fruit, spice, or sweetness.
- Taste: As always, taste is the most important factor. Make sure you read reviews, and taste samples, and pick a bottle that suits your palate.
Now it’s time to look at our list of 10 of the best bourbons under $100 in 2023!
- Weller Special Reserve: A classic label with a cult following, this wheat bourbon is aged between 7 and 8 years and offers sweet, vanilla flavours.
- Elijah Craig Small Batch: Aged for 12 years, this small batch whiskey is full of spicy oak undertones with a hint of cocoa and caramel sweetness.
- Four Roses Single Barrel: This single-barrel whiskey has a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley, producing notes of oak and spice.
- Michter’s American Whiskey: This four-grain whiskey is aged for 8 years to produce a smooth finish with flavours of honey, vanilla, and baking spices.
- Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve: Aged for 9 years in charred white oak barrels, this bourbon offers an intense flavour profile with definite notes of cinnamon and pepper.
- Russell’s Reserve 10 Year: Rich flavours of caramel, wood, and spices make this one a must-try, especially if you love bolder flavour profiles.
- Old Forester Signature: Light aromas and big fruit flavors lead this bold finish, making it one of the best bourbons under $100 on the market.
- Woodford Reserve Double Oaked: An interesting combination of sweet and smoky flavours make this a great whiskey to explore.
- Maker’s Mark Cask Strength: A big, bold whiskey with more complexity than its standard version, this is perfect for those looking to up their bourbon game.
- Bulleit 10-Year-Old: Bold notes of honey and oak with hints of spice make this a popular choice at barbecues or just when sipping neat.
Whether you're new to bourbon or an experienced connoisseur, there are plenty of quality bourbons under $100 in 2023 that you can enjoy. We hope this list helps you find a bottle that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you coming back for more!
So, cheers to good whiskey, and happy sipping!
The Different Types of Bourbons and Their Characteristics
Bourbon whiskey is a type of distilled spirit that originated in the United States and is made from corn, rye, and barley. It has a distinct flavour profile with notes of wood, spice, caramel, and fruit. Though there are many variations of bourbon whiskey on the market today, all bourbons typically fall into one of four categories: single barrel or small batch bourbons, traditional straight or blended bourbons, flavoured bourbons, and other specialty varieties.
Single Barrel or Small Batch Bourbons
Single barrel bourbons are those aged in a particular barrel designated for only one release; whereas small batch releases combine barrels to create a unique flavour blend. These two types tend to be more expensive than other kinds because they are limited in quantity. Generally, these bourbons offer flavours of vanilla, oak, caramel, and citrus fruits.
Traditional Straight or Blended Bourbons – These are the most common types of bourbon whiskey on the market and they come in a variety of different forms. The simplest type is straight bourbon which is made from grain mash that has been aged for at least two years in charred oak barrels.
These types of whiskeys get their distinct taste from added ingredients such as herbs, spices, and fruit. They are often produced to taste like a certain flavour such as peach or cherry and may even have colouring added to give them a unique look.
Other Specialty Varieties
These include bourbons made from other grains such as wheat and rye; those with higher alcohol content (over 45%); and barrel-proof bourbons that are bottled without any additional water added for dilution. Speciality varieties tend to be more expensive than traditional straight or blended bourbons due to their rarity.
No matter which type of bourbon you’re sipping on, there’s something for everyone in the world of whiskey. Each type has its own unique characteristics that make it special – from the smooth, sweet flavours of single barrel or small batch bourbons to the bold, spicy nuances found in traditional blends. So go ahead and explore all the different types of bourbons on the market today to find one that best fits your taste!
Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck - Five Bourbons Under $50
When it comes to whiskey, you don’t have to break the bank to buy a quality bottle. There are plenty of great bourbons on the market under $50 that will satisfy your taste buds without breaking the bank. Here are five of our favourites:
- Willett 4-Year Rye – This award-winning rye is aged in oak barrels for four years and has a spicy flavour with notes of pepper, wood, sweet vanilla, and cinnamon. You can expect an extremely smooth finish from this popular bourbon.
- Four Roses Small Batch – Aged for at least six years in new, charred white oak barrels, this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey delivers bold notes of caramel and butterscotch that are rounded out with touches of spiciness and oak.
- Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon – This well-rounded bourbon is made from a mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% barley malt. It delivers flavours of sweet toffee, subtle spices, and oak on the palate with a buttery finish.
- Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon – Aged for at least seven years in charred oak barrels, this whiskey has complex notes of dried fruit, almond paste, baking spices, and vanilla. With its long finish, it’s sure to please even the most discerning bourbon lovers.
- Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon - This is a classic bourbon that’s made from corn, rye, and malted barley. It has subtle flavours of honey, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and oak along with a smooth finish.
No matter which one you choose, each of these bourbons offers exceptional value for the price. So go ahead and try them out - your taste buds won't be disappointed!
To learn more about whiskies gift ideas under $50, this article is a good resource: Top 10 best whiskey gift ideas under £50.
The Luxury Level – Ten Bourbons Over $50
The world of whiskey doesn’t end with bourbons under $50. There are plenty of great bottles that cost over the fifty-dollar mark, and they offer some truly unique experiences for whiskey lovers who want to take their experience to the next level. Here are ten of our favourites:
- Elijah Craig Single Barrel – This limited edition bourbon has been aged for 12 years in charred white oak barrels and offers a bold flavour profile with hints of vanilla, clove, cinnamon, orange zest, and caramel.
- Maker’s Mark Private Selection – Aged for nine years in oak barrels and finished in special 10-gallon barrels made from five different types of wood, this whiskey delivers smooth notes of cherry, vanilla, honey, and baking spices.
- George T. Stagg – Aged for 15 years in charred oak barrels, this bourbon has a deep flavour profile with hints of leather, allspice, tobacco, and dark chocolate. It’s sure to please even the most discerning whiskey aficionados.
- Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch – This limited edition whiskey is aged for 11 years in select barrels and offers complex flavours of caramelized sugar, ripe fruits, clove, cinnamon, and sweet oak.
- Parker’s Heritage Collection Barrel Finished – This unique bourbon is aged for 12 years in specially selected new American Oak barrels, and then finished in vintage Cognac casks. The result is a smooth whiskey with flavours of cherries, toffee, leather, oak, and spices.
- Elijah Craig 20-Year Single Barrel Bourbon – This limited edition bourbon has been aged for 20 years in charred white oak barrels and offers bold notes of dark fruit, cinnamon, toasted oak, caramelized sugar, and baking spices.
- Michter’s US*1 Small Batch Bourbon – Aged for eight years in new American Oak barrels before bottling it at 92 proof (46% ABV), this bourbon delivers rich notes of wood spice, dried fruits, vanilla bean, brown sugar, and honeycomb on the palate.
- Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old Straight Bourbon – With its deep, robust character and smooth finish, this bourbon has been carefully crafted with a blend of barrels that have been aged for up to 15 years. It offers notes of dark fruits and baking spices along with subtle hints of vanilla and oak.
- Basil Hayden's Kentucky Straight Bourbon – Aged for eight years in charred white oak barrels, this 80-proof (40% ABV) bourbon delivers flavorful notes of peppermint, citrus zest, brown sugar, honeycomb, and toasted oak on the palate.
- 1792 Full Proof Bourbon – This unique expression is bottled at 125 proof (62.5% ABV). It offers bold flavours of dried fruits, nuts, baking spices, and caramel with a smooth finish.
No matter which one you choose, each of these bourbons will provide an unforgettable experience that’s sure to please even the most discerning whiskey connoisseurs. So go ahead and treat yourself to something special - your taste buds won't regret it!
Picking Your Favourite – The Tastiest and Most Complex Options
Now that you’ve seen a selection of some of the best bourbons available, it’s time to pick your favourite. The options here range from the bold and flavourful Elijah Craig Single Barrel to the smooth and complex Jefferson's Reserve Very Old Straight Bourbon – each offering something unique for whiskey lovers to explore.
If you’re looking for something with an intense character, try out Elijah Craig's 20-Year Single Barrel or George T. Stagg. Both are aged in charred oak barrels for over a decade and deliver big notes of dark fruit, cinnamon, leather, tobacco, and more. For those who prefer a bourbon on the smoother side with intricate flavours of dried fruits and baking spices, Michter’s US*1 Small Batch Bourbon, 1792 Full Proof Bourbon, or Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch are all excellent choices.
No matter which one you decide to go with, you can be sure that you’re getting the best of the best when it comes to bourbons. So grab a glass and get sipping.
Happy exploring! With so many unique styles for lovers of bourbon to explore, there is something special waiting for everyone. From bold and robust Elijah Craig 20-Year Single Barrel to smooth and subtle Parker’s Heritage Collection Barrel Finished Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – each offering a unique whiskey experience. So pour yourself a glass and start exploring.
Making a Decision – What to Look for When Choosing a Bourbon
Here are 6 tips to help you make a decision:
- Consider your taste preferences - Do you prefer bold and robust flavours or something more subtle?
- Think about the proof - Generally speaking, higher-proof bourbons have a richer character and fuller body.
- Consider the price - While some bourbons can be on the pricey side, there are plenty of great options that won’t break the bank.
- Look for limited edition bottles – These special releases often contain unique blends of carefully selected barrels, offering up an exquisite experience for whiskey connoisseurs.
- Research barrel ageing times – Longer ageing times can lead to a smoother finish with more complex flavours and aromas.
- Taste test if possible – The best way to select a bourbon is to sample it for yourself! Many retailers offer tasting events and samples, so see what’s available in your area.
Choose a bourbon that meets your taste preferences and budget, and you won’t be disappointed. Keep these tips in mind when selecting the perfect bottle for you - happy sipping!
This ultimate guide to the best bourbons under $100 in 2023 has certainly given those in search of an amazing craft spirit the opportunity to sample a wide variety of quality. From private selections and small batch releases to classic offerings from nationally renowned distilleries, there is something for everyone and every budget. Whether you are looking to impress someone special or simply want to sample some of the best bourbon available, this guide should provide those searching with plenty of excellent options that won't break the bank. From rich and oaky flavours, to smooth and sweet expressions, trying all these fantastic liquids may be a tall order but could also be quite an enjoyable journey too! With this helpful guide in hand, there's no excuse not to venture beyond your comfort zone on your next whiskey-tasting adventure!
Let us know your favourite bourbons in the comments below.