Bourbon is no longer a drink reserved for the higher echelons of society. Over the years, it has become a favorite among connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. And with so many different brands out there, it can be tough to know where to start your search for the perfect sip. Fortunately, whiskey critics and enthusiasts have tried and tested various bourbons, and they have picked their favorites!
What to Look for in a Bourbon
Before we dive into the list, let’s discuss the factors you should consider when choosing a bourbon. The first is the age of the whiskey. Some people prefer a younger and smoother taste, while others opt for the richness and depth of an older bourbon. The second is the mash bill – the combination of grains used to make the whiskey. Corn is the primary ingredient in bourbon, but there is also rye, wheat, and barley. The different percentages of each grain will result in a distinct flavor profile. Lastly, consider the proof. The proof indicates the alcohol content, and a higher proof does not always indicate a better bourbon. It merely means that it is stronger, so choose a proof that suits your taste.
The Best Value Bourbons: Whiskey Critic Picks 6 Favorites
Without further ado, let’s dive into the six best value bourbons that whiskey critics swear by.
1. Old Grand-Dad 114
Old Grand-Dad 114 is a high-proof bourbon with a classic taste. It is full-bodied, with notes of oak, vanilla, and cinnamon. What sets this bourbon apart is its affordability, as it is priced around $30 a bottle.
2. Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond
Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond is a four-year-old bourbon that packs a punch. Its balance of sweetness and spice makes it a popular choice among whiskey enthusiasts. Plus, it is bottled-in-bond, meaning it is distilled from a single season by a single distiller at a single distillery. It is priced around $18 a bottle.
3. Buffalo Trace
Buffalo Trace is a mellow and smooth bourbon that has a rich, caramel flavor. It is aged for eight to nine years, which gives it a depth that pairs well with its sweet and spicy flavor profile. It is priced around $25 a bottle.
4. Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey 101 is a classic bourbon that has been around for decades. It is full-bodied, with a sweet and spicy flavor that goes down smoothly. It is aged for six to eight years and has a high proof of 101, making it a favorite among those who prefer a strong drink. It is priced around $25 a bottle.
5. Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond
Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond is a six-year-old bourbon that is bottled-in-bond, giving it a consistent and smooth taste. It is full-bodied, with flavors of caramel and vanilla, making it a delicious sip on its own or in a cocktail. It is priced around $15 a bottle.
6. Old Forester
Old Forester is a staple in the bourbon world. It is aged for four years and has a spicy and sweet flavor that goes well in cocktails or on its own. It is priced around $25 a bottle.
Whether you are a casual drinker or a seasoned whiskey enthusiast, there is a bourbon out there for everyone. With these six options, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a high-quality sip. So, grab a bottle and enjoy!