Updated: May 2
I was lucky to have Sara O Brown guest blog for me this month. She has a passion for food and travel and has written about one of my very favorite things, whiskey....Enjoy!!
Named after the French Bourbon dynasty, Bourbon whiskey has been distilled since the 18th century and was originally produced in Kentucky. One particularity about Bourbon is that it is aged in unused charred oak barrels. While traditional Bourbon has about 70 % corn, the non-traditional varieties of this drink may have higher wheat or rye content.
The American Bluegrass state produces 95% of the world’s supply of Bourbon and as of 2017, had as many as 6.8 million barrels of aging Bourbon. Along with Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey, Bourbon accounted for $3.1 billion of the distiller’s wholesale market revenue within the U.S. and an export revenue of nearly $1.1 billion.
With whiskey drinkers numbering an estimated 38 million in early 2017 within the U.S. itself, it is safe to say that there are plenty of Bourbon enthusiasts around the world.
So, if you’re a die-hard whiskey lover yourself, I have made a list of remarkable bourbon whiskeys you can buy under $100. If you are new to this drink, this list will help you cultivate the art of whiskey drinking as you will be able to explore a range of classy drinks at affordable prices.
Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon
Distilled by the Jim Beam distillery, this small batch bourbon is aged to 6 years and 1 month and bottled at its natural proof between 121 and 127. The specialty of Booker’s is that it is bottled uncut, unfiltered and straight from the barrel which makes it one of the purest bourbons available today.
A true bourbon, Booker’s has 75% corn with rye and barley making up the remaining combination.
Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon is a dark and robust drink with aromas of nuts, oranges, and toffee. It has earthy notes with flavors of dark chocolate, nutmeg, and mint. It can ideally be mixed with water which will bring out its fruity and spicy flavors of plum, lemon, and cinnamon. Has finishing notes of leather and tobacco.
This rich and flavorful drink has an average price of $70 and is a good choice for most occasions.
Willett Pot Still Reserve
Distilled at 94 proof, this bourbon is produced by the Willett Distillery in Kentucky. This small batch bourbon is aged between 8 to 10 years and is sold in a pot still shaped decanter from which the bourbon takes its name.
The Willett Pot Still Reserve has a copper brown color with primarily citrus and floral notes. It has the sweet aroma of caramelized sugar with hints of pecan nuts and cedar.
Once its citrus flavors subside, this spirit takes on notes of pepper, caramel, and honey and has a dry, oaky finish.
This drink, priced between $40 to $60, is ideal for those who prefer lighter and sweeter flavors in their bourbon over stronger ones. Also, the bottle will look very classy at your home bar.
Four Roses Single Barrel
This complex, full-bodied bourbon has a high-rye recipe and is distilled by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan. This whiskey is aged for 10 years in charred, white oak casks and is composed of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley.
The Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon is sweet with a spicy edge owing to the high-rye content. This drink has aromas of peppered spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon counterbalanced by sweeter tones of vanilla, honey and maple syrup. It is gentle on the palate with the taste of plums and cherries.
Priced between $40 and $47, this award-winning bourbon is great for those who like a mix of sweet and spicy in their drink. It can also be paired with foods such as deviled eggs or seafood paella.
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
Produced by the Brown-Forman Corporation in the Woodford County, Kentucky, this high-rye spirit is bottled at 90.4 proof. The specialty of this bourbon is that it is aged initially in standard American oak before being aged for 6 months to 1 year in heavily charred and toasted oak barrels. Hence the name ‘double oaked.’
The Woodford Reserve Double Oaked has a deep amber color with a velvety texture. It has hints of toasted oak which comes from the second aging process. Besides this, this spirit has rich aromas of figs, caramel, almond, and chocolate.
It embodies flavors of hazelnut, caramel, and fruits such as apple, pears, and oranges. It also has a light spicy touch of cinnamon and nutmeg and finished on notes of honeyed apple.
This critically-acclaimed drink is affordable at $57 and is well-suited to those who are new to bourbon and prefer a mellow drink.
E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel
This bourbon is named after Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. who is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of bourbon industry back in the mid-1800’s. This Single Barrel whiskey is made of corn and rye and is produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.
The E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel is aged for 11 years and 7 months and bottled at 100 proof. It has aromas of butterscotch and figs with toasted oak lending it a spicy touch.
It offers the palate sweet and buttery flavors alongside citrus tones such those of an orange peel. It has a finishing notes of tobacco.
With an average price of $60, this whiskey will make an affordable yet elegant addition to your collection.
Maker’s Mark Bourbon
This Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey uses a high-wheat recipe and is produced by Beam Suntory in Loretto, Kentucky. It is aged over 6 years in new charred American oak barrels and bottled at 90 proof.
This classic drink has aromas of rich, soft caramel, vanilla and hints of honey and fruit. The medium-bodied nature of this drink gives it a well-rounded taste in the mouth.
It tastes of Crème Brulee and spiced honey and has finishing notes of molasses, apple, and caramel.
With an average price of $30, this fine and iconic bourbon are a must-have for all whiskey lovers.
Having a glass of smooth Bourbon sounds like an amazing way to end your day. While whiskey has been traditionally understood to be an “old man’s” drink, today the market also produces whiskey for women.
So feel free to indulge yourself but you ought to choose your drink wisely. You can avoid investing in an overpriced or imitation whiskey by choosing one of the suggested drinks above.
Sara O Brown is a working mom, lives with her dentist husband and her adorable dog, Casper. She is passionate about traveling and cooking. She has been a regular contributor for Remedy Liquor Blog - https://remedyliquor.com/Blog/