I was talking to a bartender the other night and they mentioned the company was opening a new bar and was trying to decide what they should have on the shelf to serve customers who want more than a bottle of Beam, Jack, or Wild Turkey. For years those were considered “top shelf” in most places and now they really are not, rather they are “call” rather than “well’ Bourbons/Whiskeys. Of course a well is the least expensive brand you can buy. If I were looking to have a well brand at a restaurant I would probably go for something like Ancient Age. Anyway, that got me thinking about what I would suggest if someone wanted to know what they could go to the local store and come home with that they would enjoy and would be higher end and affordable (more than $20 a fifth and less than $40 a fifth), so here is a list of ten by price as currently listed in the NCABC pricebook and the price point when on sale.

Old Weller Antique 107 – $24.95 ($22)
Elijah Craig – $25.95 ($23)
Buffalo Trace – $27.95 ($24)
Four Roses Small Batch – $29.95 ($27)
Bulleit – $30.95 ($28)
Eagle Rare – $31.95 ($29)
Maker’s Mark – $31.95 ($29)
Knob Creek – $35.95 ($29)
Woodford Reserve – $36.95 ($32)
Four Roses Single Barrel – $39.95 ($37)

Note: Some of these are pedestrian and at least one I do not like. That does not mean they should not be suggested since we all appreciate different things.