I got lured into an article on 17 whiskeys under $100 and realized the author wasn’t quite on topic when the first suggestion was Maker’s Mark. While it is a tasty beverage, if you want a list of 17 great whiskeys I cannot think of anyone who would put Maker’s Mark in the list. The question with a list like this is do you head toward the $100 mark or find something more affordable. I could point you to so many sub $100 products it would make your head spin, but the real goal IMO is to create a list of the best bargains. With that in mind let’s create a list which would provide the biggest bang for the buck.
Old Ezra 101 – $20 (750ml)
7 year old Bourbon which is great for mixed drinks
Buffalo Trace – $25 (750ml)/$45 (1.75l)
Great Bourbon by itself or mixed, an excellent bargain
Elijah Craig – $28 (750ml)
Perhaps one of the best Bourbon bargains on the market. If this was your house Bourbon no one would ever turn up their nose at the choice. Readily available and quite tasty.
Eagle Rare – $30 (750ml)
Wonderful Bourbon which can be difficult to find in certain markets
Sazerac Rye – $35 (750ml)
Best rye around and at an affordable price point
Bulleit Rye – $35 (750ml)
If you cannot find Sazerac then this is a great backup plan.
Glenlivet 12 Year – $35 (750ml)
Probably the best budget Speyside Scotch out there.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch – $42 (750ml)
Hands down my favorite affordable Bourbon. Difficult to find at times, but oh so worth it.
Abelour 12 Year – $45 (750ml)
If you want a Speyside Scotch with a strong sherry character this is the one for you.
Ardbeg 10 Year – $52 (750ml)
If you want a Scotch with a strong peat presence, this will be your best bargain.
Balvenie Double Wood 12 Year – $60 (750ml)
If you love Bourbon and want to start to appreciate Scotch, this is the place to start.
While that is only eleven suggestions it begins to scratch the surface of whiskey with the most expensive suggestion coming in around 60 beans. Work your way through that and let us know your thoughts on our suggestions. Maybe later we can create a splurge list just under the $100 mark.