Bourbons You Can Only Buy In Kentucky
No matter how booming the craft bourbon business is around the country, Kentucky is still king and a place all whiskey lovers need to visit. While youre there for Derby celebrations, visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, or just passing through on business, be sure to bring a suitcase and make a stop at a few Kentucky liquor stores.
The reason they have these tasty, value bottles while the folks in Wisconsin or Florida dont is simple: theres not much of it, and distilleries dont bother shipping when they can sell it all a stones throw from home. Here are some of our favorites that are either sold only in Kentucky, or really only findable in Kentucky, to get you started.
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Jeffersons Ocean Aged At Sea Bourbon
Most whiskey distillers get experimental with different wood, blends or aging. Jeffersons takes this experimentation even further with their Ocean Aged at Sea Bourbon. After eight years of aging on land, the bourbon is aged an additional five to ten months on an OCEARCH shark tagging vessel. This time at sea develops the flavor profile by exposing the bourbon to temperature fluctuations, salty air and the rocking motion of a ship.
The result of this wild aging process is a unique, complex whiskey that everyone should try. The saltiness of the ocean air is certainly present, while extra wood tannin extraction creates aromas of vanilla, caramel and burnt matches.
$: Redbreast 12 Year Old
Spirit: Irish whiskeyProof: 80Approx. cost: $65
Irish whiskey gets a bad rap for whatever reason. Bourbon is red hot, rye is hip, Scotch is classy, and Canadian whiskey often comes in a cool purple satchel at the very least. But no one is impressed when you have bottles of Irish whiskey displayed in your pad. Yet, you should have some displayed because, dollar-for-dollar, Irish whiskey is the best value out there. My favorite offerings are from Redbreast in County Cork. Its 12 Year Old is a single pot-still whiskey thats as good as many $80-$120 single malts.
Others: The Balvenie Caribbean Cask, Highland Park 15
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Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey
There are plenty of more expensive rye whiskeys available these days as the category continues to grow in popularity. But Old Overholt, produced by Jim Beam, is one of the best cheap whiskeys out there. This bartender favorite underwent some changes a few years ago: the proof was raised from 80 to 86, and its non-chill-filtered. These changes make it even better, with a gentle spice due to its Kentucky-style rye whiskey mash bill of somewhere above the legally required 51 percent rye. This is an essential bottle to have at home for cocktails.
Great Taste Doesn’t Always Come With A Hefty Price Tag
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Some whisky lovers might say the words cheap” and “Scotch” dont belong in the same sentence. Its pretty hard to argue with the sentiment, as making a good Scotch whisky requires quality ingredients and timelots of time.
Rather than cheap, aficionados should look for value. The old expression “you get what you pay for” mostly holds up, but the goal in shopping for a quality bottle is to seek out every hard-earned pennys worth of flavor to maximize enjoyment to the last drop.
Whether youre browsing for classic blends or rich single malts, there are modestly priced bottles to be found online or in your local shop, and there should be no trouble finding the good stuff without breaking the bank. That’s right! You don’t have to empty your wallet for a decent dram.
Here are the best cheap Scotch whiskies to drink.
Sure, its ubiquitous, but there’s a reason you can find Johnnie Walker Black Label at just about every airport, bar, and liquor shop in the world: It’s iconic. It’s also reasonably priced, featuring a blend of single malts and grains aged for at least 12 years. Vanilla, tropical dark fruits, creamy toffee, and a good dose of smokey char make this bottle a classic.
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James E Pepper 1776 Rye
Of course, there are more options, tooGeorge Dickel came up frequently as another go-to rye. Its well-chosen, well-blended, and robust enough to stand up in a cocktail, says Neff. A great all-around rye for sipping and mixing. Several others voted for Wild Turkey 101: If I want the spice to push through other bold flavors, such as in a Boulevardier, explains Amy Fisher, Wild Turkey 101 is the onethough she feels that a softer rye can sometimes work better in a Manhattan.
The Best Cheap Whiskey You Can Buy In 2021
Whiskey, despite going off like a bomb this past decade, can still be an affordable mans game.
Even when your whiskey budget is tight, the liquor store shelf beckons like a boozy vending machine. Whiskey, despite going off like a bomb this past decade, remains an affordable mans game. But its also tough. If you have, say, a twenty and a fiver in your pocket, you are spoiled for choice. And while there are no right or wrong picks on the path to loving whiskey, some decisions might be wiser than others. Here are some of the best whiskeys to reach for, all affordable and well worth the price.
Price: $20-$30King of the Affordable Wheaters: The red wax seal the Scottish spelling of whisky. Its easy to love Makers and its quirks. Particularly easy, since its an affordable wheated bourbon. Its got a big name, which sometimes pushes its price up but in California, I find mine for $20 at Trader Joes. Thats hard to beat.
Price: $20-$25Bang for Your Buck: Wild Turkey bourbon has been around for a long time, since the 1940s its master distiller, Jimmy Russell, has too . Wild Turkey also makes an 80-proof bourbon, but the 101 is its true flagship. It has a mash bill thats high rye and is aged in barrels with a deep char, then bottled at near barrel-proof. The result is a flavor bomb.
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Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Evan Williams is one of the best bourbons that’s a real treat for your senses. It’s made with only the finest ingredients and comes in small batches, meaning that each batch contains 80 carefully selected barrels of goodness.
This extra-aged bourbon is made with a traditional recipe and process that was popularized by Evan Williams. He is a pioneer in the bourbon industry, with roots that date back to 1783.
The Evan Williams “1783” whiskey is a masterful display of oakiness and sweetness that starts out with notes of vanilla, buttered corn on the cob then finishes off with some honey for good measure. The finish is dry yet still creamy due to it being aged in a used barrel, adding another layer not found in other bottles.
West Cork Bourbon Cask Blended Irish Whiskey
West Cork Bourbon Cask is a blended Irish whiskey that is made up of 75% grain and 25% malt in its mash bill. It is aged in first-fill bourbon casks to provide you with an extra smooth, subtle taste that will remind you of the warmth a home gives you. Moreover, it is bottled at 40%.
The nose on West Cork Bourbon Irish Whiskey has hints of malt and citrus with some peppery tasting notes. For the taste, you can detect sweetness that lingers long after each sip while crisp orchard fruit is enjoyed at the finish.
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$: High West Bourye American Whiskey
Spirit:American whiskeyProof:92Approx. cost: $79
You may have noticed that my list is fairly bereft of microdistillery products. I dont like them, and due to economies of scale, they are often insanely overpriced. But not High West, the Utah craft distillery making products on par with the big boysand usually more inventive to boot. Incidentally, $80 is where Buffalo Traces Antique Collection and Pappy Van Winkle 15 are typically priced. Okay, if you find those for 80 bucks, buy them alland ask the store clerk if he also has any unicorns in the back room to sell you. Realistically, though, youll be stuck with Bourye, but thats hardly something to be bummed about. A blending of one bourbon and two ryes, in many ways it makes for a more interesting story to tell friends than one about standing in line for two days to get a bottle of Pappy you immediately sold off.
Others: Lagavulin 16, High West Midsummers Night Dram, WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey
The Highest Rated Cheap Whiskey
Bucket list booze is great, but some of us enjoy drinking on a near-daily basis. We need cheap whiskey in order to do that. Just because you cant splash the cash doesnt mean you cant drink well. Some of the best tasting whiskey can be had for a reasonable sum. Heres a look at some of the top rated whiskies that are easily found and can be yours for less than $30.
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The Best Supermarket Whiskey Offers
Whiskey is undoubtedly one of the finer things in life, but you no longer have to be a member of the landed gentry to afford the famous names and there are plenty of high quality own brand options to choose from too. Whether youre partial to Jack, Jim or Johnnie, read on to find which supermarket gets you quality whiskey at the best price
Weve scoured the aisles of your favourite supermarkets to find the best value whiskey, so you can join the drinking elite without selling a kidney. Some findings:
- Lidls Queen Margot Blended Scotch and Aldis Highland Earl Scotch are the best value bottles, working out at just 37p per measure – that’s £14.99 a bottle
- ASDA boasts 8 out of the 20 best value whiskey bottles. Sainsburys also does well with 4.
- There are a whopping 621 bottles for sale across all supermarkets!
For nabbing the big names without overspending, ASDA is a clear winner, though a big shout out goes to Morrisons with the joint-best branded scotch and bourbon varieties.
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Your Frequent Whisky Questions Answered
Is Whisky Gluten Free?
Yes, all distilled whiskies are entirely gluten free due in large part to the effect of the distillation process.
Is Whisky Good for You?
Drinking alcohol in excess is never a good idea and will always have serious health consequences. However, when it comes to moderate use whisky can help reduce the risk of blood clots and provide the body with important antioxidants.
Does Whisky Go Bad?
No, as long as the whisky has been unopened and the cork is still in tact will last indefinitely, however one a bottle has been opened it will only maintain its quality for an additional year or two.
Is Whisky Vegan?
Yes, Whisky is definitely vegan and requires no animal products for its distillation. The same can be said for almost every type of hard liquor so long as it has no added flavouring.
Where did Whisky Originate?
There is no official answer to where whisky originated but the general consensus is that whisky originated from the Scottish highlands although it is unclear how the first distillers came to learn the process.
$1: Old Heaven Hill Bottled In Bond
Spirit: BourbonProof: 100Approx. cost:$12.50
Bottled in Bond is a term you should come to know and love when youre being thrifty. It refers to laws set forth in 1897 that are intricate enough to merit a 700-word Wikipedia entry. The tl dr verison: Bottled-in-bond whiskeys are 100 proof. Most cheaper offerings youll see are a watered-down 80 proof and lacking in flavor. But not Old Heaven Hill, which must be the cheapest bonded bourbon on earth, making it one of the best deals in all of spirits. Unfortunately, it can be a tad tricky to findthere are constant rumors its been pulled from the marketas Heaven Hill seems more content pushing its Evan Williams and Elijah Craig lines.
Others: Old Crow Reserve, Old Fitzgerald Prime, Old Overholt, Very Old Barton Bottled in Bond, probably anything with Old in the name
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Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
A fairly recent redesign saw Four Roses entry-level whiskey lose its signature yellow label, but the bourbon inside remains as high-standard as ever. While its cheap enough to use liberally in cocktails, Four Roses holds its own when sipped neat. Its flavor profile is delicate, but its not lacking in depth. Aromas of toasted nuts and dried fruits are followed by smoky oak flavors, all balanced out by sweet caramel notes. This is a dependable, easy-drinking bourbon that tastes considerably more expensive than its price tag. Average price: $19.
$: Jameson Gold Reserve
Proof:80Approx. cost: $84
If Irish whiskey gets a bad rap, Jameson takes the brunt of it. Unfortunately, its still seen as the stereotypical shot you take after your team loses a close game of kickball. In actuality, the Dublin legend has some terrific offerings, and the Gold Reserve is cause for celebration. Of course, you should sip it neatdont you dare shoot it. If youd rather not spend your whiskey money on something peaty, Gold is about the best you can do. The spirits massive honey notes and rich complexity will certainly please youespecially if you think Irish whiskey is only reserved for punishment.
Others: Bowmore 18, Laphroaig 18
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The Glenfiddich 21 Year Old
The Glenfiddich distillery is synonymous with Speyside whisky, and this expression is ripe with the brands signature cereal grain and subtle oak notes. Ah, but malt master Brian Kinsman adds a sublime touch, finishing the 21 Year Old in Caribbean rum casks that rouse exotic fruit flavors such as mango, lime, and banana. Opens soft on the palate and then busts a move toward brisk and peppery, with smoke and ginger on a very long and warming finish.
Old Forester 86 Proof Bourbon
Another best cheap whiskey is Old Forester 86 Proof that has a rich and complex flavor. This well-known staple of the line of Brown Forman offers an affordable price point and high roller levels of consumption. The scent of Old Forester Bourbon is oaky, toasty, and sweet with a touch of smoke.
The first sip of Old Forester 86 Proof Bourbon is inviting and warm, which makes it a great half of a whiskey-cigar pairing. It has candied fruits in the background as well an earthy taste that reminds you it’s not all light flavors here. Theres also some complexity to this drink for your senses.
Initial tastes include burnt sugar, and apple with just enough cinnamon to sharpen the sweetness for an overall taste that can be described as homey but still exciting. The first impression of the finish is light, with honey and toasted grains that eventually turn to banana notes.
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$: Colonel Eh Taylor Jr Small Batch
Spirit: BourbonProof: 100Approx. cost: $39
This is starting to look like a sponsored post from Buffalo Trace, but what can I saythe brand owns some great properties. Case in point: the E.H. Taylor line, the oldest of which are some of the finest whiskeys in the business in my book. You cant go wrong with the Single Barrel and Barrel Proof offerings, both settling in the $70-$90 range if you can find them. But at half the price, you can easily add this bottled-in-bond offering to your liquor cabinet. Quite a bit of boozy heat comes off this beaut, but its flavor profile fights through with a nice caramel-apple explosion. Packaged in a classy tube, this is the first whiskey on the list that actually screams Luxury!
Others: George Dickel Barrel Select, High West Son of Bourye, Michters US*1 Small Batch Bourbon
Does Gin Get You Drunk
It does. There is no such thing as a person that can drink gin and not have the alcohol get into their bloodstream. If you drink enough of it, past a certain BAC measurement, then you are considered legally drunk. If you drink any alcoholic beverage, the alcohol will get into your bloodstream, period.
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Speyburn Bradan Orach Single Malt
Type: Single Malt Scotch WhiskyPrice: $25Frankly, it is a steal that this stuff goes for so cheap. With a collection of scotch ranging from $25 to $300+ range, this single malt comes from a dependable distillery who knows what theyre doing. Youre going to taste a heck of a lot of vanilla with this bottle, mixed with a fruity — almost Christmas cake — spice, along with a long oak finish. Its the kind of stuff you can sip by the fireplace.Grade: A
Price: $13.99You know, Old Crow has this reputation for being a whiskey that addicts and poor kids drink, but I’ve always liked it. And you know who else liked it? President, General, and Preserver of the Union Ulysses S. Grant. That’s right, the man who won the Civil War. It’s harsh, sure, but so are winters that put hair on your chest and give you wisdom. Besides wisdom, there’s also flavor, and you feel like an old-time bandit when you drink it. I wish I was drinking it out of an enamel mug with a warrant out for my arrest.Grade: B+
Price:$10.99 Its not bad, actually. I mean, it’s not my cup of tea, but for the cheap price, you’ve got a whiskey that can fuel a partyjust as long as you’ve got a killer mixer. Not my cup of tea, but not my cup of poison either. Grade: C-
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