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What is your best, favorite bourbon for under $100?
September 2, 2009 9:35 PM   Subscribe

What is your best, favorite bourbon for under $100?

I'm getting together with the lads this weekend for whisk(e)y(s) and steaks.

I'll be handling the cooking - as is the tradition among our people - and our resident Scotch expert will be procuring the scotch.

I'd like to locate a nice bottle that I haven't tried before.

I am familiar with:
Maker's Mark
Knob Creek
Corner Creek
Woodford Reserve
Basil Hayden
Booker's
Baker's
Elijah Craig
posted by device55 to Food & Drink (38 answers total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
 
Weller. Look no further. Cheap, and very nice.
Also, Pappy Van Winkles. Same distillery as Weller and New York Times review of top bourbons placed them both in top 10... Pappy Van W was #1.
posted by FauxScot at 9:37 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bourbon, via NYTimes.
posted by FauxScot at 9:39 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sam Houston. It is a lighter bourbon in the Maker's Mark feeling, but much smoother, somewhat buttery and carmelly.

http://www.mclainandkyne.com/
posted by Wink Ricketts at 9:40 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


My boyfriend loves Gentleman Jack - it's made by Jack Daniels but is more refined and smoother.
posted by radioamy at 9:47 PM on September 2, 2009


Weller, Pappy, and Sam Houston are new to me - I must give these a try.

Here is the critical page of the NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/11/28/dining/tastingreport.html
posted by device55 at 9:47 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pappy a million times over. Look for the 15 or higher (23, but the 15 will be under $100). It is my husband and my favorite bourbon. It's sweet, smooth, light, smokey, and has a big round cherriness with pure oak taste. I'd also suggest trying one of the four roses single barrel. They used to be mainly an export brand to Japan, but they expanded their production and have started being much easier to find. It's a wheated bourbon with a sweeter flavor profile. Way too easy to drink, and a bit girlier :) My husband and I both work at a liquor store, just for sake of disclosure.
posted by lizjohn at 9:59 PM on September 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Weller. Look no further.

Wait. WAIT.

There's a bourbon named after the Paul Weller? How did I not know this?

As a bourbon lover and Paul Weller fanatic, I think this may be the greatest moment of my life. I love every single person on Metafilter right now, but FauxScot, I love you most of all.

Next you're going to tell me that there's a Bowie vodka and Strummer ale.
posted by scody at 10:21 PM on September 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


(er, yes, I did mean to type "the Paul Weller.")
posted by scody at 10:22 PM on September 2, 2009


My favorite bourbon under $100 is four bottles of Buffalo Trace. But I'm generally a Scotch drinker, and don't think there's any reason to seriously age bourbon.
posted by ecurtz at 10:26 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next you're going to tell me that there's a Bowie vodka and Strummer ale.

Oh, you've never had them?

Anywho, Gentleman Jack is tasty but technically not a bourbon. It's a damnfine Tennessee sippin' whiskey.
posted by codswallop at 10:38 PM on September 2, 2009


Hirsch was the best I've ever tasted. I liked the younger (16?) better than the older (25?). It was below $100 when I had it, but it might be (way?) above that now as the distillery closed some time ago.
posted by madmethods at 10:46 PM on September 2, 2009


What ecurtz says: diminishing returns kick in much earlier for bourbon than scotch. I'm sure that there are subtleties to be found as you go from $50 to $100, but there's also black art involved in matching the label to the distillery for anything bottled after a good while in the barrel. (The StraightBourbon.com forums provide a window on this.)

Weller Antique 107 has long been ridiculously good value, though some people have complained about the latest BT bottling, and wheated bourbons may be a surprise to the palate if you're familiar with Maker's/Basil/Woodford. Pappy's good, but hard to find. So's Old Charter Classic 90. Evan Williams Single Barrel is a decent choice, too, fairly widely distributed, and shelved with Hayden, Woodford and the other "super-premiums".
posted by holgate at 10:59 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like Eagle Rare and Bulleit, neither of which are very expensive.
posted by neroli at 11:04 PM on September 2, 2009


scody As a bourbon lover and Paul Weller fanatic, I think this may be the greatest moment of my life. I love every single person on Metafilter right now, but FauxScot, I love you most of all.

aww shucks. i am totally blushing.
posted by FauxScot at 11:18 PM on September 2, 2009


George Dickel ... hands down
posted by axmikel at 12:30 AM on September 3, 2009


Kentucky Bourbon?

Ok, here's the thing, I like Canadian whiskeys. My husband likes bourbon. If Weller is acceptable, then you might want to try an experiment. Believe it or not, but Heaven Hill makes a totally reasonable bourbon, from what I've heard. My husband has done some blind taste tests with friends and it's garnered gasps of surprise.

The rest of their line may just be PGA with flavorings, but apparently they make a damn fine Kentucky bourbon and keep to that tradition.
posted by lilywing13 at 12:35 AM on September 3, 2009


http://www.britishsupermarketworldwide.com/acatalog/info_30447.html
posted by complience at 12:54 AM on September 3, 2009


Everyone knows that we Kentuckians brush our teeth with bourbon, and I agree with ecurtz that there's no need to overage it. Bulleit is both cheap and amazingly delicious. Far and away the best bourbon in its price range and then some. Beam Black also outclasses its price range. I have no idea how Pappy Van Winkle has entered into the public consciousness as the end all be all of our native trade. It's good, but not that good (especially the 23 year). However since you're already familiar with Woodford and Knob Creek, my personal favorites, I'd say go ahead and pick up the 15 or 20. It's a good drink and a good conversation piece. If you have the stomach, cause it ain't smooth, try some Booker's (also made by Beam).
posted by Roman Graves at 1:48 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Pappy Van Winkle, he's famous for another:

Old Fitzgerald 101 proof. 12 year old goes for about 45-50 a bottle, and it is incomparably rich and complex for the money. It's unique in that it uses a small amount of wheat in the mash.

Hard to find, but I believe it's made by Heaven Hill.

I am a bourbon connoisseur. I've tried *every* bourbon available, including the very expensive stuff. Old Fitz is by far my favorite, although I have a devil of a time finding it in the northeast any more.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:49 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


axmichael Dickel's like Jack Daniels, while it's a damn fine whiskey, it's not a bourbon. Remeber kids, not all whiskeys are bourbon, but all bourbons are whiskeys.
posted by deezil at 4:22 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I always have Eagle Rare on hand, it is wonderful.
posted by nowoutside at 4:44 AM on September 3, 2009


nth-ing old weller 107.
posted by chicago2penn at 5:31 AM on September 3, 2009


Between Bulleit, Knob Creek and Bookers you should be covered pretty well. Alternatively: maybe try out some Rittenhouse Rye?
posted by wrok at 5:36 AM on September 3, 2009


Jim Beam Black 8 year. The cheapest/best bourbon around.
posted by comatose at 5:44 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Elmer T. Lee is surprisingly tasty. It is not the best bourbon ever, but you cannot beat the price.
posted by barake at 6:40 AM on September 3, 2009


These are some great suggestions, thanks everyone. I'm going to hunt for bottle of weller 107 after the umpteenth suggestion - but I'll have to try some of these others as well.
posted by device55 at 7:11 AM on September 3, 2009


My standard Bourbons at home are Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace, or Bulleit. I sort of rotate which one I get each time according to mood. Mostly I use bourbon for Manhattans and Old Fashioneds.

I have not tried these whiskeys from Tuthilltown but I've seen them in the store I go to and I'm intrigued. They're a bit pricey - here in Chicago they're about $50 for only a 375ml bottle. One of these days I have to splurge and give them a try. (Mostly I'm curious for the Manhattan Rye.)
posted by dnash at 7:11 AM on September 3, 2009


glad to see someone else finally mentioned the elmer t. lee, which is my day to day bourbon. the 18 year elijah craig is also fantastic and a totally different beast than the the 12 year elijah craig (which is rather meh).
posted by noloveforned at 7:19 AM on September 3, 2009


I can't believe nobody's mentioned Blanton's!?
posted by pepcorn at 7:38 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Weller Antique 107 and Weller Special Reserve are both delicious. The Special Reserve is a tiny bit sweeter.
posted by tizzie at 8:19 AM on September 3, 2009


I'm with Pepcorn, Blanton's has been my favorite for years, and I thought I was way too late to this party to sing its praises.
posted by jrb223 at 8:52 AM on September 3, 2009


I am just starting down the road of bourbon experimentation but I really liked Wathen's.
posted by Silvertree at 11:04 AM on September 3, 2009


++Blanton's is fantastic.
Anchor Steam does some really nice single malt ryes. Old Potrero 18th Century Style is really nice, it's got this spicy, peppery flavor unlike anything I've ever had.
posted by signalnine at 11:51 AM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I find the normal Four Roses Yellow label pretty fine myself.
posted by 999 at 2:49 PM on September 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I came in here to split my vote for Elijah Craig and Old Fitzgerald.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:37 AM on September 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


N-thing Gentleman Jack
posted by Mrevilbreakfast at 4:24 AM on September 5, 2009


Late to the party - but Weller's Centennial is my favourite!
posted by peagood at 6:09 AM on September 12, 2009


(and I often find it under $100)
posted by peagood at 6:12 AM on September 12, 2009


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