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The 7 Best Cheap Bourbon Brands in 2021
Good company, a quiet campfire, slaking your thirst after a hard day at work.
What makes a cheaply priced yet fine tasting bourbon?
At least a 51% corn mash bill stored in charred oaks for four years and distillation in the US is what makes a bourbon, although 95% of the spirit bottled is distilled in the heart of Kentucky.
There are great tasting cheap bourbon brands for every liquor lover or fan of American whiskey. The following collection delivers a variety of brands for consideration to save you money at the checkout, offering a mix of beloved favorites and great tasting bourbon.
You won’t find anything fancy, just a collection of traditional straight bourbon whiskey choices for the everyday (not literally, please drink responsibly) bourbon drinker.
1. Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Created by Bill Samuels Snr. Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky is the original handmade premium bourbon. It’s an easy bottle to spot and admire to spot with its distinctive red wax neck, simple labelling and clean honey color.
Made with the customary corn, malted barley and a large dose of red winter wheat, Makers Mark is less spicy but smells of spiced honey, cut fruit and citrus peel. You can taste barley malt, butterscotch and vanilla bean, while the medium length finish tastes of caramel and dry oak spice.
Offering a smoother, less spicy finish than its rye whiskey competitors, Makers Mark is the type of bourbon to drink neat or over ice with water, or as the anchor to quality cocktails with friends.
A lead in 750ml bottle of Maker’s Mark starts from $29.99 USD but there are plenty of different options for one of the USA’s most loved operators, ranging from gift packs to bottles commemorating your favorite racehorses and even the LA Lakers NBA team.
2. Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey
The world’s best-selling bourbon whiskey, there’s not a bar I’ve ever been to across five continents that didn’t sell it (although the prices fluctuated and so did the ABV in each pour!).
Aged at least four years in charred oak barrels to create the medium body and caramel color that you love in a bourbon, Jim Beam offers the quintessential bourbon lovers experience – a smooth-tasting and versatile bourbon for drinking on all occasions.
Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey starts from $17.99 for a 750 ml bottle but offers many options for those willing to up the price point with bonded or single barrel bourbon.
3. Old Grand Dad Bonded Bourbon Whiskey
Old Grand Dad comes from the Hayden family, multi generation distillers of some note who preferred a higher rye content in their bourbon.
Strong and robust with a 50% ABV this old school Kentucky straight bourbon packs a wallop in the glass – you’d pick it out of a blind tasting in a heartbeat.
Old Grand Dad bonded means this bourbon was made in one distillation season, aged for at least four years in a federally bonded and supervised warehouse, and bottled at 100 proof.
The Old Grand Dad bourbon is great for small sipping or mixing into vibrant cocktails and will warm your bones on the coldest days.
From $24.99 this great traditional bourbon is for the bourbon drinker with a fondness for rye flavors.
4. Evan Williams Bourbon
Evan Williams is the oldest Kentucky bourbon distillers, established on the banks of the Ohio River in 1783.
If you’re looking for a smooth, vanilla with charred oak tasting flavor to drink neat or to mix, Evan Williams will never be out of place.
Old fashioned, doesn’t mean out of touch, old fashioned could just mean a brilliant tasting cocktail made with Evan Williams Bourbon.
Priced from $14.95 for a 750ml bottle Evan Williams will tick a lot of boxes if you’re a traditional bourbon drinker.
5. Old Forester 86 Proof
Old Forester 86 Proof is America’s First Bottled Bourbon, and one heck of a medicinal drop! The Old Forester bourbon brand celebrates its 150th birthday in 2020.
A touch of oak and pine provides a strong underpinning of flavor. It’s sharp at first, but softens and settles quickly with toasted oak, sweet corn and rye spice grain part of the distinctive tasting note.
Starting from $23.99 for a 750ml bottle the Old Forester is a sure-fire value bourbon for easy drinking.
6. Four Roses Bourbon
The full bodied Four Roses is an old favorite, you can taste the hints of pear and apple complimenting a tasting note of honey and spice.
Smooth and mellow with a unique, long and soft finish the Four Roses is A worldwide favorite for mixed drinks and cocktail specials.
With prices from $22.99 Four Roses Bourbon is a great way for bourbon lovers to get the party started.
7. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
Elijah Craig Bourbon is named after a Baptist reverend and master distiller known as the Father of Bourbon. Elijah is credited with being the first to age whiskey in charred oak barrels, with old wives’ tales suggesting he found the secret buy accidently burning his oak casks.
What does small batch mean? Small batch bourbon and whiskey is produced by mixing the contents of a relatively small number of selected barrels, leading to a more individually distinctive flavor.
Each batch of Elijah Craig is selected from fewer than 100 of the finest barrels at the Heaven Hill Distillery in Louisville, so if a quality cheap small batch bourbon id what you’re looking for, then the good reverend is a great place to start.
Priced from just $31.99 for a 750ml bottle, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better tasting cheap bourbon brand with a small batch this good.