best bourbons under $100
2022 was a life-changing year for me
I guess my stores aren’t taking that good care of me. In that way, it’s been a really disappointing year because I’m not going to be able outspend the high rollers. Then again, I did find mid 2000’s Wild Turkey 17 Year 101 and Wild Turkey 14 Year Distiller’s for MSRP in Japan. I won big in Japan and the US bourbon market is awful.
As an FYI, I bought and use these Glencairn glasses for everything (they’re the best): Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass Set of 6, Set of 4, Set of 2, or just one. Full transparency, this is an affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.
Bardstown Bourbon Co. West Virginia Great Barrel Company Blended Rye
Distillery: Bardstown Bourbon Company
Rating: Top Shelf+
Speaking of Bardstown Bourbon Company Chateau de Laubade, Bardstown Bourbon Company’s first-ever rye (albeit sourced) was an absolute shocker. The team crushed it out of the park for one of the best rye’s I’ve ever had. This is the type of rye that I expect to win a ton of awards (because my praise isn’t going to meaningfully move the needle). I’m not quite that level of influencer even though I’m going to surpass 1.5M views this year.
Larceny Barrel Proof A122
Distillery: Heaven Hill
Rating: Top Shelf
Price: $50-80ABV: 62.2%
Still Austin Cask Strength
Distillery: Still Austin
Rating: Top Shelf
Price: $50-55ABV: 59%
Distillery: Barton 1792
Rating: Mid Shelf+
Price: $25-30 (1L)ABV: 50% (Bottled in Bond), 60% (single barrel)
I think Woodinville, Still Austin, and Redwood Empire are making equally as good if not better whiskey with less hype. A 6 year old homemade Willett Purple Top should be $120 max with no secondary value. An 8 year old homemade wheated bourbon shouldn’t be $250, that’s just foolish. A 20 year old sourced one…that’s a totally different story. Shoot, purely based on quality I’d pay $200 for the 2006 Pure Kentucky (see what I did there).
I’m not saying that Willett is bad, I’m just saying that their homemade whiskeys aren’t THAT good. People need to recalibrate their perception of Willett and start treating it like a craft distillery, not some otherwordly distillery that makes the best bourbon on the planet.
Old bourbon in general
- Old Evan Williams Black Label > Today’s Evan Williams Black Label (pre-fire Heaven Hill in general is on a completely different universe than what they make today)
- Old Maker’s Mark > Today’s Maker’s Mark
- Older Wild Turkey Rare Breed > Today’s Rare Breed
- Old Wild Turkey 8 Year > Today’s Wild Turkey 8 Year
- Old Old Grand Dad 114 > Today’s Old Grand Dad 114
- Old Blanton’s > Today’s Blanton’s
- Older Four Roses > Today’s Four Roses
- Older sourced Willett > Today’s Willett-distilled Purple Tops
I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.There are no sponsors, no media companies, and no nonsense. Support The Whiskey Shelf by Buying Me A Shot.
If you’re on the move, this Glencairn-like stainless steel snifter glass should survive your travels. Shattered glass Glencairn’s really suck. Full transparency, this is an Amazon affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.
BrüMate NOS’R, Double-Wall Stainless Steel Whiskey Nosing Glass – 7oz (Matte Black)