Looking for some great bourbons to add to your liquor cabinet? Here are 15 great options.
Bourbon is an American original that’s revered in bars worldwide. Defined by its mash bill of at least 51 percent corn, the expressions of bourbon are nearly endless — and there are a lot of good deals to be had on this spirit.
We’ll keep it short and sweet: We’ve collected 15 of the best bourbons under 50 dollars here, and every one of them deserves a spot in your liquor cabinet. Now let’s get right into the spirits, starting with the most affordable (but still high-quality) bourbons.
Best Bourbons Under 50 Dollars
Here are the best bourbons under 50 Dollars in no particular order.
Old Forester Classic 86 Proof Bourbon
This bourbon isn’t just under $50 — it’s half that. And for $25, this bourbon is outstanding.
Its fuller proof makes it an excellent choice for old fashioneds, and the abundant citrus notes make it great for mixing into whiskey sours, too. But even at this price, it still drinks smooth and sweet with the addition of just a couple cubes of ice.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
Legend has it that the reverend Elijah Craig was the first person to age his whiskey in charred oak barrels. True? Who knows, but it makes for a good story — and for a great bourbon.
E. Craig is a steal of a spirit, delicious enough to drink neat but complex enough to still stand up in cocktails, too.
Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon
From the whole Jefferson’s lineup, their Very Small Batch Bourbon is easily the most affordable.
It’s blended from around four other batches of whiskey, then left to rest while the flavors marry together — another great sipping or mixing bourbon.
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey
If you drink whiskey, you probably already know Maker’s Mark. But its extreme popularity is well deserved, as this high-wheat bourbon shows off the best of sweet and heat at the same time.
And, at 90 proof, it’s got enough kick to stand up to strong vermouths in a classic Manhattan or be a perfect sipper to wind your day down with.
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey
The spice of rye is front and center in Breckenridge’s high rye bourbon, lending a complexity to the spirit that’s balanced by the sweetness of charred oak.
Expect flavors and aromas of butterscotch and vanilla, cut through by white pepper and clove on the finish.
Brother’s Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Celebrity spirits are all the rage these days — and some of them are actually pretty good. Case in point: Brother’s Bond bourbon, created by the Salvatore brothers from ‘The Vampire Diaries.’
It’s made with an unusual four-grain recipe that gives it a unique character and plenty of sipping potential, finished out with heavily charred staves for a caramel and vanilla kick.
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Buffalo Trace was the first bourbon that I fell in love with, and its apple- and caramel-tinted flavor is still one of my favorites.
Even while the price continues to creep up year by year, I still turn to Buffalo Trace when I’m mixing up an old fashioned, or just want a glass of something neat that will ease me to sleep.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Woodford Reserve is a favorite amongst beginning whiskey drinkers, and it still has a place in the liquor cabinet of experienced boozers as well.
Built around complex flavors and aromas, it seeks to give you a tasting experience of more than 200 identifiable notes — perfect for the budding whiskey geek who wants to give his senses a workout.
Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon
Alright, so if you don’t pick up this bottle while it’s still under $50, you’re missing out. It’s rare to find even a 4 or 6 year bourbon for this price, so Russel’s Reserve 10 Year is a real steal.
Rich caramel and vanilla are mingled with a touch of smoke and spice, making for a supremely relaxing dram that’s perfect for sipping neat.
The limestone-filtered water that goes into true Kentucky bourbon gives it a special quality — a smoothness that you’ll see on full display in Bulleit bourbon.
This is a classic bottle for drinking any which way you want: Mixed, neat, or with a splash of soda on a hot summer’s day. It makes a darned fine mint julep, too.
Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
At the top end of the $50 price range, you’ll find Michter’s bourbon.
It’s a true small batch bourbon, with each batch measuring no more than 20 barrels. That gives it an intricately melded flavor and aroma and makes it one of the most consistently delicious whiskeys on this list.
Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon
It was only in the past few years that whiskeys made outside of Kentucky could legally be called bourbon. And Balcones’ Texas Pot Still Bourbon is one of the best examples of fine American whiskey that comes from outside of the Bluegrass State.
The pot distillation ensures that every sip of this spirit is rich and viscous, making it an excellent contemplative sipper.
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Coming in at 100 proof, Knob Creek’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon is quite the beast — but it’s nicely balanced by a heavy dosing of charred oak for that caramel and vanilla sweetness bourbon drinkers love.
Rich, woody, and powerful, it’s an ideal bourbon for mixing in classic cocktails.
High West American Prairie Bourbon
High West is an example of the “new bourbon” category, with distillers working on unique mash bills, aging protocols, and blending recipes.
Because it has bourbons from 2 to 13 years old, it has both the complexity to stand as a neat pour and the price point that makes it attractive to mix with.
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
Last but not least is a classic bourbon that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.
Wild Turkey 101 is bold, brash, and fiery but well-balanced at the same time. If you want just one bottle for mixing cocktails, this is a great choice.
Which of these bourbons caught your eye the most? There’s a whole range of prices there, and they’re all delicious when mixed or sipped neat. Enjoy, and we hope to see you again soon.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!