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The 10 Best Bottles Of Bourbon Priced Between $100-$125

It’s easy to ridicule the idea of paying more than $100 for a bottle of bourbon. For one thing, you can get plenty of pretty great bourbon for under $50. Of course, for many buyers, that’s not really the point. Bourbon in this price range tends to be special, the kind of beverage you bring out for special occasions. And anyway, $100-$125 is still a far cry from collectible or investment bottles.

These are the sorts of bottles you buy to elevate your palate, and maybe to find something new and exciting. They’re the kinds of bottles you can give as a gifts, that reflect a certain amount of forethought and maybe come with a story — the kinds you can expect the recipient to truly appreciate (and hopefully even share).

The 10 bottles below are all the “good stuff,” all clocking in under $125. I’ve ranked them here according to my own preferences and palate. Look at it this way: the bottom five picks are all really solid, but more of an acquired taste. The top five are all bangers that should transcend any personal preference. In the end, pick the flavor profile that suits you and go from there.

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months

10. Calumet Farm 14 Single Rack Black

Calumet Farm

ABV: 48.1%

Average Price: $110

The Whiskey:

This bourbon is kind of like Kentucky in a bottle — it’s all about Derby horses and the state’s own spirit. The juice is sourced from a set of 19 barrels from the center of an unnamed warehouse. Those barrels are small batched after 14 long years of resting and the whiskey is proofed with soft Kentucky limestone water.

Tasting Notes:

This sip draws you in, with a silken balance of cherry and vanilla cream that’s shockingly light. The taste builds on that foundation by adding in soft notes of cedar and cinnamon sticks next to a hint of dark chocolate with a whisper of pancake syrup sweetness. The end marries the cherry and vanilla into a cherry bespeckled ice cream, with hints of those woody cinnamon sticks and dark chocolate peeking in on the velvet finish.

Bottom Line:

This is classic from top to bottom, and that’s why we’re starting with it. There’s nothing that’s going to wow you in this bourbon, but there kind of doesn’t need to be. This is just a really solid pour from a boutique-y label more than anything else.

9. Yellowstone Limited Edition Bourbon 101

Yellowstone Limtied
Limestone Branch

ABV: 50.5%

Average Price: $120

The Whiskey:

Last year’s drop from Stephen Beam’s Yellowstone line is a mix of seven-year-old and 15-year-old bourbons. The 15-year barrels are high-quality bourbons hand selected by Beam. The seven-year barrels were finished by Beam in Amarone red wine casks before this batch was put together, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a balance of dark stewed fruits — think holiday cake spices with dates, prunes, figs, and raisins — next to this bright burst of bright red berries with a slight tartness and powdered sugar sweetness swimming in vanilla cream with mild hints of old leather, dark cacao powder, and toffee lurking in the background. The palate really embraces that vanilla cream base while the berries go full dark and sweet cherry with more of that buttery toffee, dark cacao, and meaty fig adding a dark depth to the sip. The finish builds on the sweet and dark fruits of the mid-palate towards an end that’s full of bright cherry tobacco and small lines of cedar plank that’s lightly singed on the edges.

Bottom Line:

There’s really a lot going on with this bourbon and it all really works, especially around the holidays. I dig this as a neat pour after a big meal as a sort of digestive. Overall, this is a well-made bourbon from an industry icon. That said, it does feel more like a holiday bourbon than something I’d reach for a hot summer day while grilling up some burgers.

8. Redemption High-Rye Bourbon Aged 10 Years

Redemption

ABV: 57.2% (varies)

Average Price: $100

The Whiskey:

This limited edition from Redemption is all about the barrel-picking process. The whiskey starts with a mash of 60 percent corn, 36 percent rye, and four percent malted barley. That rye-heavy juice is then aged for 10 long years. Then the Redemption team sorts through those barrels to find the perfect one to bottle untouched.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a definite sense of the whole vanilla bean (husk to oils) next to nuttiness and a mild floral flourish that’s fresh and almost wet. The taste veers away from that and indulges in eggnog spices, rich and buttery toffee, pecans and walnuts, cedar, and a silken vanilla texture. The end is long-ish and has this very distant hint of lemon curd that leads back to those eggnog spices and egg custard creaminess, paired with a little high-proof buzz.

Bottom Line:

This is nutty, rich, and mildly spicy. I’d argue this is a good entry-point to higher-end bourbons overall. There are no faults in the build of this one but it still feels a little “beginner” level overall, which is both fine and useful (we all have to start somewhere, right?).

7. 291 Small Batch Colorado Bourbon Whiskey (Colorado)

291 Colorado Bourbon Small Batch
Distillery 291

ABV: 50.8%

Average Price: $115

The Whiskey:

291 Colorado Whiskey’s Small Batch is a great entry point into the wider world of the crafty brand. The juice isn’t a “straight” bourbon, since it’s only aged for one year. That very young whiskey is amped up thanks to Aspen wood staves which are added into the barrels to create a deeper sense of maturation without taking half a decade to achieve it.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a push towards cornbread dripping with butter next to hints of berry bushes plus a touch of caramel apples. The taste adds a good dose of cinnamon to the mix as the caramel leans away from apple and towards kettle corn with hints of nougat and maple syrup arriving late. The end holds onto the warmth of the cinnamon and the sweeter edges while a pine-y resinous note sneaks on the short finish, adding a nice nuance to the sip.

Bottom Line:

This is a bottle worth seeking out for the novelty of the aging process alone. It is absolutely a killer bottle of whiskey, but this list is full of 10, 12, and 15-year-old whiskeys, and a one-year-old feels a little like a cheat at this price point. That being said, this is a quality bottle of bourbon that’s worth it for the flavor experience as much as the uniqueness.

6. Stagg Barrel Proof

Sazerac Company

ABV: 67.2% (varies)

Average Price: $110

The Whiskey:

This entry-point to the much older and much higher-priced, George T. Stagg is killing the bourbon game right now. The juice is generally eight to nine-year-old bourbons made at Buffalo Trace, batched and bottled with no fussing, cutting, or filtering. The results are an award-winning bourbon that’s getting harder and harder to find for its MSRP.

Tasting Notes:

The 67.2 percent ABV has distinct and rich molasses with hints of pecan, dark and bold holiday spices, and vanilla oils on the nose. The palate holds onto those notes and adds a cherry sweetness with a hint of woody apple in the background and a touch of toffee. The end is long and very hot, leaving you with a spicy tobacco buzz on your tongue and senses.

Bottom Line:

This is the last of the hit-or-miss bourbons at this price point. Some folks adore this whiskey and will die on Stagg’s hill over it. Others (like me) think it’s perfectly fine but always runs a little hot. That’s easily solvable — I simply pour it over some rocks to calm down those ABVs and truly do enjoy a pour from time to time. But I never really reach for this.

5. Old Forester Single Barrel 100 Proof

Old Forester Single Barrel
Brown-Forman

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $100

The Whisky:

This is classic Old Forester’s mash bill (72 percent corn, 18 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley) that’s left to do its thing in the warehouse until it’s just right. Once those honey barrels hit the right flavor profile, they’re proofed down to 100 before bottling.

Tasting Note:

This has a subtle nose of cherry blossom next to a woody maple syrup that almost felt like it had some of the bark in there next to a nice dose of winter spice. The taste complimented the nose with light florals and plummy fruit next to a touch of cherry syrup-soaked cedar planks and a bushel of dark spices. The mid-palate had a slight dark chocolate-covered espresso bean feel to it that led to a finish that was slightly bitter and full of dark fruit and warm spice.

Bottom Line:

This is a nuanced and classic bourbon from top to bottom. The magic of this whiskey is that even though the notes aren’t outliers in any way, each flavor note still wows, simply for how dialed in it is. It’s just really well made and works wonders neat, on a rock, or in a Manhattan.

4. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

Sazerac Company

ABV: 46.5%

Average Price: $125

The Whiskey:

Buffalo Trace’s Blanton Single Barrel is made up of hand-selected single barrels that meet the sky-high standards of former Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee, who created the expression back in 1984. The juice is Buffalo Trace’s lower rye mash bill bourbon. Beyond that, BT keeps its cards pretty close to its chest about any more details.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a clear sense of Christmas spices right away, leaning towards honey spiked with vanilla and an old cedar cigar humidor. The taste holds onto the spice, especially nutmeg, as caramel kettle corn, more fresh honey, fresh red berries, and vanilla husks dominate the palate. The end doesn’t overstay its welcome as hints of eggnog spice, dry vanilla, and popped corn surface on the fade.

Bottom Line:

Again, classic and nuanced is the name of the game with this pour of whiskey. There’s a reason this single barrel bourbon is so beloved — it just works. It’s not challenging. It’s comforting. That earns this whiskey a lot of points for this list, but not quite enough to break into the top three because, well, there are a lot of great bourbons out there these days.

3. Heaven’s Door Redbreast Master Blender’s Edition

Heavens Door

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $115

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is a collaboration between Heaven’s Door Master Blender Ryan Perry and Redbreast’s legendary Master Blender Billy Leighton. The juice in the bottle is Heaven Door’s low-rye 10-year-old Tennessee bourbon. They take that whiskey and fill it into Redbreast whiskey casks that had previously aged Irish whiskey for 12 years. After 15 months of final maturation, those barrels are vatted and slightly proofed down with soft Tennessee spring water.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with this medley of marzipan, soft leather, prunes and dates, Gala apples, a hint of cedar, and a whisper of ripe red cherry. There’s this body of nutmeg that leads towards a light vanilla pound cake full of candied and dried fruits with a soft Niederegger marzipan center. That then draws towards subtle pops of orange oils, floral honey, walnuts in buttery brown sugar syrup, and this mild touch of spiced apple tobacco leaf. The end lasts for just the right amount of time and leaves you with a walnut shell dryness, soft warmth, and slight tobacco chew buzz that all circles back towards a raisin sherry sweetness and a final morsel of that vanilla pound cake.

Bottom Line:

If you can find this, buy all the bottles that they’ll let you. This isn’t really an investment bottle but it’s a great sipper. This is the sort of whiskey that will wow you in all the right ways. It’s so well built, f*cking delicious, and an easy sipper. It’s really hard to pull off something so deeply hewn that still feels 100 percent accessible and non-pretentious.

2. Garrison Brothers Single Barrel

Garrison Brothers

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $102

The Whiskey:

This single barrel expression from Garrison Brothers in Hye, Texas is all about highlighting the craft distillery’s grain-to-glass process. The juice is made from a mash of 74 percent local white corn, 15 percent estate-grown soft red winter wheat, and 11 percent Canadian malted barley. That spirit is then rested for three to five years, or until it’s just right to be proofed and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

There are going to be clear notes of cedar, cherry, old leather, vanilla, caramel corn, and sour apples on the nose. The palate should edge towards that sweet cherry with a counterpoint of dry cedar next to Red Hots, angel food cake, more apple, and a touch of spicy tobacco leaf. The end is long and warming with spicy cinnamon, white sugar cubes, and a cedar box full of tobacco.

Bottom Line:

If you put this in a blind lineup, it’d likely win. It’s bold yet soft. It’s deep yet somehow light. This is simply a great whiskey that’d never call itself anything but “good” because there’s a humbleness that comes through on the sip that’s really enticing.

1. Knob Creek 15

Beam Suntory

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $125

The Whiskey:

Knob Creek is what Jim Beam becomes with a little massaging, the right aging locations in warehouses, and some luck from the whiskey angels. The juice is made from Beam’s standard 77 percent corn, 13 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley mash. Then it’s left alone for 15 years in the Beam warehouses on specific floors in specific locations. The best barrels are then small batched and proofed down to 100 proof.

Tasting Notes:

Old saddle leather mingles with musty oak cellar beams and dirt cellar floors with an undercurrent of sweet dark fruits and mild caramel. The palate holds onto that caramel as the fruit becomes dried and a cedar note arrives with a rich and almost sweet tobacco. The dry cedar woodiness carries on through the end as the tobacco leads towards an almost oatmeal raisin cookie vibe with a good dose of cinnamon and nutmeg, leaving you with a sweet buzz on your tongue.

Bottom Line:

Fred Noe knows what he’s doing with this line of whiskeys over at Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. This is classic in all the ways that’ll bring a smile to your face while still feeling like it’s taking you somewhere new and exciting. This is the sort of pour that takes the edge off a hard day. It’s as easy-going as a backyard barbecue during the dog days of summer. There are no faults in this whiskey. It feels elevated yet it also feels like something anyone will understand from the first sip. That makes this whiskey a winner.

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