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The Best Bottles Of Bourbon Whiskey Between $100-$125

When anyone talks about bottles of bourbon above $100, you know they’re talking about the rare stuff. Bourbon is generally pretty cheap. So for a bottle to reach into the triple digits, it either has to be 1) tough to find juice or 2) seriously (maybe even over) hyped. It’s almost always also marked up on retail shelves.

Whether these bottles are worth it or not is up to you. But when you can buy two or three bottles of perfectly great bourbon for the same price as a single bottle, conversations around quality-vs-value get a little nebulous.

In picking our ten favorite bottles between $100 and $125, we used taste as the only parameter. As always, these are general prices, not MSRPs. A few of these bottles might be significantly cheaper if you can drive to the distillery. Others might clock in at twice as much if you have a liquor store clerk who tracks the bourbon market closely. Click the prices to order the expressions that look best to you!

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 ten 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 a complex sipper. The high ABVs will tempt you to add a rock, which will open up more of the lemon, cedar, and nutty nature. In the end, this is a testament to the power of great barrel selection from MGP’s famed warehouses.

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof

Sazerac Company

ABV: 67.2% (varies)

Average Price: $100

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, and 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 one is a little hot for us when it comes to ABVs. A little water or ice really helps mellow down that overwhelming buzz and warmth and lets the fruitier, nuttier, and sweeter molasses notes shine through.

Garrison Brothers Single Barrel

Garrison Brothers

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $110

The Whiskey:

This single barrel expression from Hye, Texas’ Garrison Brothers 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 eleven 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:

This will vary depending on which bottle you come across. Still, it’s a great example of Garrison’s ability to warehouse great barrels of bourbon. Each one is worth taking your time with. You’ll want to nose, taste, add water, and dig in deep.

Laws Four Grain Bonded

Laws

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $110

The Whiskey:

Laws Four Grain is a great bourbon for expanding your palate. Their Bonded is their standard mash of 60 percent corn, 20 percent heirloom wheat, ten percent heirloom rye, and ten percent heirloom malted barley. That juice is barreled and matured for six years in a federally bonded warehouse. It’s then proofed down to 50 percent per the bonded law and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

Cinnamon raisin toast with apple butter and cherry greet you on the nose. The palate edges away from those notes with a rush of orange oils next to freshly mowed grass, salted caramel, and a hint of tea bitterness. The end is medium-length and brings you back to that cherry with a slow, warming cinnamon spice.

Bottom Line:

This is a very dialed-in dram of whiskey. A little water really lets the fruit and spice shine. You’ll also likely be able to find this one cheaper the closer you are to the Colorado distillery.

Little Book “The Road Home”

Beam Suntory

ABV: 61.3%

Average Price: $115

The Whiskey:

This high-end bourbon from Jim Beam is worth every penny. The juice is a marrying of two of Beam’s mash bills from four whiskeys. The batch is a blend of Knob Creek 7 year, Baker’s 12 year, Basil Hayden’s 9 year, and Booker’s 11 year that’s then batched and bottled at barrel proof.

Basically, you’re getting the best of the best Beam has to offer in one bottle.

Tasting Notes:

This really feels like classic bourbon from the first whiff — with hints of rich crème brûlée next to cobweb-y cellar beams, dried roses, and maple syrup. The taste holds onto that “classic” feel with rich toffee notes, spicy caramel apples, oily vanilla husks, soft wood, and a hint of peppery spice and maybe a touch of cherry. The end is long, silken, and leaves you warmed, thanks to a slight tobacco buzz on the tongue.

Bottom Line:

“Classic” is the word that keeps coming to mind whenever sipping on this expression. It’s kind of like the mountaintop of what “typical” bourbon can be, flavor-wise. It’s also amazingly easy to drink neat. There’s a warming spice but it never overpowers the subtler aspects of the palate.

Traverse City Bourbon Barrel Proof

Traverse City Whiskey

ABV: 59% (varies)

Average Price: $120

The Whiskey:

This Michigan whiskey is made to highlight a true grain-to-glass experience. The juice is made from a mash of 71 percent corn, 25 percent rye, and four percent barley. It’s then aged for four years in the extreme weather of the Great Lakes. Barrels are then hand-picked and bottled with no fussing.

Tasting Notes:

The milled corn comes through with a touch of orange zest, vanilla, toffee, and lemon jam. The taste amps up the toffee with a caramel kettle corn vibe next to hints of cedar and orchard fruit. The end is long and very clearly all about the velvety vanilla and toffee sweetness with a slight alcohol warmth thanks to a touch of spice and citrus.

Bottom Line:

This is very easy-drinking for a barrel-proof (that’ll also be cheaper if you’re in Michigan). It does lean towards the sweet and buttery more than spicy, which is why we like it. If you’re ready to get a sense of the good work happening in Michigan when it comes to whiskey, this is a great place to start.

Barrell Armida

Barrell Bourbon

ABV: 56.05%

Average Price: $120

The Whiskey:

Barrell Bourbon is one of the best blenderies and finishing houses in bourbon today. Their Armida expression is all about experimentation in finishing casks. The juice is a marriage of bourbons finished in pear brandy, Jamaican rum, and Sicilian Amaro casks. Those three barrels are then batched and bottled with no cutting or filtration.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a super clear pear note that is so pear, you’ll think you’re about to eat a perfectly ripe one. That’s next to a flourish of dark spices, plummy wood, and orange oils. The palate really delivers on the pear note while adding rum-soaked dried fruits, sweet and wet wood, and a slightly bitter edge that’s almost botanical. The medium-long end embraces the spice with a tobacco buzz, a touch of vanilla, and a last note of pear.

Bottom Line:

This release from last fall was a limited run of 3,700 bottles (with an MSRP of $90). This one isn’t going to be getting any cheaper. If you do snag a bottle, take your time with it and really learn the flavors built into the bourbon.

If you can bear it, try a Manhattan with this one — it absolutely rules in that classic cocktail.

High Wire New Southern Revival 100% Jimmy Red Corn

High Wire Distilling

ABV: 57.2%

Average Price: $120

The Whiskey:

This South Carolina distiller utilizes a heritage red corn that nearly went extinct. The distillers worked with Clemson University to help bring back Jimmy Red Corn as a varietal, specifically because that was the corn used by local moonshiners way back in the day. The juice is also a unique bourbon that has a 100 percent corn mash bill.

Tasting Notes:

This barrel-proof expression doesn’t feel overly alcohol-forward. Instead, you’re greeted with mild notes of honey, dried roses, eggnog spice, and caramel corn with a nice hint of salt. The palate is warm but sweet with a continued note of salted caramel corn and buttery toffee next to hints of cherry candy and maybe even salted peanut shells. The end is long and ends with a hint of banana next to that caramel corn and a final savory note.

Bottom Line:

This much-sought-after bottle of bourbon is a good candidate for expanding your palate with a true outlier. While the MSRP is $100, these tend to sell out very fast, meaning you’ll find them for far more than that in most cases.

Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof

Sazerac Company

ABV: varies

Average Price: $120

The Whiskey:

This much-lauded and beloved bottle from Buffalo Trace is classic whiskey making. The spirit is from Buffalo Trace’s low-rye mash bill. The juice is then aged in warehouses built by the Colonel over 100 years ago. The best barrels are selected yearly for batching and bottling with no fussing whatsoever.

Tasting Notes:

The sip draws you in with a spicy berry jam next to a perfumed note (kind of like wet potpourri) and buttery toffee sweetness. The taste, on the other hand, leans into vanilla oils, dry cedar, and a dusting of white pepper that leads back to the spice without the jam. The end is kind of long and really smoothes out, thanks to the vanilla and toffee as the peppery spice builds towards a tobacco-filled cedar box and a very distant hint of fresh mint.

Bottom Line:

This is a very hyped whiskey (its MSRP is $75). The prices are going to vary wildly and reach very high, depending on which release you find. All of that being said, this whiskey deserves the buzz it gets. It’s amazingly smooth and easy-drinking for a barrel-proof. Though, adding water really does let this one bloom.

Though it’s a pricey option, we’d argue that it’s an incredible cocktail base for boulevardiers or old fashioneds.

Knob Creek 15

Beam Suntory

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $120

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 ten 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 small batched and proofed down to 100 proof.

Tasting Notes:

Old saddle leather mingles with musty oak cellar beams and dirt cellar floors with and 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:

This is woody but sweet. It’s a really interesting sipper that could have just been wood on wood on wood. Instead, it’s complex while maintaining its accessibility. And while it’s a limited release from last summer, you should be able to find it somewhat close to its $100 MSRP… maybe.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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