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The Best Bottles Of Bourbon Whiskey Between $40-$50

Our quest to find the best bourbon whiskey at every price point marches on!

And guess what? The $40-$50 range just might be the sweet spot for bourbon. This is where you’re going to get real-deal single barrel expressions that can stand up to bottles twice the price, where the craft industry really starts to shine with unique bottles and grain-glass-gems, and where you find 10-year-old bourbons that outkick their coverage by a big margin. Plus $40-$50 feels relatively affordable for most drinkers.

The bottles of bourbon featured below are our favorites at their price point — taste being the only factor. However, limiting our list to just 10 bottles was pretty tough, so we’re sorry if we missed your favorite dram. Obviously, these prices will vary from state to state and from store to store. Some of you might get lucky and snag certain expressions for less than what we listed; others may have to pay a little more. Click the prices to order the expressions that look best to you.

Let’s get into it!

Jim Beam Single Barrel

Beam Suntory

ABV: 54%

Average Price: $41

The Whiskey:

Jim Beam’s Single Barrel is the height of the brand’s prowess in making accessible whiskey. The juice is pulled from less than one percent of the barrels warehoused by Beam, ensuring that the juice is the best of the best. Those barrels are hand-selected by Beam’s masters to hit just the right bourbon notes while still tasting like a classic Jim Beam expression.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a real classic notion of bourbon on the nose with plenty of caramel popcorn, vanilla pods, and an almost toasted oakiness. The palate delivers on those notes while adding a spicy/cherry tobacco with a hint of honey, cut with orange oils. The finish bolsters the spiciness to Christmas spice levels while allowing the cherry and oak to shine on the slow end.

Bottom Line:

At this price, you really can’t beat this as a single barrel sipper, especially with some ice. We’d argue this makes for a great cocktail base too, if that feels do-able for you.

Russell’s Reserve 10-Year-Old

Campari Group

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $42

The Whiskey:

This is a true highwater mark for Wild Turkey. Father and son team Jimmy and Eddie Russell walk the musty rows of their warehouse to find the absolute best ten-year-old barrels to create this fine expression. The hand-picked barrels are married and then cut with soft Kentucky limestone water to bring the whiskey down to a very enjoyable 90 proof.

Tasting Notes:

This is quintessential bourbon.

There’s a nose that touches on rich caramel apples, vanilla pods, Christmas spices, and charred oak. The oak kicks up a notch as notes of orange oils dance with dark chocolate (especially when water is added) while those spices and apples mingle with an almost tobacco chewiness. The oak then mellows towards a soft cedar flavor, with hints of worn leather as the fruit, spice, and vanilla all fade out very slowly.

Bottom Line:

This really is a fine sipper. Though, you need to take your time. Add a little water or an ice cube. Swirl. Nose. Taste. Repeat.

Let the expression bloom and filter through your senses.

Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Bacardi

ABV: 43.3%

Average Price: $43

The Whiskey:

Angle’s Envy garnered fame for sourcing barrels of whiskey and giving them unique cask finishes. Their signature expression is their small-batched bourbon finished in port casks. They take eight to 12 barrels and marry them before transferring the juice to port casks for an additional three to six months of resting.

Tasting Notes:

Bourbon-y notes of vanilla and caramel mingle with port-y notes of dried fruits and fatty nuts with a hint of maple syrup. That maple syrup creates the foundation where bright red berries pop next to hints of toast dripping with Nutella, more vanilla, and a touch of sweet oak. The fade is fairly slow with the nutty chocolate, fruit, and vanilla lasting the longest.

Bottom Line:

While this is positioned as a sipper, it makes one hell of a cocktail. Try it in your next Manhattan or old fashioned.

Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon

Wyoming Whiskey

ABV: 44%

Average Price: $45

The Whiskey:

This small-town craft distillery is making some of the finest grain-to-glass whiskey on the market. Their signature bourbon is a wheated bourbon that utilizes grains grown within 100 miles of the Wyoming distillery. The juice is aged for at least four years before it’s small-batched, proofed with local water, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

The vanilla and caramel on the nose are creamy to the point of feeling like a stiff pudding with a hint of wildflowers. The palate holds onto those flowers and pudding while adding cinnamon sticks warming in browned butter with a note of cedar. That spice broadens out to a Christmas spice vibe as a buttery toffee sweetness and mouthfeel lead you toward a finish that’s just the right length.

Bottom Line:

This really is a stellar sip of whiskey. Make sure to add a little water to really let those flavors shine. Once you’ve become familiar with the sip, start experimenting with your favorite cocktails.

Old Forester Statesman

Brown Forman

ABV: 47.5%

Average Price: $45

The Whiskey:

Yes, this is technically a gimmick whiskey. The expression was released as a tie-in to Kingsman: The Golden Circle. But, that doesn’t really matter with this exceptional bottle of whiskey. The barrels are all hand-selected from the hottest corners of the warehouse and small-batched to create a deep character and bold presence.

Tasting Notes:

Moist, dark chocolate cake with cloves and oak mix with a flourish of vanilla on the nose. The taste holds onto the spice and amps it into Christmas spice territory with a focus on woody cinnamon next to worn leather and buttery toffee. A dry floral note arrives late with a burst of orange that leans creamy (almost like a sherbert) comingling with all that vanilla and toffee.

Bottom Line:

This really is meant to be sipped slowly with a little water or ice. It takes a while for some of those deeper floral and creamy notes to arrive, so don’t rush. When they do pop, this whiskey becomes very hard to put down.

Heaven’s Door Tennessee Bourbon

Heavens Door

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $46

The Whiskey:

Bob Dylan’s Tennessee Bourbon is a very enjoyable and a (surprisingly) un-gimmicky treat. The juice is a high-rye bourbon that’s aged for up to eight years before Heaven’s Door’s blender gets his hands on the barrels. Then the whiskeys are blended to highlight classic bourbon notes.

Tasting Notes:

Notes of vanilla sit next to a slight oakiness with an almost rye bread crust sourness and bitterness. The sip leans into the vanilla, creating a creamy texture as wisps of apricot and cherry mingle with mild brown spices. The finish is long and hits on that vanilla cream, all the fruit, and mild spice while leaving you with a final nod to the charred oak at the end.

Bottom Line:

While this is fine as a sipper (a little water will reveal some powdery dark chocolate), it really shines best as a cocktail base.

Legent

Beam Suntory

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $47

The Whiskey:

This bottle from Beam Suntory marries Kentucky Bourbon, California wine, and Japanese whisky blending in one bottle. Legent is classic Kentucky bourbon made by bourbon legend Fred Noe at Beam that’s finished in both French oak that held red wine and Spanish sherry casks. The juice is then blended by whisky blending legend Shinji Fukuyo.

Tasting Notes:

Plummy puddings with hints of nuts mingle with vinous berries, oaky spice, and a good dose of vanilla and toffee on the nose. The palate expands on the spice with more barky cinnamon and dusting of nutmeg while the oak becomes sweeter and the fruit becomes dried and sweet. The finish is jammy-yet-light with plenty of fruit, spice, and oak lingering on the senses.

Bottom Line:

This is built as a workhorse whiskey. Sip it, mix with it, enjoy it. [When we lead whiskey tastings, this is the one we serve first to offer a “baseline” of standard, enjoyable, sippable bourbon.]

Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon

Michters

ABV: 45.7%

Average Price: $48

The Whiskey:

Michter’s really means the phrase “small batch” here. The tank they use to marry their hand-selected eight-year-old bourbons can only hold 20 barrels, so that’s how many go into each small-batch bottling. The blended juice is then proofed with Kentucky’s famously soft limestone water and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

Buttery caramel and peaches mix with creamy vanilla and oak on the nose. The vanilla really shines as the peach almost takes on a grilled edge as it gets sweeter and adds a whisper of smoke next to peppery spice. The spice kicks up and warms the senses as the slow fade embraces stone fruit, toffee, and more vanilla with a final kick of charred oak.

Bottom Line:

This is another whiskey that’s built as a workhorse bourbon. And while we dig it as a sipper on the rocks, it’s truly a killer cocktail base for any whiskey cocktail.

Bulleit Bourbon 10

Diageo

ABV: 45.6%

Average Price: $48

The Whiskey:

This is classic Bulleit Bourbon that’s aged up to ten years before it’s blended and bottled. These barrels are hand-selected to really amplify and highlight the classic flavors that make Bulleit so damn accessible in the first place.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a lot going on with butter and spicy stewed apples, maple syrup, Christmas cakes full of nuts and dried fruit, and a hint of savory herbs all pinging through your olfactory. The palate brings about smooth and creamy vanilla with plenty of butter toffee, sourdough crust, more X-mas spice, cedar bark, and a hint of dried roses. The finish is long, warming, and really embraces the toffee and spice.

Bottom Line:

Make sure to add in a rock or some water to really let this one bloom in the glass. Then take your time enjoying this monster sip.

Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $49

The Whiskey:

Four Roses’ most recent single barrel is from only one of their ten recipes/bourbons. In this case, that means the juice is a high-rye (35 percent) bourbon that’s fermented with yeasts that highlight “delicate fruit” in the body of the whiskey. The bourbon is then barely touched with water to bring it down to a very drinkable 100 proof.

Tasting Notes:

Pears roasted in maple syrup and cinnamon sticks counter a very creamy vanilla base on the nose. The taste holds onto that roasted pear feel while adding a spicy tobacco buzz alongside dates, plums, and walnuts. The sip is pure velvet as the fade slows way down while hitting the nuttiness, plumminess, stewed and spicy fruitiness, and creaminess along the way.

Bottom Line:

This is a killer single barrel expression that could cost twice as much. It’s also inexpensive enough that you don’t have to fret over using this quality sipper as a solid cocktail base.


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

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