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The Best Bottles Of Bourbon Whiskey Between $50-$60

Our journey to find the best bourbon whiskey at every price point has landed us squarely in “the good stuff” zone. The bourbons in the $50 to $60 range tend to be unique across the board, while also still feeling like accessible expressions — in both price and shelf availability. We’re not getting into ridiculous age statements or hard-core craft bourbons just yet.

The ten bottles of bourbon whiskey below span solid blends, barrels from dead distilleries, craft gems, and higher end expressions from some big names. It’s a wide net we’re casting here in the $50-$60 range.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to find most of these bottles at our quoted prices. Still, some of these bourbons will be markedly more expensive, especially the craft stuff, depending on how far you happen to be from the source. Others might be a little cheaper if you live near where they’re made. It really all depends on state taxes and liquor store markups. Click the prices to order the expressions that look best to you.

Happy hunting!

Smooth Ambler Contradiction

Smooth Ambler

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $50

The Whiskey:

Smooth Ambler is a great example of how smaller craft operations get up and running. This expression is a blend of sourced high-rye bourbon that’s aged for nine years with their own-make, a wheated bourbon that’s aged for two years. The sourced bourbon is MGP of Indiana, giving the blenders a quality foundation to build their bourbon off of.

Tasting Notes:

Classic notes of bourbon vanilla and oak mingle with spicy stewed cherries beckoning you in on the nose. The palate holds onto that sweet fruit and spice, as notes of worn leather and soft cedar arrive with a hint of grain. The end is long-ish with the spice, oak, and cherry lasting the longest.

Bottom Line:

This is a great bottle to dispel the myth that “sourced” whiskey is somehow inherently a bad thing. Try this one with a little water to let it open up. Then experiment with it in a few bourbon cocktails.

FEW Straight Bourbon Whiskey

FEW

ABV: 46.5%

Average Price: $51

The Whiskey:

This grain-to-glass craft whiskey from outside of Chicago is quickly becoming a craft classic. The grains in the high-rye mash bill are all sourced within 100 miles of the distillery. The juice is then aged for just under four years in small format Minnesota oak before it’s small-batched, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a richness that’s welcoming — with oily vanilla, rich caramel, Christmas spices, and a hint of cherry. Those spices really amp up and get chewy on the palate, as buttery toffee with a hint of almond arrives with oak. The end is medium-length and brings more oak and spice with a hint of those local grains popping in.

Bottom Line:

This is a solid workhorse craft whiskey. While it’s perfectly sippable on the rocks, it really shines brightest as a cocktail or highball base.

Oak & Eden Bourbon & Spire

Sanctified Spirits

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $51

The Whiskey:

This Texas whiskey is planning on being fully-and-truly from Texas ASAP. For now, the juice is primarily sourced from MGP of Indiana. Oak & Eden ships those barrels down to Texas where they blend their whiskey and then add the oak spire to recreate a sort of double-barrel finish in the bottle.

The result is one of the more unique bottles on the shelf today.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a Red Hots cinnamon-sweet opening, with plenty of oak, hints of caramel, and a slight touch of vanilla. The oak creates a dry mouthfeel with a continued spicy/sweet edge that’s welcoming. The end is fairly short, dry, oaky, and resurfaces the Red Hots note.

Bottom Line:

This is an interesting dram. There are no rough edges, thanks to the well-blended nature of the juice. Is the oak spire in the bottle really adding anything besides a conversation point? We’re not sure (logically, it makes sense) but we’re more than happy to keep trying this one out to find out.

Woodinville Bourbon Whiskey Finished In Port Casks

Woodinville

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $52

The Whiskey:

This award-winning bourbon from Seattle is hard not to love. The craft bourbon focuses on local grain-to-glass modes to create the whiskey. That juice spends around five years aging before it’s transferred to port wine casks for a final six to 12 months of maturation.

Tasting Notes:

Bourbon vanilla draws you in with a sense of candied nuts and dried fruit that sneaks towards Christmas cake. The palate indulges fully in that cake, with plenty of dark Christmas spices next to orange oils and stewed plums with a slight tobacco chew.

The end is slow, ultra-svelte, and full of all those plummy and Christmas cake notes.

Bottom Line:

This was our favorite bourbon of 2020. It’s a great sipper with a little water or a great cocktail base.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof

Campari Group

ABV: 58.4%

Average Price: $52

The Whiskey:

This is a classic bourbon from a classic distillery. Rare Breed is comprised of hand-selected barrels that hit just the right marks, according to master distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell. The barrels are then married and bottled as is, allowing the beauty of the barrel to shine through in every sip.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a deeply nuanced nose, with hints of crème brûlée spiked with Christmas spices next to mild tobacco, orange zest, and a touch of fresh mint. The palate holds onto all of that while adding a pine resin dankness that softens to cedar. The end is long, warming, and holds onto the spice and cedar while creating a well-rounded mouthfeel — pure silk.

Bottom Line:

This might just be the best expression of Wild Turkey on the shelf right now. It’s amazingly deeply flavored while remaining smooth. It’s also a workhorse and shines as brightly in a cocktail as it does neat or on the rocks.

Blade and Bow

Diageo

ABV: 45.5%

Average Price: $54

The Whiskey:

This is a fascinating and unique bottle from Diageo. The core of this whiskey is orphan barrels from Diageo’s Stitzel-Weller distillery (which is brewing up Bulleit now). Those last barrels from the iconic distillery — that once made Pappy — are blended with sourced whiskeys from unnamed distilleries. The blend is then proofed and bottled with no age statement.

Tasting Notes:

This is a nuanced bourbon with hints of dried apricot, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, and a slight whisper of banana pulling you in. The palate veers more towards the dried stone fruits and raisins, as a counterpoint of juicy pear lead towards hints of soft oak next to touches of grain. The end leans into the warming spices with a Christmas edge, with the oak and fruits fading out slowly.

Bottom Line:

This is a very easy drinking bourbon that feels like a classic from the first sip. Add it to some rocks to let it open up or use it in your favorite bourbon cocktails.

Yellowstone Select Bourbon

Luxco

ABV: 46.5%

Average Price: $55

The Whiskey:

This small-batch whiskey is blended at Limestone Branch Distillery (formerly owned by Luxco but now by MGP of Indiana) by the Beam brothers. The juice is a blend of four and seven-year-old bourbons, which means it’s still sourced juice (for now) while the distillery ages their own-make.

Tasting Notes:

A soft rye spice comes through on the nose with a dose of cherries (very Beam) and a hint of worn leather next to a tobacco note. The palate leans into the chewier mouthfeel while adding a salted caramel sweetness with a hint of smoked cherries as a counterpoint. The end embraces the caramel, oak, and cherry while adding a touch of bitterness to the slow fade, ending at another wisp of smoke.

Bottom Line:

This really is a subtle yet tasty dram that stands out (that smoky nature cannot be denied). It’s a nice sipper with water for sure but really works well in a cocktail, too.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Brown-Forman

ABV: 45.2%

Average Price: $57

The Whiskey:

This expression amps up the already masterfully-crafted Woodford Reserve bourbon. The juice is triple distilled and aged for six to seven years in deeply charred oak. Then the bourbon goes into a second barrel that has been double toasted but only slightly charred.

After nine months of finishing, the bourbon is proofed and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

This is an interesting one — hints of marzipan and rose water hit the nose next to dark berries and honey-toffee with just a bit of dry firewood. The palate draws those flavors out as the berries dry out, the marzipan becomes nuttier and less sweet, the woodiness becomes more like a soft and almost like wet cedar. There’s a touch of apple and caramel with a slightly spiced edge near the end with a rich honeyed tobacco chew next to a whisper of vanilla.

Bottom Line:

This is a fantastic whiskey to have on hand. It’s a great sipper with a little water or a rock. It also works as a killer base for a Manhattan.

Breckenridge Whiskey Port Cask Finished

Breckenridge

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $57

The Whiskey:

This is a solid example of a distillery that used to source all their juice and has now switched over to using their own-make from their Colorado distillery. The whiskey in this case is a three-year-old bourbon that’s small batched and finished in port wine casks for four to six months.

Finally, the whiskey is proofed with mountain spring water from the Rockies and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

Dried fruits, cellar must, and hints of vanilla greet you. The palate has a matrix of spicy stewed dried fruits next to touches of butterscotch and vanilla. There’s a plummy vinous note as the fade starts walking back through the spice and dried fruits, leaving you with more of that cellar mustiness.

Bottom Line:

This is probably the biggest outlier on the list when it comes to taste. Add a little water to really let it open up.

Bulleit Bourbon Barrel Strength

Diageo

ABV: 59.5%

Average Price: $59.99

The Whiskey:

This is an interesting dram from Bulleit. The juice is the same as the standard bourbon that’s aged for around six years before blending and proofing at Stitzel-Weller in Louisville. This expression skips that last step, however. Instead, the master blenders at Bulleit go through all their barrels to find the ones that’ll shine the brightest without the proofing.

Tasting Notes:

The high-rye nature of Bulleit really comes through with a nose of black pepper sharpness next to a softened vanilla bean. The taste allows the peppery nature to mellow to a Christmas spice vibe while notes of peach and oak step up. The finish is predictably long — with hints of that oak, spice, peach, and vanilla dominating next to subtler hints of tobacco, caramel corn, and cedar.

Bottom Line:

This is a really big dram when it comes to spice and ABVs. While it’s perfectly suited to sipping on the rocks, it really stuns in a cocktail.


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

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