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The Best Bottles Of Bourbon Whiskey Between $70-$80, Ranked

Okay, friends, our “bourbon by price point” odyssey is deep into the good stuff now. When it comes to bourbon, there are some killer bottles made at the big distilleries in the $70-80 range and a whole lot of sourced and contract distilled bourbons that also hit high marks. We’re talking about special bottles that don’t break the bank — we’re still a long way from unicorn territory, folks.

For this list of ten great bourbons under $80, I turned to my tasting notes and winnowed my favorites down to ten bottles that I regularly enjoy. I then ranked those based on how much I actually reach for each expression. Some of these bourbons are classic while others throw a curveball — all of them are bangers in their own way.

These are priced based on Total Wine’s prices in Louisville, Kentucky. That means these may cost a little more or less depending on where you’re living. Okay, let’s dive into some seriously fine bourbon whiskeys!

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

10. Thomas S. Moore Port Cask Bourbon

Sazerac Company

ABV: 49.45%

Average Price: $76

The Whiskey:

This is Barton 1792 Distillery’s low-ish rye bourbon mash. The barrels are pulled from various, undisclosed age ranges and vatted. That juice then goes into ex-port casks for an additional maturation of one to three years. The whiskey is then married, slightly proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is rich with hints of red berries, sweet and dry dates, a touch of vanilla tobacco, and a whisper of soft leather. The palate has a jammy presence with a plum compote spiked with cloves and allspice next to a touch of port-soaked cedar planks, vanilla cream, sultanas, and, mulled wine cinnamon sticks. That spice does start to build towards the medium-length finish but doesn’t overheat. The fade is nice and mellow with more dried and red fruit leading towards a creamy veneer of spicy vanilla custard with a very distant tobacco vibe on the end.

Bottom Line:

This feels like a classic “port” finish. It’s chewy and fruity with classic spicy depth. Overall, this makes for a nice on the rocks pour that pops in a cocktail too.

9. Paul Sutton Bourbon

Paul Sutton

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $75

The Whiskey:

Paul Sutton is a new bourbon from an old family recipe. I know, we’ve all heard it before. The new whiskey is not a blend of sourced bourbons. The brand took the time to release its contract distilled juice. The bourbon mash bill has a touch of rye in it and it aged for up to five years in medium char barrels.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this has a distinct barnyard funk tied to wet bales of straw that leads to a salted caramel sweetness with a hint of a pine box full of cherry pits. The taste veers away from most of that towards sweet corn cakes with a touch of vanilla cream and eggnog spice. A Caro syrup-soaked pecan sweetness and nuttiness drive the mid-palate towards a cherry tobacco finish with a hint of dark cacao powder.

Bottom Line:

You can feel the quality of this bourbon. It’s well-made while leaning into “classic” bourbon notes that feel comforting. Pour this over some rocks and enjoy.

8. Widow Jane 10

Widow Jane

ABV: 45.5%

Average Price: $79

The Whiskey:

This is sourced from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee bourbons (though that’s likely to change since Heaven Hill bought the brand). The hand-selected barrels are sent to New York where they’re blended in small batches of no more than five barrels, proofed with New York limestone mine water, and bottled. What you’re paying for here is the exactness of a whiskey blender finding great barrels and knowing how to marry them to make something bigger and better.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a raw pancake batter note on the nose next to mulled red wine with plenty of spice and orange next to a vanilla pudding and light mint waxiness. The taste has a mix of marzipan next to dark chocolate and real, almost woody maple syrup. The finish adds some cherry to that dark chocolate and layers in woody birch water on the end.

Bottom Line:

This has really grown on me over the last year. I dig it on the rocks. There’s no “Oh My God!” factor, but there doesn’t need to be. This is just solid, crafty bourbon made well.

7. Wilderness Trail Wheated Bourbon Bottled In Bond 6 Year

Wilderness Trail

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $75

The Whiskey:

The team over at Wilderness Trail continues to wow with their six-year-old Wheated Bourbon release. The juice is a mash bill of 64 percent corn, 24 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley and uses co-founder Dr. Pat’s (yes, he’s a real doctor) proprietary yeast. The juice is then aged in their main warehouse where it’s moved to a new floor every one of those six years, allowing a little extra magic to happen in the barrel.

Tasting Notes:

The nose draws you in with a cinnamon-heavy pecan pie with a lard-hewn crust next to hints of wet pine. The palate leans into the corn syrup of the pecan pie while the cinnamon draws you towards an apple tobacco chew with a touch of caramel and vanilla lurking in the background. The finish doesn’t overstay its welcome and holds onto the cinnamon and pie vibes, ending on a fruity tobacco buzz.

Bottom Line:

This is where science and alchemy collide. This feels special while still feeling familiar. It’s very easy-drinking whiskey and really wows in a cocktail. Try it in a Manhattan. Trust us.

6. Redemption Cognac Cask

Redemption Cognac Cask Finish
Deutsche Family Wine & Spirits

ABV: 49.5%

Average Price: $74

The Whiskey:

Master Blender Dave Carpenter built this small-batch bourbon from barrels of very high-rye bourbon (60 percent corn, 36 percent rye, and four percent malted barley) from MGP of Indiana. Carpenter then moved that juice into cognac barrels from Ferrand Cognac which held cognac for 30 years. The bourbon spent 12 months finishing in those old-school barrels before vatting, proofing, and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a clear pecan pie vibe on the nose with a buttery crust, plenty of holiday spices, a touch of apricot, and a whisper of dried hibiscus petals. The palate takes the apricot and stews it with the spices to create a jammy compote next to an earthy and wet cellar beam dripping with cobwebs as the hibiscus brightens and leads towards a hint of raisin, prune, and white pepper. The mid-palate leans into that sweet dried fruit/peppery edge as the pecans return in a bowl of Caro syrup and dusted with nutmeg-heavy eggnog spices and a final flourish of that wet yet fruity wood.

Bottom Line:

Pecan pie and whiskey go together like peaches and cream. This is a wonderful, slow-sipping bourbon that’s as good neat as it is in a cocktail.

5. Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered Bourbon

Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered
Smoke Wagon

ABV: Varies

Average Price: $75

The Whiskey:

Smoke Wagon’s crew is masterfully blending some of the best barrels from MGP of Indiana that were made available. Case in point, the latest batch from the company was a high-rye bourbon (60 percent corn, 36 percent rye, and four percent malted barley) that was blended and bottled as-is out in Nevada. Like so many of Smoke Wagon’s releases, it was an instant hit.

Tasting Notes:

Expect a nose full of classic bourbon notes of orange oils, cinnamon-stewed apples, caramel with a touch of salt, and peachy wood chips. The palate really embraces the fruit and moves from that peach vibe towards a blackberry crumble that’s just kissed with nutmeg and clove that leads towards a hint of old leather, singed cedar planks, and a late hint of cherry-touched tobacco. That leather, berry tobacco, and cedar drives the finish towards a dry end.

Bottom Line:

This is kind of everything you want from a high-proof yet classic bourbon. It’s so dialed in yet accessible, without blowing your palate out with the ABVs. That said, those higher ABVs make this the perfect old fashioned or Manhattan candidate.

Or you can just pour it as a sipper with a rock. Dealer’s choice.

4. Barrell Bourbon Armida

Barrell Bourbon

ABV: 56.05%

Average Price: $75

The Whiskey:

This now-standard edition from Barrell Spirit Company is a mix of whiskeys finished in pear brandy, Jamaican rum, and Sicilian Amaro casks that are then batched. The juice then goes into the bottle uncut to help highlight the disparate yet similarly cozy flavors given by each of the barrels.

Tasting Notes:

Pear drives the nose with a pear compote or pear butter made with plenty of dark spice and just a hint of dark chocolate and tobacco. The taste is warm but slightly rummy with a clear eggnog note acting as a driving force, leading towards hints of black licorice next to creamy toffee stacked beside hefty chocolate bars filled with nougat and walnuts. A slight black tea bitterness takes over on the end as the nuttiness, spiciness, and sweetness all come together for a big finish with plenty of warmth and boldness.

Bottom Line:

There’s beautiful fruit and spice at play that really draws you in. This is a special whiskey that’s not “classic” in any way, and that’s why it’s great. Really take your time with this one and add a little water to let it bloom in your glass to get into the deeper flavor notes.

3. Jefferson’s Ocean Aged At Sea Wheated Bourbon

Castle Brands

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $79

The Whiskey:

Jefferson’s Ocean is deeply skilled at crafting unique and very tasty drams. This expression uses a wheated mash bill (instead of high rye) that’s aged for six to eight years on land. Barrels are then loaded onto a ship and sailed around the world where the spirit and wood interact the whole time thanks to the choppy seas, creating an incredibly unique whiskey in the process.

Tasting Notes:

This has a very subtle nose, with hints of vanilla, dark salted caramel, and mild eggnog spice drawing you in. The palate holds onto those flavors fairly well, while adding in a touch of popped corn to the salted caramel as the vanilla becomes more of an eggnog spiced pudding that remains very airy and light. The end is slightly nutty with a touch of cedar as the spice and svelte vanilla slowly fade away.

Bottom Line:

The reason this isn’t a gimmicky bourbon is that it delivers. This is a seriously good wheated bourbon that has no errors on the nose or palate. It’s refined and engaging. Pour this over a rock or two and let the night slip away as you dream of sailing around the world.

2. Henry McKenna Aged 10 Years Single Barrel Bottled-in-Bond

Heaven Hill

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $75

The Whiskey:

This very affordable offering from Heaven Hill is hard to beat. The juice utilizes a touch of rye in the mash bill and is then aged for ten long years in a bonded rickhouse. The best barrels are chosen by hand and the juice is bottled with just a touch of water to bring it down to bottled-in-bond proof.

Tasting Notes:

Orange zest, caramel, vanilla, and nutmeg-heavy holiday spice are counterpointed by a flush of fresh mint and soft, wet cedar on the nose. The vanilla and caramel carry through as the wintry spices kick up the sharpness alongside a burnt orange feel, vanilla cream, and a slight hint of dry tobacco leaves. It all slowly fades out on the charred oak finish with a minor hint of smoke deep in the background.

Bottom Line:

This could easily cost twice as much and no one would blink. It’s an ultra-refined ten-year-old bourbon that is very easy-drinking while actually offering deep flavors. You cannot beat this neat or with a rock.

1. Knob Creek 12

Beam Suntory

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $71

The Whiskey:

This is classic Beam whiskey with a low-ish rye mash bill of 77 percent corn, 13 percent rye, and ten percent malted barley. The juice is then left alone in the Beam warehouses for 12 long years. The barrels are chosen according to a specific taste and married to create this higher-proof expression.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with clear notes of cherry, dark chocolate, winter spices, and a hint of menthol. The palate leans into a red berry crumble with a hint of chili flake spice, salted caramels covered in dark chocolate, and a spicy/sweet note that leads towards a wet cattail stem and soft brandied cherries dipped in silky dark chocolate sauce.

Bottom Line:

This is a bourbon that you can kind of say, “no notes,” when drinking. There is no losing with this one. It’s incredibly well-priced for its age and quality while feeling special with every single sip. It also makes a killer Manhattan in case you want to mix up some awesome cocktails.

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