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Bartenders Shout Out The Most Undervalued Bourbons On The Market

Bourbon is a complicated spirit. This corn-based whiskey (usually but not exclusively made in Kentucky) seems to have two distinct sides. On one side are the reasonably-priced, easy-to-find bottles. The other side is filled with allocated, over-priced, unicorns that bourbon aficionados would consider selling at least one of their kidneys to add to their collection.

While we’re all for enjoying the Pappy, Weller, Parker’s Heritage, and other hard-to-find bottles, it’s pretty easy to argue that some drinkers overvalue these difficult-to-find releases. That’s why, today we’re going to talk about the less-respected, underrated, and totally undervalued bourbons on the market.

To find them, we asked a handful of our favorite, well-known bartenders to tell us the most undervalued bourbons on the market. Their picks definitely didn’t disappoint. Keep scrolling to see their picks before you head to your local store or online retailer to snag them.

Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel

Rock Hill Farma Single Barrel
Rock Hill Farms

John Dal Canton, assistant general manager, and beverage director at La Stella Cucina Verace in Dallas

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $60

Why This Bourbon?

Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon has warm aromas and flavors of roasted apple, candied cherry, and vanilla that appease even the most discerning of bourbon enthusiasts. When you can find it, this bourbon has an MSRP of $60, but I would easily pay double for this bottle.

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021
Maker

Roberto Berdecía, co-founding partner of Puerto Rico Cocktail Week

ABV: 55%

Average Price: $149

Why This Bourbon?

I consider the most under-valued bourbon bottle to be Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 because of its extra-long finishing. It’s a product made with flavors from each side of the wood. We can feel a balance of the flavor of caramel with Lignia wood. Its price in the market is $60 to $70 but it could cost upwards of $100 and it’s totally worth it.

Laws Four Grain

LAws Four Grain
Laws

Seth Merin, bartender at Miss Shirley’s in Washington, DC

ABV: 47.5%

Average Price: $55

Why This Bourbon?

I would have to say Laws Whiskey House Four Grain Bourbon is quite an undervalued bottle. Its aromas outperform anything I’ve had and the rich finish makes it quite smooth, performing like a bottle worth over $100. The bourbon’s cinnamon flavor also makes it special.

Town Branch Sherry Cask

Town Branch Sherry Cask
Town Branch

Lauren Parton, general manager of Viceroy in Chicago

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $68

Why This Bourbon?

Town Branch Sherry Cask changes enough every year that helps to always make it worth it. When I first tasted it a few years ago, it had more sweet fig notes to it. You could just throw a big rock in there and it’s basically a cocktail. This year when I tried it again, it was a lot brighter with more clove and orange. I would gladly pay $25 a pour at a bar for a dram.

Old Forester 1910

Old Forester 1910
Old Forester

Nicholas Karel, director of bars, lounges, and beverages at Windsor Court in New Orleans

ABV: 46.5%

Average Price: $55

Why This Bourbon?

Although difficult to find at times, the bottle retails for around $50. This expression mimics the bourbon produced when a fire broke out at the Forester distillery in 1910 which halted production and required that mature whisky be re-barreled until production could continue. The second-barreling affords 1910 a luxurious sweetness with notes of oatmeal, raisin, chocolate, and spice. I’d happily pay upwards of $80 for this unique bottle.

Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey

Adam Jacobs, lead Bartender at The London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills, California

ABV: 50.5%

Average Price: $25

Why This Bourbon?

I think Wild Turkey 101 is a very under-valued bottle of bourbon. It’s honestly one of my favorite bourbons overall, and you can pick it up at most places for around $20 a bottle. It’s a great sipper neat or on the rocks. The nose of tobacco and oak gives way to smooth flavors of vanilla and caramel, and their signature high-rye content gives it a spicy finish. Also, the above-average 101 proof helps it hold up in any cocktail that calls for bourbon. I love a Wild Turkey boulevardier. I’d gladly pay $50 plus for a bottle, but I’m glad it’s only $20.

Stellum

Stellum Bourbon
Stellum

Christopher Rodriguez, lead bartender at Lucy Restaurant & Bar in Yountville, California

ABV: 57%

Average Price: $55

Why This Bourbon?

The most under-valued bourbon is Stellum. I enjoy anything that is higher than 100 proof because water can always be added to bring it to the proof you wish. Although Stellum is 114 proof, it is great on its own and is not overpowering.

Blade and Bow

Blade and Bow Bourbon
Blade and Bow

Slava Borisov, mixologist at Adorn Bar & Restaurant in the Four Seasons in Chicago

ABV: 45.5%

Average Price: $50

Why This Bourbon?

The best under-valued bottle of Bourbon? Blade and Bow. It’s perfect for drinking on the rocks or tossing it into your favorite cocktail, either will do this bourbon justice. Created using a solera style system, some of each bottle contains bourbon from the original Stitzel-Weller Distillery that closed its doors in 1992. Diageo reopened the distillery in 2014 to bring you great bourbons like this and Blade and Bow 22 Year.

J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond

J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond
JTS Brown

Anthony Aviles, director of operations at The Ritz-Carlton Members Beach Club in Sarasota, Florida

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $16

Why This Bourbon?

J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond is such an excellent value for a four-year, 100 proof bourbon from Heaven Hill. Being that it’s bottled in bond, you can expect to get some classic bourbon flavors (caramel, oak, vanilla) but it also has some interesting corn notes and hints of baking spice and cinnamon with surprising complexity. For the bourbon-beginner or value shopper, J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond is a must-have.

Eagle Rare 10

Eagle Rare 10
Eagle Rare

Steven Minor, corporate beverage director at 1 Hotels in Los Angeles

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $50

Why This Bourbon?

Hailing from Buffalo Trace, America’s most legendary and award-winning distillery, Eagle Rare is a Kentucky straight bourbon aged for no less than ten years. It drinks smooth with notes of toffee, American oak, and cacao and is my favorite in an old fashioned. Due to the wild popularity of Buffalo Trace juice, prices can vary but this bottle should retail between $55-75. Its older brother, Eagle Rare 17, which is part of the highly coveted and sought-after Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, is the stuff legends are made of and practically impossible to find.

Rebel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Rebel Bourbon
Rebel

Joshua Lopez, beverage manager at Osaka in Miami

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $18

Why This Bourbon?

When looking for bourbon, I’ll typically walk through my local liquor store and pick up a random bottle for around $20, sometimes you can find a gem. Rebel Kentucky Straight Bourbon was one of those finds. The notes include honey, almond, and walnut with a great spiced char that lingers just long enough. I’ve been playing with it as my “home whiskey” ever since and it holds up well in cocktails whether you’re sticking to a classic or riffing away and creating something new. I’d honestly pay up to $60 for this quality of bourbon, so I stocked up hoping to keep the secret safe a bit longer.

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig Small Batch
Elijah Craig

Pascal Pinalt, director of restaurants and bars at The Confidante in Miami

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $30

Why This Bourbon?

Elijah Craig Small Batch is a straight bourbon made with corn, rye, and malted barley. You have a lot of different flavors of spices, fruits, and toastiness. Its rich texture makes it a little sweet and can easily appeal to anyone just starting to enjoy bourbon. I would not have any problems paying $50 for this bourbon.

Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Four Roses

Nick Baitzel, beverage director of restaurant group Sojourn Philly in Philadelphia

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $20

Why This Bourbon?

Four Roses Bourbon is a phenomenal choice for the price. Located right in the heart of bourbon country and surrounded by some big names that fetch a hefty price for their bourbons, Four Roses continues to create a great product for a fraction of their competitors’ costs. It’s a smooth and mellow bourbon, I’d suggest drinking it on the rocks.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded

Old Grand-Dad Bonded
Old Grand-Dad

Christopher Devern, lead bartender of Red Owl Tavern in Philadelphia

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $20

Why This Bourbon?

For about $25, you are purchasing a classic bourbon that deserves its spot on any bar’s shelf. My preference is on a big rock or mixed into an old fashioned. With notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and other baking spices this bourbon has a depth of flavor and is definitely has plenty of bang for its buck. I would be willing to pay more if needed.

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