We were recently asked to suggest the Best Bourbon under 150 Dollars and as I reflected on my list of favorites, providing a single answer wasn’t as straightforward as it appeared.
Think of it like this. If we asked 100 people in our community what their favorite restaurant is – some would say the Chef’s Table and Tasting Room, another would say the Gochi Sushi, another would say Winter Garden Pizza Company, and another would say Bosphorus. Each of these is “The Best” to that individual, either for their personal palate or in that moment!
Here is our list of favorites that will have you covered at any price point and occasion.
1 - BLANTON’S SINGLE BARREL BOURBON
Blanton’s is recognizable on sight due to the round bottle with a brass horse and jockey for a stopper. Taken from the center-cut or middle sections of the famous Warehouse H. The taste profile is sweet, with notes of citrus and oak. The creamy vanilla nose is teased with caramel and butterscotch, all underscored by familiar baking spices such as clove, nutmeg, or cinnamon — www.BlantonsBourbon.com ($150-$100)
2 - BASIL HAYDEN’S RYE BOURBON – AGED 10 YEARS
In a sea of cask-strength offerings, Basil Hayden’s stays true to its 80 proof roots. The high rye content of its mash bill charges the nose and palate with notes of caraway and spice, while 10 years in the barrel have added leather and an attractive nuttiness. If you aren’t looking for high proof, this is a remarkable bourbon — www.BasilHaydens.com ($100-$75)
3 - PINHOOK ‘BOURBON WAR’ VERTICAL SERIES 5 YEARS
Pinhook pulls 150 barrels from a special lot to create this straight bourbon whiskey with a lively nose of butterscotch, cinnamon stick, licorice, and vanilla. These aromas set the stage for a robust palate of cherry, chocolate, toasted brown sugar, and chicory. With the additional 5th year of age, what was tropical fruit transitions to darker fruit flavors and what was brighter candy is now rich and caramelized; hints of smoke now start to appear for the first time — www.PinhookBourbon.com ($75-$50)
4 - EAGLE RARE 10 YEAR
Eagle Rare 10 Year lives somewhat in the shadow of its 17-year-old elder sibling, but don't let that shy you away. This is a sweet and mellow bourbon with definite signs of maturity and Its orange peel and toffee aromas are a little shy, but the palate serves sturdy sweet and spice notes and a toasty finish — EagleRare.com ($30-$50)
5 - OLD FORESTER 86 PROOF
While others in Old Forester’s impressive lineup claim the hearts of bourbon geeks (such as the 1920 Prohibition Style), this bottle stands head and shoulders above everything at this proof and price point. It oozes aromatic charm and follows with a palate that is lithe but in no way lacking flavor — www.oldforester.com ($20-$30)
6 – MCAFEE BENCHMARK OLD NO. 8
Sometimes you find a $20 laying around or just need a good mixing bourbon. Benchmark Old No. 8 is made at the same distillery at Blanton’s and the ever-coveted Pappy Van Winkle! The nose bears caramel notes with a delicate stone-fruit backdrop. A robust and sturdy palate with some fine leather notes mingling with dry tobacco, a touch of oak, and a hint of dried cherries. The finish is smooth and calming — www.buffalotracedistillery (<$20)