Whether you drink it neat, on the rocks, with a splash of water, or mixed in a cocktail, bourbon provides that little extra gratification some of us look forward to. Very much like a cigar, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a good bourbon. With that being said, we assembled a list of what we consider to be the best bourbons under $20.00.
Four Roses (Yellow Label) – $19
We picked up a floral and fruity aroma with undertones of rye and vanilla. On the palate, we were hit with a black pepper and cinnamon spiciness which was balanced with a sweet vanilla, caramel, and fruity taste. For being the cheap entry-level bourbon for Four Roses, this is great for creating mixed drinks and surprisingly smooth enough to drink by itself.
Rebel Yell – $15
There’s no hiding the overly sweet caramel aroma. Also picking up mint, pepper and citrus. Caramel and vanilla seemed to overtake the palate, which then finished with a medium burn. I would not recommend drinking this neat, as it was much more enjoyed on the rocks or with a splash of soda.
John B. Stetson – $19
An aroma of almond, vanilla and caramel, with a hint of leather. Tastes of sweet corn, vanilla and butterscotch. A surprisingly pleasant bourbon that goes down easy and smooth.
Old Forester – $18
Being America’s first bottled bourbon, this could not be left off the list. Notes of rye, vanilla, and dried fruit. This is definitely more rich in rye than the other bourbons on this list. A full rich rye and barley taste with vanilla, fruit, and tobacco. Overall, a very satisfying bourbon for the price.
Evan Williams 1783 – $15
Extremely fruity with honey and caramel, and an undertone of peanuts. On the palate, we noticed caramel, vanilla, ripe fruit (specifically apple), and oak. This has a bit more of a watered-down taste than the ones mentioned above, but definitely a complex bourbon.
What is your favorite inexpensive bourbon? Let us know!