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Best bourbons under 100

16 Best Bourbons Under $100

Bourbon, like single malt Scotch whisky, sometimes seems to get a bit of a bad rap in terms of its perceived affordability. Novice drinkers looking from the outside in see bottles of Blanton’s, Weller, Pappy Van Winkle, and George T. Stagg and assume that all great, award-winning bourbon is overly expensive and out of reach. This just isn’t true.

On the flip side, there’s also an assumption that less expensive bourbon is all bottom-shelf swill that belongs in your lawnmower engine more than in your glass. This is also totally false. There’s a healthy in-between and it’s loaded with an immense number of noteworthy, flavorful, swoon-worthy whiskey bottles. We’re talking specifically about bourbons under $100.

Let’s be honest, $100 is just about the sweet spot when it comes to affordability to value ratio. Any higher and you’re getting into overpriced or out-of-reach territory and too much less and you’re likely looking at a mixing bourbon at best. $100 is the cut-off. And at just under $100, you’ll find sought-after bangers from the likes of Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Michter’s, Old Forester, and others.

How Man of Many Chose the Best Bourbons Under $100

To arrive at this list of products, the Man of Many team went through hours and rigorous testing, implementation and analysis before culling it down to the very best. Over the last 12 months, we’ve worked on curated products that push boundaries and pioneer new fronts, across the automotive, fashion, lifestyle and technology verticals. Sure, we love getting the latest piece of kit in our hands, but being able to point out the benefits and shortfalls objectively is at the heart of what we do.

In addition to tasting every bourbon on this list, we also turned to the wider public for their overall ratings. Our list takes into account three major perspectives to determine the overall rating. In addition to our own opinions, we take into account reviews via alcohol retailer Dan Murphys and the Australian drinks forums such as Master of Malt and The Whisky Wash. Each bourbon identified in the list was measured on:

  • Flavour profile
  • Value for money
  • Appearance

Similarly, while the one defining characteristic is that each drop is under $100, prices can fluctuate from time to time. For the most part, the bourbon whiskies on this list are under $100, however, some may rise to $110 maximum, so be wary of the price.

Best Bourbons Under $100

Now we’ve rounded up our favourites, let’s check out the full list. Fear not, you don’t have to go looking for these affordable gems on your own. We did the work for you. We found fifteen of the best bourbons under $100. Keep scrolling to see all of the corn-based, sweet, sippable, flavourful, smooth expressions. You’ll be happy you did.

Four Roses Single Barrel | Image: Four Roses

Four Roses Single Barrel | Image: Four Roses

1. Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses (including its cheapest Kentucky Straight Bourbon) is the kind of distillery where you literally can’t go wrong regardless of the expression you purchase. But its Single Barrel just might be the best option for under $100. This 100-proof, high-rye expression was matured between seven and nine years. The result is full-flavoured, slightly spicy whiskey with hints of maple candy, vanilla beans, dried cherries, cocoa powder, and rich oak.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 50%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork stopper
Whisky Style: Straight barrel
Price: from $100

Buy it here (Nick’s) Buy it here (Four Roses) Buy it here (Kent Street Cellars)

W.L. Weller Special Reserve Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy's

W.L. Weller Special Reserve Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy’s

2. W.L. Weller Special Reserve Bourbon

Awards are always a pretty good indication that you’re doing something right and W.L. Weller knows that better than most. After claiming Gold at the 2022 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, the “Original Wheated Bourbon Whiskey” Weller Special Reserve features an exceptionally smooth taste, courtesy of the brand’s decision to substitute wheat for rye grain. Bottled at 90 proof, this bourbon stands out in the crowd and definitely hits the spot, thanks to its sweet nose, caramel, honey and butterscotch notes.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 45%
Region: Kentucky
Closure:
 Cork stopper
Whisky Style: Rye
Price: from $79.99

Buy it here (Nick’s) Buy it here (Buffalo Trace) Buy it here (My Bottle Shop)

3 buffalo trace

Buffalo Trace

3. Buffalo Trace Bourbon

If you did a poll of bourbon drinkers, bartenders, and even distillers and asked them to tell you the best value bourbon on the market and you’d get a lot of people pointing directly to Buffalo Trace’s flagship bourbon. Adorned with the image of a standing Buffalo, this bourbon has been made the same way for more than 200 years. It’s bargain-priced and known for its flavours of dried fruits, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, and oaky wood.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 40% in Australia / 43% in USA
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork stopper
Price: from $55

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Buffalo Trace) Buy it here (Liquorland)

Best rye whiskey russells reserve

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel | Image: Dan Murphy’s

4. Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel

Based on a pre-prohibition recipe, this popular bourbon is aged in No. 4 alligator char American oak barrels. It’s non-chill filtered and bottled at a robust, potent 110-proof. The result is a complex, well-balanced flavour bomb featuring notes of toasted oak, sticky toffee pudding, vanilla beans, raisins, and just a hint of peppery spice at the very end. It’s the kind of whiskey you’ll want to pour and enjoy neat or on the rocks on an unseasonably cool evening.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 55%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork stopper
Price: from $85

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Wild Turkey) Buy it here (Vintage Cellars)

Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old | Image: Dan Murphy's

Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old | Image: Dan Murphy’s

5. Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old

Aged in new, charred American oak barrels for a minimum of ten full years, Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old is one of the most popular, sought-after bourbons. The price is sometimes driven up because of this, but you should still be able to find this candied orange peel, vanilla beans, butterscotch, honey, fresh leather, candied pecan, chocolate, and oak-centric whiskey for less than $100 in most places that sell alcohol. If you find it, buy a few bottles. You’ll be glad you did.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 45%
Region: Kentucky
Age: 10-Year-Old
Closure: Cork stopper
Price: from $110

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Master of Malt) Buy it here (Nick’s)

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy's

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy’s

6. Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve makes myriad award-winning, wildly popular expressions. But if you’re looking for something under $100 to start your journey, look no further than the Versailles, Kentucky-based distillery’s flagship Kentucky straight bourbon. This 90.4-proof whiskey has won countless awards over the years and is known for its complex flavour profile of cinnamon, orange peels, caramel corn, tobacco, chocolate, and oaky wood.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 40%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork stopper
Price: from $55

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Woodford Reserve) Buy it here (Liquorland)

Wild Turkey Rare Breed | Image: Dan Murphy's

Wild Turkey Rare Breed | Image: Dan Murphy’s

7. Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Wild Turkey is another distillery known for its quality value expressions. One of the best is its Rare Breed, a barrel-proof, small-batch whiskey made up of six, eight, and twelve-year-old bourbons. This high-proof whiskey is known for its rich, vanilla-centric flavour profile that also features almond cookies, cracked black pepper, toasted vanilla beans, honey, dates, and caramel candy. At 112.8-proof, it deserves a few splashes of water or an ice cube to open it up.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 58.4%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork stopper
Price: from $107

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Wild Turkey) Buy it here (Liquorland)

Elijah Craig Small Batch | Image: Dan Murphy's

Elijah Craig Small Batch | Image: Dan Murphy’s

8. Elijah Craig Small Batch

As the legend goes (although it’s disputed by some), Elijah Craig, a former Baptist minister invented bourbon when he decided to mature his corn whiskey in fire-charred oak barrels. Whether or not this is true is up for debate. But there’s no debate about the quality of the whiskey made to pay tribute to Elijah Craig. This small-batch bourbon is matured in barrels with level three char. This results in a sweet, slightly smoky whiskey with notes of mint leaves, raisins, dried cherries, vanilla, and oak.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 58.4%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork stopper
Price: from $88

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Elijah Craig) Buy it here (Liquorland)

Maker's Mark 46 | Image: Dan Murphy's

Maker’s Mark 46 | Image: Dan Murphy’s

9. Maker’s Mark 46

Honestly, if push comes to shove, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of Maker’s Mark’s flagship bourbon. But if you really want to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll grab a bottle of Maker’s Mark 46. It gets its oaky, vanilla, caramel, dried fruit, slightly spicy flavour from the addition of seared French oak staves that are fitted into the barrel before the whiskey is finished maturing. This adds an extra dimension of sweet, woody flavour to an already flavourful bourbon. It’s well-priced and delicious, the kind of bourbon you’ll buy again and again.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 47%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Wax-sealed cork stopper
Price: from $75

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Maker’s Mark) Buy it here (Liquorland)

Michter's US 1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy's

Michter’s US 1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy’s

10. Michter’s US 1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

This truly small-batch bourbon is made batched in a holding tank that fits a maximum of twenty barrels. First, it’s aged in fire-charred American oak barrels. It’s an award-winning whiskey that tastes like it should be priced much higher than it is. Flavours include rich oak, raisins, stone fruits, vanilla beans, chocolate, toffee, and just a hint of warming, wintry spices on the finish. Sip it slowly while you overlook a large body of water. Trust us, you’ll enjoy your experience.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 45.7%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Wax-sealed cork stopper
Price: from $125

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Michter’s) Buy it here (BWS)

High West Distillery Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy's

High West Distillery Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy’s

11. High West Distillery Bourbon

While most of our list is comprised of bourbons produced solely in Kentucky, we all know that bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States. A great example of this is Utah’s High West and its Bourbon. Previously called American Prairie Bourbon, it’s a blend of straight bourbons and carries flavours like candy corn, buttery caramel, toasted vanilla beans, dried cherries, honey, and oak. If you’re going to venture out of Kentucky, make it a high-quality expression like this one.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 46%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork stopper
Price: from $94

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (High West) Buy it here (Nick’s)

Knob Creek 9-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy's

Knob Creek 9-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon | Image: Dan Murphy’s

12. Knob Creek 9-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

This small-batch bourbon is a favourite of bartenders and drinkers alike. Matured for at least nine years in new, charred American oak casks, it’s 100-proof and produced the way bourbons were made before prohibition. At 50 percent ABV, it’s bold, robust, and yet highly sippable with notes of vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, toasted oak, dried fruits, and wintry spices. It’s a nice mix of spicy and sweet that will leave you craving more after only one sip.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 60%
Region: Kentucky
Age: 9-Year-Old
Closure: Wax-sealed cork stopper
Price: from $94

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Knob Creek) Buy it here (Nick’s)

Old Forester 1920 | Image: Dan Murphy's

Old Forester 1920 | Image: Dan Murphy’s

13. Old Forester 1920

Old Forester is a big name in the bourbon world. Its Old Forester 1920 gets its name because it was distilled, aged, and bottled in the pre-prohibition style. It’s a potent drop and is known for its rich, complex flavour profile. This includes notes of graham crackers, vanilla beans, butterscotch, toasted marshmallows, treacle, dried fruits, and woody oak at the finish. It’s barrel-proof and deserves to be sipped slowly on a chilly evening.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 40%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Screw cap
Price: from $47

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Old Forester) Buy it here (Nick’s)

14 angels envy

Image: Angel’s Envy

14. Angel’s Envy

While most distilleries opt for simply maturing their flagship bourbon the usual way and call it a day, the folks at Angel’s Envy decided to take things a little further and finish their classic Kentucky straight whiskey is casks the formerly held port wine. This results in a bold, flavourful whiskey with hints of maple candy, raisins, dark chocolate, vanilla, dried fruits, oak, and wintry spices.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 43.3%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork
Price: from $130

Buy it here (Liquorworld) Buy it here (Angel’s Envy) Buy it here (Kent Street Cellars)

Wild Turkey Longbranch | Image: Dan Murphy's

Wild Turkey Longbranch | Image: Dan Murphy’s

15. Wild Turkey Longbranch

Wild Turkey’s expressions are so good that we thought it was only right to include two on our list. Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell collaborated to create this eight-year-old whiskey that was refined with American oak and mesquite charcoals. The result is a surprisingly sweet, smoky whiskey with notes of oak, caramel, vanilla, dried fruits, and a mesquite-smoked finish. It’s slightly smoky, warming, and delicious.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 40%
Region: Kentucky
Closure: Cork
Price: from $60

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Wild Turkey) Buy it here (Liquorland)

Evan Williams Single Barrel | Image: Dan Murphy's

Evan Williams Single Barrel | Image: Dan Murphy’s

16. Evan Williams Single Barrel

If you talk to bourbon fans, you’ll hear Evan Williams mentioned as an underrated brand fairly often. This 86.6-proof single barrel bourbon was made with barrels hand-picked by Evan Williams’ Master Distiller. This award-winning whiskey is known for its nuanced, delicious flavour profile of candied orange peels, wood char, toffee, vanilla, and baking spices.

Size: 700mL
Alcohol Volume: 43.5%
Region: Kentucky
Closure:Wax-sealed cork stopper
Price:
from $80

Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Evan Williams)

General FAQs

What is the smoothest bourbon to sip?

That’s not a very easy question. It’s open to interpretation and the induvial drinker’s palate. But few drinkers would disagree with Weller 12-year, Angel’s envy, or any soft, wheated bourbons.

What's the world's number one bourbon?

While the two seem to swap positions depending on who you ask, Jim Beam and Evan Williams are the most popular bourbon brands. The classic, very inexpensive Jim Beam White Label is likely the most popular bourbon in the world. It’s fairly difficult to beat its price to value ratio. This is why it’s found on so many backbars and home bars throughout the world.

CONTRIBUTOR

Christopher Osburn

Christopher Osburn is a pop culture, travel, food, and drinks writer located in New York. He's been writing professionally since 2006 when he got a job as a beer columnist at his local newspaper. Since then, the culture and drinks expert has written for Men's Journal, Thrillist, Esquire, Food & Wine, Uproxx, Matador, Maxim, and many more sites and magazines.