Christopher Osburn

16 Best Bourbons Under $100 | Man of Many


Best Bourbons Under $100


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

How Man of Many Chose the Best Bourbons Under $100

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