What's new
  • The Annual Sue Moore Auction is now running from 19 - 21 October. Every year proceeds from this auction and all monies raised go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please take a look at the items that are available this year, as there is sure to be something of interest to everyone!

Favorite Bottom Shelf Bourbon

Summer is coming, and that means some gatherings, barbecues, and other hosted entertainment. I always want to have some bourbon available for such events, but the dilemma is that more than a few folks just want to dump it in some Coke or otherwise obliterate it for consumption. So, I definitely don't want the good stuff, but on the other hand I don't want just plain awful, either. My ideal is something that won't make me cringe when the kids mix it in their Coke (in other word, cheap), but also something that is passable in whiskey-centric cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, where you can actually taste the bourbon. It also wouldn't hurt if, in a pinch, it can be sipped neat, or with a little splash of water and/or an ice cube, without being too insulting.

Notice I've said "favorite", since this is, after all, a matter of individual taste. Also, no specific price point, since liquor prices are so variable state to state. But as an example, here in Oregon, I'm looking for a choice in the $12/750 range, which includes entry level labels like Ancient Age, Evan Williams Green, Benchmark, Henry McKenna, and Early Times (which I know is not technically bourbon due to the use of used cooperage, but it's close enough). I know that for a couple of bucks more you can move up to EW black or Ezra Brooks, which are my usual choices. At the very low end, around $10, there's Old Crow and Old Taylor, neither of which I've tasted in their current incarnations. Both seem so cheap I'm leery.

So what bourbon do you guys pour for the party, but which can still be serviceable for other general purpose use?
 
Last edited:
Hmmm. Probably Four Roses Yellow Label, or Evan Williams White label or 1792. Jim Beam White label isn't a bad way to go either. All are $15 bourbons I believe.
 
+1 on the Evan Williams white. If you want to drink it neat, or on the rocks, you can. Plus, it'd still cheap enough that you don't cringe when folks mask the taste with cola.
 
Hmmm. Probably Four Roses Yellow Label, or Evan Williams White label or 1792. Jim Beam White label isn't a bad way to go either. All are $15 bourbons I believe.
I wish I could shop at your liquor store. In Oregon (a control state), 1792 is $35, Four Roses yellow is $24.50, and even Jim Beam white is $18. EW white is getting closer at $16, and I appreciate that suggestion.
 
I doubt you can find any in OR but my mother and one of my sisters favorite is Virginia Gentleman. At least here, it is inexpensive.
 
1792 is very good and in MN anyway can be had for under $20.

I'm getting particular to Weller Special Reserve (the cheap version anyway) myself.
 
1792 is very good and in MN anyway can be had for under $20.

I'm getting particular to Weller Special Reserve (the cheap version anyway) myself.

I also really like W.L. Weller Special Reserve, but at $25 here in Oregon it's above my price point for a party pour.
 
Bulleit is the cheapest decent bourbon we can get around here. They went on sale once for 200 mexican pesos, I got all 4 bottles they had and about cried when the cashier broke one while checking me out.
 
1792 is very good and in MN anyway can be had for under $20.

I'm getting particular to Weller Special Reserve (the cheap version anyway) myself.

weller reserve is closer to $20-25 where I'm at, and if I'm spending that money I want the Weller antique or Weller 12 year. Weller reserve doesn't pack enough flavor for me. Very smooth though.
 
Another vote for EW black or white. White is slightly more expensive, but it's 100 proof bonded; and I can get it on sale occasionally for $10.95 here in NC.
 
Top Bottom