When shopping for whiskey, the occasion, the selection, and your mood all factor into which bottle you choose. The variables differ for each person, but everyone wants to get as good a bottle as they can for the price they’re willing to pay. Thankfully for bourbon lovers, that whiskey style offers a value that few other categories can. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great bottle. If your budget caps out around $30, there’s a bevy of bourbons, including single barrel and bonded varieties, to suit any taste.
Low Price, Big Flavor: 16 Great Bourbons That Cost $30 or Less
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2010—91 points, $30
Barley fields, cherry blossoms, pine nuts, caramel chew, malt, cornbread, brown sugar, and chocolate.
1792 Small Batch—90 points, $30
Smoke, hatch chilies, toasted walnuts, Bananas Foster, and orange zest, with hints of crème brûlée and cinnamon.
Jim Beam Single Barrel—89 points, $23
Supremely fruity and floral with a backbone of cinnamon and vanilla.
Maker’s Mark—89 points, $25
Floral, toffee and caramel, roasted almonds, and loads of vanilla, with hints of candied fruit and pie crust.
Buffalo Trace—88 points, $25
Tingly mouthfeel with hints of caramel apple, pumpkin pie, apricot, and a slight note of caramel popcorn.
Jim Beam Bonded—88 points, $23
Dulled spices, oak, vanilla, hints of saddle leather and earth. Lovely medium to long candy corn finish.
Bulleit—87 points, $30
Super spicy and fruity with blasts of vanilla and caramel, with each note owning its own moment.
Four Roses—87 points, $20
Delightful mouthfeel, it presents rounded cinnamon and warmth all over the palate.
Redemption—87 points, $29
Oak, butterscotch, spice, and citrus lead this beast. Excellent for mixing.
Redemption High Rye—87 points, $29
Several baking spices walk into sweeter notes, like vanilla pastry and caramel, followed by burnt oak.
Larceny—86 points, $25
Vanilla, fudge, fruits, and baking spices.
Wild Turkey 101—86 points, $25
Cotton candy, campfire smoke, cinnamon, pilsner beer, butterscotch, and vanilla. Very balanced.
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut—83 points, $23
Although slightly woody, lovely notes of cornbread and burnt brown sugar are present.
Old Grand-Dad Bonded—82 points, $25
Grains burst out of the glass with a hint of mint, baking spices, fresh-baked bread, and cinnamon.
Old Forester 100 Proof—81 points, $24
Loads of caramel, vanilla, freshly baked cornbread, nutmeg, cherry pie, and cocoa.
Old Forester—80 points, $22
Caramel and vanilla, some herbs and baking spices, with hints of custard and burnt caramel.