So, you want to have a refined night of boozing, but want to be responsible about it. The best way to pull cheap drinking off is to keep it in the house. Now, we don’t want to go with the Plain Jane bottle of Jack Daniels, making it too obvious how frugal we are. When having a whiskey party, we want to make sure that we express good taste, while not being that guy who always assumes more expensive always means better whiskey. We want a great value, even greater flavor, and to hear our buddies coming to us for liquor advice for years to come. So, here are my picks for 5 great whiskeys for $30 or less.
5. Bulleit Bourbon
One of the most recognizable bottles on this list, Bulleit has become a staple for both mixing and sipping. This wonderful high-rye bourbon has a terrific bite that will come through in any cocktail, and a deep enough flavor profile to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. There is a reason you see Bulleit in almost every bar, and that is because it is an absolute crowd-pleaser. For around $20-25 per bottle, consistent quality meets consistent value.
4. Templeton Rye
For those who are craving a little more spice in their life, Templeton’s 4-year rye is just the thing. The perfect balance of sweet and warm, this one is extremely smooth for its age. As a younger rye, there is still a little punch involved when you take a sip, but Templeton still manages to be a great neat sipper. This one usually sits right at the top end of $27-30, but is more than worth it.
3. High West Double Rye
Despite its terrific price point, this blend is my #1 rye whiskey. Made by blending sharp, young rye with a smooth older one, High West’s Double Rye is a complex ride. Best served straight (neat or iced is your choice), the sheer variety of notes in this bottle makes it worth twice what they charge. Now, this one is kind of a cheat, being that it retails in the $30-35 neighborhood. Despite that fact, I absolutely had to include it, and I have managed to snag it for the $30 low-end several times.
2. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Slowly becoming more and more popular, Buffalo trace was every whiskey lover’s sleeper pick a few years ago. One of the all-around best value bourbons around, Buffalo trace does it all. I have never had a better whiskey mule, and the sipping potential is absolutely present in this bottle. Countless awards have gone Buffalo Trace’s way by now, and the price is sure to go up soon. For now, I usually find this bottle at around $25-27, and that is an unmistakable steal.
1. Four Roses Small Batch
This small batch bourbon is not just my favorite whiskey for the price, but my favorite whiskey, period. While being a sharper, more floral experience than most bourbons, Four Roses’ astoundingly cheap small batch separates itself completely from its bottom shelf entry. Reliably found at $29.99 every time I have seen it, it was born to be the #1 on this list. I personally believe you should only drink this one straight, as the flavor profile is ridiculously eventful. If you need to open it up with a little water or ice, that is 100 percent okay, but this one is not a mixer. Go buy this whiskey, and buy it now.
Got a whiskey you think should be added to this cheap drinking list? Comment down below!