Best Bargain Bourbon Brands Under $25

by
September 28, 2019

The bourbon category has never been more popular than it is right now. Limited edition and long-aged bourbons go as quickly as they hit the shelves. At times our old standbys can be tough to find—and when we do, they are triple the standard price. Fortunately, we can still fall back on some tried and true value bourbons. No need to wait for a special occasion, these are great for any day of the week. These bargain bourbon brands can all be had for $25 or less, so make sure keep your home bar stocked!

Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Bourbon

The name Old Forester was allegedly chosen in honor of a doctor named Forrester, who regularly prescribed the bourbon to his patients at a time when it was still sold in pharmacies “for medicinal purposes.” However, the signature for which this bourbon gets its name and which is displayed on each bottle, is the founder of the brand, George Garvin Brown.

ABV: 50%
Flavor Profile: Rich & Spicy
Distiller Score: 88

Bargain Bourbon: Old Forester Signature 100 Proof BourbonOld Forester Signature 100 Proof Bourbon / Photo Credit: Old Forester

Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon 90 Proof

Production started on Ezra Brooks around the 1950s by the Medley Distillery. Today the brand is owned by Luxco. Its mash bill consists of corn, rye, and malted barley. This Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey bears no age statement and is bottled at 90 proof. In 2018, Luxco opened Lux Row Distillers in Bardstown, KY so expect the bourbon to be made there in the future.

ABV: 45%
Flavor Profile: Rich & Full Bodied
Distiller Score: 88

Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Larceny is a brand extension of Heaven Hill’s Old Fitzgerald line. According to their story, back in the day, John E. Fitzgerald used his privilege of holding the keys to Pappy Van Winkle’s bonded warehouse, where the Old Fitzgerald bourbons were kept, to steal the best casks for himself. These became known as the “Fitzgerald Barrels.” Larceny is a wheated bourbon made from a blend of selected barrels made in honor of this legend. It bears no age statement and is bottled at 92 proof.

ABV: 46%
Flavor Profile: Sweet & Rich
Distiller Score: 88

Bargain Bourbon: Larceny Kentucky Straight BourbonLarceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon / Photo Credit: Larceny

Very Old Barton 100 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Very Old Barton, owned by the Sazerac Company, is produced in Bardstown, Kentucky. There are a variety of Very Old Barton bourbons on the market including an 80 proof, an 86 proof and a 90 proof. This 100 proof bottling is also bottled-in-bond. The 6 year age statement is now gone and replaced with just the number “6” on the handle, but they bourbon is indeed at least 4 years old.

ABV: 50%
Flavor Profile: Sweet & Rich
Distiller Score: 86

Jim Beam Black Label Extra-Aged

This Kentucky Straight Bourbon from Beam was formerly known as Jim Beam Double Aged. This no-age statement bourbon replaces the Black Label 8 Year. It is aged longer than Jim Beam Original, also known as Jim Beam White Label. That bottling is aged at least four years in new, charred American oak. Black Label Extra-Aged is bottled at 43% ABV.

ABV: 43%
Flavor Profile: Spicy & Smoky
Distiller Score: 84

Bargain Bourbon: Jim Beam Black Label Extra-AgedJim Beam Black Label Extra-Aged / Photo Credit: Jim Beam

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon

Old Grand-Dad is based on the high-rye bourbon recipe made famous by Basil Hayden — it’s his picture on the bottle. This is the Bottled-In-Bond version of Old Grand-Dad Bourbon, meaning it was all distilled in the same calendar year. Additionally, it was aged at least 4 years under government supervision, and it is bottled at 50% ABV. Along with Old Overholt Rye, Old Grand-Dad falls under “The Olds” family of whiskeys released by Jim Beam.

ABV: 50%
Flavor Profile: Sweet
Distiller Score: 84

Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon

A wheated bourbon brand contract distilled at Heaven Hill Distillery, Rebel Yell is owned by Luxco. Rebel Yell has been a registered brand since 1936, although the recipe for the bourbon dates back to 1849. It is bottled without an age statement at 80 proof. Note: the portfolio for Rebel Yell all received a makeover with updated labels in April 2019.

ABV: 40%
Flavor Profile: Fruity
Distiller Score: 84

Bargain Bourbon: Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight BourbonRebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon / Photo Credit: Rebel Yell

Four Roses Bourbon

This Kentucky straight bourbon is the entry-level bourbon for the brand. Four Roses has two separate mash bills it uses for its bourbons. One is labeled recipe “B” and is 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley. The other is recipe “E” and is 75% corn, 20% rye, and 5% malted barley. Both mash bills are utilized for this bottling. Additionally, Four Roses uses up to five different yeast strains for its bourbons, and all are used here. Over time, the Yellow Label bottle has changed with the label losing the yellow color. Beginning in spring 2018, the name for this product is simply “Four Roses Bourbon.”

ABV: 40%
Flavor Profile: Sweet
Distiller Score: 82

Wild Turkey Bourbon 101

Wild Turkey is known to barrel its whiskey at a lower entry-proof, meaning the product is a lower proof as it comes off the still prior to maturing. That lower entry proof lends to more flavor from the mash bill (corn, rye and malted barley). Wild Turkey Bourbon 101 is pulled from the barrel at 109 proof before being proofed down only a touch.

ABV: 50.5%
Flavor Profile: Sweet & Vanilla
Distiller Score: 82

Bargain Bourbon: Wild Turkey Bourbon 101Wild Turkey Bourbon 101 / Photo Credit: Wild Turkey

Evan Williams White Label Bottled in Bond Bourbon

Founded in 1783 as the first commercial distillery in Kentucky, Evan Williams built his distillery along the banks of the Ohio River. Today, Evan Williams Bourbon is distilled only blocks from the site of his original distillery. Evan Williams White Label Bottled in Bond Bourbon is produced with a mash bill of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malt. It is aged at least 4 years in a bonded warehouse and is bottled at 100 proof in a trademark square, white label bottle.

ABV: 50%
Flavor Profile: Vanilla & Sweet
Distiller Score: 80


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