13 Best Bourbons Under $100, Ranked

The world of bourbon is a vast one. You could spend a lifetime and endless cash trying new bottles of this whiskey subcategory to find the right fit. Bourbons can be priced in the thousands but there are plenty of brilliant varieties under $100 that are full of flavor and have been quality crafted. It's possible your ideal type could be sitting right there on the bottom shelf.

From Kentucky straight and bottled in bond to small batch and high rye, I have worked extensively with all types of bourbon for a number of years. I have used my knowledge from training with whiskey and bourbon experts and serving drinkers from all classes to rank the best affordable bourbons.

While this isn't a list ranked by price, you will start to see that quality and taste do follow a similar trajectory. This is because when it comes to quality alcohol, especially those under $100, you get what you pay for. Even so, you may find a few surprising bottles make our best budget bourbons list, along with some that are likely already in your liquor cabinet. All prices reflect the current market when this article was written and fluctuate over time.

13. Old Grand-Dad 114

While Jim Beam didn't make our list, another variety from the company did. Old Grand-Dad 114 comes from James B. Beam Distilling Co., which also makes Basil Hayden bourbon. This variety honors the deep history of the brand and the bourbon's recipe hasn't changed much since the late 1800s. The high-rye alcohol has a strong but subtly sweet flavor that's ideal for sipping.

Old Grand-Dad 114 gets a spot on our best bourbon list for its nostalgic factor and because its flavor is as rich as its history. It is a step above Jim Beam in price and taste and appeals to those who want to explore a more complex bourbon without committing to a high-ticket drink. At around $30 a bottle, this is a budget whiskey find but certainly isn't bottom of the barrel. For the perfect pairing, try this inexpensive bourbon as the base for an old-fashioned cocktail.

12. Evan Williams

If you want the cheapest bourbon while drinking out at a bar ask for their "well" or "rail." Most establishments typically have bottom-of-the-barrel alcohol as their well, which consists of any $10 to $15 bottle they can make a quick buck off of. If you find a bar that uses Evan Williams as their well whiskey — not unheard of but you may have to actively search — give it all your love because they know what's good.

There's no need to dilute this cheap liquor with coke. Even with its rail price point of around $15 a bottle, Evan Williams is actually pretty great when ordered on the rocks or neat. The Heaven Hills-owned Kentucky straight bourbon is not too harsh on the tongue and flavors of vanilla and oak can be detected when sipped straight.

Another way Evan Williams wins? The bourbon rings in their ABV at 43% (86 Proof), which is 3% higher than most other rail versions. While there are certainly other alcohols worth their grain under $100, we can't help but give this ultimate budget-friendly bourbon a spot on the list.

11. George Dickel Bottled in Bond 13 Year

Not a fan of Jim Beam or Jack Daniels? Dickel is a great alternative and goes down pretty smooth for a base bourbon. A couple steps up from base Dickel, however, is George Dickel Barrel Select. It is the brand's limited-release bottled-in-bond bourbon that has been aged at Cascade Hollow Distillery for 13 years. This 100-proof spirit is overall a sweeter variety, with maple and fruit flavors overpowering the more earthy tones present in its taste.

You're not going to find many 13-year bourbons for under $100 and you can usually find Dickel's for lower than $50 a bottle. This is why it's found a place on our best-budget list, even if it places relatively low. Its placement comes from a lack of complexity in taste, and since it can hardly compare to some of the higher priced alcohols on this list. But if you prefer a bourbon with sweeter notes, Dickel 13 Year is a steal.

10. Bulleit 10 Year Bourbon

Personally, I'll reach for a Bulleit before a lot of top-shelf bourbons. Having worked behind many bars, I know I'm not alone in this. It's a solid choice that can easily be paired with a range of food. Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is often used as a bar's house bourbon for this reason. The 10-year variety is going to give you a higher quality alcohol with a similar theme.

Bulleit 10 Year is a Kentucky straight bourbon, but like all Bulleit products, it is high in rye. Because of this, the taste is on the spicier side. However, Bulleit excels in crafting smooth liquor, and at 91.2 proof is a great contender for your everyday bourbon of choice.

Though it ranks lower than some more full-bodied versions on this list, Bulleit 10 Year is a trusty standby with great taste when sipping and mixing. Visit the Bulleit Distilling Co. on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, where you can try out a range of cocktails with its base. Or grab a bottle of this gold medal-winning bourbon for around the $50 mark.

9. Maker's Mark Cask Strength

Maker's Mark is a pretty universal bourbon, as people from all walks of life tend to feel comfortable sipping on it. It's not just its popularity that the brand has going for it because it's also a very drinkable whiskey. As such, the Maker's brand was an obvious choice for this list. The cask strength variety is like a supercharged version of the OG, inviting drinkers to explore each enhanced flavor deeper.

As a cask-strength or barrel-proof bourbon, this Maker's Mark variety is bottled straight from the cask. This bourbon is made at the Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, without being watered down. It's a stronger alcohol that can reach 114 proof, and while being barrel-proof would typically make it less smooth on the palate, a glass of Maker's Mark Cask Strength maintains the brand's drinkability.

You can typically find a bottle of this elevated Maker's Mark for just under $50 and it's well worth its price. This bourbon finds itself on the lower half of our list because while a great value, you'd expect a bit more body from a cask-strength variety.

8. Woodford Reserve

In my experience, Woodford Reserve is kind of like a well for the wealthy. When I was working in high-end bars, these bottles would empty more than most others because a Woodford on the rocks was a default order. There is respect for the Woodford name and it's perceived as a safe, classy order. Surprisingly, this seemingly luxury bourbon comes in at just around $40 a bottle.

Woodford Reserve is more than just a low-budget luxury brand, as it tastes pretty great too. Smooth and complex, the flavor is a subtle mix of over 200 taste characters, including wood and floral flavors. Surprisingly, this Kentucky straight alcohol is owned by the same spirits company that owns Jack Daniels. However, the quality is on another level and the Woodford Reserve Distillery only produces bourbons in the brand's direct line.

As an easy-drinking liquor at an amazing price point, Woodford Reserve has earned a place on this list. This bourbon would have placed higher if it were able to compete with bolder flavors. Instead, it sits on our list as a comfortably safe, default choice of spirit.

7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

From Heaven Hills Distillery, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is for lovers of a straightforward alcohol. As a cask-strength bourbon, it has a powerful taste and at around $75 a bottle carries a lot of perks with it. Handcrafted care is taken with each bottle, as it is labeled by hand. Each batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof can range wildly in proof and strength, from as low as 119 up to 140. Most batches will be aged around 12 years, though it also varies from batch to batch.

Overall, the taste of this barrel-proof bourbon is going to stay recognizable. However, each batch will have little changes as the bourbon ages and is altered by its environment. A deep and diverse fruity flavor is expected from this variation of Elijah Craig. These bountiful collections of fruity notes are accompanied, of course, by the oak flavor of the alcohol's aging cask.

As the batches can vary in strength and even taste, the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof did drop a couple of spots in our rankings. This, of course, can be something collectors and Elijah Craig fans find endearing to the variation. For those new to the brand or dipping into the whiskey now and again, it can lead to the illusion of inconsistency.

6. Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses Single Barrel is a great middle-ground alcohol that is affordable and offers decent proof and aging. This 100-proof bourbon has been aged between seven and nine years and has a taste as beautiful as its amber color. Fruits of bittersweet cherry and plums can be found in it, along with vanilla and maple syrup.

To qualify as a single-barrel bourbon, only one cask is used throughout the entire aging process. This typically means the liquor is of higher value. This special type of bourbon also tends to contain more flavors from its singular cask. Four Roses have bottled this quality at a lower price of around $50.

We've placed Four Roses Single Barrel in the center of our rankings, thanks to its value-to-quality ratio. This single-barrel bourbon is more than just accessible, it's thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of a permanent place in your whiskey cabinet.

5. Larceny Bourbon Barrel Proof

Larceny Bourbon is crafted by Heaven Hill, the same distillery that makes Evan Williams and Elijah Craig. Unlike these other varieties, Larceny is a newer age brand that was born in 2012. Though this is over a decade ago, it has to age and their barrel-proof bourbon didn't release until 2020. As another barrel-proof bottle, you can expect a strong taste from this darker-colored alcohol. 

With fewer batches under its belt, Larceny's barrel-proof bourbon is more consistent. The brand releases three batches a year each aged from six to eight years, most of which have fallen in the 120s proof-wise. When it comes to taste, the oak is tasted and smelled throughout with hints of mint, cinnamon, and almond making an impression.

While it may be a newer bottle to hit shelves, Larceny Bourbon Barrel Proof can stand its ground with much older brands. Thanks to its refreshing and bold taste, along with its value at $65 a bottle, you're getting one of the best bourbons for your money.

4. Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit

It's nearly impossible to talk about a collection of bourbons without mentioning Wild Turkey. The brand is one of the most popular names in Kentucky and for good reason. This type of alcohol has been coming out of the distillery on Wild Turkey Hill since 1869. The iconic bourbon brand has also been at the forefront of many trends over the decades. Kentucky Spirit was one of the first single barrel bottles around at its release in 1995. It remains one of the best budget bourbons you can buy, combining sweet notes of honey and caramel with bolder flavors of oak.

At 101 proof and aged at an average of nine years, Kentucky Spirit balances a strong liquor with smooth drinkability. You can grab a bottle at a little over $60 if you can find one. It's not available in every store, so you may have to hop around to locate a bottle. Ultimately, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit secures this spot on our countdown because it has a sweet taste and is an incredibly smooth drink. It doesn't hurt that it comes from a distillery with a solid history in quality and innovation.

3. Knob Creek 12 Year

Another Beam Distillery production, Knob Creek is a surprisingly high-brow variety that doesn't break the bank. At its base, it's a cheap bourbon you should always buy. At its best, Knob Creek 12 Year is a tad more pricey at around $70 a bottle, but you can expect a whole lot of flavor for the extra bucks.

This 100-proof is a straight Kentucky bourbon that has been aged to fine quality for 12 years. It is heavy on the dark cherry flavor, with other more subtle notes of dark cocoa and vanilla. Of course, that charred white oak the alcohol is aged in is present in the flavor as well.

For sticking to under $100, you can't get much better than this Knob Creek offering. While the brand does offer more expensive bottles, their 12-year version could play among these big labels as well. It's an enjoyable whiskey, with a lasting finish that will have the flavor sitting on your tongue after each sip.

2. Stagg Bourbon

As the only variety from Buffalo Trace Distillery on this list, Stagg Bourbon sure does leave an impression. The Kentucky straight alcohol has won a handful of whiskey awards pretty much every year since 2014 as new batches roll out. Its quality seems to be always improving, with Stagg winning multiple gold medals in 2024. Its sweet and spicy notes leave a pleasant taste on the tongue and at up to 131 proof, it has the highest ABV of all the bourbons on our list. While it is a strong whiskey, the taste remains pleasant and full of dimension.

Once known as Stagg Jr., the now consolidated brand can be nabbed for just under $60 from the ABC store. Production of the bourbon can be limited, so there may be times you can't easily find a bottle in the store. We've placed the deserving liquor this high on our list based on its solid history of quality bourbon, strength, and complex combination of pleasant flavors.

1. Booker's Bourbon

Our top spot goes to an alcohol that has prestige and authority in the world of whiskey. You can snag a bottle of Booker's Bourbon for around $90 from the ABC store, though that price is highly dependent on availability. Booker's is a small batch line from the Jim Beam distillery and it is even credited as the first brand to craft and market these specialized batches of bourbon.

All stores will not receive stock of the barrel-strength quantity, so you may have to look around for the current brand's brew. Once a bottle reaches a secondhand seller's hands, the price could skyrocket depending on the batch. If you get your hands on a bottle of Booker's at base price, you can expect a bourbon with a full-bodied flavor and high proof.

While not on a strict schedule, there are typically a handful of Booker's batches every year. Each one is fully unique with a special flavor profile and story to tell. This makes the bourbon collectible while staying relevant to whiskey lovers with an exploratory palate. This, along with its powerful flavor earns Booker's the top prize.


I have relied on my own expert-level knowledge and experience for quite a few of the choices in this article. I worked around and behind bars for around seven years, serving drinks and managing bartenders, and have learned from some professional whiskey distillers and sommeliers during that time. I have experience in high-end bar spaces, including a top-ranked country club and luxury hotel outlet. I've also slung drinks in a biker bar and more low-key environments. In other words, I've poured a lot of alcohol for a lot of different types of people. I also enjoy a good glass of bourbon, even if I've consumed far less than I've served.

Ranking liquor is tougher than you'd think and it takes more than just one perspective to justify a specific bourbon's placement. Other means of ranking have come from reviews from whiskey connoisseurs. Our rankings have balanced how it's priced, crafted, and received, as well as any unique attributes it brings to the table, like history and craftsmanship. Not only will you not regret buying these bourbons but they could become staples in your home bar.