What are the 10 best bourbons under $100? One of the best things that comes from liking bourbon is that it’s cheaper than alternatives, like scotch, at least in the U.S. There are several reasons for that. Scotch has a greater global reputation, which results in a higher price. In addition, bourbon doesn’t require a long aging process, because it’s usually made in a climate with more extreme temperature differences and is aged in new charred oak barrels, which reduce aging costs.
So, one of bourbon’s main advantages compared to other types of whiskey is the price. You can get a pretty decent single-barrel, small-batch bourbon under $50 (don’t miss our list chronicling the Best Bourbon For The Money: 10 Best Bourbons Under $50) and you can even spend less than $30 for a bottle of a smooth long-aged (10-12 years) bourbon (see our list of the 11 Best Cheap Bourbons Under $30 for proof). So, $100 can go a long way. Even though it might seem expensive, everyone who likes bourbon should try one of these at least once in their lives. It also goes without saying that a bottle of premium bourbon would make a great gift for someone, like your boss.
Before we get to the list of the best bourbons under $100, we should explain what bourbon is and what factors justify its high price-tag. Bourbon is a type of whiskey, so it’s an across-the-pond relative of scotch. However, in the U.S there are many types of whiskeys, like corn whiskey (made from mash containing at least 80% corn), and rye whiskey (mash contains at least 51% rye). Bourbon is made from mash that contains at least 51% corn and it usually comes from Southern States, in particular Kentucky. The only exception is Tennessee, which developed its own type of whiskey: Tennessee whiskey, which tastes similar to bourbon, though the production process differs through something called the Lincoln County Process, which involves filtering the drink through charcoal before putting it in barrels.
So, what makes a good bourbon worth the high price? First of all, you should check out the distillery and the brand owned by it. Older and better-known distilleries like Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey and Bulleit are more likely to have an experienced distiller and they usually use high-quality ingredients to satisfy their customers. Then you should check out the age. An expensive bourbon should be aged from 10 to 20 years. Also, a premium bourbon will often be labeled “single barrel”, which means that each bottle will have some distinctive notes specific to the barrel it came from. Finally, some types of premium bourbon come from small-batches, and while this makes them more desirable, it may also be difficult to find them in stores.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at our list of the 10 best bourbons under $100. While the bottles presented here will provide a unique experience of flavor and taste, you might also want to check out other, less expensive bourbons made by the same brands and distilleries, because even at a lower price they usually provide a decent drink.