Finding a great bourbon is easy these days. There’s been a huge boom in the industry since Don Draper reintroduced all of us to the Old Fashioned. Bourbon was suddenly transformed from ‘that bottle of rotgut your granddad keep under the sink’ to a coveted dark spirit that works for every occasion. That renewed love of bourbon has led to a full-on revitalization of the industry. That’s great for whiskey lovers the world over.
Below are 20 of the best Kentucky bourbons on the market right now. Prices will vary depending on your local state taxes but these all should fall under the $30 per 750ml (a fifth) bottle mark. Even if some of these clock in a little over 30 bucks in your state, they’re still worth snagging and giving a shot.
Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Evan Williams is the perfect mixing bourbon. You don’t really want to be knocking back shots of this one … or sipping it. It’s got some rougher edges. But those edges are easily worn down with some ice, bitters, and a little sugar. Overall, Evan Williams will give you a standard “bourbon” feel with a slight oaky char and distinct hints of vanilla along with that alcohol burn that lets you know you’re all grown up now.
Trader Joe’s Kentucky Bourbon
We’re not in sipping whiskey territory just yet. TJ’s Bourbon is another great bourbon to mix up a nice cocktail. This one comes from Buffalo Trace/Sazerac distilleries in Nelson County and has a clear oak char vibe with a little bit of rye spiciness lurking underneath the alcohol. It’s perfect for a manhattan.