“Cheap” Drinks: 4 Bourbons Under $100

Aug 29, 2023 at 11:52 pm
These tasty bourbons will satisfy without breaking the bank.
These tasty bourbons will satisfy without breaking the bank.

We know that under $100 doesn’t really qualify as cheap, but in the wild times of the bourbon trade, some of our old favorites have become untouchable and expensive. If we see a nice sip that hasn’t broken the $100 mark, then we celebrate. Plus, what would our Bourbon Issue be without some good bourbon recommendations? Here are four good sips we think you’ll love. 


Coopers’ Craft 

Barrel Reserve

100 Proof | SRP $32.99

I like finding versatile bourbons at ultra-reasonable prices. One that often flies under the proverbial radar is Coopers’ Craft (the 100 proof version, at least). Better yet, with this release, Brown-Forman has given us a liquid I wouldn’t mind having in my bar in perpetuity. This one is aged in specially-cut barrels designed for more barrel-to-liquid interaction, and the result is a whiskey that is smoky up front, with cinnamon spice, plenty of requisite caramel and vanilla, and a hint of banana. Keep sipping, and you’ll find fruit notes like dark cherry. This stuff is great on the rocks, and as noted, it won’t put a big dent in your bourbon budget.—Kevin Gibson


Rabbit Hole Dareringer

93 Proof | SRP $79.99

I know, I know, bourbons finished in sherry casks can be contentious, but I think it’s great to have a bottle around for a nice change of pace. And Rabbit Hole’s Dareringer is my favorite, mostly because the flavors are balanced in such a careful and subtle way. You get a pop of the sherry, but it’s never overwhelming, and you never forget that you’re sipping on a high-end craft bourbon. The sherry and cherry notes melt perfectly with the classic and distinct profile that bourbon is known for. The sherry finish isn’t trying to cover up a poorly made product; instead, it adds a precise twist to a well-made bourbon. Quality is never sacrificed for gimmicks with Dareringer, which is how some similar products can feel. It drinks like a true achievement. —Scott Recker


Wilderness Trail Wheated 

Single Barrel Bottled in Bond

100 proof | SRP $52.99

In the rush to chase (and often overpay for) Buffalo Trace products, many affordable and imminently available bourbons get overlooked, and Wilderness Trail’s wheated flagship bourbon is one of my champions of this phenomenon. It seems like people who know, well they know. If they don’t, I’ve found I can woo the uninitiated with a pour of this stuff. It’s usually aged around five years, and because it is distilled using a sweet mash process, it offers me a hint of honeysuckle along with many of the bourbon characteristics we know and love, plus subtle hints of chocolate and nutmeg. -Kevin Gibson


Green River Straight Bourbon

90 Proof | SRP $37.99

At this point, we all know the bourbon market is mostly built on hype; people latch on to the idea that a certain bottle is worth buying up and hoarding, the price skyrockets and it becomes an even hotter commodity because it’s harder to find. But, you really don’t need to play that game because there are so many great under-the-radar bourbons that can punch with the inflated heavyweights. Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is one of those. A smooth 90-proof, Green River also has a vast flavor profile that hits with notes of cinnamon and vanilla, leaving a lingering finish that doesn’t overstay its welcome. This bottle is generally below $40, so there’s no real reason not to add it to your collection. —Scott Recker