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Taster's Club's Best Bourbon Under $50

Written by Emma C | Updated July 2023

With the endless bourbon options out there, the last thing you want to do is waste your hard-earned money on mediocre bottles. Great news: you don’t have to, since there are plenty of unique, high-quality, inexpensive options. The thing is, we know just how overwhelming and time-consuming it can be to navigate what’s out there. You’ve definitely got better things to do! That’s why we’ve come up with this Taster’s Club list of top 10 recommendations for the best bourbon under $50. Based on an overall combination of price, taste, and value, these picks are always accessible and dependable. Take a look for some inspiration on your next bourbon.

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Taster's Club Picks For The Best Bourbon Under $50: Available in Our Bottle Shop
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1. Old Grand Dad 114

Buffalo Trace has been defined by its dedication to making fine bourbon whiskey for over 200 years, earning its place of leadership among the world’s legendary spirits makers. This deep amber bourbon whiskey is made with a low-rye mash bill that delivers a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. Pleasantly sweet to the taste with notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak, caramel, toffee, corn, dark fruit, and anise, it finishes long, smooth, and deep.

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2. Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon is the maker’s flagship brand. Distilled at a very low proof to help embody all of the barrel flavors during aging, the bourbon comes out of the barrel at around 109 proof. This necessitates only slight dilution before being bottled at 101 proof. The process helps produce a final product that is very close to what came right out of the barrel and stands up wonderfully in cocktails. Wild Turkey also uses the heaviest char # 4 on its barrels, which helps create its deep color and distinct, strong flavor profile of maple, cinnamon, leather, charcoal, and pepper.

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3. Russell's Reserve 10 Year

Russell's Reserve 10 Year is a testament to the craftsmanship of industry legends Jimmy and Eddie Russell. With a decade of maturation in No. 4 alligator char barrels, this distinguished bourbon unveils a symphony of rich caramel and vanilla notes. Bottled at 90 proof, it delivers a uniquely smooth and satisfying finish, showcasing the Russell family's mastery in every sip. Elevate your bourbon experience with this classic expression, where tradition meets excellence in a bottle of Russell's Reserve 10 Year.

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4. Old Forester 100 Proof

Old Forester 100 Proof honors the legacy of founder George Garvin Brown, who put his signature on every bottle. Handpicked from select barrels and great on its own or in cocktails, this bourbon is rich, complex, sweet yet spicy, and robust. It’s bottled at 100 proof to maintain its distinct character and full flavor profile.

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5. Elijah Craig Small Batch

This award-winning, small-batch bourbon from Elijah Craig is expertly aged in level 3 charred oak barrels and known for its signature warm spice and subtle smoke flavors. Each barrel is thoughtfully hand-selected by the brand’s Master Distillers.

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6. Four Roses Small Batch

This small-batch bourbon is a combination of four original bourbon recipes expertly selected by Four Roses’ Master Distiller at the peak of maturation. The result is a very approachable, mellow, perfectly balanced bourbon. You’ll get aromas of winter spice, honey, and floral, followed by similar flavors plus fruit and oak.

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7. Larceny Small Batch

Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon has its origins in the history of John E. Fitzgerald and the Old Fitzgerald brand. Its Master Distillers select a limited number of barrels from specific floor locations in the rickhouse to create Larceny’s six-year-old taste profile, which includes caramel, honey, and fruit notes. The distillery uses more wheat than other similar bottles for a softer, sweeter, rounder character.

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8. Maker's Mark Cask Strength

Bottled at barrel proof and non-chill filtered, Maker's Mark Cask Strength ranges from 108 to 114 proof depending on the barrels. Smooth, rich, and full-bodied, this bourbon retains the signature, front-of-palate orange, cherry, and tobacco flavors of Maker's Mark while amping up the vanilla and rich oak notes.

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9. Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Woodford Reserve’s fine bourbon was first made on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark, in 1812. The perfectly balanced taste of this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is composed of more than 200 classic, iconic flavor notes, from bold grain like cereal, wood like oak, and sweet aromatics like vanilla, to spice, fruit, and floral.

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10.  Knob Creek 9 Year

Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon embodies the essence of time-honored traditions. As each barrel gracefully matures in white oak, our distillers tirelessly uphold the commitment to full flavor. The outcome is an unwavering balance of deep, pre-Prohibition-style bourbon, boasting a robust oak taste harmoniously interwoven with hints of velvety vanilla and layered caramel. In every sip, Knob Creek 9 Year delivers a rich and satisfying experience that reflects the relentless pursuit of excellence in bourbon craftsmanship.

Keep this list of the best bourbon under $50 bottles nearby. It’ll come in pretty handy the next time you need to entertain company or re-stock your home bar with some great bourbon whiskey. Sometimes it’s hard to decide, though, so if you’re not sure which bourbon to start with, our Bourbon Club has you covered. Just sign up, sit back, relax, and enjoy a new bottle each and every month.

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