Best Bourbon This Holiday Season…is cheap


December 8, 2015

It’s the holidays. And whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just love buying gifts this time of year, you’ll find bourbon makes people smile. What should you buy?

If you want to drop some serious coin and can find them, you’re welcome to buy limited edition products, such as Pappy Van Winkle, Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch or John E. Fitzgerald. If that’s you, well, good luck with the search.

But if you’re like me, you’re looking for a great gift that’s not going to break the bank and is unique.

For value, let’s say we can get a good bourbon for less than $10. And for unique, let’s just say it’s only available in Kentucky. All bourbon enthusiasts get the question: What can I get that’s only in Kentucky? The fact is, the distilleries send the good stuff to New York, San Francisco, Chicago and many other major markets, making the Kentucky-only bourbons darn near impossible to find.

You’ll find worthy liquor stores, such as Beverage Warehouse, Liquor Barn and Westport Whiskey & Wine, have private barrel selections that are only {legally} available in Kentucky. But these tend to skew in the twenties to fifties, hurting my $10 cheap man budget.

So what’s the best bourbon for $10 and only in Kentucky?

Friends, this is what I buy for all my bourbon-drinking friends when they visit. It sits on the bottom shelf, is six years old, bottled at 90 proof and gets zero marketing dollars. When I’ve tasted this blind, it’s finished in the middle of the pack.

It’s Heaven Hill 6-year-old, good and cheap bourbon that is only available in Kentucky.

HH_Green_Bottle_ImageIf you buy this for the bourbon-drinking friend, you might need to explain that one should not judge this bourbon by the shelf it sits on. If Heaven Hill sold the whiskey inside the bottle to a private bottler, the non-distiller producer would charge $40 for the whiskey in a fancier package. So, you’re saving money, getting good whiskey and it’s only in Kentucky. Plus, it’s only $10. Did I mention that?

UPDATE: Multiple social media commenters have indicated that Heaven Hill 6-year-old Green Label is available in their respective markets. I’ve confirmed the product is in other markets, but likely not for long. Read the story here.

Fred Minnick is the author of Bourbon Curious