Top 25 Bourbons Around $40 (Public Vote)

Bourbon

March 10, 2022

What’s the best bourbon around $40? My team and I sought this answer not through public voting.

For the past three months, we’ve asked in surveys and open questions: What is an everyday bourbon? And what price feels right?

The answers varied, but the debate came down to $60 vs. $40, with the latter winning the majority. I was surprised on how difficult choosing an “everyday” price was. Many felt that if the bourbon is in stores and available across the U.S., it should be considered. Perhaps this is the story of our time: Some can buy $200 bourbons every day. And most cannot.

In addition, pricing varies per market, because of state taxes and how distributors set case sales. Rare Breed is a great example. Many believed it should be in the vote. However, it’s more than $45 in most of the country, while controlled states keep Rare Breed around $40. So, this examination of price point led to an interesting snapshot of time of bourbon pricing. With inflation and wheat prices on the rise, who knows if these prices hold?

For determining the bourbons for this list, we applied the $40 price point on Total Wine & More’s website, easily coming up with hundreds of products. Then, we culled whiskeys, narrowing it down by availability, price and allocation. We considered products that would sit in the “bourbon” aisle; thus, we allowed straight bourbons, bottled-in-bond, blends of straight bourbon and barrel finishes in this data grab. From there, we triple checked allocation and availability status.

Lastly, we put it to a vote.

After more than 5,000 votes, here are the winners, as ranked by the public. On March 18, I will blind taste the Top 10 to determine my favorite of the list.

Top 25 Around $40

1. Russell’s Reserve 10 Year, 90 proof, $38.49 (2,103 votes, 40.8%)

2. Wild Turkey, 101 proof, $25 (2,024 votes, 39.3%)

3. Buffalo Trace, 90 proof, $27 (1,869 votes, 36.3%)

4. Knob Creek 9 Year, 100 proof, $36.99 (1,817 votes, 35.2%)

5. Elijah Craig Small Batch, 94 proof, $29.99 (1,639 votes, 31.8%)

6. Four Roses Small Batch, 90 proof, $34.99 (1,289 votes, 25.0%)

7. Old Grand-Dad 114, 114 proof, $26.49 (1,269 votes, 24.6%)

8. Old Forester 100 proof, $23.99 (1,261 votes, 24.5%)

9. Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond, 100 proof, $17.99 (1,229 votes, 23.98%)

10. Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, 108-114 proof, $34.99 (1,214 votes, 23.5%)

11. Maker’s 46, 94 proof, $40.69 (1,197 votes, 23.2%)

12. Early Times Bottled in Bond, 100 proof, $24.99 (895 votes, 17.4%)

13. 1792 Small Batch, 93.7 proof, $32.99 (873 votes, 16.9%)

14. Woodford Reserve, 90.4 proof, $38.49 (859 votes, 16.7%)

15. Michter’s Small Batch, 91.4 proof, $41.99 (799 votes, 15.5%)

16. Old Grand-Dad Bonded, 100 proof, $24.99 (777 votes, 15.1%)

17. Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve, 100 proof, $31.99 (652 votes, 12.6%)

18. Larceny Small Batch, 92 Proof, $24.99 (619 votes, 12%)

19. Evan Williams Single Barrel, 86.6 proof, $30.99 (592 votes, 11.5%)

20. Bulleit 10 Year, 90.2 proof, $39.99 (479 votes, 9.3%)

21. Maker’s Mark, 90 proof, $28.99 (480 votes, 9.3%)

22. Rowan’s Creek, 100.1 proof, $37.99 (414 votes, 8%)

23. Old Tub Bottled in Bond, 100 proof, $17.99 (389 votes, 7.5%)

24. Woodinville Straight Bourbon, 90 proof, $39.99 (377 votes, 7.3%)

25. Bulleit Bourbon, 90 proof, $31.99 (360 votes, 7%)

The Next 10: Old Forester 86 Proof, $19.99 (329 votes, 6.4%); George Dickel 8 Year, 90 Proof, $34.49 (291 votes, 5.6%) High West American Prairie Bourbon Whiskey, 92 Proof, $37.57 (280 votes, 5.4%); Yellowstone Kentucky Bourbon, 93 Proof, $40 (267 votes, 5.2%); Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon, 90 Proof, $34.99 (257 votes, 5%); Bowman’s Small Batch Bourbon, 90 Proof, $31.49 (243 votes, 4.7%); Wild Turkey Longbranch, 86 Proof, $39.99 (231 votes, 4.5%); Ezra Brooks, 99 Proof, $27.99 (234 votes, 4.5%); Smooth Ambler Old Scout, 99 Proof, $39.49 (226 votes, 4.4%); and Johnny Drum Private Stock Kentucky Bourbon, 101 Proof, $38.99 (203 votes, 3.9%)

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