Fred Minnick’s Best Bourbons Under $20 in 2022


September 6, 2022

Fred Minnick Best Bourbons Under $20

Bourbon expert Fred Minnick took to his YouTube channel to share his list of what he terms a “dying genre” — the best bourbons under $20 that you can still find.

In the video, Minnick points out that the rising cost of bourbon means fewer and fewer bargain bourbons that are still worthy everyday sippers. And with this rise, some favorite old bourbons have been re-branded and heavily marketed

“Value bourbon has changed from $10 to $ 15 to $20 to $30,” Minnick says. “I can make an argument that a $60 bourbon, as long as it is available, is a value bourbon. But you can still find bourbon for $20 and under.”

This is his list of the eight best bourbons under $20 that are usually available (at least in Kentucky), a list he says, “has some meat on the bone.”

8. Jim Beam White Label (80 proof): Usually $10-15; cornbread note.

7. Jack Daniel’s (80 proof): Usually $15-$20; the world’s No. 1-selling whiskey, banana is the key note. And yes, it’s a bourbon.

6. Very Old Barton (80 proof): Usually $10-$12; buttered toast note, “It’s sneaky good.” Great for batch cocktails.

5. Old Forester 86 Proof: Usually $12-$15; banana and cherry notes. A favorite well bourbon for bartenders.

4. Evan Williams Black Label (80 proof): Usually $15-$20; good with fried chicken. The standard for bourbon entry.

3. Old Forester 100 Proof: Usually around $20; fried cherry pie note. Has an enormous fan base, does well in blind tastings.

2. JTS Brown Bottled in Bond (100 proof): Usually $15-$20; Nutella note. Can be tough to find outside Kentucky. Get it while you can.

1. Evan Williams Bottled in Bond (100 proof): Usually $15-$20; prominent sopapilla note, with honey. This one is a top everyday bourbon, often beating out higher-priced competitors for flavor profile. “For the money, you cannot beat this.”

Bonus: Bulleit, Elijah Craig, Wild Turkey are good bourbons for just over this price point.