After we saw the popularity of the Bottom Shelf Throwdown, we decided to step our game up at Bourbon Trail Explorer- literally. And while the rules were a little altered from the Bottom Shelf Throwdown, the crew was still tasked with bringing in a bottle of bourbon for under $20 that would allow us to re-up our supply of America’s Spirit in the office a.k.a. “The Budget Bourbon Throwdown.” The following 4 bourbons are the bottles we chose:
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
An old standard, Buffalo Trace provides balance, quality and value. This bourbon was a little bit pricier than we called for, but it comes in at just over $20 per 750 ML and since Mark brought in just half a bottle, we counted it. We love most of the Buffalo Trace products and their entry level bourbon is no exception.
Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Bourbon
The Old Forester Signature 100 Proof packs a bit more punch than the other bourbons on this list. It has a great complexity than lends this offering to be mixed in cocktails and consumed neat as well. A very flexible bourbon to have on your bar, you won’t be disappointed.
Jim Beam Black Bourbon
Jim Beam Black Label is “ok” for a Beam product (which is a pretty big thing for me to say). It has a little bit higher proof and a distinct wood taste. This would be a good bourbon to drink outdoors while camping or sitting around a bonfire.
Kentucky Walker Bourbon
Kentucky Walker Bourbon was the surprise addition to our lineup. Coming in at just over $10, it provides a decent bourbon for the value. And as we learned when we were visited by Bernie Lubbers, the Whiskey Professor, the fact that a spirit is classified as “bourbon” means that it starts at a higher quality than other spirits which aren’t as rigorously regulated.