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best cheap whiskies under 20 bucks
best cheap whiskies under 20 bucks

Budget Bottles: The Best Whiskies Under $20

December 22nd, 2016

We choose the best bourbon (and one scotch) to be had under $20

Ed. note: As a companion to our list of whiskies to splurge on for the holidays, we thought it apropos to present a polar opposite guide as well. Because you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot to taste a great whiskey.

Here at HSS, we stock our bars with just about everything. Even the less-than-premium stuff. Hey, everyone needs a daily sipper or a great spirit to mix a cocktail with, right?

These days the “bottom shelf” is a crowded place and it can be hard to pick something that will meet the standard. So we’re going to let you in on our favorite inexpensive (a.k.a. cheap) whiskies. $20 bucks or less. Here you go.

Very Old Barton Bourbon

I remember paying $8 for a bottle of this at their distillery right outside Bardstown, KY. That makes this the lowest price point spirit on the list. However, I’m sorry to say that “Very Old Barton” isn’t all that old. Meaning, it’s still an easy bourbon. A softer body at a lower proof makes it very approachable. Taste-wise, it’s decently balanced with a medium body and finish. It’s got everything it needs and nothing it doesn’t.

J.W. Dant 100 Proof Bourbon

Bottled in Bond for $15? Yes, please! At 100 proof this bourbon is a spicy kick in the teeth with some candied cherries and a quick oak finish. Perfect for your flask on a cold night out. Also makes a feisty Manhattan.

best cheap whiskies under 20 bucks

Old Ezra 101 Proof Bourbon

This bourbon is another great value if you like your whiskey as strong as we do. 101 proof and seven years of aging makes this a great, full-flavored bourbon. Pepper, citrus, and vanilla really sparkle on the palate. Charcoal filtering also gives it a great smokey flavor that makes this bourbon unique. If you’re a fan of Jack Daniel’s but need something with more kick, Old Ezra 101 is a great choice.

Johnnie Walker Red Blended Scotch

For just about $20 you can sip on the world’s best selling blended scotch. Sip neat, over ice, mix, you just can’t go wrong with this scotch. At 80 proof, Johnnie Red is on the lighter side with notes of fruit, nuts and a hint of peat. Medium body with a slight dryness and a smokey finish.

Jim Beam Black Extra Aged Bourbon

2016 Wine and International Spirit Competition winner of the bourbon trophy. For $20 get a bottle right now to sip on. Extra aging over standard Jim Beam makes this bourbon distinctively caramel and impressively smooth. Sip this one neat and let us know how you like it!

Chime in: What are your favorite cheap whiskies?

Thanks for reading.

Chris Sarangoulis
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo

Photo of Chris Sarangoulis

Chris Sarangoulis

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