Finding the Cheapest Whiskey
We have talked about the most expensive whiskey and the top 10 whiskeys. Unfortunately for most people these whiskies are beyond reach due to their prohibitive cost.
Lets take a look at where you can find the cheapest whiskey. Cheap doesn’t have to mean poor quality. If you know where to look, you can find some very excellent bottles of whiskey on a budget.
This is my pick of the top best quality, cheapest whiskey that you can buy for $25 or under.
Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
The sazerac straight rye whiskey is from the Buffalo Trace Distillery located in Frankfort Kentucky. One of the oldest and well known distilleries in the USA. It has a rich 200 year history and is responsible for many top brands of whiskey.
This particular rye whiskey has been aged for a minimum of six years. As this is a blend six years is the minimum age and it may be that some parts are much older.
Rye whiskey must have been aged in New Oak Barrels. Because the barrels are new, the aging process happens much more quickly and you get a flavour that might take other aged whiskies longer to produce. As a result rye whiskey is extremely popular and demand is currently outstripping supply.
The appearance is a deep amber copper color, the nose is strong vanilla, with hints of clove, anise and pepper. The whiskey tastes of candied spices and citrus. The finish is smooth with overtones of licorice and smoked pepper. A bargain whiskey at $25.00 a bottle.
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2002
Evan Williams is a classic good old American bourbon. Produced by the Heaven Hill Distillery, Americas largest family owned distilled spirits company. Founded in 1935, by the Shapira family, they have grown to become the second largest holder of aging bourbon whiskey, with inventory stretching to over one million barrels.
Today the company has expanded and supplies not only whiskeys, but liqueurs, vodkas, rums and other spirits.
Unlike blended whiskey, the single barrel is as the name suggests taken from a single barrel, that has been hand selected by the master distiller. The bottle tells you exactly when it was placed in the cask and then bottled. It also contains the exact serial number of the cask from which is was drawn.
The bottle is corked like a fine wine and the cork is sealed in black wax, to prevent any evaporation.
This award winning whiskey is amber gold in colour. It tastes lushious and spicey with apple, honey and hints of orange peel. The nose is of oak, charred wood and caramel. The finish is a smooth graceful one. At only $23, you just have to try a bottle.
Johnnie Walker Red Label Whiskey
This label is probably one of the most famous whiskey brands in the world. Started as far back as 1819 by John Walker out the back of a grocers shop and passed down from generation to generation. This whiskey should be in everyones drinks cabinet.
The Red label whiskey is Johnnie Walkers pioneer blend and one that has introduced whiskey to the world.
This is what the Johnnie Walker website has to say about their most popular tipple
George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey #12
In 1870 George Dickel created the Dickel Distillery in Tullahome Tennessee. He quickly found out that whisky manufacturered during the winter months was much smoother than if it was made during summer time. The Dickel distillery is the only one to chill their whiskey before filtering through charcoal. This additional process removes additional oils and acids that remain in other whiskeys.
The number 12 tennessee whiskey is a blend of much older whiskies. This master blending achieves a much deeper and concentrated flavour. Considered by many to be the gold standard of tennessee whiskey. It has strong hints of rich oak and vanilla, combined with maple and butter and a very smokey finish. $25 per bottle
Jim Beam Black Bourbon
There are strict laws on who can call their whiskey bourbon. The law relates to the amount of corn used in the creation. To be called bourbon, the whiskey has to produced using more than 51% corn. The more corn used, the sweeter the resulting whiskey.
No colourings or added flavours are allowed in Bourbon and they must be aged in new charred oak barrels. In 1964 Bourbon was legislated to be “Americas Native Spirit” Jim Beam is widely regarded as the number one bourbon in the world.
The Jim Beam Black Bourbon is aged longer than standard Jim Beam. This additional aging gives the bourbon a deeper more full bodied flavour. You can smell caramelised oak, vanilla and cinnamon. The taste is sweet and oaky with hints of toasted grains. The finish is very smooth and long lasting. Prices start from $20.
Wild Turkey 81 Rye
Made in the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky and owned by Campari America. The Wild Turkey distillery has been around since the mid 1800’s and uses the same process for making whiskey today as it did back then.
Using the deepest “alligator” char on new oak barrels, called 81 because this is an 81 proof straight rye whiskey. It has been aged for at least four years, although some of the whiskeys used in the blend may be older. By law it must be made from at least 51% rye and distilled at a maximum 91%ABV.
The result is a much spicier and fruitier tasting whiskey than bourbon. The 81 Rye is much lighter in colour compared to Bourbon and not as sweet. It as a very fruity nose and a rich fruity flavour with strong hints of the oak char. Price is also comparable starting at $20.
McClelland’s Islay 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
Unusually McClelland does not have its own distillery and does not produce its own whiskey. Instead the Mclelland company uses the whiskey produced by the Morrison Bowmore Distillery (which owns the McClelland brand) and uses it’s considerable expertise to blend already quality whiskies into the unique brand you see today.
The 12 year old is whiskey produced from the Islay region of scotland, which has been aged for at least 12 years.
The result is a warm and robust full bodied whiskey with the color or honey. The nose is citrus and tar smoke, the taste is malty vanilla and a hint of sea salt. The smokiness is apparent right through the drink and lingers throughout.
Priced at a competitive $25.
Black Eagle bourbon is registered with United States Distilled Products (a Minnesota company) but also listed with an company in Kentucky. It is presumed that the whiskey is made for USDP through a private label contract.
I have not tasted this bottle, but here are some tasting notes
Golden amber color. Honey toasted corn bread, corn syrup, and nut aromas with a silky dry-yet-fruity medium body and a clarified butter on kettlecorn and peppery spice finish. Simple, but pleasant and a solid choice for everyday cocktails. Priced from $10.00.