Whiskey Gems: Best Picks Under $20

Affordable Whiskey Gems: Best Picks Under $20

Whiskey gems refer to the hidden gems of the whiskey world, which are often overlooked in favor of more expensive and well-known brands. These affordable whiskey gems offer incredible value and quality, making them an excellent choice for both beginners and seasoned whiskey enthusiasts alike. These gems come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from bourbon to rye, to single malt scotch.

They are typically produced by smaller or lesser-known distilleries but offer an exceptional taste for a fraction of the cost. Many of these whiskies have won awards at international competitions but have yet to gain mainstream popularity.

The Importance of Affordable Whiskey Gems

Affordable whiskey gems are important because they provide access to exceptional quality whiskey without breaking the bank. Many people assume that if they want a quality dram, they need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a rare bottle. However, that’s not always true.

In fact, some affordable whiskeys have received high ratings from experts despite being under $20 per bottle. These bottles offer an opportunity for people who may not be able to afford high-end whiskeys regularly to taste new flavors without feeling guilty about spending too much money.

An Overview of the Article

This article seeks to showcase some of the best affordable whiskey gems available today under $20 per bottle. It starts by explaining what these hidden gems are before exploring why they’re crucial in today’s world where everyone wants quality products without overspending.

The article then delves into what makes a good affordable whiskey gem by examining key factors such as quality ingredients, age statement, distillery reputation, tasting notes, and flavor profiles. Next up is a detailed overview of some specific affordable whiskey gem brands that we believe should be on your radar.

We’ll explore their history and reputation, the production process, mash bills, tasting notes, and flavor profile. We’ll reveal some hidden gems in the under $20 whiskey category that you may not have heard of before.

We believe these bottles are worth your consideration due to their quality, price point, and overall taste experience. Stay tuned for an exciting journey into the world of affordable whiskey gems that won’t break the bank!

What to Look for in Affordable Whiskey Gems

When looking for affordable whiskey gems, the first thing you should consider is the quality of the ingredients used in its production. A good whiskey should have high-quality grains, water, and yeast. The grains should be fresh and sourced from a reputable supplier.

The water used should be pure and free from any impurities that may affect the taste of the whiskey. Yeast is also an important ingredient as it helps to convert sugars into alcohol during fermentation.

Another important factor to consider when choosing an affordable whiskey gem is its age statement. Age can play a significant role in the quality and taste of a whiskey.

Most whiskeys need to be aged for several years before they reach their full potential. A good age statement means that the whiskey has had enough time to mature and develop complex flavors.

The distillery reputation is also crucial when selecting an affordable whiskey gem. A reputable distillery will ensure that its products meet high standards of quality and consistency.

They will also use only high-quality ingredients, ensuring that their products are always delicious. Tasting notes can provide valuable insight into what you can expect from a particular bottle of whisky: hints of vanilla or caramel; smokiness or spiciness; sweet or bitter tastes, among other characteristics often described by experts through colorful descriptors like “notes” rather than “flavors.” The tasting notes are based on sensory evaluations carried out by trained professionals who sniff, sip and swallow specific types of whisky before putting their thoughts down on paper.

When looking for an affordable whisky gem you should consider several factors including quality ingredients, age statement, distillery reputation, and tasting notes. These factors will help ensure that you choose a great-tasting whiskey without breaking the bank.

Best Picks Under $20

Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon

Distillery history and reputation: The Old Grand-Dad brand has been around for over 100 years, with the original distillery being built in 1840. It was named after a prominent distiller’s grandfather, Basil Hayden.

The brand has gone through several ownership changes throughout the years and is now produced by Beam Suntory. This bourbon is classified as bonded whiskey, meaning it is aged for at least four years in a federally supervised warehouse and bottled at 100 proof.

This process ensures that the whiskey is of high quality and meets strict standards set forth by the government. Tasting notes and flavor profile: On the nose, Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon has a strong aroma of oak, caramel, and vanilla.

On the palate, it’s spicy with notes of cinnamon and black pepper, followed by hints of toffee and butterscotch. The finish is long with a pleasant warmth that lingers on the tongue.

Evan Williams Black Label Bourbon

Age statement and mash bill: Evan Williams Black Label Bourbon is aged for at least four years in charred oak barrels. The mash bill consists of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. Flavor profile and tasting notes: This bourbon has a smooth mouthfeel with flavors of honey, vanilla, and caramel.

It also has a slight smokiness from the charred barrel that adds depth to its flavor profile. On the finish, there are hints of cinnamon spice that leave a warm sensation in your throat.

Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon

Distillery history and reputation: Four Roses has a long and storied history dating back to the late 1800s. It was originally founded by Paul Jones Jr. who named it after his true love, whom he proposed to with a bouquet of four roses.

During Prohibition, the distillery was shut down and later purchased by Seagram’s. Today, Four Roses is owned by Kirin Brewery Company.

Unique blend of ten different recipes: Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon is a unique blend of ten different recipes that are created from two different mash bills and five different yeast strains. This process allows for a wide range of flavors and aromas to be present in each bottle.

Tasting notes and flavor profile: On the nose, this bourbon has notes of caramel, honey, and vanilla with a slight floral undertone. On the palate, it’s smooth with flavors of ripe fruit and spice followed by hints of oak and leather.

The finish is long with a balanced sweetness that lingers on the tongue. Overall, these three bourbons provide an excellent value for their price point under $20.

Each has its own unique qualities that make them stand out from one another in terms of flavor profile and distillery history/reputation. Whether you’re new to whiskey or a seasoned connoisseur looking for an affordable option, these bourbons are definitely worth trying out.

Hidden Gems Under $20

While some whiskey drinkers may turn their nose up at bottles under $20, there are hidden gems to be found at this price point. Two such whiskeys that stand out are Benchmark Old No.8 and Ten High Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Benchmark Old No.8 Bourbon

Benchmark is a brand with a long history, dating back to 1850 when it was first distilled by Stitzel-Weller Distilling Company in Louisville, Kentucky. The name “Benchmark” itself was used as a measure of quality for other bourbons produced by Stitzel-Weller.

Today, Benchmark is produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery, and Old No. 8 is the flagship bourbon in the line.

The mash bill for this bourbon is undisclosed, but it’s known to be sourced from the same recipe as Buffalo Trace’s more expensive Eagle Rare bourbon. In terms of flavor profile, Benchmark Old No.

8 offers notes of caramel and vanilla with hints of oak and spice. It has a smooth finish with little burn or bitterness typically associated with cheaper bourbons.

Ten High Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Ten High Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is another great find for those on a budget. This whiskey is distilled by Barton Brands in Bardstown, Kentucky and has been around since the 1930s.

The mash bill for Ten High consists of corn, rye, and barley, which gives it a spicy kick that sets it apart from other budget bourbons. It’s also aged for four years in oak barrels before being bottled at 80 proof.

When it comes to tasting notes, Ten High offers a blend of sweetness and spice with flavors of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and cloves. The finish is slightly bitter but not overpowering, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more complex flavor profile.


After sifting through a plethora of affordable whiskey gems, we have discovered that there are indeed quality options available for under $20. While some may argue that higher-priced whiskeys provide a better taste and experience, these picks prove that great whiskey doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

In selecting our top picks, we looked for quality ingredients, age statements, distillery reputation, and tasting notes. Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon stood out for its rich history and exceptional flavor profile, while Evan Williams Black Label Bourbon impressed us with its well-balanced taste and age statement.

Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon also made the cut with its unique blend of ten different recipes. We also uncovered some hidden gems that are worth exploring further.

Benchmark Old No.8 Bourbon boasts a rich history and satisfying flavor profile despite its relatively low price point. Meanwhile, Ten High Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey surprised us with its complex palate of flavors considering it’s sold at such an affordable price.

Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just looking to try something new without breaking the bank, these affordable whiskey gems offer exceptional value without sacrificing quality or taste. So go ahead and raise a glass to these budget-friendly bourbons and discover your new favorite sip – because good whiskey doesn’t always come with an exorbitant price tag.

Similar Posts