Best Bourbons for Mint Juleps
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Best Bottles of Bourbon for $50 or Less

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Best Bourbons for Mint Juleps
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House of Bourbon

2021-Cheapism-Choice_Cheap-Bourbon

It's tradition to celebrate the Kentucky Derby with free-flowing mint juleps. Whether making a classic version or putting a spin on it, you'll still want to stock up on bourbon. The corn-based American whiskey is one of the most beloved spirits worldwide and, luckily for all its fans out there, comes in plenty of good options under $50, with many under $30. This list of bourbons all scored at least 90 points in the 2018 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, where they were tasted by no fewer than four professional judges who help shape the beverage world nationally and abroad. Any one of these bourbons is a great foundation for derby day drinks — and for a well-stocked home bar.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: Spirits and Mixers Every Home Bar Should Have

Heaven's Door Straight American Bourbon
Flaviar

Heaven's Door Straight American Bourbon

$48 from Flaviar

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At 44 percent alcohol by volume, this bourbon is a little higher in alcohol than many standard examples. This means cocktails will be potent — especially useful when using the usual crushed ice.

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Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon
Flaviar

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon

$33 from Flaviar

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This double-oaked spirit picks up satisfying sweet and caramelized flavors from extended wood aging. It's ideal for those who like drinks on the sweet side, or for recipes that use otherwise tart or even spicy flavors.


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Jim Beam Single Barrel Bourbon
Total Wine

Jim Beam Single Barrel Bourbon

$41 from Total Wine

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This single-barrel release offers unique flavors that are distinct to the particular barrel selected for bottling. Cocktails where the nuances of the bourbon will shine are ideal.


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Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Flaviar

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

$31 from Flaviar

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A tried and true classic that's extremely affordable, and a favorite among many bourbon drinkers for its smooth body. Useful in any recipe, or just for sipping on its own, this is a solid choice.


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John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
Maker's Mark Bourbon
Courtesy of makersmark.com

Maker's Mark Bourbon

$25 from Total Wine

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Another reliable classic, and a favorite that is easy to find across the country. A safe bet, especially when looking for a bourbon that is easy to mix with.


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1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Total Wine
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Drizly

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

$42 and up from Drizly

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Getting more rare by the year, this bourbon is a steal, considering the quality in the bottle. Look for it anywhere with a medium- or large-sized bourbon offering.


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Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
Flaviar
Four Roses Bourbon
Total Wine

Four Roses Bourbon

$16 from Total Wine

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Well known by bourbon drinkers for its incredible value and well balanced flavors, Four Roses' signature bottling is delicious and affordable. Many of its other special bottlings are also reasonably priced.


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Old Forester 100 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Flaviar
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Flaviar

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon

$25 from Flaviar

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One of the most renowned bourbon producers, Buffalo Trace knows a thing or two about good whiskey. Its entry-level, namesake whiskey is a standard among bourbon fans and hands-down offers incredible value.


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George Remus Straight Bourbon
Flaviar

George Remus Straight Bourbon

$46 from Flaviar

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Named after a famous bootlegger from prohibition, this whiskey has high rye content that gives body balanced by distinct sweet overtones such as maple and vanilla, and it's that interplay that make this such a sought-after bourbon.


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William Wolf Bourbon
Total Wine

William Wolf Bourbon

$34 from Total Wine

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Hailing from South Carolina, this bourbon shows off some of the newer distilling efforts of the east coast. It may be a bit tricky to find in every state, but it has national distribution, which means it should be available across the country.

Kentucky Tavern Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Total Wine

Kentucky Tavern Kentucky Straight Bourbon

$10 from Total Wine

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A go-to for a shoestring budget. Winning high marks in a blind tasting by experts, this bourbon offers high-quality flavor at an incredibly high value.


Bare Knuckle Bourbon
Total Wine

Bare Knuckle Bourbon

$41 from Total Wine

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Made with attention to detail at every step — beginning with the sourcing of raw materials all from Virginia — the quality of the final product is evident.