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If this were my last $100 to spend on Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

Occasionally life throws you a curveball. Last week I was laid off from my job. Don’t feel too bad for me though. I’d been thinking of trying my hand at going freelance for a while anyway. Now, I get the chance.

One downside of suddenly finding yourself self-employed is that I will have to watch my bourbon spending for a while until I know for sure how things are going to go. With that in mind, I was reminded of a topic that a lot of folks were writing about the last couple weeks. Some as part of a greater project, some on their own. As in my current work situation, I am going it alone. 

Now a regular month sees me spend about $100 on whiskey for the blog. I’d put that budget in place long ago to keep me in line. So deciding what to do with $100 is a common problem. Most months I’d look for something new, interesting or something I hadn’t gotten around to reviewing yet. I pair that with a favorite value pick for “everyday.” Something like Wild Turkey 101 or Four Roses Yellow. 

But inspired by current circumstances, what if it were my last $100 to spend on bourbon? Now that is an interesting twist. You could go many ways. You could either go out with a bang and blow it all on one bottle. Something big and rare. But you might have that money in your pocket for a while before you found something suitable. Or you could go the other way and just load up on value bourbons. Things like Old Grand-Dad and Evan Williams Bondeds. Things that cost around $20 for a liter. Of course you could go deep down into a hole that resembles the Bottom Shelf Brackets but even I only do that for the clicks.

But I do have some favorites and if it were my last $100 to spend on bourbon, I know that I couldn’t pass those up.

The first is Wild Turkey Rare Breed. This was the first barrel proof bourbon I had and it is still one of my favorites. I love the deep rich bourbon flavors it brings to the table. And though it can be a little hot, a cube of ice tames it nicely. My wife and I love this one so much I didn’t even get in trouble for getting it for her for Valentine’s Day one year. At my favorite whiskey store this is $36.98 as I type this.

My other favorite regular release bourbon I would need to get with my last $100 would have to be Four Roses Single Barrel. I’m on a budget so none of the Barrel Proof private selections this time. But that isn’t a hardship. The normal Single Barrel has been a favorite since my first visit to the Four Roses distillery way back when their gift shop was the size of a large closet. (And one that it seems I’ve never actually reviewed even though I’ve reviewed a lot of Four Roses. Going to need to file that away…) It just tastes the way I want bourbon to taste and it is consistently good. My favorite whiskey store is selling it for $42.98 right now.

So that brings me to $79.96. And since I never include tax in my budget (just ask my accountant wife how much that bugs her) that leaves me with $20.04 left to spend. I’m afraid that I’m going to have to make a value play here. Probably a liter to carry me through as long as possible. And after looking at my favorite whiskey store I see that Elijah Craig 12, Fighting Cock, Old Grand-Dad Bonded and Bulleit are all under $20. And they would all be good choices. But since I want a liter, I also see that Evan Williams Bonded is only $17.98. This one almost won my most recent Bottom Shelf Bracket so I’m going to go with that.

All I can say is thank goodness this isn’t my last $100 to spend on bourbon, but if it was, I think these would make good choices. And no, Ace did not sponsor this post, but they are my favorite whiskey store (and their prices are available online).


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