Whiskey price

Best Medium Whiskey Under $40

JANELLE JONES

We all want a top shelf that wows. But without a solid center shelf of $40-and-under bottles that you can pour without a second thought, you just have a trophy case instead of something you actually live with. These solid everyday must-haves make the stuff special just that, special, and not the bottle you run out of after a few weeks of after-work drams. That doesn’t mean buying obvious big name brands. Recently, in an effort to steer young, price-conscious drinkers away from their White Claw, distillers of mid-range whiskeys have sparked a renaissance worthy of more adoration. Although there have been values ​​that have exceeded their price for years, such as Rittenhouse and Buffalo Trace, these new bottles of old styles or revived innovations offer a real delight and could keep those high-end bottles dusty for a little longer. . Also, a little more whiskey and a little less fortified seltzer is probably a good thing.


dewars

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Japanese Dewar barb
$25 (40% ABV)

Take a honeyed scotch like Dewar’s and age it in Japanese mizunara barrels and you get what the label says: smooth. Try it as a highball or a drink that’s just complex enough.

Shop at Reservebar


old bathtub

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old bathtub
$23 (50% ABV)

Once Beam’s original flagship whisky, this unfiltered, strong-tasting yet highly drinkable goodness is now available nationwide for the price of a fancy cocktail.

Shop at Drizly


manufacturers mark

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Manufacturer’s mark 101
$39 (50.5% ABV)

Wheat bourbons like Maker’s are known for their smoothness, but as you increase the proof up to 101 it becomes a more robust player with more vanilla and spice.

Shop at Drizly


ezra streams

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Ezra Brooks 99
$25 (49.5% ABV)

A typical bourbon with vanilla, caramel, brown sugar and a hint of peanuts. It’s not unlike a candy bar, in a good way.

Shop at Drizly


compass

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Glasgow Blend Box Compass
$38 (43% ABV)

Snobs may scoff at mixes, but this one will convince them otherwise. About 62 percent is single malt, sure, but it’s the shrewd sherry and smoky playfulness that make this a standout wine.

Shop at Reservebar


great jones

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Grand Jones Bourbon
$40 (43% ABV)

From Manhattan’s first (legal) distillery since Prohibition, this is a lighter, smoother whiskey, with just a hint of spice and oak.

Shop at Reservebar


This article appears in the Winter ’20/’21 issue of Esquire. Subscribe here.

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