Ever get the urge to go against the flow when it comes to your bourbon? I know I do, and so do many bourbon aficionados.
The Woodfords, Maker’s Marks, and Buffalo Traces of the world are great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it feels great to find an under-the-radar bourbon to try.
After all, there are seemingly thousands of bourbon brands out there, and sticking with a select few name brands means you’re missing out on a world of variety.
But that also means you have to sift through tons of bottles to figure out which under-the-radar bourbons are great and which aren’t.
So, I put this guide together based on my experience and research to help you branch out and try 5 lesser-known bourbons that taste great, are affordable, and get rave reviews.
The 5 Under-the-Radar Bourbons (All of Which Are $35 and Under)
1. Chattanooga Whiskey 91 | $35
Even though this is at the top of our $35 and under limit, this bourbon gives you a one-of-a-kind taste you won’t want to pass up.
Chattanooga Whiskey is an experimental distillery that invented a malt-forward whiskey called “Tennessee High Malt”.
The result of their experimentation was a 2-year bourbon that gives you the flavor profile of an older bourbon for an affordable price.
Expect notes of vanilla, honey, caramel, and brown sugar.
2. Larceny Small Batch | $20-30
This wheated bourbon is often compared to Maker’s Mark but is lesser-known than its red-waxed counterpart.
It’s a sweet, balanced bourbon that’s known as a crowd-pleaser.
No one is usually blown away by its flavor profile, but no one is turned off by it either.
Larceny is a really solid value for its price (especially if you find it for $25 or under).
3. Henry McKenna | $11.99 for 750 ML
Coming in as the most affordable bourbon on this list, Henry McKenna is often viewed as one of the best inexpensive bourbons on the market.
It’s simple, straightforward, and is often used in cocktails.
Don’t expect this expression of Henry McKenna to compete with the $30 bottles, but for what it is, it’s a great value.
4. Evan Williams Bottled in Bond | $12-$15
Few things are nicer than a name-brand bourbon that’s $15.
And that’s exactly what Evan Williams Bottled in Bond brings to the table.
This is a great buy if you like a stronger, more full-flavored bourbon with a decent amount of heat.
Many claim this should be a mainstay in your liquor cabinet.
5. Old Grand Dad 114 | $27 – $30
This Jim Beam product clocks in at a whopping 114 proof—not for the faint of heart.
But you won’t find many bourbons with proof this high for this price (which is why it lands on this list).
Expect a punch-you-in-the-face blast of cinnamon and rye that isn’t incredibly smooth going down.
Expand Your Bourbon Palate
If you drink bourbon regularly, I highly recommend trying out new brands every once in a while.
Chances are, like me, you’ll find new brands that you like even better at a lower price than your current staple.
And few things are much better than that, right?