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Cheap Swills: The Best Bottles Of Bourbon For $30 Or Less

Photo: Jay’s photo (Getty Images)

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the most respected booze competitions in the world. For the last 19 years, only one bourbon was ever named “Best in Show, Whiskey” and that was Parker’s Heritage Collection back in 2009. That is, until this week, when a bottle of bourbon you can pick up for $30 took home the second award. And for reference, a bottle of Parker’s Heritage Collection from this year will set you back well over $100.

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The $30 bottle is Henry McKenna Single Barrel from famed distillery Heaven Hill. It’s bottled-in-bond and this is the year of bottled-in-bond whiskeys and the competition’s judges definitely enjoyed that aspect. It would seem like great $30 bottles of bourbon are hard to find and Henry McKenna’s is a rare offering. But, like finding a (reasonably) tasty cheeseburger at every fast-food restaurant for $1, there are deals to be had.

Photo: Heaven Hill

The judges sampled hundreds of whiskeys to pick the best of the best and through it all, a “cheap” bourbon took home the crown. The fact that it’s a blind taste test makes us wonder what other budget bourbons are worth trying. From Maker’s Mark to Wild Turkey to Four Roses, you definitely don’t have to mortgage your condo to enjoy a smooth, tasty bourbon.

We picked a few of our favorites in the $20-30 range. Instead of buying a bottle of Parker’s Heritage Collection, but three or four of these. They’ll probably last longer and you’re going to end up enjoying them more. Check out all of our favorite bargain bourbons below.

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