As a Bourboneur, my goal is to load my garage bar with as much great brownwater as possible and systematically drink every last bottle with my friends and neighbors, then buy more bourbon, and do it all over again. Being a Bourboneur, is simply put, wanting to drink great bourbon with great people and there's likely at least one Bourboneur on every street in America.
If you're anything like me, and there's a significant chance if you've found your way to this week's post, that you are, then you probably have a habit of buying bourbon. I even bought some bourbon this past Sunday evening at 9pm; three bottles of Kings County that were barrel picks from a group I belong to. Before we get all judgy, they were 200ml bottles, so we're not even talking a full regular bottle!
Below, we've pulled together our Top 10 list of allocated bourbons which you should be able to pick up for under a Benjamin at retail. Pricing is headed north for a lot of bottles, and the field of allocated bourbon has shifted to the right, this is in line with pricing we've seen on everything else under the sun due to that nasty 'i" word, inflation. Some pricing pressure is however artificial given that some liquor stores want to double as museums looking to curate a bourbon collection by asking 10x multiples over retail...read our recent Open Letter to Liquor Stores on that front.
What are the Top 10 Allocated Bourbons Under 100?
Without further ado, below we catalogue the top 10 allocated bourbons which you may be lucky enough to happen across in the wild that won't cost you an arm and a leg if sold at retail. They may however cost you a discerning look from your significant other!
So do I think that Blanton's is a top 10 allocated bourbon?...eh...but, coming in at number 10, it deserves an honorary spot at the very least as it's so sought after and is recognized by folks the world over. I also would undoubtedly get a series of snarky comments about not seeing it on this list, so for those Blanton's lovers out there, you're welcome. I will admit there's some fun involved in collecting all the various toppers as well to spell out BLANTON'S.
9. Eagle Rare
I don't even recall the last time I saw this bottle outside of a locked case, and I suppose it does happen, but it's a great sipper and super cheap. For the age statement and the price point it doesn't get much better value than this.
8. Yellowstone Limited Edition
I first had a sip of this bottle on a Disney Cruise of all places with my family, but it's a really great pour and good enough for me to go find one on the back side of the cruise. Much like Yellowstone's other yearly limited editions the phrase "crowd pleasing" could likely be used.
7. E.H. Taylor Single Barrel
A bit more difficult to come by than the EH Taylor Small Batch, the Single Barrel expression barrels are predominantly sourced from Warehouse C which was built by the Colonel in 1881. These hand-picked barrels, deliver lots of complexity and flavor using Buffalo Trace’s Mashbill #1. It’s a bourbon you can really sit and savor with a multitude of flavors and a finish that hangs on and ends with a bang!
With 19 different releases under foot, it's not surprising to find this bottle on the list. It was just recently however with the release of Batch 18 that Buffalo Traced renamed the brand moved from "Stagg Jr" to just "Stagg."
5. Jack Daniels 10
Jack Daniels may want to brand a lot of their releases as "Tennessee Whiskey" which is fine, but let's be honest, at the end of the day, they're following the same playbook, and this is a bourbon. Jack Daniels has been on a tear over the past year and a bit pushing on the edges of the brand, and they've certainly won me over with their 10-year expression. This drinks like a much older bourbon and has one hell of a nose. The distillery apparently plans to continue increasing the age of their bourbon releases moving forward, with their 12 year expression released this year alongside their 10 year and am really looking forward to what future releases may bring.
4. Weller 12
In our recent post on Weller Bourbon, we highlighted the remarkable popularity of the Weller 12 brand and how despite being a part of Buffalo Trace's regular offerings, it's still quite uncommon to find. It's a mainstay character in the litany of bottles that roll across secondary offerings and is no wonder as it's a great drinker.
3. E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof
One of my absolute favorites, this bourbon is uncut and unfiltered packing some heat at more than 125 proof and is a rollercoaster of flavor. Another bottling drawing on Buffalo Traces Mashbill #1, it is a classic-tasting bourbon that delivers "all the things" and does so with the gravitas of a high-proof whiskey. I really think batch 11 is a standout compared to some of the more recent yearly releases.
2. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year Old Lot B
I've always been a fan of this bottle with its fruity sweetness, having a really intriguing mango note. It's a cool bottle to have, and the hype of this particular bottle plus the general easy-going nature of the pour lands it in the number two spot on our list.
1. George T. Stagg
George T. Stagg is hands down my favorite on the list, which is why it's number one. With the lack of a 2021 release given quality issues, the 2022 drop has been rip roaring and commanding a higher price than any of the other vintages over the past four years. I have just a couple fingers left of GTS in the bottle in my garage bar and am waiting for a special occasion, and having a backup, before enjoying the last pour with good company.
Vote for your Favorite Allocated Bourbon
Vote at the bottom for which allocated bourbon above would be your choice if you had the opportunity to buy one of the bottles above!
If Bourbon is Your Thing...
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