Best Bourbons Under $40

Question: What’s better than a great, expensive bourbon?

Answer: A damn good inexpensive one.

Everyone wants to know the best bourbons under $40 and we’ve had our fair share of bottles and are here to help. Whether you have been a Bourbon Sipper for 3 decades or 3 months, there is something innately personal about finding that one bourbon you can rely on. That one bottle that will always be on your shelf to share with friends or just enjoy on an average weekday night. And you know what, it helps if it’s affordable. Sure, it’s fun to sit around and sip your high-end bottles, but for the vast majority of us the likes of George T. Stagg and Pappy 15 are special occasion pours, not daily drinkers. That’s where this list comes in. We here at Bourbon Sippers have sifted through our shelves (i.e. drank a lot of bourbon) to compile our top 10 bourbon bargains, which all fall under the affordable $40 mark.

And just for fun, we’ve ranked them in order of our personal preference. Our hope is that new drinkers will use this list as a guide to get started on their bourbon journey, while our more experienced readers will be inspired to revisit some classics or maybe stock their cabinet with a new old reliable. Either way, we all love a good bargain, so let’s raise our glencairns to some standout blue-collar best bourbon!

Best Bourbons Under $40

  1. Evan Williams Single Barrel

Producer: Heaven Hill
Proof: 86.6
Price: $25-$30

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: This was a difficult whiskey to rank. EW single barrel can be a distinctive pour that drinks well above its price tag. Alternatively, we’ve had bottles that were almost too sweet to drink neat. In the end, the solid age (was 10 years, now closer to 7), typically solid palate (oak, vanilla, and orange), and affordable price put it on our list. On the edge, but this bottle is in our top 10 list for one of the best bourbons under $40.

  1. Four Roses Small Batch

Producer: Four Roses
Proof: 90
Price: $25-$30

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: A true crowd pleaser. This bourbon delivers big notes of honey, dried fruit, and baking spices all wrapped up in a silky smooth mouth-feel. When we’re asked to recommend a bourbon for a new or relatively inexperienced drinker we always go with FR Small Batch, so should you. Four Roses Small Batch is a great entry into the world of bourbon and needs to be included on our list of best bourbons under $40.

  1. Russell’s Reserve 10yr

Producer: Wild Turkey
Proof: 90
Price: $30-$40

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: If you’ve written off Wild Turkey based on the ubiquitous 101, you’re missing out. This is an entirely different beast. Ample doses of cinnamon, oak, and brown sugar make this one an easy choice for our top 10. We’ve seen this as low as $30, making it hard to find a better sipper for the price.

  1. Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch

Producer: Buffalo Trace
Proof: 100
Price: $30-40

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: The sweetest and tamest of the E.H. Taylor line, this small batch bourbon features notes of milk chocolate, cherries, and subtle barrel notes. The EHT Single Barrel and Barrel Proof offerings get all of the buzz, but this is a standout bourbon in its own right. A no-brainer at $35.

  1. W.L. Weller 12yr

Producer: Buffalo Trace
Proof: 90
Price: $30-$35

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it:  The older (oak) and more subdued (lower proof) brother of OWA. Soft, warm, and always welcoming, W12 is the bourbon equivalent of your favorite robe. It may not be sexy, but it’s perfect in its own way. Don’t buy it because of the Pappy hype, buy it because it’s a steal at this price point.

  1. Old Weller Antique

Producer: Buffalo Trace
Proof: 107
Price: $25-$30

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: The nose alone is worth the price of admission, yielding sweet notes of orange peel and caramel with more oak than you would expect for its age (around 7 years). Easily the best bourbon you can buy under $30. Note: This ranking is based on the standard release, but we’ve tasted OWA private picks that would blow any bourbon on this list out of the water.   

  1. Rowan’s Creek

Producer: KBD (Willett)
Proof: 100.1
Price: $35-$40

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: While the original 12yr was a caramel bomb, the newer NAS version tends to lean more toward cherry and brown sugar. The high rye mashbill also brings a nice spiciness to the palate. Rowan’s Creek may not be what it was back in the wax top days, but this is still a formidable bourbon we can get behind.

  1. Eagle Rare 10yr

Producer: Buffalo Trace
Proof: 90
Price: $30-$40

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: Another can’t miss bourbon at this price point. This is one of the most approachable whiskies on the market with gentle oak and caramel notes perfectly integrated. While it is no longer a true single barrel, the quality and value remain unquestionable. The only problem is that it’s getting harder to find.

  1. Henry McKenna 10yr Single Barrel, Bottled in Bond

Producer: Heaven Hill
Proof: 100
Price: $30-$35

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: 10 years, 100 proof, and typically under $35. Sign us up. The oak is more assertive here than with the FR Single Barrel, but is perfectly balanced by the sweet vanilla and brown sugar notes that linger well into the finish. A fantastic pour that is worthy of being any bourbon lovers daily sipper. One of the best bourbon options out there for under $40.

  1. Four Roses Single Barrel

Producer: Four Roses
Proof: 100
Price: $35-$40

Bourbons Under $40

Why we chose it: Made with the OBSV mash-bill and bottled at a generous 100 proof, this sweet and spicy bourbon showcases everything we love about Four Roses. You can expect some variation from bottle to bottle, but the typical palate offers dried fruit, vanilla, honey and a solid rye backbone. At just under $40 in most states, FR Single Barrel ranks as one of the best bargains in the bourbon world. Four Roses Single Barrel tops the list for our favorite and Best Bourbons under $40.

Sip on, Bourbon Sippers!

Curious about the Best Rye’s Under $40?  (Click Here)