Top Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys Under $30

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, aka KSBW. To many, no other type of bourbon will do. Here are our favorites, all under $30.
Apr 24, 2018
  • 10
    10 Four Roses Bourbon
    82
    Sweet
    This is a Kentucky straight bourbon and is the entry-level bourbon for the brand. Four Roses has two separate mash bills they can use for their bourbons. One is labeled recipe "B" and is 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley. The other is recipe "E" and is 75% corn, 20% rye, and 5% malted barley. Both mash bills are utilized for this bottling. Additionally, Four Roses uses up to five different yeast strains for their bourbons. All are used here. Over time, the Yellow Label bottle has changed with the label losing the yellow color. Beginning in spring 2018, the name for this product is simply "Four Roses Bourbon".
  • 9
    9 Jim Beam Distiller's Cut
    88
    Full Bodied & Rich
    This limited edition offering was personally selected by Fred Noe, Jim Beam's seventh generation master distiller. The bourbon is aged for 5-6 years in new, charred American oak, but the whiskey is non chill-filtered. This step is typically done prior to bottling and skipping it will result in a fuller taste profile. The bourbon is bottled at 100 proof. Available beginning November 2017 nationwide.
  • 8
    8 Old Grand-Dad Bourbon
    79
    Sweet & Vanilla
    Old Grand-Dad is a brand that dates back to 1882. In that time, it has been owned by several different companies, including the American Medicinal Spirits Co. during Prohibition which allowed the whiskey to be produced and sold through pharmacies for medicinal purposes. Note: There is an 86 proof which will still be available in many liquor stores. That has been replaced by this 80 proof version.
  • 7
    7 Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    84
    Fruity
    Rebel Yell is a wheated bourbon brand contract distilled at Heaven Hill Distillery, but owned by Luxco, Inc. Rebel Yell has been a registered brand since 1936 although the recipe for the bourbon dates back to 1849. It is bottled without an age statement at 80 proof. Note: The portfolio for Rebel Yell all received a makeover with updated labels in April 2019.
  • 6
    6 Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    84
    Rich & Spicy
    Aged on average 6 to 8 years this replacement for the Turkey 80 was brought about for a couple of reasons. It has an ever so slight higher proof and a different blend for the 'mixology' crowd and some speculate that it was a way for Jimmy's son Eddie Russell to make his statement on the company. For whatever reason, the end result is still Turkey in the bottle, rye forward and properly priced. Formerly known as Wild Turkey 81, a package redesign and straightforward name change to Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon occurred in 2016. Done so to highlight the difference in formula, as many mistakenly thought it was an 81 lower proof version of the brand's famous 101.
  • 5
    5 Evan Williams Black Label
    85
    Tart
    This 86-proof product sits in between their 80 proof Green Label and 100 proof White Label. Though it used to have an age statement of 7 years in the 90's, it is still between 4-7 years of age. The cost of around $15 puts it at a standard go-to.
  • 4
    4 Old Bardstown Black Label Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    86
    Rich & Full Bodied
    ​This product is named after a 1950s race horse and celebrates the spirit of the American Thoroughbred, which is featured prominently on the label. The whiskey itself — which is aged in charred new American oak casks — is simple but satisfying and quite balanced. It is bottled at 45% ABV.
  • 3
    3 Very Old Barton 100 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    86
    Sweet & Rich
    Very Old Barton, owned by the Sazerac Company, is produced in Bardstown, Kentucky. There are variety of Very Old Barton bourbons on the market including an 80 proof, an 86 proof and a 90 proof. This 100 proof bottling is also bottled in bond. The 6 year age statement is now gone and replaced with just the number "6" on the handle, but they bourbon is indeed at least 4 years old. 
  • 2
    2 Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon 90 Proof
    88
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Production started on Ezra Brooks around the 1950s by the Medley Distillery. Today the brand is owned by Luxco. Its mash bill consists of corn, rye, and malted barley. This Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey bears no age statement and is bottled at 90 proof. In 2018, Luxco opened Lux Row Distillers in Bardstown, KY so expect the bourbon to be made there in the future. 
  • 1
    1 Old Forester 100 Proof Bourbon
    88
    Rich & Spicy
    The name Old Forester was allegedly chosen in honor of a doctor named Forrester, who regularly prescribed the bourbon to his patients at a time when it was still sold in pharmacies "for medicinal purposes." However, the signature for which this bourbon gets its name and which is displayed on each bottle, is the founder of the brand, George Garvin Brown. This is made in both 86 and 100 proof versions.