Balcones Baby Blue
Corn — Texas, USATastedSuper buttery sweet butterscotch/toffee on the nose. Much more classic bourbon/corn whiskey taste. Tastes like a higher proof but without the burn. Very unique whiskey and definitely worth a try.
Clan MacGregor Blended Scotch Whiskey
Blended — ScotlandTastedI’ll be blunt and honest here. I don’t know how to rate this whiskey. Overall it’s not amazing. Basic notes you’d expect from a blended scotch. Has some peat to it. But this whiskey is $15. For that price range, its 5 stars. I think every scotch lover should have a bottle of this on hand at all times because it is very decent for such a low price. If you’ve had a few Ardbegs or Laphroaigs and let’s be honest, your palette is pretty tapped out for the night, this is a great budget whiskey to break out and finish off the night with. It’s not going to offer a rich complex experience, but it’ll do the job of a scotch15.0 USD per Bottle
Kaiyō Japanese Mizunara Oak
Blended Malt — JapanTastedI was drawn in by the background on this whiskey with it being both aged in Mizunara oak and like the Jefferson’s ocean aged partially at sea. I don’t get the ocean in the nose yet like some have said, but the nose is very complex. At first taste it seemed as though an Irish has been mixed with some kind of bourbon. I got a lot of the sweet notes you would get from an Irish but with a lot more barrel than you’d typically get. I assume at least one of the casks used must be first fill. I kept drinking this throughout the night and at several points I could have sworn up and down that it was prayed, however I did not get the peated version. I’ve found after you let the glass sit for a bit and some of the alcohol evaporates it offers much different notes. More friendly but less complex. At one point I found the scent of my girlfriends basement in it and could not stop smelling it. Very good whiskey with a decent bit of complexity. If you like scotch blends and Japanese whiskey it won’t disappoint you. It isn’t as profound as a lot of it’s more expensive and well known Japanese counterparts but I think it’s worth the price, and definitely worth a try.57.0 USD per Bottle
Evan Williams White Label Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedFor the price it’s a great bourbon. This is definitely the most complex whiskey I’ve had under $20. Now that’s not to say that it’s necessarily the best tasting, but it’s definitely complex. I’d say anyone that likes bourbon should give it a try. For the price you really don’t have much to lose. I definitely get the custard and banana bread notes along with holiday spices and a healthy dose of that American oak. Darn near every time I drink it it tastes a little different to me. Interesting whiskey
McClelland's Single Malt Islay
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedIn my area it is far cheaper than any other Islay I can get my hands on. It does the job for scratching your peat itch but lacks a lot of complexity and interest salty components you may love in an islay. That being said if you love peat it is certainly worth a try for the money
Blended — IrelandTastedFound it for $15 and had to give it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised. Typical sweet caramel and vanilla for an Irish . Possibly a bit more spicy than some other Irish whiskeys. Definitely a lot more vanilla. I’d be interested to try with a coke, might make it a bit root beer-esque with all the vanilla. Overall great for the price. If you like Irish whiskey it won’t disappoint. I will say it has a bit of a sour aftertaste, so drink with caution, it will keep you sipping
Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedFirst time trying this is on an American Airlines flight so I’m sure this is impacting my tasting notes a lot but from my taste you get the rye spice of course, but even for a bourbon this is sweet. A lot of the molasses and corn syrup taste. Not as much barrel as you would expect from a bourbon supposedly this old but of course there is no age statement so you can’t know for sure. The barrel is definitely covered up by the rye spice and the sweet molasses taste. Not a whole lot else going on here but it was enjoyable. I’ll definitely have to give it another try in a different setting. Might be good on the rocks
Arette Tequila Blanco
Tequila Blanco — Jalisco, Mexico, MexicoTastedProbably the best tequila I’ve had in it’s price range. It has become my go-to blanco. Previously it was espolon but given that I can typically get a liter for about $20 before tax at my local liquor store this is an easy choice. Similar in quality to espolon but a little fruitier and more floral in taste compared to espolon. It is very similar to Azteca Azul but a little better in my opinion.