In the wide, beautifully boozy world of whiskey, bourbon stands out for its value. Unlike its Scottish brethren, you can get the good shit for a just few Hamiltons. But there is one major trick for getting way more bang for your buck.
Matthew Landan, owner of Haymarket Whiskey Bar, clued us in on how to spot the best value whiskey. The man stocks more than 100 bourbons at the Louisville, Kentucky establishment, so if anyone knows, it’s him. Most bourbons clock in at 80 proof, but he recommends looking for the bottled-in-bond category. Under the 1897 Bottled-in-Bond Act, these spirits must meet two important requirements: they’re aged for a minimum of four years and are at least 100 proof -- meaning you’re getting more alcohol per bottle.
“The fact is a whiskey that has more proof is more valuable than a whiskey that has lower proof,” says Landan. “You’re getting more alcohol by volume for less money." Now, that’s all good, but which ones are worth drinking? Here are his favorites.
Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond
If you -- or a very, very kind friend -- are crossing through Kentucky or Southern Indiana, be on the lookout for this bottle and buy several: the straightforward everyday sipper is Landan's favorite bottom-shelf bourbon. “You’re not going to find another product that’s going to give you as much age and as much proof as the Heaven Hill 6 Year Bonded will at this price."