15 Best Inexpensive Bourbons Under $30 that Don’t Taste Cheap

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaSep 18, 2023, 10:31 PM
15 Best Inexpensive Bourbons Under $30 that Don’t Taste Cheap

In this article, we are going to discuss the 15 best inexpensive Bourbons under $30 that don’t taste cheap. You can skip our detailed analysis of the Bourbon industry in Kentucky, the Bourbon boom, the new Bourbon in the air, and the recent success story in the Bourbon industry, and go directly to 5 Best Inexpensive Bourbons Under $30 that Don’t Taste Cheap

Bourbon – It’s about as American a drink as apple pie is a food. For the popular spirit to earn its name, it must be composed of at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, bottled at 80 proof or higher, and – this part is important – produced in the United States.

The country of origin distinction came from a 1964 congressional resolution that declared Bourbon whiskey as ‘a distinctive product of the United States that is unlike other types of alcoholic beverages, whether foreign or domestic’. Ever since, it must be made in the U.S. in order to legally bear the name ‘Bourbon’.

The Bourbon Industry in Kentucky: 

Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon, crafting 95% of the world’s supply. Only the Bluegrass State has the perfect natural mix of climate, corn, and pure limestone water necessary for producing the world’s greatest Bourbon. 

As we mentioned in our article – 25 Best Bourbon Whiskeys Under $50 – Bourbon is a $9 billion signature industry in Kentucky that generates more than 22,500 jobs. And if we’re looking at production and consumption, the state receives more than $286 million in tax revenue each year from its signature whiskey. 

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is expecting to see another record year of visitors, after surpassing 2.1 million visits in 2022, beating the pre-pandemic record of 1.7 million in 2019.

The Bourbon Boom: 

Kentucky’s Bourbon industry is in the middle of its biggest boom in decades. The once bottom shelf product is now going for top dollar and is beloved by Bourbon hunters all over the world. Major distilleries have been expanding operations at a feverish pace to keep up with demand, and new craft distilleries are popping up all over the United States. Experts and industry insiders agree that this so-called ‘Bourbon Boom’ is here to stay, and whiskey lovers around the globe wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Since 2000, Bourbon production has skyrocketed more than 360%, thanks, in part, to the premium brands driving the ongoing boom. Also making history this year, the number of Bourbon barrels aging in Kentucky reached a record 11.4 million – that’s around two barrels per every Kentucky resident.

Bourbon in the Air: 

Celebrating 15 years of successful partnership, the premiere American whiskey distiller Woodford Reserve – owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF-B) – collaborated with Emirates Airline to blend a unique limited-edition Bourbon that was exclusively served on select Emirates flights throughout July. The only airline to launch a personally selected private whiskey blend, Woodford Reserve Emirates Personal Selection was made available for First and Business Class passengers to enjoy in the signature A380 Onboard Lounge, on selected routes across the UK, USA, Australasia, and Southeast Asia.

Each year, Emirates serves over 90,000 miniature bottles of Woodford Reserve to passengers onboard, as well as 6,500 bottles of 75cl Woodford Reserve in the A380 Onboard Lounge.

Woodford Reserve is a super-premium Kentucky Bourbon crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky. 

For the Q2 of 2023, Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF-B)’s earnings per share (EPS) of 47 cents declined 4% YoY and lagged behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents. The decline can be attributed to soft margins due to higher input costs, supply-chain headwinds, and increased compensation and advertising expenses, partly offset by sales growth and a lower effective tax rate. However, the company’s net sales of $1.094 billion beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.089 billion.

Success Story in the Bourbon Industry: 

If you’re a whiskey lover, you’ve almost certainly tried the offerings of MGP Ingredients, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGPI), knowingly or not. This Indiana distillery has fueled the modern American whiskey boom by supplying distillers like High West, Smooth Ambler, WhistlePig, Angel’s Envy, Bulleit, and many others. MGP Ingredients, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGPI)’s rags-to-riches tale – a white elephant of a distillery once seen as being so worthless that it was nearly torn down in 2001 – encapsulated the story of the modern whiskey renaissance as it rose to prominence over the past two decades. 

The company also boasted a massive increase in revenue over the last few years. In 2019, MGP Ingredients, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGPI) declared a revenue of $362.75 million, while by 2022, the company’s revenue had jumped up to $782.36 million – an increase of over 115%. 

The centerpiece of the MGP revamp thus far has been the $475 million acquisition of St. Louis-based distiller and marketer Luxco in 2021. The Luxco whiskey stable featured Ezra Brooks, Blood Oath, Daviess County, David Nicolson, Lux Row, and Rebel.

MGP Ingredients, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGPI) also announced in June that it had acquired Penelope Bourbon in a $215.8 million deal, including incentives. 

Penelope Bourbon will continue to operate independently from MGP Ingredients, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGPI) and will maintain its existing team, structure, and production standards. This ensures that Penelope’s iconic products can still be enjoyed by whiskey enthusiasts around the world.

SouthernSun SMID Cap Strategy initiated a position in MGP in April this year. The investment management firm made the following comments about the Kansas-based company in its 2023 Q2  investment letter

“In June of 2023, MGPI announced the acquisition of Penelope Bourbon, adding a popular, growing bourbon brand to the portfolio. This transaction is the first tangible example of how we believe management will leverage its national distribution platform and existing distillation capacity to bring other brands into the fold. We expect acquisitions like this one to be a key element of the future value creation opportunity.”

MGP Ingredients, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGPI) ranks among the 11 Best Vegan Stocks to Buy Now

With that said, here are the Most Popular Bourbons Under $30 that Don’t Taste Cheap

15 Best Inexpensive Bourbons Under $30 that Don’t Taste Cheap

Brent Hofacker/


To collect data for this article, we referred to a number of sources, such as Liquor, Tasting Table, Vine’s Pair, Reddit etc., looking for the Best Bourbon Whiskeys Under $30. We picked whiskeys that appeared at least twice in these sources, assigned them a score based on their number of appearances, and ranked them accordingly. When two Bourbons had the same score, we ranked them by their prices on Drizly. We’ve scored these Bourbons on a scale of 1-12, with the best inexpensive bourbons ascending in score. 

If you’re also interested in other popular spirits in the U.S., here are the 20 Most Popular Liquor Brands in America

15. Old Tub Sour Mash Limited Edition

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Price: $24.99

Before Jim Beam Bourbon, the Beam family made Old Tub, an unfiltered bonded Bourbon which was the foundation for what would become one of the world’s most well-known whiskeys. Just like the original Old Tub, this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has not been carbon or chill filtered.

14. Coopers’ Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Price: $24.19

Crafting great Bourbon starts with the barrel. After all, half of a whiskey’s flavor and all of its color come from the barrel. At Coopers’ Craft they raise their own barrels by hand, then toast and char them to bring out the unique characteristics of their Bourbons.

Coopers’ Craft was first released in 2016, and was the first new product from the Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF-B) since it launched Woodford Reserve in 1996.

Cooper’s Craft is one of the Best Bourbons Under $30 a Bottle

13. Fighting Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Price: $19.95

This bad boy of Bourbon is bottled at a robust 103 proof, but its 6 years of aging smoothes out the feathers really well. Owned by Heaven Hill, Fighting Cock is a brand that’s been set to court the younger consumer and lives in that $20 range where it’s accessible and you don’t feel like you’ve wasted a ton of money on a gamble for trying it.

12. J.W. Dant Bourbon

Insider Monkey Score: 2

Price: $15.99

Around 1830, J.W. Dant in Kentucky distilled whiskey with a cheap log still. To this day, Heaven Hill makes this Bourbon whiskey in metal stills according to Dant’s recipe. With the Bottled-in-Bond quality certificate, this is a fine Bourbon for a good price. 

J.W. Dant ranks among the Best Cheap Bourbons Under $20

11. Redemption Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Price: $29.99

Redemption Bourbon is a relatively new whiskey, owned by Deutsch Family Wines & Spirits – a company that pays keen attention to detail during aging and batching. This leads to the distinctiveness of the taste and ensures consistency from bottle to bottle.

10. Four Roses Bourbon 

Insider Monkey Score: 3

Price: $24.99

Four Roses is a good reasonable Bourbon that blends up to 10 of its distinct Bourbon recipes, resulting in a versatile, easy-drinking whiskey that appeals to casual fans and enthusiasts alike.

Four Roses was acquired by the Japanese Kirin Holdings Company in 2002. For $24.99 a bottle, Four Roses is among the best inexpensive Bourbons in the market

9. Redemption High Rye Bourbon

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Price: $29.99

At 36% rye content, it’s significantly higher than comparable Bourbons, resulting in a unique combination of flavors – subtly sweet but punctuated by rich notes of rye spice. If you’re looking for a bold Bourbon, you’ve found it. 

8. Old Grand-Dad Bourbon

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Price: $19.80

Old Grand-Dad is one of the oldest and most storied brands, yet it receives little attention from Bourbon enthusiasts or marketing effort from the brand’s current owner, Beam Suntory. This might be simply due to the fact that it is a legacy brand offered at a head-scratching low price point that likely has little room for anything other than simply fulfilling the existing supply chain and keeping existing consumers happy, and potentially drawing them deeper into Beam’s other brands.

Old Grand-Dad sits among the Best Value Bourbons in 2023

7. Very Old Barton

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Price: $14.54

Very Old Barton is a Kentucky straight Bourbon that has been matured for an average of four to six years in charred, American oak casks before being bottled at 100 proof. As a result, the whiskey has a rich amber color along with an aroma of vanilla beans and chewy leather. 

Very Old Barton is owned by the New Orleans-based Sazerac Company.

6. Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Insider Monkey Score: 5

Price: $24.99

Distilled with corn, malted barley, time, pride, and passion, there’s a reason why Jim Beam Bourbon is on almost every bar shelf. To get the distinct flavor of Jim Beam, the distillery ages the liquor in charred oak barrels for a minimum of four years. 

With 16.7 million cases sold around the world last year, Jim Beam was among the Most Popular Whiskey Brands in the World. Founded in 1795, the brand has been operated by the same family for seven generations now. For $24.99 a bottle, Jim Beam is an inexpensive Bourbon that doesn’t taste cheap.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Inexpensive Bourbons Under $30 that Don’t Taste Cheap.

Suggested Articles:

Disclosure: None. 15 Best Inexpensive Bourbons Under $30 that Don’t Taste Cheap is originally published on Insider Monkey.

Related Topics:

    Share on social media


    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

    Leave a Comment