Among fine alcohol connoisseurs, there is an adage that is often repeated as a means to demonstrate a general knowledge about certain types of alcohol. This tidbit of wisdom reads: “All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.”

While this is certainly true, few whiskey (or bourbon) aficionados can really tell you what makes bourbon different from whiskey.

In this, we will clear up any confusion by explaining the particulars about what sets bourbon apart from other types of whiskey.

We also offer our suggestions for the absolute best six bourbon whiskeys for enthusiasts of the art of whiskey drinking.


What is Bourbon Whiskey?

Before we explain what bourbon is, it is important to offer a definition of whiskey in general. As a whole, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic drink that is made from fermented grains, including rye, corn, barley, and of course wheat.

The fermented liquid is then aged in wooden barrels (generally oak) until it reaches a certain alcoholic content. While Scotch and Irish whiskeys are popular and historic, American made whiskeys are also renowned for their special quality.

According to the ISWR US Beverage Alcohol Review of 2017, Americans collectively drank over 24 million cases of whiskey produced in the country, and well over half of that was bourbon whiskey.

Bourbon is by far the most prolific and popular of the types of whiskey made in the United States, and there are strict standards and criteria that must be met for a whiskey to truly be considered bourbon.

Firstly, more than half of the grain used in the distilling process has to be sourced from corn, whereas European whiskeys generally have a much lower corn content. Also, the aging process has to be done in charred oak barrels that are new.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, bourbon cannot be higher than 160 proof and must enter the aging barrel at exactly 125 proof.

Of course, true bourbon has to be produced in no other country than America. The state of Kentucky produces over 95% of the world´s supply of bourbon.

The Best Bourbon Whiskeys under $ 100 in the Market

If you haven’t discovered the unique taste of bourbon that is substantially different from other types of whiskey, any of the six bourbon whiskey bottles reviewed below are great options to begin to explore this unique and inimitable spirit.

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Blanton’s Bourbon

This straight from the barrel bourbon has some serious flavor accompanied by a high alcohol content to the tune of 140 proof.

The palate brings to mind taste of oak, vanilla, honey, rye, and caramel and ends with a memorable finish. The simple corn, rye, and malted barley ingredients allow for a sour mash that is aged in pure white oak barrels treated with $4 char.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

The Woodford Reserve Bourbon is another quality, Kentucky bourbon that brings together over 200 different flavors.

The unique mixture of grains, fruit, flowers, spices, and woody flavors combine to make up a bourbon that is simply irresistible.

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

This 80 proof bourbon packs a punch, but the subtle and seemingly gentle bite accompanied by a spicy flavor makes it unique among the American bourbons.

A dry, clean, and brief finish is offered by the hint of peppermint and tea flavor that set this bourbon apart from the rest. The spicy-sweet flavor profile of this bourbon is something that you simply won’t forget.

Four Roses Bourbon

Four Roses Bourbon is like any other bourbon that you have tried. Perhaps the 130 years of history have helped this company perfect the art of bourbon making.

Their single barrel bourbon is one of the few spirits on the market where you can taste a hint of pear flavor. Dried spices, cocoa, vanilla, and maple syrup flavors add to the sweetness and lead into a truly full-body palate that is decidedly mellow.

The long and smooth finish will leave you wanting one more sip.

Wild Turkey Bourbon

Wild Turkey bourbon has over 75 years of experience producing some of the finest bourbons on the market. Their small-batch bourbon is refined for eight long years in Texas Mesquite and oak charcoal barrels.

A combination of citrus and caramel combines perfectly with the smoky finish for a one of a kind taste.

Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Lastly, we come to the aptly named Angel’s Envy Bourbon. This Louisville, Kentucky based distillery offers a bourbon that has been perfected by 200 years of experience.

What truly sets this spirit apart from the rest is the process of finishing the bourbon in port wine casks. Small batches of 8-10 barrels ensure the utmost quality.

All these fine U.S. made bourbon whiskeys offer great taste, a smooth finish, and a truly authentic American drinking experience.

Lastly, for those who think that bourbon whiskey is merely a man’s drink, it is worth noting that whiskey is also shared by women around the world.

In fact, according to Fred Minnick, author of the book titled “Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish whiskey”, today around 37% of all whiskey drinkers in the world are women.



Jesscia a passionate blogger by heart❤. She has written for variety of industries including health, beauty, travel just to name a few. Aside from writing, Jesscia enjoys playing at the beach. When not on laptop, you can probably find her winding down with a glass of wine and a book. Read her writings-