Does price determine which bourbon is a best buy?

Does price determine which bourbon is a best buy?
We put five bourbons with five different prices to the test with the help of five volunteers. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
We put five bourbons with five different prices to the test with the help of five volunteers. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Bourbons Bistro owner Jason Brauner (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Bourbons Bistro owner Jason Brauner (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky's bourbon boom means more distilleries and more choices than ever. But do you have to spend a lot to get high quality?

We put five bourbons with five different prices to the test with the help of five volunteers. While the volunteers may not be experts, they knew what they liked.

At Bourbons Bistro the selection includes nearly 150 different bourbons, ranging in price from a little over $10 a bottle to over a $100. But everyone from the experts to the average taste tester will tell you don't have to get lower quality at the lower price point.

On deck at our testing we had an $11 bottle of Ancient Age, just under $20 Old Forester, around $20 Jim Beam Black, closer to $30 Henry McKenna 10-year-old and our budget buster that you can usually find in stores - Rock Hill Farms, costing between $50 to $60.

Bourbons Bistro owner Jason Brauner gave the group some pointers before the tasting began.

"You wanna look at the color, you look at the nose, you're gonna do the taste and you're gonna wait for the finish so that's the four things you're gonna look for," he said.

So they swirled, they sniffed, they dripped in some water and they drank.

The winner by a wide margin? Henry McKenna, number 4.

The only person who guessed which bourbon was their favorite was Stephen, who picked the most expensive, the second place finisher Rock Hill Farms.

"If you look at like a 20 to 40 dollar bourbon there's a lot of similarities but once you break past that 40 dollar price point there's a whole new world," he said.

But Stephen got introduced to a whole new world, his second choice favorite was the $11 bottle of Ancient Age which he says he'll now buy.

"You don't have to spend a whole lot to get a great bottle of bourbon. We always say that there's no bad bourbon. There might be a little bit better bourbon, but there's no bad bourbon," he said.

Strictly an informal test to prove that point. One interesting note women used to account for about five percent of orders of bourbon on the rocks or neat with no ice. Now, women make up about 20 percent of those orders.

By the way, we want to thank Yellow Cab, who offered free rides so we could make sure everyone got home safe.

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