Well, I've been on the hunt for my every day Bourbon and Scotch for almost a year now and I think I've pretty much narrowed it down. I've tried a lot of different brands in both categories and here are my two main criteria's:
1. it needs to be in my budget price range. For the east coast, somewhere between $15.00 to $25.00.
2. It needs to be a good mixer as well as decent on the rocks. I don't really like my whiskey straight or neat.
So... here are the winners.
Bourbon - Buffalo Trace. I narrowed it down to BT, Elijah Craig and Even Williams Single Barrel. But I like Old Fashions and I like something that has a pretty long finish and BT was the winner. I was hoping it was going to be the other two, because their cheaper, but for only a few dollars more, I think BT is worth it.
Scotch - This was a very tough one. Scotch isn't cheap and for my budget, well..... a single malt just isn't an option, even though I tried very hard to find one. So I settled for a blended scotch. My only problem with the blended scotch of course is the grain alcohol. But in the end, I was able to find a good blend that did a great job hiding the grain alcohol.
I used to prefer Speyside, but as I continued in my quest to find a good every day scotch, I came to appreciate the more Peatier/Smokier scotches. So I wondered away from the more traditional Spey's and started to focus on the smokier ones. First I really thought It was going to be Jonney Walker, but alas, JW is just a little too hot for me. Plus, I found that it just didn't have the peaty character I was looking for. So finally after much searching, I came back to one of the blended scotches that I had tried early on.
Dewar's White Label. I find it has a really great balance and has a good Highland type of peat flavor to it. It's pretty smooth and within my price range. It mixes well and it's readily available. So Dewar's it is, but white and the twelve year.
Now on to Tequila and Rum.
Oh almost forgot.... Stoli's is my Vodka and Citadelle is my gin. But they have been constant for awhile.