The number of fantastic bottles of bourbon you can buy right off the shelf at a fair price has not changed. In fact, it’s only expanded in recent years, despite folk’s insistence that they can “never find the good stuff.” The truth is, more people than ever want a pool of very scarce products. That being said, here are three bottles you can go get off the shelf RIGHT NOW for under $40. If you can learn to love these the way people “think” they love Blanton’s then you will never be disappointed. To quote Stephen Stills, “love the one you’re with.” So, for my money, Elijah Craig Small Batch, Wild Turkey 101, and Maker’s Mark 101 offer the most balanced, flavor forward, drinkable, versatile, and affordable “shelfers” on the market. Wild Turkey 101 is an absolute classic, a master class in subtle bourbon flavor. It’s rich, oaky, but with a soft licorice and herbal finish. Elijah Craig Small batch for under $35 is still in insane value. Bottle at 94 proof it’s sweet, rustic flavors driven by orange, mint, and cherry make an unparalleled Old Fashioned. And finally, Maker’s Mark 101, is simply without a doubt the most delicious and drinkable bourbon on the market and no one is talking about. It’s the PERFECT PROOF for Maker’s Mark. It’s not much more expensive than regular and literally puts any competitor at the $40 price point to shame. Can’t find Weller??? This is the best shelf wheater you’ll ever taste. Period.