(Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)

May 20th is National Whiskey Day. If you enjoy whiskey then this is the day for you. Maybe you are partial to a specific type of whiskey, Irish, Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Tennessee, Canadian, or Japanese. Whatever your choice is, there is always going to be a pretty good whiskey that is reasonably priced. I’m partial to bourbon, scotch, and rye (in that order) so let’s look at 3 reasonably priced good bourbon choices that you can enjoy without breaking the bank. One quick note: all of these prices could vary depending on where you’re buying.

1. Elijah Craig Small Batch – 750ml price range $25 – $34 ($34.29 at PA Fine Wine & Good Spirits)

I’m not really sure what made me pick up this bottle the first time I bought it. It could have been that I was in the mood to try something new. That was 4 years, and many bottles, ago. It definitely falls into the reasonably priced good bourbon category. 94 proof and has a nice sweetness to it. Not that I would know this from drinking it because I don’t have a nose for it, but there are notes of caramel, nutmeg, and mint. Sure, that sounds good, but all I needed to know was that I like the taste. Easily found throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

2. 1792 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch – 750ml price range – ($32.99 at Total Wine and More in Cherry Hill)

Unlike my introduction to Elijah Craig the bottle of Bourbon, I know I was looking to try something new when I picked up this bottle of 1792. Again, not much of a nose for what hints and notes are in it, just more of what taste I like. Here is the description from Total Wine & More “Kentucky- 1792 is the year that Kentucky became a state, and the bottling of this special Bourbon commemorates that date. Made from 1792’s signature “high rye” recipe and the marriage of select barrels. Classic balance of spice and oak leads to a long dry finish.”

3. Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon – 750ml price range $33-$40 ($32.99 at Total Wine and More in Claymont DE.)

A go-to at wedding receptions that have a decent bourbon. Just had a few glasses of this at a buddy’s wedding a few weeks ago. Delicious to just sip on while waiting for more Hors D’oeuvres to walk past me. I never thought to combine Woodford Reserve with a thin bread stick wrapped with prosciutto, until that wedding. Here is what Vine Pair had to say about Woodford Reserve and its 200 tasting notes (I noted zero notes): “Woodford touts its bourbon as having 200 detectable flavor notes. To identify them all, you might need the experience and palate of the brand’s master distiller, Chris Morris. In fairness, it is an incredibly aromatic and flavorful bourbon, which arrives at a precise 90.4 percent ABV. Consider it a solid, dependable all-rounder.”

Enjoy national whiskey day, or any day that you’re looking for a reasonably priced good bourbon, without going broke.


5 Pennsylvania Breweries To Try Beer From This Summer

If there is 1 thing Gen X & Millennials have done right, it’s making beer better. I say this in all seriousness. This is not to say the the back end of the baby boomers haven’t joined in and had an impact on the craft beer scene (you need to say this because they get upset easily), but let us have this one would ya! Thankfully we’ve had a beer revolution, and we have some really great craft breweries in Pennsylvania. Imagine if we were all still drinking Piels or Schaefer. Pour one out for my grand pop Dave Connelly, Schaefer was his go to for a long time.

All of the beers listed here can be found in beer stores, and now certain grocery stores since PA finally began pulling back some of the antiquated alcohol laws here.

Disclaimer: I’m not some beer connoisseur who has any clue what certain hops taste like. I just know what tastes I like, so here are 5 beers from Pennsylvania breweries you should give a try this summer.

  • Conshohocken Brewing Company - Blood Money

    Blood Money ABV 6.7%

    A seasonal offering during the spring and summer from Conshohocken Brewing Company. I’m sure you can find it in one of their 4 tasting rooms throughout the area Conshy, KOP, Bridgeport and Phoenixville but if you’re at a Phillies game before you get to the brewery you can find Blood Money at most of the carts at Citizens Bank Park that sell craft beer options. I’ve never had an issue finding it along the 100 level concourse.

  • Free Will Brewing - Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie

    Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie ABV 7%

    Freewill Brewing is based out of Perkasie, PA and their beer labels are almost as god as their beers. I’ve had a handful of their beers over the years each of which I found delicious. Including, and surprisingly, a habenero peach beer that I was gifted. Most recently when a warm February Sunday turned into a Sunday Funday for the parents while the kids played outside my neighbor brought down Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie. Add it to the list!

    If you’re ever in Peddler’s Village Freewill has a small tasting room that is a great place you can stop in while seeing the sights or attending whatever festival may be going on. You’ve never deserved to stop in a tasting room for a beer more than after building your kids 2 scarecrows at a scarecrow festival… without their help.

  • New Trail - Broken Heels

    Broken Heels ABV 7%

    New Trail is out of Williamsport, PA, so there is a slim chance you’re making it up to their brewery unless you’re going to the Little League World Series, or camping up that way. I discovered New Trail in my Giant Food store’s beer section. I was just perusing the selection and I’m not really sure what caught my eye, but I’m glad it did. Now New Trail has become a staple in my beer fridge and it might become one in yours too. Introduce yourself to New Trail Brewing Company with Broken Heels.

  • Neshaminy Creek - Ultracush Hazy IPA

    Ultracush Hazy IPA ABV 6%

    I’m disappointed it took me until I was 35 to try anything from Neshaminy Creek. I mean it’s been a short 20 minute drive from me since I was 21. The first time I had anything from Neshaminy Creek was at a birthday party a few weeks ago. There are probably a few beers I could have put in this spot, but we’ll go with something that is available year round from Neshaminy. Ultracush is a solid beer to dip your toe into their selection.

  • Workhorse - Queen of Prussia

    Queen of Prussia ABV 5%

    Workhorse Brewing Company is based in King Of Prussia, but I’ve always found them available in my local beer stores and supermarkets if you don’t have any plans on being in KOP. I’ve tried multiple selections from workhorse and they get a lot of thumbs up, but here I’ll mention a session beer they’ve got. Queen of Prussia beer is a good beer for your summer drinking, especially if it’s an extended afternoon like a bbq or some summer party. It’s got great flavor, but it won’t knock you on your butt after 2 or 3. If you want that, try their Clocked In Hazy Double IPA (ABV 8.8%).

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