By John Trump

My wife, Lisa, and I a couple of years ago traversed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, an adventure that was interspersed with a fabulous party.

The party, probably the best party ever, featured bourbon.

That’s when I fell in love. With bourbon.

I have a finger (or two) just about every night. I love the caramel sweetness, the savory notes extracted from sugars deep in the barrel. I like the slight bite and the warm Kentucky hug.

I’ve had some amazing bourbon, from special offerings of Booker’s to 17-year renditions of Wild Turkey to a gulp of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle.

Pappy is an amazing bourbon. Rich and smooth.

But unless you’re a serious collector — and I mean serious collector — don’t spend thousands of dollars on a bottle, or even hundreds.

It’s good, even great. But not that great.

If I spend as much as $50 for a bottle of bourbon I feel as though I’m breaking the budget. A number of quality bourbons fall around that price range — the aforementioned Booker’s and its cousin, Baker’s; Blanton’s; Maker’s Cask Strength, Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel.

And it’s awesome to have a bottle or two of these lying around in case you have company, or something like that.

But that’s a lot of money for one bottle, especially for a regular bourbon drinker. Especially when so many other great bourbons come in at half that.

Evan Williams bottled in bond is the best so-called budget bourbon on the market. It’s about $15, and it’s buttery and smooth while coming in at 100-proof. Bottled in bond bourbons, by the way, are great across the board — Old Grand Dad, Henry McKenna, Jim Beam, etc. BiB means the bourbon adheres to government standards set in the late 1800s. Oh, yeah, it’s also 100 proof, so there’s typically more flavor.

None of these costs as much as $30.

I’m not sure how many people have caught on to this delicious secret, but people will. The prices will increase, I’m almost certain. So stock up now.

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