In the above clip from Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), I feel like my drinking habits are perfectly summed up. Part of me just wants a straight simple whiskey and the other half wants something a little more exotic . All of this becomes irrelevant when my gut (played by the bartender in the clip) tells me “get the cheapest, strongest drink because you are broke.”
So yes, all of this has conditioned me to become a little connoisseur of the cheap whiskey. While I do love a nice whiskey or bourbon (I will always remember my time with you Pappy Van Winkle), my conscience has helped me find my cheap medium. This guide will show you what to avoid and guide to you to an easy, cheap, drinkable whiskey.
When I was young, I thought a whiskey with a name based on a joke must be catered to those with an economic taste in mind. Sadly, I was terribly wrong. The only positive is that if you drink it with Trader Joe’s shitty beer, Simpler Times, you can reminisce about the past where you didn’t buy those things.
Despite it’s low placing on shelves and crazy low price, Old Crow is straight up historic. It’s the first sour mash ever made and I prefer it to a lot of the other options (looking at you Jackie D). I hate Jack Daniels for two main reasons: the price and it taste like a man named Jack died in the barrel. Old Crow has none of these problems and once again the little old crow has a certain charm to it. They even have a high quality brand if you want to try; it’s only a couple dollars more. Either way, let that little black bird into your heart and gut.
I once thought since healthcare was free in Canada, their cheap booze had to be better than America’s. No such luck, as I quickly learned Canadian blended whiskey is the epitome of awful taste to me. No one sip tastes the same as the previous, so you have no way of anticipating the next horrible kick to your tastebuds. Avoid at all costs.
Do you notice how the whiskey in that photo looks like it is as thick as barbecue sauce? You’d be better off drinking straight barbecue sauce than this garbage. It has the weird effect of making me feel like I didn’t drink whiskey, either. Use it to ward off your enemies.
I gotta admit, the cheaper sour mash is the way to go. Evan Williams is one of the few things on here that even whiskey snobs can say is pretty damn good. It goes down easy and smooth while keeping its nice taste. I was initially put off by the obvious Jack Daniels imagery theft, but eventually succumbed to its sweet taste. Highly recommended.
My all around go-to cheap booze. It meets all the requirements to the highest degree. I dig that their whole name is suppose to remind the consumer of a time when drinks were cheap and good. Tastes great on its own or on the rocks. I feel like it’s something that one day I will go to buy, and the price will have doubled much like Old Grandad. I fear that day and hope it never comes.