It’s really the age old question for bourbon-lovers isn’t it?  On what particular whiskey (or whiskeys) should a whiskey lover spend their hard-earned dollars?  To best answer it, I decided to call in the cavalry.  I contacted a number of bourbon and whiskey bloggers, podcasters, writers, and retailers and asked them to submit their own strategic allocations of a hundred bucks.  The series is called “If I had a Benjamin.” (See the whole series here.)

If I Had a Benjamin

Claire McLafferty Logo

The next entry comes courtesy of Clair McLafferty.  Clair is a blogger and freelance writer out of Alabama who specializes in “print- and web-based technology, science, drinks, music, bartending and food.”  You can read more about Clair’s blog and work here: See Claire Write.


Claire McLafferty
Photo credit: Mary Katherine Morris Photography.

By Clair McLAfferty

After throwing a wedding and quitting my job, I’ve had whiskey on the brain more than usual. With a tight budget, planning out my $100 whiskey purchase has been a way for me to figure out what I’ll actually buy next time I visit a liquor store.

My first pick would be an OESO or OBSK Four Roses Barrel four roses private selection OBSV Bourbon Women 6Select. At around $50 per bottle, it’s a slight indulgence, but these are two favorite sipping bourbons. Since Four Roses is discontinuing their Limited Edition Single Barrel offerings except for commemorative occasions, I want to stock up while I can.

Elijah Craig 12 year Next, I’d grab a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 year. For around $23-$26, this product stands up remarkably well in both stirred and shaken cocktails, but is still damn tasty by itself. Heaven Hill recently announced that they would be phasing out the 12 year age statement, and it is yet to be seen how the change will affect it. Once again, I want to make sure that I have a back stock.

To finish out my budget, I’d snatch up a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye. It’s spicy, with notes of baking spice Rittenhouse BiB 6and vanilla. It’s also hot and angry — everything a Pennsylvania-style rye should be. Though I’d end up a couple bucks over budget (it runs $26-$30), it ensures that I’ll have a mixable rye on hand. Out of all the whiskey cocktails I’ve tasted, Rittenhouse makes one of the most consistently tasty Manhattans I’ve had. And although it clocks in at a rough 100 proof, one or two ice cubes render it completely sippable. Some like it hot, and I am one of them.