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EVERYDAY CARRY FOR LIFE’S JOURNEY

Ⓒ Gallantry 2022

THE JUSTIFIED GUIDE TO THE BEST KENTUCKY BOURBON UNDER $100

THE JUSTIFIED GUIDE TO THE BEST KENTUCKY BOURBON UNDER $100

David Spielman
13 minute read

AKA: "I DIDN'T ORDER ASSHOLES WITH MY WHISKEY"

Bourbon Lover Raylan Givens in JustifiedDeputy U.S. Marshal and Bourbon lover Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) in FX’s Justified

“There's not a lot of Scotch or Irish whiskey going on on our set. Bourbon is it."
- Elmore Leonard, Whisky Advocate

There ain’t nothin’ like some good ol’ bourbon, a type of American whiskey, as a nightcap at the end of a long day. After all, this barrel-aged distilled liquor, made primarily from corn, was recognized as “America’s Native Spirit” and “a distinctive product of the United States” in 1964 by Congress in order to protect it from overseas trade. In other words, bourbon is about as Americana as a stiff can get.

Distilled since the 18th century, bourbon, America’s southern sweetheart, was one the most popular spirits sold in the United States up until the 1970’s, when competing spirits like vodka and tequila elbowed their way in to get a piece of the booze action. For a while, several decades at least, the landscape seemed a bit bleak for bourbon.

Then came Justified.

Justified Features Whiskey Prominently In The Show
“[Bourbon] whiskey is not a throwaway in the show. It binds everyone together.”
- David Blass , Production Designer

Though bourbon has been made all over the country since its inception, it is unquestionably most closely associated with Kentucky. As such, we shutter to think about a show set in Kentucky wherein the natural drink of choice isn’t bourbon. It would be just, well, inauthentic. As such, we were plenty relieved when Justified, the most Kentucky fried American television series ever produced (and easily our favorite show of the past decade with its perfect mix of crime, violence, and biting humor), made the creative decision to essentially make bourbon a supporting character upon premiering on the FX Network in in March of 2010.

If you’re not familiar with Justified, it’s an American Western Crime Drama developed and created by Graham Yost (the dude that wrote Speed), based on legendary novelist Elmore Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole”. Its protagonist, Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, is the toughest, most badass lawman this side of the Mississippi, a strong-willed, Old West lawman thoroughly out of place (in a great way) in modern times, renown for his “justified” quick-draw shooting prowess (he only pulls his gun when he intends to wound or kill someone justifiably - i.e. in self-defense - and when he does, well, he never misses).

After work a couple days a week, we'd have a couple glasses of Bourbon. That became a big hit. From there, people drank a lot more Bourbon. I'm seeing it in a lot more offices. We're all big Bourbon snobs on the show now. We know a little bit about what kind of palate these guys would have. - Elmore Leonard

The show’s best bourbon moment comes during episode 9 (“Hatless”) of the first season. While enjoying his umpteenth glass of bourbon (during the middle of the day, mind you) after getting suspended from his job, a tipsy Raylan has the following interaction with two hootin’ and hollerin’ fellas near him at the bar.

Raylan Givens in Justified“Gentlemen? Gentlemen, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to interrupt. Could you just keep it down a little bit?”

As you might guess, one of the fellers yukkin’ it up doesn’t take too kindly to Raylan’s request.

Fellers yukkin it up in Justified“Why would we do that?”

Then…BOOM! Raylan drops one of the most Gallantry Man lines of all-time.

Raylan Givens in Justified With an Awesome Line

“Because I didn’t order assholes with my whiskey.”

Macintosh HD:Users:davidrossspielman:Desktop:Gallantry Article Photo Gallery:JustifiedHatless-CL1-TShirt.jpegRaylan sets down his iconic Stetson hat for a good old-fashioned Kentucky throwdown.

Winona Hawkins in JustifiedRaylan’s ex-wife Winona Hawkins (Natalie Zea) wrangles with a piss drunk Raylan after his bourbon-fueled Kentucky scrap.

The instant success of Justified in 2010 led to a revival of the popularity of bourbon the likes of which had not been seen since the 1970’s, a true market explosion that continues to this day despite the fact that the show ended its epic six-season run in 2015. While this legendary comeback has been great news for distillers all over the country, supply and demand during boom times does have its way of hitting one’s pockets. However, we’ve got great news for bourbon lovers everywhere, as there are still plenty of high-quality bottles out there that you can scoop up for under a hundred bucks.

Ordering Bourbon in Justified“I need a good stiff drink of bourbon and I need it now. This is America, ain’t it?!”

With so many bourbon producers and heritage distilleries looking to make a name for themselves these days, it’s our distinct privilege to do the heavy lifting as it pertains to saving you the time, energy, and, most importantly, money, when it comes to finding the best bourbons under $100.

Discussing Bourbons on Justified“Did I see you reading about the best bottle of bourbon under $100 on Gallantry? ‘Cause you know I gots a sweet spot for a Gallantry Man.”

So whether you like your best bourbon under $100 neat or on the rocks, we guarantee you’re going to dig what we’ve curated for you here.

WOODFORD RESERVE PERSONAL SELECTION BOURBON

Woodford Reserve Personal Selection Bourbon

We went to Harlan County [in Kentucky] between seasons one and two. We got a tour of Woodford Reserve. We learned about the distillation process. It really hit us. We felt very culturally ingrained.

- Elmore Leonard

Robert Quarles and Raylan Givens in Justified“I don’t know how to say this, Raylan, but we’re out of Woodford Reserve.”
- Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough)

Crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region, this super-premium, small batch Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey never fails to deliver. When it comes to this winner, it’s like Raylan says, “Bourbon is easy to understand. Tastes like a warm summer day.”

MAKER’S MARK BOURBON WHISKY

Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky

Justified Boyd Crowder Walton Goggins“Whatever bottle you pulled out, with whoever you were having a conversation with, [it] signaled to the audience and signaled to the other person in the story how you felt about them, how comfortable were you with them, if you wanted something from them. And I had never really seen that done before.” - Walter Goggins (Boyd Crowder)

In real life, Walter Goggins, the actor that played Raylan’s equally as intelligent and charismatic career criminal best frenemy (the pair grew up together in Harlan County, Kentucky and dug coal together as kids), Boyd Crowder, is a fan of the Maker’s Mark good stuff, made slowly in small batches at Maker's Mark® Bourbon’s National Historic Landmark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. We can’t blame Walter, since there’s nothing like getting a nice whiff of its spiced honey, cut fruit, and citrus peel scent before having a nice barley malt, butterscotch, and vanilla bean-infused sip that’s topped off with a gentle caramel and dry oak spice finish. Hot damn, we reckon we could go for some of this everyday house bourbon to guzzle straight out of our favorite Gallantry Man everyday carry flasks right now!

ANCIENT AGE BOURBON

Ancient Age Bourbon Whiskey

"We definitely see these guys as they see themselves through the Bourbon they drink. It's another piece of the subtle makeup of everything … It’s just such a part of Kentucky.”

Taylor Elmore , Writer/Producer

Justified Ancient Age Bourbon“It must be your lucky day, hoss, ‘cause simple questions require simple answers. Now do you have the Ancient Age that was recommended to me on Gallantry’s list of best bourbon under 100 dollars or not?”

On Justified, Raylan is a big fan of this epic bourbon, which has been held in high esteem by whiskey lovers everywhere since its inception in 1946. 80 proof and distilled from corn, rye and barley malt, it’s simultaneously smooth, simple, and robust (much like Raylan himself). Crafted in the Buffalo Trace Distillery (the oldest continuously operating distillery in America) in Frankfort, Kentucky, this is one bourbon that has withstood the test of time for a reason – it always hits the spot.

KNOB CREEK KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY

Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey

“[I drink my bourbon almost exclusively neat.] Once in a while I'll add a little ice. I’ll usually drink Knob Creek with a little ice.”

- Elmore Leonard

Justified Discussing Knob Creek“A Knob Creek straight bourbon whiskey drinker with a flask from Gallantry? I get off in ten.”

Named after the childhood home of none other than Abe Lincoln, Knob Creek Bourbon is aged longer (nine years to be exact) than its Jim Beam brothers. Because of this, it carries with it more sugar and flavor, a nod to to extra char from the white oak barrel that it gets made in. With a full-bodied, fruit-filled flavor as well as hints of grain and grass, this 100-proof goes just perfect with a nice, juicy steak and a cigar. Giddy up.


WILD TURKEY KENTUCKY SPIRIT

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit

"Raylan will pretty much drink whatever's in front of him. He'll have a premium Bourbon on a special occasion."

- Elmore Leonard

Avary Markham and Raylan Givens on Justified Discussing Wild Turkey

“I don’t know what to tell ya, Raylan. Folks like the Wild Turkey when it comes to the best whiskey bourbon under 100, so you might want to move along now.”

- Avary Markham (Sam Elliott)

Another classic bourbon, enjoyed by both Raylan and his bad-to-the-bone, no-good criminal father, Arlo Givens (Raymond Barry), is Wild Turkey. Personally selected by Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell, Kentucky Spirit is true single barrel bourbon in its purest form (hell, you even see each bottle’s unique date, warehouse, rick and barrel number when you get it). Aged between 8.5 and 9.5 years with the perfect amount of limestone-filtered water to achieve its absolutely perfect 101 proof, this is one stiff guaranteed not to let you down after a long week.

Arlo Givens may have given his son Raylan a lifetime of daddy issues to work out on Justified, but the two could occasionally lets bygones be bygones over a nice glass of Wild Turkey. After all, it’s hard to be mad when you’re sipping on the good stuff.

Arlo and Raylan Givens in Justified“You sandbaggin’ sonuvabitch! I knew it was you that finished off my Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. Once a crook, always a crook!”

Now that you’ve got your bourbon, you’re going to want some fresh everyday carry to carry the good stuff around in. Like Raylan, you’re your own man and you refuse to apologize for it. That’s why we’ve included a number of EDC items below. Just like Kentucky bourbon, every flask has a story. Whatever legendary combo you end up deciding on, you’ll have enough material to keep the entire bar captivated for hours on end, Gallantry Man-style.

THE TITANIUM FUNNEL FLASK FROM VARGO

Vargo Titanium Funnel Flask

Never underestimate the enjoyability of a good stiff drink. And never go without one either, so long as you have this superb liquor vessel on your person. Crafted from solid titanium, it's food-safe but still tough enough to weather any adventure. And the integrated silicon funnel design promises both easy filling and ensures that you don't have any extra pieces to carry around and potentially lose. It can store up to 8 ounces of your beverage of choice and, should you get a few as groomsmen's gifts, they can be engraved by most jewelers and/or engravers.

Titanium Funnel Flask

Titanium Funnel Flask

$74.95

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Never underestimate the enjoyability of a good stiff drink. And never go without one either, so long as you have this superb liquor vessel on your person. Crafted from solid titanium, it's food-safe but still… read more

THE MASTER UNBREAKABLE HIP FLASK FROM STANLEY

Stanley Master Unbreakable Hip Flask

Finding a good hip flask is a relatively easy task. But finding one that can stand up to the punishment of outdoor adventure is a different story entirely. But it's familiar territory for the 8-ounce Stanley Master Unbreakable Hip Flask. This beautiful vessel is built from black powder-coated cold-rolled steel that's both dishwasher safe and tough enough for life on the trails. Better still, it's BPA-free, leakproof, and features internal threading for easier swig-ability. In fact, Stanley is so confident in the quality and performance of this flask that they've offered up a lifetime warranty on it.

Available in Foundry Black and Hammertone Green

Master Unbreakable Hip Flask

Master Unbreakable Hip Flask

$40.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Finding a good hip flask is a relatively easy task. But finding one that can stand up to the punishment of outdoor adventure is a different story entirely. But it's familiar territory for the 8-ounce… read more


Master Unbreakable Hip Flask

Master Unbreakable Hip Flask

$40.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Finding a good hip flask is a relatively easy task. But finding one that can stand up to the punishment of outdoor adventure is a different story entirely. But it's familiar territory for the 8-ounce… read more

THE EASY-FILL WIDE MOUTH FLASK FROM STANLEY

Stanley Easy-Fill Wide Mouth Flask Midnight Blue

This stainless steel wide-mouth flask from Stanley is sleek, slim, and imminently packable. Holding 8 oz of your favorite beverage, this attractive flask is tough enough for everyday carry. Better still, it's BPA-free, leakproof, and features internal threading for easier swig-ability. And with the never-lose cap, you'll never lose a drop - unless you want to.

Available in Midnight Blue and Hammertone Green

Easy-Fill Wide Mouth Flask

Easy-Fill Wide Mouth Flask

$29.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] This stainless steel wide-mouth flask from Stanley is sleek, slim, and imminently packable. Holding 8 oz of your favorite beverage, this attractive flask is tough enough for everyday carry. Better still, it's BPA-free, leakproof, and… read more

Easy-Fill Wide Mouth Flask

Easy-Fill Wide Mouth Flask

$29.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] This stainless steel wide-mouth flask from Stanley is sleek, slim, and imminently packable. Holding 8 oz of your favorite beverage, this attractive flask is tough enough for everyday carry. Better still, it's BPA-free, leakproof, and… read more

THE SALTY OLD BASTARD NOBLE FLASK FROM THE SNEERWELL

Sneerwell Salty Old Bastard Flask

Perhaps no piece of gear speaks more to the character of the man carrying it than a flask. Its style and appearance often conveys as much as the liquid housed inside. That's exactly why we are so fond of The Sneerwell's Noble Flasks. Each of these Made in the USA, screw-top 6 oz beverage containers, which are made of sturdy food-safe stainless steel, features a hand-etched design and a unique patina. Which also means that no two are alike. And isn't that how it should be: a man and his flask, two of a kind?

Salty Old Bastard Noble Flask

Salty Old Bastard Noble Flask

$65.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Perhaps no piece of gear speaks more to the character of the man carrying it than a flask. Its style and appearance often conveys as much as the liquid housed inside. That's exactly why we are… read more

THE SEA MONSTER PERDITION FLASK FROM THE SNEERWELL

Sneerwell Sea Monster Perdition Flask

Black is classic, so if you’re going to acquire a go-to flask, it’s only right to get one in the Perdition style. Sneerwell’s Perdition flask carries 6 ounces of your preferred liquid courage in a stainless steel structure. The portable container features ivory etched embellishments against the smooth black finish for a timeless aesthetic. If you want a clean, exemplary flask to carry your favorite whiskey, the Perdition is up for the job.

Sea Monster Perdition Flask

Sea Monster Perdition Flask

$65.00

[tab-section data-sc-active-background="#ffffff" data-sc-other-background="#ffffff" data-sc-color="#555555"][tab title="Details"] Black is classic, so if you’re going to acquire a go-to flask, it’s only right to get one in the clean colorway. Sneerwell’s Perdition flask carries 6 ounces of your preferred liquid courage in a… read more

As always, we’d love to hear about your epic Kentucky bourbon/Gallantry flask combos (and/or even your favorite Justified bourbon whiskey moment). Hit us up!

Also, we’d be remiss not to inform you that you can currently stream all six seasons (78 episodes in total) of Justified, the preeminent show for bourbon enthusiasts, on Hulu right here, right now.

Nick Searcy as Art Mullen in JustifiedNick Searcy, the actor that plays Art Mullen, Raylan’s Chief Deputy, prefers Elmer T. Lee bourbon (too expensive to make this list) in real life.

Harlan County and Lexington, here we come! It’s an American bourbon boom, baby!

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