Bourbon: Best Bang for your Buck

Bourbon: Best Bang for your Buck

[reprinted with permission from Let's Talk Data]

A friend and I went to a local whiskey bar recently, and were a bit overwhelmed at the options. However, we’re both bourbon fans and managed to pick a few at random to try. But what makes the difference between a $4.00 glass of bourbon and a $7.00 glass of bourbon? Probably a combination of factors, but I wanted to see if ratings had any bearing on price.

This graph shows 187 bourbons from Proof66 and compares the price per bottle to the professional judges’ rating.

Bourbon: Best Bang for your Buck

According to the website, any rated liquor is worth drinking according to the judges. However, it is interesting to see which are overpriced and which are bargains. Note that I had to use a log scale for the price because of those few bourbons that are significantly more expensive.

The site also provides ratings of regular users. These unsurprisingly do not always align with the judges’ ratings. I normalized the two rating systems and then picked the top ten most controversial bourbons, in both directions. The bourbons at the top are preferred by judges and the bourbons at the bottom are preferred by users.

Finally, I wanted to see how bourbons stacked up compared to other types of whiskey. This chart shows that they actually rank fairly highly and the only non-single-malt that beats it is Tennessee whiskey (which I did not know was a formal legal category!).

by Phillip Johnson
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