How to pick a good, cheap bourbon.
Good and cheap rarely run together in the same crowd. Generally, if you want quality, you're going to have to pay for it. So, how do you pick an unoffensive, inexpensive bourbon? Most people don't like their bourbons called cheap. I respect that. So, how do you pick an inexpensive, but cost-effective bourbon? I look for proof.
You're probably going to mix it or you're going to shoot it. You're going to get it put away. Sometimes you just need a good, cheap liquor. In that case, I'm going to look at proof - 86 proof, 101 proof. Basically, whatever takes the express train to "Sloppy Ville" is going to get you going.
You can find some really high quality, inexpensive liquors depending on where you look. There are a lot that you wouldn't necessary think are going to be really high quality. In fact, sometimes you'll find some really high quality, inexpensive bourbons. It's all about trying everything. Go to your local liquor store. Try new things.
Better yet, ask a bartender. I have very few economic incentives to lie to you, so you ask your bartender. Trust your bartender. That's how to pick a good, cheap bourbon.