It's great when Costco or any big box store picks up a favorite booze, they used to have the only rum I actually liked for about $8 less a bottle than local stores, the only problem is if it becomes too popular smaller distilleries end up making changes to the product to make their delivery quotas and in some cases the changes are to how the product is made, aged, ingredients, and they end up with a different product which is exactly what happened to the rum. It's garbage now.
I joined a bourbon club, because I wanted to taste and understand bourbon. What I learned after dropping a few grand on liquors was that the more expensive it was, the more it burned. I don't know if it was educating my palate or what, but after a dozen or so small batches and ltd releases, we tried Evan Williams, and it was the smoothest I had, had.
If I were drinking to get drunk, it definitely would be better to stick with the cheaper Bottled in Bond brands. But, drinking for flavors, I will probably stick with wines.
No. Bourbon's requirements are pretty much as follows:
Made with at least 51% corn in the mash bill
Aged in charred new oak barrels
Made in the United States
Distilled to a maximum of 160 proof (80% ABV)
Barreled at a maximum of 125 proof (62.5% ABV)
Bottled at a minimum of 80 proof (40% ABV) and a maximum of 150 proof (75% ABV)
No flavourings or colourings may be added
The bottled-in-bond designation mandates that brands clear numerous rigorous hurdles. The spirit must be aged for at least four years and bottled at precisely 100 proof (50% ABV). It must be made by one distiller at a single distillery in one season, then aged in a bonded warehouse.