Scott Gold is the author of The Shameless Carnivore. He occasionally tends bar at Char No. 4in Brooklyn, NY, a restaurant serving over 150 American whiskeys. Find Scott's list of affordable spirits here.
Whiskey is distilled from grain and is aged in barrels. Bourbon is made with a combination of grains. By law, bourbon must consist of no less than 51% corn and nor more than 79%. It also contains rye, wheat, malted barley.
Some American whiskeys that Scott recommends include:
Makers Mark - 6 year old wheated bourbon
Basil Hayden's - 80 proof bourbon
Buffalo Trace George T. Stag - 143 proof bourbon
Char No. 4
196 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11201