Review: J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond Bourbon

Review: J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond Bourbon

It’s no secret that we now live in a world where a whiskey like Booker’s can almost double in price overnight. Thankfully, there are still some very good bourbons out there that don’t cost a whole lot of money. Referred to as “table bourbon,” these bottles are priced for frequent drinking (never more than $20 a bottle), are good enough to spare the mixer, and come from the same quality distilleries that turn out the increasingly more expensive bourbons we love. J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond is one such “table bourbon” worth seeking out.

This bourbon even comes with a little Kentucky history. It takes its name was a famed liquor wholesaler who, along with his half-brother George Garvin Brown, started in the later 1800s what would become Brown-Forman, makers of Old Forester, Woodford Reserve, and Jack Daniel’s. The last distillery to carry the J.T.S. Brown name is now Four Roses in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The brand is owned and distilled today by Heaven Hill Distilleries in Bardstown.

J.T.S Brown Bottled in Bond is a no age statement (NAS) whiskey, but it’s at least four years old by law. The youth is evident in its light gold color, but even more so on the nose where candy corn dominates all other aromas. The corn is there too on the palate, but thankfully not as much as the first whiff would suggest. The body is somewhat thin, but it carries cinnamon and a little toffee, plenty of gentle spice, and just the right amount of heat. On the finish, the cinnamon gives way to fading dark cherry notes.

A non-bonded version of J.T.S. Brown is also available (at 80 proof) for even less money, but a few extra dollars buys an exponentially better product with more flavor than whiskeys twice the price. It’s not widely distributed, unfortunately, but put this one on your shopping list if you’re ever in Kentucky.

100 proof.

A- / $15

J.T.S. Brown Bottled in Bond Bourbon




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.


  1. Paul C. on February 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    J.T.S. Brown is the brand Paul Newman’s character Fast Eddie drinks in The Hustler

  2. Drew Beard on February 7, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    You’re right, Paul. It’s JTS Brown’s only real claim to fame, but hey, could do a lot worse than the great Paul Newman!

  3. K. Rogers on June 25, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Ran across this bonded bourbon in Indiana for $11.99. Since I’ve had great success with other Heaven Hill BIB bourbons (Evan Williams, Heaven Hill) I gave it a try and was not disappointed. The trick is to give it a pour and then let it sit for 15 minutes. The difference is amazing and worth the wait. The somewhat sharp initial aroma is replaced with a wonderful sweet pecan roll vanilla nose and flavor.

  4. Barbara Taylor on July 20, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Bought some in Texas. My man loves it.

  5. Rob Moyer on August 31, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Heaven Hill bottled in bond so I thought I’d give this a try as I appreciate several options produced by Heaven Hill distillery. This is very drinkable but suggests an aged version of Mellow Corn. At this price point I would definitely recommend it.

  6. Jerry sunday on October 5, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    At under $13.00 this is better than many label driven “popular brands.Flavors suggest more years than the required 4 years.
    Not a McKenna 10 yr . but a great one to taste blind next to much more expensive bottles and listen to friends comments.

  7. Bob on October 14, 2019 at 9:24 am

    “No glass, no ice.”

  8. Zanotto on November 18, 2019 at 4:11 am

    JE cherche à acheter ce whisky comment ? Livraison en France

  9. Fred McGriff on April 24, 2020 at 8:46 am

    I compared this side by side with McKenna 10 year (both readily available in norther Indiana, btw). I swear it was the same product. Even my bourbon aficionado buddies couldn’t discern. The only difference is below:
    McKenna 10 year BiB = $39.96
    JTS Brown BiB = $10.99
    Same store, same day.

  10. Dave on May 22, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Why can’t you ship jts Brown to my address in Florida

  11. JT BARRON on July 31, 2020 at 12:55 am

    Where in Florida can I purchase it.?

  12. j Donking on October 1, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    We were Jim beam until a friend gave us jts brown its great

  13. Mike Yaden on March 11, 2022 at 1:49 am

    I have come across a bottle of Old J.T.S. Brown Kentucky Straight 100 proof Bourbon Whiskey. At the top of the label reads, Bottled in Bond Undr Government Supervision. Unfortunately I wasn’t the one that got to enjoy the taste. What was strange about discovering this bottle, is that for last 2 weeks prior to finding this bottle, I saw nothing but the Brown name stood out to me. Found in a wall under a tub. Crzy

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