Mixing Your Whiskey
I think it's about time to talk about the low balling of Whiskey. In that, what the general idea of how low quality you can go with a bourbon you plan on mixing for drinks and still make a drink that taste good. It's a serious subject since you don't want to mix in some very special single barrel extremely long aged bourbon for a mixed drink.
Bourbon is interesting in that you can go to the so-called "bottom shelf" and still find really great whiskeys that can be drank straight up if you want. For example, Very Old Barton 100 Proof runs about $11.99 to $13.99 and has more character and flavor than some "top shelf" bourbons like Maker's Mark. That's not to say it doesn't have a few rough edges, but it goes monumentally well in mixed drinks too.
Some other great value Bourbons are:
Old Grand Dad 100 proof
Old Weller Antique 107
Wild Turkey 101 (a personal favorite)
So you can get by buying cheaper bourbons if you're going to mix. But it doesn't necessarily mean you have to buy rotgut quality bourbon either. There are always some great values out there.
Kirkland brand stuff has surprised me in the past. Their vodka is manufactured by Grey Goose. They also have an anejo tequila that is really solid for the price. They're almost approaching Trader Joes in terms of store-brand shock value. I have to say though, for my money, I thought that Kirkland bourbon was pretty bad. It's made by Jim Beam, but it is not really good and is really rough around the edges.