I went to a proper liquor store and got over whelmed.
Can I get some bourbon and whiskey recommendations to get some idea of what to get next time?
Good, but you should probably bave mentioned the fact that while the rye is one of the best deals in mainstream rye, the bourbon is pretty shit tier and is best avoided except at dive bars when there's nothing better
If you like Bulleit's Rye then check out Rittenhouse. I'd say it is a stronger flavor and generally works better when used in a mixed drink.
get some rum, m8. captain morgan private stock or similar is good if you arn't used to liquor/don't know what you want. the sweeter taste makes it more palatable than whiskey and nobody will think youre a bitch for drinking it like they would a syrupy girl drink.
i prefer scotch, johnny walker black if I can swing it, but otherwise gentleman jack is a darn fine whiskey imo.
im no expert though, I just have several years of liquor under my belt and know what I like.
I'm a poor fag, so I tap out in the $50 range. I'm sure other whiskey drinkers will point you to the real top shelf stuff, but these are my favorites at the high mid and low ranges:
High: Noah's Mill
Mid: Jim Beam Black
Looooooow: Jeremiah Weed
You can get JW for 4 bucks per 750ml on a military base, always get the 90 proof.