You might stop by here, where there is lots of bourbon info, including tasting notes:
More generally, some good things about bourbon are its affordability (most 'top-shelf' brands -- with a handful of exceptions, of course -- can be had for $50 or less) domestically, variety (not all bourbons contain the same ingredients -- most are flavored with rye, but some with wheat, and straight rye is a very close kin), and long traditions (most distilling families go back at least to Prohibition in the 1920s and '30s. For example, Heaven Hill's master distiller has always been a Beam, Buffalo Trace distilled DURING Prohibition, Jimmy Russell has been with Wild Turkey more than 50 years).
I'll suggest some 'mid-shelfers': quality whiskey that won't strain the purse-strings:
- Standard rye recipe bourbon: Wild Turkey 101 (or 8yo outside the U.S.), Jim Beam black label, Evan Williams Single Barrel, Old Forester
- Wheated recipe bourbon: W.L. Weller 12yo, Maker's Mark
- High-rye recipe bourbon: Old Grand-Dad, Bulleit
- Straight rye (more than 51% rye): Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond (100 proof), Wild Turkey
Any of these would be representative of its style, and there are examples both higher- and lower-priced to experience once you've determined which you prefer, in any.