There are a lot of great choices when weighing the best whiskeys under $30. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a good quality whiskey.
There are many different types of whiskeys at this price point, so you can find one that suits your taste. Whether you prefer a smoky whisky or a sweet one, there’s an affordable option for you.
Best Whiskeys Under $30
When it comes to the best whiskey under $30, there are many contenders, but these ten came out a head above the rest.
- Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
- Glenfiddich – Single Malt Scotch 12 year
- Maker’s Mark
- Bulleit Bourbon
- Knob Creek Rye
- Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Bourbon
- George Dickel Rye Whisky
- Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2013 Bourbon Whiskey
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
Few things are more iconic than a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 bourbon. For many, it is the epitome of Americana.
The bourbon is made in the same way it has been for centuries – with American white oak barrels and the deepest #4 alligator char. This process results in a bourbon that is perfectly aged and full of character.
The brand’s consistency with the expression makes Wild Turkey 101 a favorite among bourbon lovers for generations. And at just $25, it is an affordable way to enjoy a truly unique American experience.
Glenfiddich – Single Malt Scotch 12 year
If you’re looking for a great everyday Scotch, then the Glenfiddich 12-year is a great choice.
It’s light and citrusy, with just a hint of peat smoke. And at around $25 for a 750ml bottle, it won’t break the bank.
This Glenfiddich is made in the traditional way, using malted barley and pure Scottish water. It’s then aged 12 years in oak casks, giving it a rich and smooth flavor with notes of honey, oak, and fruit.
Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky whiskey that is aged for nine weeks in seared oak casks. This gives it a unique flavor profile that includes vanilla, caramel, and wood notes.
Maker’s Mark says that the barrels are rotated by hand to ensure proper exposure to the different temperatures around the rackhouse.
This adds consistency from barrel to barrel while setting Maker’s Mark apart from distillers who abandoned the practice long ago.
From there, the barrels spend a minimum of three hot Kentucky summers on the top of the rackhouse where the whisky expands through the wood, gaining color and flavor. The tasting panel determines when the whisky is ready to move to a cooler section, keeping it from maturing too quickly.
With all that effort, you’d think the bourbon would cost way more than $30. However, Maker’s Mark bourbon can easily be found at any major liquor retailer for only a little more than $20.
For its unique flavor profile, Bulleit Bourbon is a popular choice among bartenders and whiskey connoisseurs.
The bourbon is made with a high rye content, giving it a spicy flavor that is balanced by sweetness from the corn. The result is a smooth, complex spirit that can be enjoyed on its own or in various cocktails.
Bulleit Bourbon is also notable for its distinctive square bottle, which features a curved design and orange-colored label.
Bulleit Bourbon is sure to please if you’re looking for a new bourbon to add to your collection or a unique gift for a whiskey lover.
Knob Creek Rye
Knob Creek Rye is a 100 proof rye whiskey that pairs traditional rye spice with Knob Creek’s signature sweetness. Its high corn mashbill makes it perfect for the bourbon drinker looking to add a rye to their liquor cabinet.
Not to mention it was the winner of the 2016 World Spirits Competition, and was named that year’s World’s Best Rye.
The website describes the tasting notes as including caramel, bright ginger, and lingering menthol hints, with more herbaceous touches developing with the robust rye notes.
A good core of oak spice, too.Traditional rye spiciness, rich and mouth-coating, but not as overwhelming as some other rye whiskeys. Instead, there’s more development of vanilla, brown sugar, and soft butter notes.
Knob Creek Rye performs well in cocktails or can be enjoyed on its own neat or on the rocks.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Buffalo Trace bourbon is easily found for $25 at any major liquor store. Buffalo Trace Distillery is the oldest distillery in the U.S., and knows a thing or two about how to craft the perfect budget bourbon.
Just this year, the flagship bourbon has won multiple awards including a Double Gold from the 2022 TAG Global Spirits Awards, a Silver from the 2022 Denver International Spirits Competition, and a Gold from the 2022 International Spirits Challenge.
Buffalo Trace’s bourbon has a deep amber color and a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. The taste is pleasantly sweet with notes of brown sugar and spice, followed by oak, toffee, dark fruit, and anise. The finish is long and smooth with serious depth.
Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Highland Park is a highly regarded scotch brand and the Mangus Single Malt is no exception.
Highland Parks website tells the story of Magnus Eunson who was a church officer by day and a bootlegger by night. His first illicit still was set up more than 220 years ago in High Park in Kirkwall, Orkney.
The scotch has aromas of toasted cereal grain and preserved lemon balance a heathery plume of campfire smoke. On the palate, vanilla, citrus and chocolate lead to a smooth and gently smoky finish.
Magnus was awarded a Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Magnus pairs the distillery’s legendary lightly peated style with maturation in carefully chosen American sherry oak casks for a beautifully layered character- making this scotch a steal for $25.
Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Bourbon
Old Forester 100 Proof is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon that is bottled at 100 proof to maintain its distinct character. It is handpicked from select barrels, resulting in a bourbon that is spicy and robust.
Old Forester 100 Proof is a great choice for those who enjoy a higher-proof bourbon. It has a strong flavor that makes it really enjoyable in cocktails.
If you’re looking for bourbon on a budget that packs a punch, Old Forester 100 Proof is the one for you.
This bourbon also won gold at the 2019 Spirits Challenge for the best bourbon under 10 years old category. Just one award among many other accolades this Old Forester expression has garnered over the years.
George Dickel Rye Whisky
George Dickel Rye Whisky is one of the only ryes finished in the chilled charcoal-mellowed style that has made our whisky distinct. Distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN, George Dickel Rye is made from 95% rye and 5% malted barley.
This rye expression is described as spicy with an exceptionally smooth finish and is a great choice in classic cocktails like a Manhattan or an old fashioned.
George Dickel Rye has also received numerous awards, including a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2015 and a Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013.
The expression is bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV), with a mashbill of 95% rye, 5% malted barley.
The tasting notes from the George Dickel website describe the whiskey as having an aroma of rye grain, fresh mint, cassia bark, and flavors including nuts with notes of gingerbread and clove. The finish is exceedingly smooth and sweet.
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2013 Bourbon Whiskey
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2013 Bourbon Whiskey is a five-time “Whiskey of the Year” award winner.
After emigrating from Wales to Kentucky in 1783, Evan Williams established a distillery along the banks of the Ohio River.
The location of his eponymous distillery, situated on the banks of the Ohio River, is officially marked, declaring Evan Williams as Kentucky’s First Commercial Distiller.
Evan Williams has long been ranked as one of the world’s best-selling whiskey brands. This superior quality whiskey is carefully crafted using only the finest ingredients including a unique Single Barrel selection of premium bourbons aged in new American Oak barrels for a minimum of seven years.
The end result is a rich and complex whiskey with a deep amber color, caramel aromas and a smooth finish.
Whether you enjoy it neat, on the rocks or in your favorite mix, Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2013 Bourbon Whiskey is sure to please even the most discerning bourbon lover.
Best Whiskeys Under $30 – Conclusion
If you are looking for a quality whiskey at an affordable price, any of the whiskeys on this list would be a great choice. All of them offer a unique flavor profile that is sure to please even the most discerning drinkers.
So go ahead and pick up one (or two) of these bottles the next time you are out shopping – your wallet will thank you.