It can be difficult finding quality whiskeys under $50. With so many brands and bottles to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.
To make matters worse, many of the “good ones” are priced astronomically. However, there are a few things that you can keep in mind that will help you find a quality whiskey without breaking the bank.
First, look for whiskeys that have been aged for at least 10 years. This will help to ensure that the flavor is well-rounded and mature.
Second, check the bottle for indications of quality, such as a seal of approval from a reputable organization. It can even be helpful to ask your trusted liquor store clerk for recommendations.
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find a quality whiskey that won’t break the bank.
The Top Choices for Whiskey Under $50
Some people prefer a sweeter whiskey, while others like their whiskey to be smokey. No matter what your preference is, there is a whiskey out there for you.
Here is a list of the 10 best whiskeys under $50, based on reviews from experts and users alike.
- Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey
- Jim Beam Rye Whiskey
- Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey
- Glenlivet 14-Year-Old Cognac Cask Selection
- Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
- The Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbon
- Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve
- Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey
- Oak and Eden Rye & Spire
- Highland Park 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey
Maker’s Mark is a small-batch bourbon whiskey produced in Loretto, Kentucky. It is bottled at 90 U.S. proof and sold in distinct squarish bottles sealed with red wax.
Maker’s Mark was introduced in 1958 and is 45% alcohol by volume. The whiskey is made from a mash bill of 70% corn, 16% red winter wheat, and 14% barley.
One of the recognizable features of Maker’s Mark is that it is dipped in red wax, which gives the bottle its iconic look. The wax also serves to seal the whiskey and prevent evaporation.
The nose of Maker’s Mark is predominantly woody oak, with hints of caramel, vanilla, and wheat. The taste is sweet and well-balanced, with essences of caramel, vanilla, and fruit. The finish is smooth and subtle.
Overall, Maker’s Mark is a solid, tried and true bourbon with a complex and inviting flavor profile.
Jim Beam Rye Whiskey
Jim Beam Rye is a pre-Prohibition style rye whiskey that pays homage to one of Beam’s oldest recipes and is distilled according to the same exacting standards that have governed the Jim Beam distillery for more than 200 years.
Today, it’s become a go-to for bartenders looking for a bolder take on whiskey with a smoother finish to complement the modern era.
The whiskey is marked by a warm, spicy kick and a bite of black pepper, all rounded out by hints of vanilla and oak.
It’s a great addition to classic and contemporary cocktails alike for a pre-Prohibition flavor. For $25, you can’t beat this option, especially when looking for a good whiskey for cocktails.
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey
From the moment you set eyes on a bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, you know it’s something special. This bourbon is hand-picked and bottled individually to give each bottle individuality.
The deep amber color is reminiscent of a fine cognac, and the single barrel designation guarantees that every drop is unique. But it’s the taste that really sets this bourbon apart.
The extra aging time results in a richer flavor profile, with pronounced notes of vanilla and oak balanced by a hint of sweetness.
At 120 proof, it’s got plenty of body to stand up to even the boldest cigar. Whether you enjoy it neat or on the rocks, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve will satisfy even the most discerning palate.
Glenlivet 14-Year-Old Cognac Cask Selection
This Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky has been aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon, sherry, and cognac casks.
The result is a rich and creamy spirit with notes of vanilla, toffee, pears, mandarin oranges, milk chocolate, and sultanas.
At 40% alcohol by volume, it is perfect for enjoying on its own or with a few drops of water. The Glenlivet is one of the most popular single malt Scotch whiskies in the world, and this particular expression is well worth the $45 price tag.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
Elijah Craig Small Batch is a premium Bourbon that delivers on both flavor and quality.
This Small Batch Bourbon has a rich and complex flavor profile that includes notes of vanilla bean, sweet fruit, and fresh mint.
The palate is smooth and warm, with pleasant woody undertones and accents of spice, smoke, and nutmeg. The finish is long and sweet, with a slight toasty character.
This bourbon can be found in liquor stores nationwide, for less than $30, and is bottled at 47% ABV. So, it will have a serious kick from the higher-than-average alcohol content.
The Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbon
The Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbon is a great value-for-money bottle, boasting loads of character and a full-bodied flavor profile. This particular bottling was distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2017 at 43.3% ABV. $45
On the nose, this bourbon smells of melted butter and caramel-coated popcorn, with a touch of spicy rye underneath.
On the palate, it tastes of white chocolate, apple, pepper, and runny toffee. The finish is buttery once again, with soft hints of cinnamon.
Overall, this is a great bourbon for those who want loads of flavor without spending a fortune. It would make a great addition to any home bar.
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve is a special edition blended Scotch whisky made in tribute to the partnership of Speyside and Highland whiskies.
It features just a hint of smokey embers from the West Coast, making it perfect for mixing with soda water, pouring over ice, and garnishing with an orange slice for an elegantly simple drink.
This top-trending Scotch whisky was recognized as one of the world’s best at the 2020 Drinks International awards. It is bottled at 40% ABV and retails for $49.99.
Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey
Jameson Black Barrel is a premium offering from Jameson Irish Whiskey. It is a more mature whiskey than its original counterpart, and it offers a richer flavor profile.
The whiskey is made with a blend of pot still and grain whiskeys, and it is aged for a minimum of 12 years in charred oak barrels. This lengthy aging process creates a deep, complex flavor that is perfect for sipping neat or enjoying in a classic cocktail.
Jameson Black Barrel is also slightly higher in proof than the original Jameson, making it a bolder choice for those who prefer their whiskey with a bit of a kick.
Black Barrel is a step up from the classic Jameson expression and offers a more intense flavor profile.
The amber hue is achieved through double-charring the barrels, and this also contributes to the butterscotch and maple notes in the perfume. On the palate, green apple, butterscotch, and mineral notes are evoked, with a salt caramel finish.
Black Barrel is bottled at 40% ABV and retails for $40. While it is more expensive than the classic Jameson expression, it is well worth the price for those who enjoy a more intense flavor profile.
Oak and Eden Rye & Spire
Oak and Eden’s Rye & Spire whiskey is a unique spirit, made with 95% rye and finished with a spire of charred American oak.
The addition of the oak spiral imparts a complex flavor profile to the whiskey, with notes of vanilla, coconut, and honey.
The whiskey is bottled at 45% ABV and retails for around $45, making it an affordable option for rye lovers. Whether you’re sipping it neat or using it in cocktails,
This is an interesting rye to have on your shelf, and definitely one of the best rye whiskeys under $50.
Highland Park 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Highland Park 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a world-renowned spirit that has regularly been celebrated in spirits competitions and recommended by whisky reviewers for its uncompromising quality and exquisite balance.
This amber scotch has a light, briny vanilla scent, and a silky feel. With aromas of creme brulee, tangerine, charred peach, and smoked kindling.
The flavor profile features heather honey, dried fruit, warm spice, and salty sea smoke, leading to a sultry finish of brown sugar and toasted nuts, with a hint of smoke.
The best part is that a scotch as highly regarded as Highland Park can be found easily and for just under $50.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality whiskey. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types and brands of whiskey.
You may find a new favorite that you didn’t expect. And, who knows? You might even save some money in the process.