Best Cheap Whiskeys of 2023: Quality Meets Affordability

Peng Lin

22 November, 2023

Embarking on a journey through the world of whiskey doesn't have to strain your wallet. In this blog, we're exploring the best cheap whiskeys that deliver on flavor, quality, and value. Whether you're a seasoned connoisseur or a curious newcomer, our curated list will guide you through an array of hidden gems and affordable classics. From the smoky peats of Scotland to the rich, smooth bourbons of Kentucky, we'll uncover how enjoying a good whiskey doesn't necessitate a hefty price tag. Join us as we delve into the world of budget-friendly whiskeys, where quality meets affordability.

Table Of Contents:

  1. How to Choose a Quality Cheap Whiskey
  2. Top 10 Best Cheap Whiskeys of 2023
  3. The Busker Triple Cask Irish Whiskey
  4. Rittenhouse Rye
  5. Evan Williams Single Barrel
  6. Old Bardstown Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  7. Alberta Prem Rye Dark Batch
  8. Four Roses Yellow Label Original Bourbon
  9. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky
  10. Old Grand Dad 114 Proof Bourbon Whiskey
  11. Two Stacks Dram in a Can (4-Pack)
  12. Solan - Number One
  13. Shepherd's - P'Nutty Peanut Butter Whiskey
  14. Old Forester - 86 Proof
  15. Jim Beam - Devil's Cut
  16. Lismore - Single Malt
  17. Evan Williams - White Label
  18. Final Thoughts

How to Choose a Quality Cheap Whiskey

Selecting a quality yet affordable whiskey is about knowing what to look for and trusting your taste. Here’s a condensed guide to help you find a great bottle without overspending.

Understand the Basics: Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash, aged in wooden barrels. Varieties include Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, and Rye, each with distinct flavors.

Price vs. Quality: Don't equate higher prices with better quality. Look for whiskeys with positive reviews or awards. Often, these are more reliable indicators of quality than price alone.

Age and Flavor: While age can affect flavor, it's not the only factor. Some younger whiskeys are complex and enjoyable. Read the label for aging information but remain open to trying different ages.

Read the Label: Labels provide useful information, including whether the whiskey is a single malt, blended, or small batch. This can guide you in understanding the whiskey's character and production style.

Tasting Notes: Look for tasting notes, either on the bottle or online, to get an idea of the flavor profile. Choose what appeals to your personal taste preferences.

Trust Your Palate: Ultimately, the best judge is your own taste. If possible, taste before you buy. Your preference is key – find what you enjoy, regardless of price or prestige.

With this approach, you can confidently choose a whiskey that is both enjoyable and budget-friendly.

Top 10 Best Cheap Whiskeys of 2023

In 2023, the world of affordable whiskey offers a diverse range of flavors and styles, ensuring there's something for every palate and preference. From smooth Irish blends to bold American bourbons and refined rye options, this list of the top 10 best cheap whiskeys showcases quality and affordability without compromise.

The Busker Triple Cask Irish Whiskey

Imagine a whiskey that takes you on a tour of Ireland's flavors. The Busker Triple Cask does just that. It's a charming blend where each sip tells a story: the single grain brings a gentle sweetness, the single malt adds depth, and the single pot still injects a touch of traditional Irish spice. The trio of casks - bourbon, sherry, and Marsala - each lend their unique whispers, creating a harmony that's both complex and comforting.

Rittenhouse Rye

Rittenhouse Rye feels like a bold declaration of what American rye whiskey can be. It's got a personality that's both spicy and sweet, a bit like a spirited debate between vanilla and pepper. Aged under the strict rules of the Bottled-In-Bond Act, this whiskey doesn't just promise quality, it delivers it in a glass, neat or in a cocktail.

Evan Williams Single Barrel

Each bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel is like receiving a personal gift from the distiller. The vintage-dated bourbon means you're savoring a specific year's craftsmanship. It's a bit like a time capsule, but instead of photos or letters, you get rich flavors of caramel and vanilla, with a backdrop of oak. It's a bourbon that invites contemplation.

Old Bardstown Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Old Bardstown feels like a tribute to the heart and soul of bourbon country. It's straightforward, honest, and unpretentious. Sipping it brings to mind images of the rolling hills of Kentucky. The bourbon itself is a warm embrace of caramel and vanilla, with just enough spice to remind you of its spirited heritage.

Alberta Prem Rye Dark Batch

Alberta Prem Rye Dark Batch stands out as a maverick in the world of Canadian whiskey. It's like a character in a novel who's traveled the world and returned home with exotic tales. The blend of rye, bourbon, and a hint of sherry wine creates a tapestry of flavors - sweet, spicy, and slightly fruity, all coming together in a smooth, memorable finish.

Four Roses Yellow Label Original Bourbon

Four Roses Yellow Label is like a friendly conversation among ten different bourbon personalities. Each of the distillery's recipes contributes its voice, resulting in a bourbon that's mellow, approachable, and versatile. It's the kind of whiskey that plays well in cocktails but also stands strong on its own, offering a harmony of fruit, floral, and honey notes.

Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky

Monkey Shoulder is like a breath of fresh air in the Scotch whisky world. It's a blend of three Speyside malts, and its name, a playful nod to a bygone era, reflects its modern, approachable style. It's as if it's saying, "Scotch can be fun too!" With flavors of zesty orange, vanilla, and spiced oak, it's equally at home in a glass with ice or shaking up a cocktail.

Old Grand Dad 114 Proof Bourbon Whiskey

Old Grand Dad 114 Proof is not for the faint-hearted. It's a bourbon with a robust personality, boasting a high proof that demands attention. The rye content brings a spicy kick, balanced by undercurrents of caramel and oak. It's like a spirited debate - intense, but ultimately satisfying and thought-provoking.

Two Stacks Dram in a Can (4-Pack)

Two Stacks Dram in a Can is a game-changer for whiskey enthusiasts who value convenience without sacrificing quality. It's a clever blend that combines different facets of Irish whiskey, from light grain to peated malt, all in a can. It's perfect for outdoor adventures, casual get-togethers, or whenever you want a fuss-free, quality whiskey experience.

Solan - Number One

Solan - Number One offers a glimpse into the enchanting world of Indian whiskies. Produced in the picturesque hills of Himachal Pradesh, it's a malt whiskey that's as smooth as it is intriguing. The blend of traditional whiskey flavors with a hint of tropical fruit creates a profile that's both familiar and exotic. It's like a delightful conversation with an old friend who's just returned from an adventure.

Shepherd's - P'Nutty Peanut Butter Whiskey

Indulge your adventurous side with Shepherd's - P'Nutty Peanut Butter Whiskey. It's a delightful fusion of rich peanut butter and smooth whiskey. This one's for those moments when you want to add a twist of fun to your drink. Whether you're crafting cocktails or in the mood for a sweet treat, it's like enjoying your favorite comfort food in a glass.

Old Forester - 86 Proof

Old Forester - 86 Proof is like the reliable friend who never lets you down. It's a bourbon that balances tradition with a smooth, approachable profile. Every sip offers a harmonious blend of oak, fruit, and spice, with just enough floral notes to keep things interesting. It's versatile enough for a cocktail but has enough character to be enjoyed neat.

Jim Beam - Devil's Cut

Jim Beam - Devil's Cut is like uncovering a hidden treasure. Using a special process to extract extra whiskey trapped in the barrels, it offers a deeper, more intense bourbon experience. It's bold, with a rich tapestry of vanilla, oak, and caramel - a whiskey that's not just tasted, but felt.

Lismore - Single Malt

Lismore - Single Malt is a whisper of Speyside elegance. It's a gentle introduction to the world of single malts, with a profile that's light and inviting. The fruity and floral notes, sweetened with a hint of honey, make it a delightful sipper, perfect for those who appreciate subtlety and grace in their whiskey.

Evan Williams - White Label

Evan Williams - White Label is a humble yet remarkable bourbon, embodying the essence of true craftsmanship without the fanfare. As a Bottled-In-Bond whiskey, it offers a robust 100-proof experience, balancing rich vanilla and oak flavors with subtle caramel and a hint of fruitiness. This bourbon is versatile and unpretentious, perfect for savoring neat, on the rocks, or as the backbone of a classic cocktail. It's the kind of unassuming whiskey that impresses with its quality and straightforward character, a true testament to the art of bourbon-making.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're a seasoned whiskey aficionado or a curious newcomer, these selections provide an excellent opportunity to explore the diverse world of whiskey without breaking the bank. Remember, the true value of a whiskey isn't always reflected in its price, but rather in the enjoyment and experiences it brings.

So, as you set out to try these exceptional whiskeys, embrace the adventure of discovery and the joy of tasting. Each bottle has something special to offer, and who knows, your new favorite whiskey might just be waiting for you among these budget-friendly gems. Here’s to finding that perfect pour that delights your palate and uplifts your spirit, all while keeping your wallet happy. Cheers to the wonderful world of whiskey!

Peng Lin

Peng Lin

Peng, a dynamic entrepreneur and founder of DKK, VIVA, and Liiton, has built customer-centric companies with three successful crowdfunding campaigns, skillfully developing unique products for style-conscious consumers while mastering product-market fit, and currently resides in Toronto with his family, continually pushing entrepreneurial boundaries.