Best Whiskey Under $50

Peng Lin

30 October, 2023

Whiskey is a beloved spirit enjoyed by people all around the world. Whether you're a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just beginning to explore the world of distilled spirits, finding the right whiskey at an affordable price point can be a delightful journey. In this article, we'll delve into the world of affordable whiskey and help you discover the best whiskeys under $50.

Whiskey is a beloved spirit enjoyed by people all around the world. Whether you're a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just beginning to explore the world of distilled spirits, finding the right whiskey at an affordable price point can be a delightful journey. In this article, we'll delve into the world of affordable whiskey and help you discover the best whiskeys under $50.

Table Of Contents:

  1. Top Picks – Whiskey Under $50
  2. Buffalo Trace 
  3. Evan Williams Black Label
  4. Scotch Whiskies
  5. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old 
  6. Ardmore Legacy 
  7. Irish Whiskeys
  8. Jameson Irish Whiskey 
  9. Powers Gold Label 
  10. Rye Whiskies
  11. Rittenhouse Rye 
  12. Bulleit Rye
  13. Blended Whiskey's
  14. Monkey Shoulder
  15. Bushmills Original
  16. Types of Whiskey
  17. Factors to Consider When Buying Whiskey
  18. Mixing Whiskey Cocktails
  19. Whiskey Tasting Tips
  20. Conclusion

Top Picks – Whiskey Under $50

Now, let's get to the exciting part: our list of the best whiskeys under $50. We've divided our recommendations into categories to cater to different tastes:

Bourbon Options

Bourbon enthusiasts can explore a diverse range of American whiskeys, each unique in flavor and character, from the sweet and caramel notes of Tennessee whiskey to the bold and robust profiles of Kentucky bourbons.

Buffalo Trace 

Buffalo Trace is a renowned American whiskey produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. This whiskey is known for its rich, complex flavors, featuring a balanced blend of sweet and spicy notes with a hint of caramel and vanilla. Buffalo Trace is crafted using a mash bill of corn, rye, and barley, and it is aged in new charred oak barrels to develop its distinctive taste. With a history dating back to the 18th century, Buffalo Trace is a beloved choice among whiskey enthusiasts, offering a classic and time-tested bourbon experience.

Evan Williams Black Label

Evan Williams Black Label is a well-regarded bourbon whiskey hailing from the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This expression is known for its smooth and mellow character, making it a popular choice for both sipping and mixing in cocktails. It's made from a corn, rye, and barley mash bill, aged in charred oak barrels, and boasts a rich flavor profile with notes of caramel, vanilla, and a gentle touch of oak. Evan Williams Black Label is often praised for its affordability and accessibility, making it a staple in the world of American bourbon. 

Scotch Whiskies

Scotch connoisseurs can explore a vast world of flavors, from the smoky and peaty Islay single malts to the elegant and delicate Lowland expressions, showcasing the diversity of Scotland's whisky regions.

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old 

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is a renowned single malt Scotch whisky produced by William Grant & Sons in Dufftown, Scotland. This classic Speyside whisky is aged for a minimum of 12 years in a combination of oak casks, resulting in a smooth and approachable flavor profile. It's characterized by its notes of pear, apple, malt, and a subtle hint of oak, with a touch of honey sweetness. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is often celebrated for its balanced and fruity nature, making it an excellent choice for those new to Scotch whisky and enthusiasts alike.

Ardmore Legacy 

Ardmore Legacy is a single malt Scotch whisky from the Ardmore distillery located in the heart of Speyside, Scotland. This expression is known for its smoky and peaty character, a trait not commonly associated with Speyside whiskies. Ardmore Legacy is made using traditional methods and aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-peated malt casks. It offers a unique flavor profile, with notes of peat smoke, honey, vanilla, and citrus. The smokiness of this whisky sets it apart from other Speyside malts, making it a compelling choice for those who appreciate a touch of smoky complexity in their Scotch. 

Irish Whiskeys

Irish whiskey enthusiasts can savor the smooth and approachable flavors of this classic spirit, known for its light, triple-distilled character, with options spanning from the rich and creamy to the fruity and complex.

Jameson Irish Whiskey 

Jameson is one of the most recognizable Irish whiskey brands in the world. Produced by the Irish Distillers subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, it's known for its triple-distilled, smooth, and approachable character. Jameson features a balanced flavor profile with notes of honey, vanilla, toasted wood, and a hint of fruit. It's a versatile spirit, enjoyed both neat and in various cocktails like the classic Irish Coffee. Jameson's popularity extends beyond Ireland, making it a beloved choice among whiskey enthusiasts worldwide.

Powers Gold Label 

Powers Gold Label is a distinguished Irish whiskey produced by the Irish Distillers, known for its rich and robust character. It's made from a combination of malt and grain whiskey and is aged predominantly in ex-bourbon casks. Powers Gold Label offers a complex flavor profile with notes of toffee, spice, dried fruit, and a subtle hint of oak. This whiskey has a loyal following and is celebrated for its bold and flavorful nature, making it a great representation of traditional Irish whiskey.

Rye Whiskies

Rye whiskey aficionados have the pleasure of savoring a spicy and distinctive spirit that ranges from the bold and peppery North American ryes to the smoother and fruitier expressions of Canadian rye.

Rittenhouse Rye 

Rittenhouse Rye is another well-regarded American rye whiskey, produced by Heaven Hill Distilleries. It's a straight rye whiskey, known for its high rye content and robust, full-bodied flavor. Rittenhouse Rye offers notes of caramel, spice, and a touch of dried fruit, with a long and warming finish. It has gained recognition among whiskey enthusiasts for its excellent value and is often used in cocktails that benefit from the complexity and spiciness of a high-quality rye whiskey, like the Sazerac or the Whiskey Sour.

Bulleit Rye

Bulleit Rye is an American whiskey produced by the Bulleit Distilling Company, known for its high-rye content and distinct spiciness. This rye whiskey is made from a mash bill that's 95% rye and 5% malted barley, resulting in a bold and flavorful spirit. It boasts notes of pepper, clove, and a hint of vanilla, making it a great choice for those who enjoy the spicier side of whiskey. Bulleit Rye is popular not only for sipping but also as a key ingredient in classic cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. 

Blended Whiskey's

Fans of blended whiskey can discover a harmonious marriage of various malt and grain whiskies, offering a balanced and approachable experience with profiles ranging from light and mellow to robust and complex.

Monkey Shoulder

Monkey Shoulder is a distinct blended malt Scotch whisky renowned for its well-balanced and approachable character. Crafted by William Grant & Sons, it combines notes of malted barley, honey, vanilla, and a subtle touch of oak, resulting in a smooth and mellow taste. This versatile whisky is equally enjoyable neat, on the rocks, or as a component in a wide range of cocktails. Its name pays homage to the history of maltmen who turned barley by hand, reflecting the whisky's commitment to quality and tradition. With its appealing flavor and mixability, Monkey Shoulder has become a popular choice among whisky enthusiasts and bartenders alike.

Bushmills Original

Bushmills Original is a distinguished Irish whiskey with a history dating back to 1608, produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland. It is known for its smooth and approachable flavor, featuring notes of honey, vanilla, malted barley, and a subtle fruitiness. Thanks to its triple distillation process, Bushmills Original boasts exceptional smoothness, making it an excellent choice for both newcomers and experienced whiskey enthusiasts. Its versatility in various drinking styles, from neat sipping to cocktails, has cemented its status as a classic Irish whiskey. This fine spirit reflects the rich heritage of the Old Bushmills Distillery, making it a favorite among those appreciating traditional Irish whiskey craftsmanship.

These selections offer excellent value for their respective categories, providing a range of flavors to suit various preferences.

Types of Whiskey

Before we dive into our recommendations, let's take a moment to understand the main types of whiskey:

  • Scotch Whiskey: Known for its diverse range of flavors, Scotch whiskey is typically produced in Scotland. It can be smoky, peaty, fruity, or even sweet, depending on the region and production methods.
  • Bourbon: A classic American whiskey, bourbon is known for its sweet and rich profile. It's primarily made from corn and aged in new charred oak barrels, giving it a distinctive taste.
  • Irish Whiskey: Often triple-distilled, Irish whiskey is known for its smooth and approachable character. It can range from light and floral to rich and complex.
  • Rye Whiskey: Rye whiskey, common in the United States and Canada, offers a spicier and more robust flavor compared to bourbon. It's a favorite in cocktails like the Manhattan.
  • Blended Whiskey: Blended whiskeys combine malt and grain whiskeys to create a balanced and approachable spirit. They often represent a great value.

Each type of whiskey has its unique characteristics, making it important to explore and find the one that suits your palate.

Factors to Consider When Buying Whiskey

When searching for the perfect whiskey under $50, consider the following factors:

  • Flavor Profile: Determine whether you prefer sweeter, smokier, spicier, or more delicate flavors.
  • Region: Explore whiskeys from different regions to experience the diversity in styles.
  • Aging Process: Understand how aging affects the whiskey's taste. Older doesn't always mean better; it depends on your preference.
  • Personal Preferences: Your taste is unique. Pay attention to the notes and flavors that resonate with you.

Quality whiskey can be found at various price points, and understanding these factors will help you make informed choices.

Mixing Whiskey Cocktails

For those who enjoy mixing cocktails, affordable whiskeys can be the perfect base for delicious drinks. Here are some whiskey cocktail ideas along with recipes:

  • Old Fashioned: A classic cocktail featuring whiskey, sugar, and bitters, garnished with an orange peel and a cherry.
  • Whiskey Sour: A refreshing mix of whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup, garnished with a lemon slice and a maraschino cherry.
  • Manhattan: A sophisticated cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, garnished with a cherry.

Whiskey Tasting Tips

To fully appreciate your whiskey, follow these tasting tips:

  • Use the Right Glassware: A Glencairn glass or a tulip-shaped glass can enhance the aroma and taste.
  • Add a Few Drops of Water: A drop or two can open up the whiskey's flavors.
  • Allow Whiskey to Breathe: Let it sit for a few minutes after pouring to let the aromas develop.


In conclusion, quality whiskey doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. With the right knowledge and preferences, you can find exceptional whiskeys under $50 that suit your taste. So, whether you're sipping it neat, on the rocks, or crafting your favorite whiskey cocktail, explore the diverse world of whiskey within your budget, and always enjoy responsibly. Cheers to your whiskey journey!

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.