Liquor Laboratory

15 Best Whiskey Bottles Under $50: Tasted & Ranked (2024)

Best Whiskey Under 50

Last Updated on March 9, 2024 by Lydia Martin

For the last few years, dozens of new whiskeys have been on the market, making it more challenging to choose the right bottle and spend money without disappointment. 

It gets harder to decide, especially if your budget is limited.

Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are the best whiskey under $50 worth trying.

Top 15 Whiskeys Under $50 You Shouldn’t Miss 

15. Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey

Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey, best whiskey under $50

Average Price: Roughly $41.97 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 41.5% ABV

Why We Like It: Sagamore Spirit Rye whiskey combines two straight rye whiskeys aged four to six years in American oak barrels. 

It is a classic Maryland-style rye whiskey we enjoyed neat because of its well-rounded flavor. 

Sagamore Spirit Rye whiskey boasts captivating and complex vanilla bean, nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey aromas. 

This rye whiskey has a smooth mouthfeel packed with molasses and caramel up front and a peppery kick at the end.

We noticed the zesty and refreshing rye spiciness on the finish. 

14. Chattanooga Straight Bourbon Whiskey 91 Proof

Bottle of Chattanooga Whiskey 91 and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $36.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45.5% ABV

Why We Like It: Chattanooga Straight bourbon whiskey features four grains on its mash bill, including three specialty malts.

It is matured in two different oak barrels for a distinct character [1]. 

As we opened the bottle of bourbon, we noticed the rich caramel and sweet, honeyed toast aroma of the whiskey.

The malty character harmonizes with the rich mouthfeel of the whiskey. 

We appreciate the hints of sweet tea, vanilla, dried apricot, brown sugar, and well-balanced spicy notes on the palate.  

13. Wild Turkey 101

Close Up Shot of Wild Turkey 101 Bottle

Average Price: Roughly $26.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50.5% ABV

Why We Like It: Our love for high rye bourbon led us to Wild Turkey 101, an affordable but solid pour you should not miss. 

Wild Turkey 101 has a lovely flavor profile of vanilla, caramel, dried fruit, oak, citrus, and honey on the nose and palate. 

While bottled at 101 proof, the spicy bourbon whiskey under $50 is ideal for sipping neat.

We tried it in Old Fashioned, a classic cocktail, and the palate profile of the American whiskey did not disappoint. 

12. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Woodford Reserve Whiskey on a Table

Average Price: Roughly $39.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45.2% ABV

Why We Like It: Woodford Reserve is one of the best bourbon whiskeys you should try if you want a solid pour that will not break the bank. 

The lovely bourbon has a perfectly balanced taste that compromises more than 200 flavor notes, from floral to bold grains [2]. 

We are impressed with the hints of oranges, mint, cocoa, and vanilla on the aroma of the whiskey.

It has a faint tobacco spice, caramel, and complex flavor of citrus and cinnamon on the palate. 

11. Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey 

Bottle of Nelson's Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey  and a Glasses

Average Price: Roughly $32.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45.5% ABV

Why We Like It: Nelson’s Green Brier whiskey is an excellent choice if you are looking for a Tennessee whiskey packed with complex flavor and spices. 

The whiskey has won different awards from various international American whiskey competitions because of its excellent flavor profile. 

“It [Nelson’s Green] has a strong backbone with complex yet subtle layers. This whiskey is perfect for citrus-based cocktails or shooting straight after a long day.”

– Adam Morgan, Bar Manager

The mash bill contains malted barley, corn, and wheat, giving robust brown sugar, caramel, apple, cocoa, cinnamon roll, and black cherry. 

10. Seagram’s 7 Crown Blended Whiskey

Seagram's 7 Crown Blended Whiskey Bottle and a Shot Glass

Average Price: Roughly $15.91 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Seagram is one of the best blended American whiskeys bottled with well-balanced and excellent-tasting notes. 

Seagram boasts a creamy vanilla finish and sweet taste that can stand against popular whiskey brands. 

Aside from its alluring and crisp aroma, we like the strong kick it offers in every sip. You can sip it neat and with ice, but it impressed us in cocktails. 

9. Jameson Irish Whiskey

Jameson Irish Whiskey Bottle and Mustardy Sausage Rolls

Average Price: Roughly $31.49 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: If you are looking for an Irish whiskey you can drink nicely neat, on the rocks, and in cocktails, Jameson Irish whiskey ticks all the boxes because of its versatile flavor profile. 

Jameson Irish whiskey is triple distilled, giving its signature smoothness. It lends hints of floral fragrance, black pepper, and spicy wood nose. 

The right balance of vanilla, nutty, and pepper makes it enjoyable and easy to drink. 

8. Old Forester 86 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Old Forester 86 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $24.83 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV

Why We Like It: Old Forester bottled at 86 proof, delivers a delightful bourbon experience for its smooth character and rich, bold flavor profile. 

The straight bourbon offers flavors like floral, mint, tobacco, vanilla, and pine on the nose.

The pine and oak are sharp at the first sip but soften quickly as sweet corn and orange tickles. 

The bourbon whiskey tastes excellent and has won various gold awards for its promising and delectable tasting notes. 

7. Michter’s US★1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Michter’s US-1 Bourbon Bottle and a Glass on with liquor Bottles on the Background

Average Price: Roughly $49.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45.7% ABV

Why We Like It: Michter’s US★1 is a small batch bourbon made from carefully selected mash bill and premium corn.

Michter’s US★1 small batch bourbon boasts consistent mellow and earthy tasting notes compared to other small batches. 

The small-batch bourbon is made in limited quantities and has been a crowd favorite because of its smoky depth, stone fruit notes, and oaky finish. 

The bottles of Michter’s US★1 small batch can be enjoyed on the rocks and in cocktails because they can elevate the taste of classic cocktails. 

6. Old Overholt Bonded Rye Whiskey

Old Overholt Bonded Rye Whiskey Bottle on a Table

Average Price: Roughly $28.07 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: Old Overholt Bonded Rye is a bottle-in-bond rye whiskey that follows the BiB Act of 1897 [3].

It is distilled from a single distillery and season, then aged for at least four years.  

Oak, grain, corn, and vanilla were immediately noticed as we opened the bottle. We appreciate the lightness and sweetness of the best rye whiskey. 

Old Overholt Bonded Rye has the right spice, char, wood, and lingering heat. 

5. Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey

Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $48.88 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It: If you want a whiskey packed with a nice punch and rye, Basil Hayden Dark has a nice blend of whiskeys despite their distinct taste. 

The aroma is filled with oaky hints of molasses and dark berries.

The complex and rounded mouthfeel is a crowd-favorite with lingering rye spice and fruity finish. 

4. Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Close Up Shot of Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Average Price: Roughly $49.99 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon whiskey has an excellent taste that you will want to savor repeatedly. 

It has a surprisingly smooth and delicate finish compared to other single barrels.

Four Roses Single Barrel has won various accolades for being a great-tasting single-barrel bourbon. 

As we opened the bottle of Four Roses, we were greeted with a cocoa, pear, and maple syrup aroma.

The hints of ripe cherries and plums are present in every sip. 

Four Roses single barrel bourbon bottles are best enjoyed straight up and on the rocks. 

3. Old Grand Dad 114 Proof Bourbon Whiskey 

Old Grand Dad 114 Proof Bourbon Whiskey Bottle and a Glass on Wooden Table

Average Price: Roughly $30.48 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 57% ABV

Why We Like It: Old Grand Dad is a full-proof version of rye-tinged bourbon whiskey, and we are surprised with its sweetness, considering the strength of the bourbon. 

As part of our tasting, we leave the bourbon whiskey for four minutes in the glass, and the initial alcohol aroma subsides. 

The spicy orange-berry is evident on the nose, and it boasts tobacco, a sweet taste, and plenty of rye in every sip. 

2. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey

Bottle of Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $26.76 per 750 ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Whether you are a Non-whiskey drinker, novice, or enthusiast, you surely have heard of Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Tennessee whiskey-one of the most iconic whiskey in the world [4]. 

Aside from being a famous bottle of whiskey, Jack Daniel’s is known for its mellow smoothness.

It is charcoal mellowed using a 10-ft sugar maple charcoal before maturation in handcrafted barrels. 

You can enjoy it neat and on the rocks, but most of our team members like it with coke because it blends great. 

1. Bulleit Rye

Bottle of Bulleit Rye

Average Price: Roughly $29.99 per 750 ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV

Why We Like It: If you want a versatile whiskey under $50, Bulleit Rye will not disappoint because you can enjoy it on its own, with ice, or use it as a base liquor in mixed drinks. 

The straight rye has a soft mouthfeel, cherry notes, and mild tobacco that hits first. 

In addition, the unparalleled spices and complexity of the straight rye are remarkable, especially in concoctions, as they can elevate the taste of the drinks. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are the best whiskeys under $50 worth it?

Absolutely, many whiskeys under $50 offer exceptional value, providing a diverse range of flavors and characteristics without breaking the bank.

Numerous reputable brands produce high-quality expressions within this price range, making it accessible for both seasoned enthusiasts and those exploring the world of whiskey.

Can you drink the best whiskey under $50 straight?

Certainly, many of the best whiskeys under $50 are crafted with a smooth and approachable profile, making them suitable for sipping neat.

These whiskeys often boast well-balanced flavors, offering a delightful experience without the need for mixers or additional ingredients.

Exploring different expressions within this price range allows individuals to find options that align with their taste preferences for enjoying straight.

Which is the best affordable whiskey?

Determining the “best” affordable whiskey is subjective, as it depends on individual taste preferences. However, several brands offer excellent options under $50.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon, for example, is often praised for its complexity and value. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon is another well-regarded choice, known for its rich and full-bodied character. Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is also a popular and accessible option, providing a smooth and versatile drinking experience.

Exploring different brands and expressions within the affordable range allows consumers to find the whiskey that best suits their palate.

What is the smoothest whiskey to drink straight?

Identifying the smoothest whiskey for straight consumption can be subjective, as individual preferences vary. However, some whiskeys are known for their smooth and mellow profiles, making them enjoyable when sipped neat.

Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch and Jameson Irish Whiskey are often praised for their smoothness and approachability. Maker’s Mark Bourbon is another well-known option, appreciated for its soft and balanced character.

Exploring various styles, such as bourbon, Scotch, or Irish whiskey, allows individuals to discover the smoothest whiskey that aligns with their personal taste preferences for sipping straight.

What is the smoothest whiskey sold?

Identifying the absolute smoothest whiskey is subjective as preferences vary, but some renowned options appreciated for their smooth profiles include Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, often praised for its mellow and approachable character, and Michter’s US*1 Bourbon, celebrated for its velvety texture and balanced sweetness.

What is considered cheap whiskey?

The term “cheap whiskey” generally refers to affordable options that don’t compromise entirely on quality.

Whiskeys in the $10 to $30 range are often categorized as budget-friendly or inexpensive, offering a range of flavors and styles without a hefty price tag.

What is the #1 ranked whiskey?

Rankings can vary based on personal taste and preferences, but as of my last knowledge update in January 2022, various whiskeys have been highly acclaimed.

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon, Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask, and Glenfiddich 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch are often considered among the top-tier whiskeys, each praised for its exceptional craftsmanship and unique flavor profile.

Is Chivas Regal a good whisky?

Chivas Regal is widely regarded as a good whisky, known for its smooth and well-balanced blended Scotch expressions.

Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, in particular, is praised for its rich and mellow character, featuring a blend of single malt and grain whiskies that contribute to its complexity and approachability.

The brand’s commitment to quality has established Chivas Regal as a respected name in the world of Scotch whisky.

Is Glenfiddich a good whisky?

Indeed, Glenfiddich is considered a good whisky and is one of the most recognized Single Malt Scotch brands globally. Glenfiddich offers a diverse range of expressions, with the 12 Year Old often serving as an introduction to its offerings.

Known for its fruit-forward and well-balanced profile, Glenfiddich whiskies, including the 18 Year Old and 21 Year Old, have received acclaim for their craftsmanship, contributing to the brand’s esteemed reputation in the world of Scotch whisky.

What is the difference between Scotch and whiskey?

The primary distinction lies in geography and production;

Scotch is a type of whiskey made in Scotland, adhering to specific regulations, while whiskey, a broader category, encompasses spirits produced globally.

Scotch must be distilled and aged in Scotland, typically using malted barley, and follows specific maturation requirements, contributing to its unique flavor profile.

Which whiskey is best for taste?

Determining the “best” whiskey for taste is subjective, as individual preferences vary widely.

Some well-regarded options known for their diverse and appealing flavor profiles include Buffalo Trace Bourbon, admired for its complexity; Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, appreciated for its smooth and fruity character; and Maker’s Mark Bourbon, recognized for its soft and approachable taste.

Which whiskey has no smell?

Whiskey inherently has a smell due to its complex combination of aromas derived from the grains, fermentation, distillation, and aging processes.

However, lighter and more neutral-smelling whiskies, such as some blended Scotch whiskies or delicate Irish whiskies like Jameson, may have less intense aromas compared to heavily peated or smoky options.

What is a beginner whiskey?

Beginner whiskies are often those with approachable profiles, smoother textures, and balanced flavors that cater to individuals new to the world of whiskey.

Examples include Glenfiddich 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, offering fruitiness and a touch of oak, and Jameson Irish Whiskey, known for its smoothness and versatility.

Bourbon options like Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace are also popular choices for beginners due to their sweetness and milder characteristics.

Which is the softest whiskey?

Identifying the softest whiskey is subjective, as it depends on individual taste preferences, but some whiskies are known for their smooth and gentle profiles.

Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch is often praised for its soft and approachable character, featuring notes of orchard fruits and floral elements.

Additionally, Canadian whiskies like Crown Royal Deluxe are recognized for their smoothness, making them suitable for those seeking a milder and easy-drinking whiskey experience.

On A Final Note About Best Whiskey Under $50

There are many exciting whiskeys in circulation, but if you are on a budget, the whiskeys listed above are good value for money. 

After careful deliberation and tasting, Bulleit rye is the best whiskey for under $50. It has an exceptionally smooth taste with a complex profile and lingering finish. 

In addition, Jack Daniel’s OId No. 7, Old Grand Dad, and Four Roses bourbon are also worth trying. You can have them neat, on the rocks, and in mixed drinks. 


  1. The Effects of Aging on Liquor
  2. Over 200 Individual Flavors Can Be Identified in Woodford Reserve. Here’s How.
  3. What Does Bottled-In-Bond Mean?
  4. Enslaved Black Man Created World’s Most Popular Whiskey
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