The Best Canadian Whisky Under $20


A quality bottle of whisky is a hassle to find to begin with, let alone trying to find a suitable choice on a budget. When life throws you a Jackson, for those in the States, choose from our list of best Canadian whisky under $20.

We’ll be the first in line to admit that most cheap whisky is downright awful. But don’t worry, we won’t make you feel like you just grabbed a few drinks from the pump at your local gas station.

Canadian Club Whiskey

On average, Canadian whiskies tend to be a bit lighter and smoother than other whisky blends because they’re typically compiled of corn spirits, which provide the strain’s distinct flavor and color. Because of these attributes, Canadian whisky makes for a great budget buy.

It’s time to break any of those “brown vodka” opinions you’ve heard on Canada’s native liquor and give these best Canadian whiskies a try.

Black Velvet Reserve ($14)

Black Velvet Reserve

Black Velvet ages their Reserve Canadian whisky a minimum of eight years, which has aided the blend’s persistent popularity since the first batch was distilled in 1991. Although listed at $14, don’t be fooled by the price; this is still a great go-to among the best whiskies from our neighbor to the north. With powerful and complex notes of roasted nuts, pear, slight spice, and pepper among others, the medium–bodied spirit sports a smooth, mellow grain taste on its smokey finish.

Phillips Distilling Revel Stroke Pecan ($15)

Phillips Distilling Revel Stroke Pecan

It seems as if flavored whiskies have been popping up everywhere lately. But hey, if it gets people to enjoy one of man’s greatest past-times, all power to you as long as don’t go overboard. Phillips Distilling offers a whole collection of flavored whiskies, ranging from cinnamon, to pineapple, and our favorite – pecan. If you’re going to engage with an infused whisky, it might as well be one that host a rich nuttiness that’ll complement a whisky’s smokiness.

Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky ($17)

Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky

R&R was birthed during the Prohibition era, as Harry Hatch, who owned the Gooderham and Worts distillery and one of Canada’s most successful whisky entrepreneurs, distilled the first batch in Toronto. To go along with R&R’s rich history, their Reserve blend is reminiscent of higher-end whisky brands, boasting a honey toast and floral nose while being heavily influenced by spicy rye grain and oak barrels in its flavor. This one also works well as a lone wolf over ice or in a mixed-drink.

Canadian Club 100% Rye ($20)

Canadian Club 100% Rye

We’re all aware of Canadian Club. Their Reserve blend is a favorite amongst the budget bottles of Canadian whisky out there. Their reputation doesn’t end with one creation, though; Canadian Club’s 100% Rye won best whisk(e)y in the world in 2015 and is the cream of the crop when we’re talking the best cheaper Canadian whiskies. Crafted from whole grain rye grown in Alberta’s unforgiving countryside, this bottle offers a rich caramel and oak taste followed by a spicier finish than your typical Canadian whisk(e)y. Nonetheless, it retains that good old Canadian Club smoothness that’s best suited for life alone, or on ice.

(Note: Prices may eclipse $20 in some regions)

J.P. Wiser’s Rye Canadian Whisky ($20)

J.P. Wiser’s Rye Canadian Whiskey

This rye whisk(e)y managed to find the perfect median of complex and balanced, offering a smooth texture that crawls up the glass. Wiser’s rye is brimming with oak and toasted grain notes with an enduring rich toffee finish. Not only is this blend bold enough for life on the rocks, it’s also light enough to make any cocktail flourish.

Forty Creek Barrel Select ($20)

Forty Creek Barrel Select

As the most luxurious selection among the best Canadian whisky under $20, Forty Creek’s Barrel Select has been ranked the #1 tasting whisky in North America by discerning Whisky Judges in multiple years over the last decade, and has taken home some of the highest accolades possible for a whisky. While this blend is only under $20 in some regions, it’s close enough and so good that we had to include it. It offers a little bit of everything: smooth viscosity and mellow aftertaste while also touting a complex character. Each batch is distilled separately in small portions and aged in American White Oak barrels. Each bottle may offer a different experience; but a pleasant, rich earthiness nonetheless.

(Note: Prices may eclipse $20 in some regions)