Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Best Scotch Under $50: 7 Bottles of Affordable Whisky

A close up of a man's hand holding a highball glass with about two fingers of whiskey in it.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A fine bottle of Scotch whisky costs roughly around $300, maybe even run you under $50. What we’ve learned so far—through nonstop trial and error—is that price does not always correlate with the quality of spirit. Some of our favorite bottles of Scotch are great deals that you can get no matter where you are in the country. In setting out to write this piece, we wanted to know the perspective of someone in the Scotch whisky industry about bottles under $50, which is why we reached out to Cody Fredrickson of Las Vegas’ Scotch 80 Prime.

Fredrickson’s title at Scotch 80 is literally “Scotch Master.” So, right off the bat, we figured he knew what he was talking about when it comes to Scotch. Fredrickson is in charge of one of the largest collections of Scotch whisky in the world, the collective value of the bottles being right around $3 million. Nevertheless, he’s had some Scotch in his time. Below, you’ll find Fredrickson’s picks for the best Scotch under $50. Remember that the price of the bottle may vary slightly depending on where in the United States you are.

Then, when you’ve picked up a bottle or three, it’s time to learn how to make some essential Scotch whisky cocktails.

Related Guides

Glenmorangie Lasanta

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The name Lasanta comes from the Gaelic word for “warmth and passion.” The whisky is aged for 10 years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks and then extra-matured for two more years in ex-Oloroso and PX Sherry casks from Jerez. Expect warm spices mixed with orange and butterscotch.

Highland Park 12

A bottle and box of HIGHLAND PARK 12.
Highland Park

Smoky and sweet on the nose as well as the palate, this is the core of the Highland Park line. Named Viking Honour, it is an homage to the cultural history of Orkney (the Vikings, if you hadn’t picked up on that one), where the Scotch is made.

The Balvenie Double Wood 12

A bottle of Balvenie Double Wood 12 and the tin in which it is packaged.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Balvenie Double Wood spends the first decade of its life in ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads before being transferred and left for nine more months in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. Next, the whiskies are married in oak tuns for three to four months. The result is sweet fruit and honey on the nose, mellow spice and nuttiness on the palate, and a long finish.

Jura 10 Year

A bottle of JURA 10 YEAR and the copper tin it comes in.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Jura’s flavor comes not only from the 10 years spent in ex-bourbon casks (and time spent finishing in ex-Oloroso sherry casks) but the sea air that comes off the waters around the island. Pepper and dark chocolate on the nose lead to ginger and coffee on the palate.

The Macallan 12 Year

A bottle of The Macallan 12 Year and it's corresponding box packaging.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Matured exclusively in Oloroso sherry casks, this single malt whisky is full-bodied and redolent with vanilla and dried fruits. The body is a smooth blend of fruits, oak, and spice followed by a long finish. The Macallan 12 Year exhibits all of the hallmarks that make a sherry cask-aged whisky great.

Compass Box Oak Cross

A bottle and it's packagint of COMPASS BOX OAK CROSS.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A blend of whiskies from three single malt distilleries, all of the whisky is first aged in American Oak before being transferred to hybrid casks that feature heavily toasted French Oak heads. This results in a whisky with fruity elements and a toasted oak backbone.

Glen Moray Chardonnay Cask

A bottle and it's box packaging of GLEN MORAY CHARDONNAY CASK.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Coming out of the northernmost Speyside distillery, Glen Moray’s Chardonnay Cask finish is first aged in ex-bourbon casks before being finished for eight months in French Chardonnay casks. The resulting Scotch is light in color and character, with plenty of fruit notes that have an undercurrent of caramel sweetness to them.

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
The 7 Best Cocktail Shakers to Mix With in 2022
cocktail shakers

For the bartender, there's hardly a more important tool to have in the arsenal than the cocktail shaker. The tin vessel is so often where the magic happens, in which a host of ingredients become a singular, show-stopping drink.

Related Reading

Read more
The 7 Best Creatine Supplements for Men in 2022
best creatine supplements for men in 2020

Creatine supplements help give you the energy you need to max out on reps and really push yourself during a workout. Protein powder and creatine go hand-in-hand. Protein for men is essential if you want to grow muscle, but many men use creatine supplements to fuel their muscles and boost their workouts. These supplements work within your own muscle cells to improve strength, gain muscle mass, and recover faster. If protein shakes are your post-workout go-to, you need to make creatine supplements part of your pre-workout routine.

Creatine is found naturally in your muscle cells, so taking a supplement of creatine before a workout can help increase your performance and strength. Many athletes and bodybuilders add some form of creatine in their workouts, and it's one of the world’s most tested supplements. Taking creatine supplements increases the amount of phosphocreatine in your muscle cells, which then helps your body make more of a high-energy molecule called ATP. The increased levels of ATP in your muscles lead to better performance, quicker movements, and increased muscle growth.

Read more
The Best Affordable 40-Ounce Malt Liquor in 2022
best 40 oz roundup

Call it an understatement, but these are trying times. That being said, we need to find comfort where we can and one of the places that we can find comfort is in a forty-ounce bottle of booze.

Workhorses of the drinking world, forties offer not only a ton of alcohol for less than the price of a Frappuccino, but after making it through one, you'll have a good buzz to boot. Sure, the quality of the booze may not be the best, but again, these are trying times and sacrifices must be made.

Read more