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Ranked: 5 popular Scotch whisky bottles (all under $50)

There are deals to be found in the Scotch whisky world

A trio of whiskies
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If you’re new to whisky, the phrase “budget Scotch whisky” might seem like an oxymoron on par with jumbo shrimp, dull roar, or working vacation. But it isn’t. Sure, you can spend an awful lot of money on one bottle of long-aged, complex single-malt Scotch whisky, but you can also find myriad value single malts and blended Scotch whiskies well worth adding to your home bar.

For those new to the spirit, Scotch whisky (only the US and Ireland use the ‘e’ in whiskey) is an aged spirit made from malt, grain, or a mixture of malt and grain whiskies. Also, since it’s called ‘Scotch, ‘ that should let you in on the fact that, like bourbon, Scotch whisky must be produced in Scotland.

Where to find budget Scotch whisky

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As we previously mentioned, there are deals to be found in the Scotch whisky world, you just have to know where to look. There are various reasonably-priced bottles, especially in the 10 and 12-year-old range when it comes to single malts, and a ton of budget-blended Scotch whiskies perfect for mixing in your favorite cocktails or sipping neat.

5 fan-favorite budget Scotch whisky bottles

Monkey Shoulder
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Now that you learned a little bit about Scotch whisky, it’s time to find some budget-friendly bottles worth adding to your home bar or bar cart. Since we’re in the business of helping make your drinking journey as easy as possible, we did the work for you. Below, you’ll find five of the best fan-favorite budget Scotch whisky bottles. Keep scrolling to see them all.

5.) Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Whisky

Cutty Sark Prohibition
Cutty Sark

This bold, mixable, blended Scotch whisky was created to pay homage to Bill McCoy, the famous Prohibition-era alcohol smuggler and rum runner. This award-winning whisky is known for its nose of honey, candied orange peels, and vanilla. Sipping it reveals notes of vanilla, oak, orange peels, sticky toffee, and cracked black pepper. It’s 100-proof, guaranteeing it will stand up in your favorite cocktail even with the most flavorful ingredients.

4.) The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky

The Glenlivet 12
The Glenlivet

When it comes to single malt whisky, there aren’t many names more well-known than The Glenlivet. The brand’s flagship expression is The Glenlivet 12. Matured for a total of twelve years in a combination of traditional and American oak barrels, this beloved expression is known for its nose of caramelized pineapple, wildflowers, honey, and vanilla. Drinking it neat brings you flavors like vanilla beans, orchard fruits, ripe peaches, honey, and rich oak.

3.) Monkey Shoulder Blended Whisky

Monkey Shoulder
Monkey Shoulder

A favorite of drinkers and bartenders alike, Monkey Shoulder is a blend of Speyside whiskies aged between three and twelve years. The nose is a mix of vanilla beans, clover honey, sticky toffee pudding, wildflowers, heather, baking spices, and oaky wood. The palate is a symphony of candied orange peels, brown sugar, barley, caramel candy, gentle spices, and oak. Monkey Shoulder is the kind of bargain Scotch whisky you’ll always want to have on hand for mixing and rainy-day sipping.

2.) Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky

Laphroaig 10

No list of budget-friendly Scotch whiskies would be complete without at least one expression from Islay. If you didn’t know it already, the island off the coast of Scotland is well-known for its peat-smoked whiskies. One of the best value bottles is Laphroaig 10-Year-Old. Made with peat-smoked barley, it’s matured for at least ten years in ex-bourbon barrels. The result is a highly complex sipping whisky that begins with a nose of ocean brine, peat smoke, vanilla, and spices. The palate is filled with notes of salted caramel, vanilla beans, gentle spices, fruit, and a ton of robust peat smoke.

1.) Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Whisky

Johnnie Walker Black Label
Johnnie Walker

When it comes to popular budget-friendly Scotch whiskies, there’s no beating the value-to-quality ratio of Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Whisky. This well-priced mixer and sipper is a blend of single malt and single grain whiskies that are all at least twelve years old. Before your first sip, you’ll be greeted with a nose of dried fruits, vanilla, and gentle spices. The palate is a nice mix of wintry spices, vanilla beans, sweet treacle, dried fruits, and oak. This classic expression is a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast.

Bottom line

Whiskey bottles
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Finding the best budget-friendly Scotch whisky expressions is all about your taste. If you enjoy mixable blended Scotch whiskies, you have a lot more to choose from. If single malt whisky is your game, you’ll have to take more of a deep dive in your search.

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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