This Campbeltown whisky finishes with a balance of first-fill bourbon and Pedro Ximenez (sweet) sherry casks, intermingling an almost fudgy fruitiness with vanilla, and a drying oaky spice. This is a perfectly serviceable sipper with a few rocks, or even neat, if you prefer. The average price is $42 or less, and it is distilled in the Speyside. Even though the whiskies involved are 100 percent malts, they’re not all from Scotland. Tamdhu first opened in the late 19th Century but was shuttered in 2010, making a comeback at the Spirit of Speyside festival in 2013. This is the sort of dram I know I can order (always on the rocks) when I’m not really sure what I want and know I’ll get something supremely satisfying. We've wondered that too. Best Scotch under $50 With $50 to spend, you should be able to buy yourself a nice Scotch . Good for cutting your teeth on, or coming back to again and again. But if you just want something to sip on your own, with the significant other or with close friends that will let you feel the satisfaction of having bought a great scotch without paying too much, by all means, check out our list of the 8 best scotches under $50. Read the tasting notes to find a bottle that hits the flavor notes you love, deep freeze a few ice cubes, and enjoy! ... Laphroaig’s 10-year-old scotch is slightly sweet with a luxuriously silky body and an oceanic finish. This blend is Scotland in a bottle. The end holds onto the sweetness of those fruits then fades quickly towards an earthy final note. It also serves as a gateway to the long list of bottles in the higher reaches of Johnnie Walker’s line. It’s 67 percent Highlands, Speyside, and Islay married to 33 percent Lowland whiskies aged in first-fill and refill bourbon, first-fill and refill sherry, and finished in specialty French oak. This hits enough of those creamy, bourbony notes to drink with a few rocks. Say “Laphroaig” to a group of whisky friends and you may divide the room—you’ll get unembarrassed peat and coastal notes here, smoke, salinity, Band-Aid, black pepper. There’s a clear spicy Christmas cake nose that’s cut with a slice of lemon and a dash of black pepper. Most bartenders will automatically use this as a mixer. bourbon, port, sherry). $50 to $75 1. And come back they did, with a bottle bursting with complexity, light fruit, citrus and spice on the nose along with some richer fruit/toffee notes on the palate, and just the tiniest, palate-cleanse of smoke on the finish. So not only are you saving money, but you’re also getting something intriguing but not as…aggressive, as other, more expensive bottles from the same distillery. The palate embraces the spiciness while adding a hint of caramel, malts, orange oils, and dried bouquet garni (herbs) on the tongue. But that’s only a small section of the blended scotch category. The 12 in the name means that is has been aged in oakwood barrels for 12 years, which gives it a really rich and smooth taste. Best Peaty Scotch for Price: Ledaig 10 Year; Best Scotch to Drink Around a Campfire: Laphroaig Quarter Cask; Best Scotch to Pair with Food: Caol Ila 12; Best Rum-Cask Scotch: The Balvenie Caribbean Cask But for the price, their 15-year-old expression really is a winner. They’re also all easily accessible in most U.S. markets — on liquor store shelves or via delivery (just click on the price). This is a very easy sipper and bridges the old-school Scotch single malts with newer Virginia whisky-making. It was recreated from the whisky that Sir Ernest Shackleton took to Antarctica in the early 1900s. ... Aultmore 12 Year Old. Aultmore is one of those wonderful, lesser-known Speyside gems that is well worth seeking out. Its 12-year-old expression premiered in 1979, and in 2006, as part of a rebrand, the 18 and 25 years were added to the lineup. But the 12 year is a medium-peated Islay, with smoke and sea spray on the nose intermingling with florals and light citrus, and a sweetness that balances any iodine character. ... this 12-year-old vintage blend deserves your full attention. On the other end of the Speyside style, richer and Sherry-finished, you’ll get luscious fruit flavors, buttery and smooth with notes of toffee, vanilla, and dark dried fruits. The palate definitely delivers on that with a sweet sense of honey, a touch of citrus, and creamy vanilla pudding body and taste. Single Malt just means the whisky is 100% malted barley and the product of one distillery. An iconic Islay Scotch, bursting with peat and salinity. Yes, You Can Buy a Good Scotch Whisky for Under $50 BenRiach 10 Year Old. That alone is a good conversation starter for a true throwback blend. The juice is a blend of around 40 whiskies that are each aged for a minimum of 12 years. Best Whiskey Under $50 Click here to browse our full list of reviews! Browse the top-ranked list of Scotch Under $50 below along with associated reviews and opinions. There’s a plummy nature that’s counterpointed by a subtle yet clear peaty smoke on the nose. So it’s not a single malt. The distillery has been around for over 200 years, and this bottle has become something of a staple at every bar you visit. Citrus and orange peel are pronounced on the nose of this Scotch, “like an Old... 3. Life feels very complicated right now, we’re keeping this list simple. Notes of orange, cacao, creamy vanilla, and a hint of peat mingle on the nose and draw you in. While Chivas is a real powerhouse in South, East, and Southeast Asia, it’s regaining much-deserved popularity back in the U.S. Another Highlands Scotch, the Aberfeldy 12 is another sweetly approachable single malt—honey with a hint of dried light fruits and super subtle smoke on the nose, with a smooth, slightly fruity body that finishes smooth and dry. Unless Nick Offerman or Brian Cox is drinking it. Yes, some of it is literally blended to be a mixer, especially for highballs (a combination of whisky, fizzy water, and ice). Many whiskies—and many single malt Scotches—are “finished,” which is to say aged for a briefer period of time in a previously used cask (e.g. The sip carries on with those notes as a foundation and adds a fatty roasted nut edge, with plenty of malts and a nice dose of peppery sharpness. The extra three years this blend gets in the barrel adds a nice depth that speaks to how good blended scotch can be while still being affordable. Not devoid of sweetness, but only as a background balancer. It’s also a steal at under $30 a bottle (pending your state’s taxes, of course). The GlenDronach Original 12 Year. Twelve years is the benchmark for many distilleries, most of which have an entry-level whisky aged for this amount of time. The end result is a blend that’s specifically dialed in to be sipped not mixed (Red Label is Johnnie Walker’s mixing blended scotch). Instead, a softer whisky, a bit buttery with hints of caramel and nuts balanced by freshening citrus and apple flavors. Ardbeg 10 Year Old. Otherwise, it’s a social drink, meant to be enjoyed, savored, chewed up and swallowed down with relish, and maybe a tall tale to follow. Highland Park 12-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky $45 Gold, International Wine & Spirits Competitions 2017 Widely considered to be one of the best single malts for the money, Highland Park 12 is a brilliant combination of mild smoke and brine with … But it’s really the conversation about Antarctica it opens up that’s the star of the show. This is one of those blends that can lead to an “ah-ha” moment when you realize how great and complex these bottles can be on the rocks or with a drop or two of water. The vast majority of expressions are created, at least in part, as sippers — either neat or on the rocks. Everything a standard-issue scotch should be, this manages to be sweet but sultry, silky smooth yet somehow warm as the home hearth. Best Under $50: Bowmore 12 Year Old . I’d argue it’s perfectly suited for an “on the rocks” order if you want a nice mix of berry sweet with mild peat smoke. This list catalogs all of the different kinds of whiskey that we have reviewed so far, ordered by rating and price. Purchase: ~$47. Buy on Drizly Buy on ReserveBar. This is a classic blend that harkens back to simpler times in whisky without losing any beauty in its juice. Laphroaig Quarter Cask - £36.95 ($47.50); Another heavily smoked affair. Apples covered in caramel and walnuts mix with a bit of sherry jamminess on the nose. Another unapologetically peated Islay, and a great value for all the complexity. Really, Scotch shouldn’t be intimidating at all. The 12-year-old bottling is a part of the brand’s core range of whiskies which received an updated look in August 2018 along with three new expressions. Panelists admired this whisky’s dark gold color “with a bit of red in it, almost... 2. The end isn’t too long, but touches on those sweet honey notes, the spice, and a final touch of fresh mint sprigs. Ledaig 10-year via allthingswhisky.com The end holds onto the orange as the sweetness edges towards toffee on the quick fade. Best Scotch Under $50: Glenmorangie Lasanta Highland Park 12 The Balvenie Double Wood 12 Jura 10 Year The Macallan 12 Year Compass Box Oak Cross Glen Moray Chardonnay Cask The only two parameters we’re following are 1) is this scotch enjoyable on its own? But don’t let paleness fool you (or a dark caramel color, for that matter): complexity’s swimming around this bottle, honeyed apricot and vanilla with a balancing salinity and just an edge of nutty oak and moderated smoke. The Macallan 12-year via whiskyaday.com. It’s a hybrid — marrying single malt scotch to single malt whisky from Virginia. Harder to find in the States, but worth a look. The whiskies are aged primarily in American oak and refill bourbon casks before blending. A bit of a dueling single malt—but the duel is interesting. Those spicy caramel apples linger the longest with a distant wisp of oak and smoke tying off the sip’s long end. The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year. The expressions highlighted below are blended scotches we love at a price point most folks can manage. A marquee and fairly well known single malt from the Orkney Islands, Highland Park 12 Year... Glengoyne 12 Year ($50). Best Bang for Your Buck: Aberfeldy 12; Creamy and Accessible: Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old The MacPhail’s; Best Scotch Under $75. (A great way to find out just how much peat you like…). Average Price: $26 This edition of Famous Grouse is a nice step up from their... Chivas Regal Aged 12 Years. *Prices are an approximation or average, some retailers (online and in-person) may charge more or less, so shop around! 10 Best Affordable Scotch $40 And Under: 10) ... Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is truly a staple 12-year-old single malt Scotch, especially at this price. A marquee and fairly well known single malt from the Orkney Islands, Highland Park 12 Year is one of the smoother, sweeter single malts. The taste embraces the vanilla and creaminess with a counterbalance of berries, apples, and caramel. Bowmore is an Islay Scotch (and Islay tends to be the home of salt-spray, iodine, and heavier peat). 5 Best Smoky, Peaty Scotches for $50 and Under. Honey and subtle fruit flesh out a rich mouthfeel, giving way to oaky spice and a subtly smoky, drying finish. The end is medium-length, with hints of that fruit next to a dailed-in smokiness. Figgy pudding cut with walnuts mingles with apples and caramel on the nose. You’ll get light cereal/grain notes with some delicate buttery notes, honey, soft orchard fruits and light, grassy spring florals. Chivas Regal 12 and 18 year old whiskies are triple blended. You’re greeted with a nose of salted caramel, cedar, citrus, anise, vanilla cream, and a note of distant banana. Compass Box Whisky is all about creating very sippable blends of scotch. ... Best Cheap Scotch Whisky: Johnnie Walker Black Label. The story of this whisky is amazing. Single malt Scotch must be aged at least three years, though most make it to at least a decade before hitting shelves. Dram A Lot: The 14 Best Scotch Whiskeys Under $50 Highland Park 12 Year. There’s a clear sense of that bourbon vanilla, caramel, and oak on the nose. The end arrives with a billow of creamy pipe tobacco with a slight peaty edge as it quickly fades out. This Speyside blend from William Grant & Sons highlights the shingle’s three Dufftown distilleries: Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie. Fragrant with heavy charcoal smoke, interlaced with black coffee and (unsweetened) cocoa notes, but also a lightening salinity and fleeting melon/soapy note. Medicinal notes as with the Laphroaig, with spice and, again, sweetness only to balance. Maybe it’s best to call it a “blended” whisky and just leave it at that. Decanter recommends a varied selection of whiskies under £50 - from Scotland, Ireland and the US, and that deliver great value for money ... Best whiskies to buy under £50/$50. The main reason is that this is a very well-crafted blend that harkens back to the old-school “scotch on the rocks” days. and 2) is it under $50? The taste embraces that fruit while adding more caramel with plenty of cinnamon-forward spices and a dusting of cacao when water is added. Distilled in the Highlands and stored in the lowlands, Glengoyne is all about its totally unpeated barley—meaning not a hint of smoke, not even a subtly bracing smoky dryness on the finish. 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