Finding the best scotch under 50 dollars is much easier than a consumer might think. In fact, there are dozens of excellent single malt and blended whiskeys for less than $50. Before purchasing a scotch whiskey, however, a person must know what goes into a quality scotch and make sure that they are not purchasing something for the price versus examining the quality.
The Reality of a Single Malt for Cheap
Those on a strict budget will not find many single malt scotches for less than $25, but when expanding the budget to $50 or less, the options do open. However, the maturity ladder significantly decreases. Meaning, these scotches have not been aged as long, which means the flavors have not fully developed, their smoothness is not refined, and they may lack individual notes.
The UK has strict standards for what can be labeled a “scotch whiskey” from their country. The purpose is to preserve the ritual of creating an excellent scotch and using just one distillery. Therefore, to receive a true single malt scotch, the price tag may increase slightly.
Naturally, a person is unlikely to find a bottle of single malt with more than 15 years of aging for less than $50. The reason is that the more mature and refined the scotch whiskey, the more it will cost. After all, the distiller must make up for the cost of holding on to the casks, the time it takes to monitor the single malt, and more.
What are the Best Scotch Whiskeys for Under $50?
Whether one is looking for the best single malt scotch under $50, or they just want a blended scotch that offers a smooth finish, there are several varieties suggested by Men’s Journal as well as the Thrillist.
- Aberlour 12
The Aberlour 12-Year made the list of best scotch whiskey under $50 on Men’s Journal. The average price is $42 or less, and it is distilled in the Speyside. To the nose, it has a pungent fruit scent and it tastes spicier.There is a slight sherry finish (because it is aged in sherry casks), and it offers a warming finish.
- Compass Box Great King Street
This is a scotch that takes the art of blending and makes it extraordinary. It averages $45 per bottle and includes a combination of grain whiskeys made in oak barrels as well as old bourbon barrels. It has notes of vanilla bean ice cream, pear tarts, and more. It is recommended for those who are whiskey fans and want to try a unique blend.
- anCnoc 12-Year
Distilled in Aberdeenshire, this bottle averages $48 per and smells like a toasted marshmallow that was dipped in a fermented grain. The flavor is quite robust for being a 12-year, and it is highly sophisticated, as well. The tastes include mint chocolate candies and salt.
- The Glenlivet French Oak 12-Year
For only $36 per bottle, this is a cheap price to pay for a refined single malt scotch. The company has been in operation for more than 200 years, and this whiskey proves it. The 12-year bottle has scents of sandalwood and a taste of vanilla paired with mint.
- Glenmorangie Original 10-Year
This single malt comes in at an average of $45 per bottle. It is a name that just about anyone new to scotch drinking can trust because they are notorious for excellent single malt scotch and blends. The 10-year has more fruity notes that include spices, floral flavors, and a vibrant, well-balanced finish.
- Ardbeg 10-Year
This scotch sells under the label for $57, however online it is easily found for less, in particular through wholesalers.
The smell of this scotch whiskey is invigorating and includes soft, grassy notes. The flavor is full of peat smoke, which is why it is a fantastic whiskey for anyone new to sipping fine scotch.
- Johnny Walker Double Black
Averaging about $40 per bottle, Johnnie Walker is notorious for delivering fantastic scotch whiskey. The fruit flavors in this variety are amazing, including orange, apple, and other vibrant, fresh fruit flavors.
- Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey
Monkey Shoulder’s Blended version comes in under $30, and they have a sweet, yet subtle scotch that is actually refined for such a blend. It is perfect for mixing given the lingering flavors, but still smooth enough to sip neat.