The Best Scotch Under $50 from Taster’s Club
Written by Emma C | Updated May 2023
With rising prices these days on everything from groceries to housing, it’s more than understandable if you need to tighten up your liquor budget. Thankfully, there’s absolutely no need to spend a fortune to enjoy quality Scotch whisky. That said, it may be tougher to find those gems in the rough when it comes to inexpensive Scotch bottles. That’s why we’ve tasted many expressions and bring you the Taster’s Club picks for the best Scotch under $50, all available in our bottle shop. Thankfully, there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to age, style, region, and price.
Taster's Club Best Scotch Under $50: Available in our Bottle Shop
1. Chivas Regal 12
Famously and perfectly blended with whiskies at least 12 years old and a generous measure of Speyside malts, Chivas Regal 12 represents Chivas Brothers’ balanced, spicy signature with a rich, refined, and distinct taste. On the nose, you’ll notice aromas of vanilla, cream, lemon curd, toffee, banana, and wood. Then, taste flavors of honey, banana, barley malt, spice, walnut, and caramel. The blend finishes with pepper and spice, with sweet cereal notes at the end. This blend was first made in the early 20th century after prohibition, but the brand has roots going back to 1801 selling various food items. Then, in the mid-1800s, whisky came into the mix.
Region: Speyside | Tasting Notes: Honey, Banana, Malt, Spice, Nut, Caramel | ABV: 40%
2. Glen Moray Classic Cabernet Sauvignon Cask Finish
Sweet and full-bodied, the unique character created by finishing in cabernet sauvignon red wine casks is a testament to Glen Moray’s long-held passion for bringing new flavors by experimenting with different styles of cask. This spirit is first matured in American oak, then finished in French red wine casks, becoming rich with dark chocolate and intense spice. The rare combination of oak and red wine flavors creates a beautifully rounded whisky with a distinctive character, a delight for both traditional single malt fans and those looking to explore something new.
Region: Speyside | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Pepper, Spice, Chocolate, Oak | ABV: 40%
3. The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve is a tropical twist on single malt scotch whisky. Selectively finished in barrels that held Caribbean rum, this Scotch can be enjoyed neat or with a refreshing mixer like coconut water. Aromas are light and fresh and include honey, orchard fruit like pear and green apple, hay, butterscotch, coconut, and banana. This Scotch carries a medium, somewhat syrupy body. You’ll taste flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, baking, butterscotch, and tropical fruit like coconut, oaky tannins, and pepper, followed by pineapple cake on the short, bitter finish.
Region: Speyside | Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Butterscotch, Fruit | ABV: 40%
4. Glenmorangie The Original 10 Years Old
The Original 10 Year is Glenmorangie’s flagship single malt. Produced in the Highlands by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland's tallest stills with maturation in first and second-fill American white oak casks, the spirit is creamy and approachable, perfect as an aperitif or savoring on a chilly night. You’ll smell thick, fruity aromas of nectarine, spice, apple, and lemon. On the palate, balanced, sweet, and fresh flavors of vanilla, toffee, and tiramisu come through, followed by a lengthy, gentle, fruity, and malty finish.
Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Toffee, Tiramisu | ABV: 40%
5. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old
Multi-award-winning Glenfiddich 12 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky is aged in American and European oak casks for 12 years. It’s ideal for anyone new to Scotch, as it’s not too complex or unapproachable, or for those who simply love a mellow, smooth drink. The single malt delivers distinctly fresh and fruity notes with a hint of pear and citrus, along with light grain, floral, and honey notes with a bit of spice. It then develops into butterscotch, cream, malt, and subtle oak flavors before finishing long and lingering sweetly with a bit of fruit and oak flavor.
Region: Speyside | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Floral, Honey, Spice, Malt, Oak | ABV: 40%
6. The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Year Old
This 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Glendullan brand, which began in 2006, comes from three distilleries: Glendullan and Dufftown in Speyside and Glen Ord in the Highlands. The spirit is matured in a high proportion of American oak casks with a small portion of European oak casks to balance the liquid. The result is an easy-to-enjoy single malt, ideal as an aperitif, with notes of luscious brown sugar, vanilla, soft cooked apples, dried fruit, nuts, and creamy toffee. You’ll also taste a bit of cinnamon, oak, and juicy, caramelized pear, followed by a subtle smoke finish with blueberry and toffee.
Region: Speyside | Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Fruit, Nut, Toffee | ABV: 40%
7. Dewar’s 15
Created to be a sweeter, lighter blended Scotch whisky ideal sipped neat, with water or ice, or mixed into cocktails, Dewar’s 15 was the first whisky created by Master Blender, Stephanie Macleod. The process uses founder John Dewar Sr.’s sons' “marrying” concept, which is essentially putting a blend together before returning it to the cask to sync up. Matured in sherry and bourbon casks for at least 15 years, this blended Scotch won two consecutive gold medals at the International Spirits Challenge for the best Blended Scotch between 12 and 20 years old.Thanks to both the distiller’s unique double aging process and golden water source, the light copper spirit is unusually smooth, with light aromas of honey, malt, oak, fruit, floral, and smoke, and creamy, soft flavor notes of honey, toffee, oak, and floral. It carries a short to medium finish with the same soft, warm feel and oak and vanilla flavors.
Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: Honey, Toffee, Oak, Floral | ABV: 40%
8. Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Years
Indulge all of your senses with a smooth glass of Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky. Created using only Scotch whiskies aged for a minimum of 12 years from the four corners of Scotland, Johnnie Walker Black Label has an unmistakably smooth, deep, complex character. This spirit is an impressive blended Scotch whisky to share on any occasion. Johnnie Walker was recognized as one of the world's top-trending Scotch whiskies at the 2020 Drinks International Awards.
Region: Highland |Tasting Notes: Honey, Vanilla, Apricot, Biscuit, Oak, Smoke | ABV: 40%
9. Deanston Virgin Oak
The single malt Virgin Oak Scotch whisky from Deanston is an award winner, with its unique character, style, and flavor. It contains sweet, zingy notes of juicy orange, candied orange, and orange oils from the zest, along with creamy vanilla, caramel, and warm, aromatic spice to complement it well.
Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: Orange, Vanilla, Caramel, Spice | ABV: 46.3%
10. Monkey Shoulder
Monkey Shoulder is a blend of Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies married together for flavor and consistency. The malty spirit’s rich, smooth, creamy, vibrant body combines with fruity aromas and mellow vanilla, making it perfect for mixed drinks and cocktails. You’ll also smell cocoa, malt, marmalade, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Since Monkey Shoulder casks are former bourbon casks, they add smooth vanilla flavors to this barley Scotch. Other flavors include creamy malt, berries, butterscotch, clove, honey, and toast, followed by a medium-length finish with a bit of peppermint, spice, and oak.
Region: Speyside | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Butterscotch, Honey, Toast | ABV: 40%
With this handy list of affordable, best Scotch under $50 options, you’ll have plenty to choose from the next time you’re looking to re-stock your bar, entertain guests, or simply round out a long day. If you’re just not sure what Scotch type or brand to start with, though, no worries – our Scotch club is an excellent solution. Simply sign up, sit back, relax, and wait for that new monthly bottle to arrive.
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