The Best Whiskey Under $50 from Taster’s Club
Written by Emma C | Updated April 2023
With many new whiskeys popping up over the last several years, it’s an exciting time to be a whiskey enthusiast. That said, it can also be a bit of an overwhelming time, too, having to choose from the amazing selection out there. You certainly want to avoid being disappointed – which can be tough, especially on a limited budget. That’s exactly why we’ve tasted many expressions to create this list of Taster’s Club’s best whiskey under $50, all available in our bottle shop. From bourbon, rye, and Scotch to Japanese and Irish whiskies, and everything in between, you’re sure to find something great here. Happy hunting!
Taster’s Club Top 10 Best Whiskey Under $50 – Available in Our Bottle Shop
1. Makers Mark 46
French-oaked for layers of flavor, Maker's Mark 46 is the taste vision of Bill Samuels, Jr. Creating his signature bourbon requires first-of-its-kind finishing that begins with fully matured cask strength Maker’s Mark. Ten seared French oak staves are fitted into the barrel before the whisky is finished to maturity under ideal conditions in the distillery’s limestone cellar. The result is an easy-to-sip bourbon with notes of caramel, vanilla, and baking spice that greet the palate in layers.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Vanilla, Spice | ABV: 47%
2. Larceny Small Batch
Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon has its origins in the history of John E. Fitzgerald and the Old Fitzgerald brand. The brand’s Master Distillers select a limited number of barrels from specific floor locations in the rickhouse for Larceny’s six-year-old taste profile. Continuing the tradition of Old Fitzgerald using wheat in place of rye as the secondary grain in the mashbill, Larceny uses more wheat than any of its competitors for a softer, rounder character.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Nut, Grass, Wood, Spice | ABV: 46%
3. Suntory Toki
Suntory Whisky Toki is a vivid blend of carefully selected whiskies from the House of Suntory’s globally acclaimed Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita distilleries. This Japanese whisky represents the tradition and legacy of the House as it features the quintessential characteristics of a Suntory blend: exquisite balance, harmony, and oneness. The spirit’s production is overseen by third-generation Master Blender and great-grandson of the founder, Shingo Torii, and developed by fourth Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo. You’ll find the sweet, clear-gold Japanese blend offers a refreshing character and spicy finish, with tasting notes of citrus, grape, mint, peach, thyme, honey, and almonds and aromas of vanilla, green apple, basil, honey, and citrus.
Region: Japan | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Grape, Mint, Peach, Honey, Almond | ABV: 43%
4. Elijah Craig Small Batch
Expertly aged in Level 3 charred oak barrels, this award-winning small-batch bourbon is known for its signature warm spice and subtle, smoky flavors. Each barrel is hand-selected by Elijah Craig’s Master Distillers. Dry aromas of grass along with sweet caramel, nut, chocolate, coffee, and citrus hit the nose, followed by a bit of burnt bread, honey, vanilla, eucalyptus, apple, cinnamon, oak, and peachy-herbal notes. You’ll then taste vanilla and caramel, nuts, cherry, oak, licorice, clove, grass, citrus, honey, and cinnamon. The sweet, oaky, dark flavors turn into lighter nutty, fruity, and herbal notes. The bourbon finishes nice and balanced with oak tannins, mint, honey, citric, and apple notes.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Caramel, Nut, Cherry, Spice | ABV: 47%
5. Dewar’s 12 Year
Dewar’s 12 Year Old is comprised of up to 40 of Scotland’s finest single malt and grain whiskies, double aged in hand-selected first-fill bourbon casks that help to create a far greater breadth and depth of flavor. Aged for a minimum of 12 years, this scotch whisky is perfectly balanced with notes of peach, red apple, and lemon zest on the nose, giving way to more floral and spicy notes of white pepper and clove before concluding in an incredibly long and smooth finish.
Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: Floral, Spice, White Pepper | ABV: 40%
6. Knob Creek Rye
This 100-proof Knob Creek Rye pairs traditional rye spice with the signature Knob Creek sweetness. Its high corn mash bill makes it perfect for the bourbon drinker looking to add rye to their liquor cabinet. Named the World’s Best Rye at the 2016 World Spirits Competition.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Honey, Anise, Oak, Spice, Fruit | ABV: 50%
7. Benchmark Top Floor
Bourbon that matures on the top warehouse floors tends to age faster as heat rises. This top-floor expression from Benchmark, bottled at 86 proof, is smooth and well-rounded to be enjoyed straight, with ice, or in your favorite cocktail.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Cherry, Apple, Oak, Brown Sugar | ABV: 43%
8. Lot 40 Rye
This full-bodied blended whisky is full of rich caramel, oak, molasses, and ginger on the nose and palate, plus touches of butterscotch, spicy cinnamon, pine, clove, and other floral and herbal flavors. It finishes with a touch of honey and gingersnap sweetness along with mint, herbal, orange, and pine flavors.
Region: Canada | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Oak, Molasses, Ginger, Spice | ABV: 43%
9. Buffalo Trace
For over 200 years, the Buffalo Trace Distillery has been defined by a dedication to one craft: making fine bourbon whiskey. By honoring tradition and embracing change, the brand has earned its place of leadership among the legendary spirits makers of the world. This deep amber whiskey is made from fine corn, rye, and barley malt, aged in new oak barrels in centuries-old warehouses, and has a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. Pleasantly sweet to the taste, the complex, rich bourbon offers notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and spice that give way to oak, toffee, dark fruit, and anise. This whiskey finishes long, lingering, and smooth with serious depth.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Spice | ABV: 45%
10. Woodford Reserve
The art of making fine bourbon first took place on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark, in 1812. However, Woodford Reserve, the official Kentucky Derby bourbon, began its journey in 1996 as a small-batch premium bourbon. What sets it apart from other bourbons, which are usually twice distilled, is its triple-distillation in pot stills. The spirit is built around flavor, and the perfectly balanced taste of this Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is composed of more than 200 detectable flavor notes. On the nose, you’ll get bready, grainy aromas of honey, vanilla, wood, and corn, followed by fruit, mint, nuts, and a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon. From there, you’ll taste notes of honey, mint, wood, pepper, vanilla, citrus, corn, and cinnamon, ending with a slightly sweet and dry finish.
Region: Kentucky | Tasting Notes: Honey, Mint, Pepper, Vanilla, Cinnamon | ABV: 45.2%
Now that you’ve got this handy best whiskey under $50 list, you’ll be ready whenever the mood strikes with several amazing options of different spirit styles or expressions that won’t break the bank. From Canadian whisky to blended Scotch, we’ve got it all conveniently available in our bottle shop. Or, for a more curated experience, you can always give our Whiskey Club a try. We do all the work and send you an amazing new bottle each month. Then, you simply sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Looking for the best Curated Whiskey of the Month Subscription? Check out Taster’s Club Whiskey Club for different Types of Whiskey from today’s top producers delivered straight to your door.
Taster’s Club is the Premiere online shop for anyone looking for a curated Liquor of the Month Club or a one-off bottle purchase from our Bottle Shop.