When looking for a decent, affordable whiskey, most will reach for a name brand on the shelf. Jameson, Johnnie Walker, Jim Bean, and Jack Daniels all come to mind. Most whiskey fans will tell you these brands aren’t the best available—chalk up their reputation to good marketing, I suppose. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are many brands you’ve probably never heard of that offer great whiskey at a good price.
- George Dickel Rye, $23 a bottle
- A historic distillery in Tennessee uses a unique charcoal filtering process to create this smooth, sweet flavor
- This whiskey is great for Manhattans and scored an 85/100 from Whiskey Advocate.
- Redbreast 12-Year-Old Irish Whiskey, $60 a bottle
- Primer magazine calls this single-pot, triple-distilled whiskey “Irish Whiskey at a more sophisticated level.”
- If you like this one, Redbreast’s 21 Year-Old is also highly rated—where Whisky Advocate gave the 12 Year a 96/100, this one received a similarly high 93/100, but runs for about $200 a bottle.
- Highland Park 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky, $55 a bottle
- This single malt won gold at the International Wines and Spirits Competitions of 2017. It’s considered to be one of the best single malts for the money.
- Whisky Advocate gives this Orkney Isle scotch a 90/100. Highland Park offers a wide array of higher-end whiskeys as well, but this smooth, affordable blend is a good introduction to their line.