17 Affordable Whiskey Brands That Taste Expensive

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By Darryl Henderson

More often than not, you get what you pay for with whiskey. The aging process, the casks used, and the purity of the air and water all contribute to a heightened price, with expensive bottles usually outclassing their cheaper counterparts. However, here are 17 affordable brands that taste expensive!


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Glenlivet’s 12-year Single Malt has fruity elements, and its age severely benefits its overall taste, which feels surprisingly expensive! The Glenlivet distillery is also the oldest legal distillery in the Highlands of Scotland, and Scotch Whisky states that its product is the second most popular malt whisky in the USA. We’re not surprised!

Old Pulteney

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Another seriously underrated brand of whisky from the Scottish Highlands is Old Pulteney, which will celebrate its 200th birthday in 2026. The distillery recently launched its oldest whisky to date, at 45 years of age, but its 12-year-old bottle is a more accessible and affordable option. Why overspend when it tastes so good!?

Jim Beam

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Jim Beam is one of a handful of Kentucky whiskey brands that have become popular worldwide. Vine Pair suggests that their product is sold in over 200 countries… that’s crazy! The company has become popular for a reason, as its various bourbons offer consumers a true taste of Kentucky for a low price.

Hunter Laing

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Hunter Laing is based on the Scottish island of Islay, overlooking a loch and stunning hillsides. The whisky tastes as good as the distillery’s surroundings look, but at 46.2% ABV, you’ll have to be careful that it doesn’t go straight to your head, especially considering the low price.


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Founded in the same area as Glenlivet, Tomintoul had a lot of work to do to live up to its area’s reputation when it was founded in the mid-1960s. Thankfully, the company is helped by its location in the Highlands, which has high altitude, pure air, and fresh spring water, aiding its highly affordable production.

Evan Williams

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If you want to get into an affordable brand of bourbon and aren’t afraid to experiment with flavor, Evan Williams is a good place to start. Low-cost yet versatile, their line includes seven different types of bourbon, with their 1783 and black labels being two customer favorites. 

Johnnie Walker

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Black label Johnnie Walker far exceeds its value, which currently stands at between $20 to $40 in the United States. The brand has been producing its product from Scotland since 1820, before bringing the whisky to grocery stores 45 years later. It’s a super tasty option!

Glen Moray

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There are plenty of fans of Glen Moray single malt whisky, championed by none other than Forbes. The media giant announced Glen Moray’s Phoenix Rising as the Best Scotch Single Malt, celebrating its incredible value at just $35 a bottle, which is wild considering its quality.

Old Forester

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Old Forester, founded in Kentucky, produces one of the most interesting flavor profiles from their whiskey, with hints of oak mixed with spice, counteracted by vanilla and orange. For just $30 a bottle, you’ll get an abundance of flavor for the money you pay.

Highland Park

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Highland Park’s 12-year whisky isn’t the cheapest at $50, but the process that goes into making it, which includes using seasoned oak casks and maturing it for 12 years, as well as its overall flavor, makes it worth the investment. It’s well worth a try if you’re in the market for a mid-range bottle.

James Foxe

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The Canadians are underappreciated for their whisky production, with brands such as James Foxe producing great bottles for a reasonable price. It’s a smooth sip, with a blend of malted and unmalted barley, giving it a medium, uncontroversial flavor profile.


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Jameson is one of the big names in whiskey distilling, with The Irish Times reporting that the company had sold 10.7 million cases in just one year, along with its parent company making a staggering $13.1 billion. It’s popular for a reason, as its taste outdoes its relatively cheap price. 

Four Roses

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Four Roses has been in business since 1888, creating full-bodied, comforting whiskey densely packed with flavor. At 45% ABV and retailing for less than $40, you get a great, accessible product for your money, which is a perfect entry point for new whisky drinkers looking to expand their palate.


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One of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, Glendronach has added a touch of Spanish flair to their product, using Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks from Andalusia. Despite being in the business for over 200 years, Glendronach has proved it isn’t afraid to evolve and fine-tune its whisky while keeping costs low. 


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Rebel, formerly Rebel Yell until a name change in 2020, dates back to the mid-19th century and hails from Bardstown in Kentucky. The brand is definitely substance over style, focusing more on the quality of its whiskey than the flair on its packaging. Thankfully, this helps to keep it both affordable and tasty!

Lot No.40

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Canadian distiller Lot No.40 stands out for being one of the few brands producing whisky solely from rye. As BBC Good Food suggests, rye whisky is far spicier in flavor than bourbon and often has hints of smoky caramel in its aftertaste, so considering its low price, why not give it a try?

Forty Creek 

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Lastly, compared to many of the whisky distilleries named on this list, Forty Creek is relatively young, having only started up in 1992. However, their supposed lack of experience hasn’t hindered their product, which tastes far more expensive than its affordable $17 price tag!

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