Best Scotch Under $50

With $50 to spend, you should be able to buy yourself a nice Scotch. To help you with the decision, we've compiled a list of best-rated Scotch Whiskies - from Single Malts to Blended Whiskies, loved by the members of the Flaviar community.

A flavorful trip to Scotland doesn't need to cost a fortune. For 50 bucks, you can explore the diverse characters of the Highlands, the softness of the Lowlands, the saltiness of the Islands, the smoke of Islay, and the complexity of Speyside - we bet you’ll find your next Scotch treasure.

Will it be Ardberg, Balvenie, Johnnie Walker, Highland Park, Glenlivet, Caol Ila, GlenDronach, or something completely different? Your choice!

The first five bottles on the list are Flaviar Community Favorites, so if you’re looking for a certified under-$50-gem, these are bulletproof. They are followed by a vast selection of fantastic Scotch Whiskies that are the perfect fit for both beginners and veterans of taste.

Tempted for more? You can also check out our selection of best Scotch Whisky under $100 or kill not just two, but three birds with one shot by buying one of our Scotch Whisky Tasting Boxes.

Top 5 Scotch Under $50
1.

The Glenlivet

14 Year Cognac Cask Selection

Everything we love about Glenlivet with a rich palate and Cognac finish. George Smith was running an illegal still on the estate of the Duke of Gordon in the wee early 1800’s — who he supplied with the occasional dram. The Duke sponsored legislation in 1823 that made whiskey distilling legal in the UK, it just so happens that George Smith was the first one granted a license. Today Glenlivet is one of the "Big Three" Single Malt producers. Their Whiskies are Speyside and the water for the mash comes famously from "Josie’s Well" nearby. Glenlivet produces a wide variety of Single Malt agings and cask combinations, with the remaining Spirit an indispensable component in some of the most famous blends. Glenlivet issues a few fourteen year-old special editions here and there. There are almost always very limited runs — special casks, limited joint ventures, pleasant Single Malt experiments… that kind of thing. When you see the "14" you can bet there’s a story behind it. The story behind The Glenlivet 14YO Cognac Cask Finish started as a limited edition in 2018 called "Captain’s Reserve" — aged fourteen years is ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks, before finishing in ex-Cognac casks made of Limousin oak. The flavor profile was exceptionally well-received, so it has been renewed with a few tweaks. Expect the classic notes you love in Glenlivet with additional notes of sultanas and mandarins.

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2.

Dewar's

15 Year Old

Double Aged, doubly smooth. Dewar's dates back to 1846, when one John Dewar, Sr. started blending Whisky, one of the first Scots to do so. By 1896 his sons made the brand a global market leader. It's hit some ups and downs through the years, had its ownership changed a couple times, until finally settling in its new home in the hands of Bacardi in 1998. Their Scotch has been a hit on US soil for a while, holding the no. 1 spot in bottles sold. Dewar's 15 Year Old was crafted by Dewar's first female Master Blender Stephanie Macleod, who drew inspiration from Sir Edwin Landseer's painting "The Monarch of the Glen". It's a combination of a whopping 40 different liquids that have been aged in Sherry as well as Bourbon casks. The oldest among them is 27 years old! The blend is then finished in oak casks, giving all the delicious flavors a chance to come together. 

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3.

Oban

Little Bay

Small casks, small bay, small town. Big Whisky. Long before Oban was a lovely seaside resort town on the West Coast of Scotland, John and Hugh Stevenson built their first still house there in 1794. So the town literally grew up around the Whisky — we're no city planning experts, but it doesn't sound as a bad way for a town to grow. The blokes at Oban have only one wash and one spirit still and the Whisky they produce is considered one of the classic malts of Scotland — a virtual national treasure. Oban is in the Highlands, but its position on the far western coast gives their spirit a very unique character.    Oban Little Bay is a bit redundant since the word “oban” already means “little bay” in Scots Gaelic. Like all Oban Whiskies, this is a fine Single Malt. But Little Bay is also their first NAS — which means that it is a combination of their Single Malt across a range of ages that were married in small ex-Bourbon barrels.  Oban Little Bay has all of that lovely coastal character, but with a gentle, heather quality. Sweetness plays with the spice just like cool breeze plays with the warm sun in that small bay.

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4.

Aberfeldy

12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

A ticket into the wonderful world of Aberfeldy. Aberfeldy Distillery was founded by John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. in 1896, they opened their doors in 1898. It sits on the eastern outskirts of Aberfeldy, on the southern bank of the upper Tay. Aberfeldy sources its water from the Pitilie Burn, which runs alongside the distillery and is rich in alluvial gold. You won't find any nuggets in the bottle, but it is at least known to be exceptionally pure. Needless to say, these laddies make a pretty damn decent drink. Oh, and they are partnered with local beekeepers as well, raising awareness one hot toddy at a time. The Aberfeldy 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky comes from the Last Great Malts series and is a great showcase as well as the perfect entry point into the lineup. It's a Highland Single Malt made from 100% malted barley that has spent its dozen years in American oak ― some ex-Bourbon, some ex-Sherry. Fruity & creamy, full-bodied, and well balanced, it's a treat for the senses that is bound to make you want to delve deeper into Aberfeldy. 

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5.

Monkey Shoulder

Blended Scotch Whisky

OK… I’ll say it… Monkey Shoulder doesn’t monkey around, so if you like Highland malts, this Speyside Trifecta is for you.   Monkey Shoulder has nothing to do with actual monkeys… which might be a little disappointing, right? I mean, how cool would a Scotch-drinking monkey be? "Angus!  Your monkey got in me liquor cabinet again, the cheeky bastard!" Anyway, the term "Monkey Shoulder" refers to the stooped shoulders of the men who used to turn the malt by hand with large shovels. The Whiskey name tips a hat to those old, hearty blokes.      Monkey Shoulder is owned by William Grant and Sons… and it seems that they own a little piece of everything in the Highlands. Monkey Shoulder is a stand-alone product, which brings us to the special magic of the Whiskey itself.      It’s no secret that large Spirit companies segment their products. They run their individual distilleries and package the premium Single Malts as independent brands. All of the "non-premium" product is shuffled off to blending houses for entry-level use. Hey, it’s all good, we get it.  But what happens when you have some of your best, most highly-prized Single Malts producing a lot of the really good stuff… stuff too good for the bottom shelf and discount bins?      Monkey Shoulder is officially a "Triple Malt."  This means that it is NOT a random amalgamation of whatever is on hand. This is a special blend of the premium Whiskies from ONLY Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and the Kininvie distilleries. It other words, it is a blend of three winners… a Speyside Trifecta of consistent Highland awesomeness. WAY too good to think of as a anything less than the premium quality product that it most certainly is.   

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