Whiskey and peaches are two iconic flavors of the American South. The result is a single-barrel expression that always wows. The coopers (barrel makers) carved grooved interiors in the staves to increase surface area, resulting in a deeper, sweeter flavor. The end isn’t too long, but touches on those sweet honey notes, the spice, and a final touch of fresh mint sprigs. That alone is a good conversation starter for a true throwback blend. Pinhook, blending at Castle & Key, recently laid out the blueprint for their releases over the coming years, making this the perfect gift for a collector looking to get in on the ground floor. They’re fine bottles. For an excellent basic whiskey under 50 dollars, Woodford Reserve is a solid go to. The regular black label expression is just fine, but take things up a notch with the Bottled-in-Bond version. It’s a hybrid — marrying single malt scotch to single malt whisky from Virginia. Okay, this isn’t technically a Scottish blended whisky. Given 4 out of 5 stars on Distiller.com and 94 out of 100 from Ultimate Beverage Challenge, it wins high marks all around. This might be the most difficult to find (due to limited supplies and huge popularity) but it’s 100 percent worth the hunt. It kicks with a 50% ABV (alcohol by volume), which is softened by a full-bodied flavor of baking spices, dark fruits, caramel, and hints of coconut and wood. The blend has a focus on mildly spicy and boldly fruity yeasts. According to Vacheresse, the best rye whiskey under $50 is hands down Pikesville Rye, a product of Kentucky’s Heaven Hill. The sweeter aspects of the sip counterbalance the spicer ones on the long end with a whisper of that mesquite smoke. At just 90.4 proof, it’s impossibly smooth and silky, and at just $39, its a safe bet for the newcomer to the whiskey world. The creamy texture and sweet vanilla flavors with supporting notes of spice and maple are what endear this spirit to consumers at the bar and experts alike. There are plenty of sippable bourbons on the shelf for under $50. Add some water to really open up the smokiness, then sit back and enjoy this slow-sipper. Instead, the mild, cinnamon smoke char acts more like a harmonious support system for the flowery herbaceousness, cereal sugars, green apple, and pithy citrus notes. Having a good bourbon around that you can drink straight (with a little water or a few rocks) is always a solid move. The end is sweet, creamy, and short. For frugal lovers of rye, the $30 a bottle price tag makes Sazerac Straight a top choice. Aged in oak casks, it is smoky, rich, and lauded, especially after it won a Gold Medal at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The end is long, full of spice, oaky, and closes with a wisp of smoke. Made from blue corn, this choice, single-grain American spirit expresses a sense of place in every sip of every bottle in the batch. We don’t love playing favorites, but the Michter’s … So it’s not a single malt. In order to view the gallery, please allow Manage Cookies. The professional tasting panel at the spirits competition named Johnny Walker Black Label a finalist, and noted aromas of breakfast cereal, cedar, and toasted earth along with flavors of rolled oats, nutmeg, and hints of smoke. At a spend of around $15 per 750 ml bottle, it delivers a lot of flavor. You’re greeted with a nose of salted caramel, cedar, citrus, anise, vanilla cream, and a note of distant banana. All those spicy rye notes bloom as the water marries the whiskey. Honey is a naturally occurring flavor in whiskey, which makes it a winning combination from the get go. The Rebel Yell label ended up at the new Lux Row Distillery, and their new 100 proof brings a little extra heat to this classic name. Tasters describe the top-shelf flavor as balanced between sweet floral honey and an earthy spiciness. Each 750 ml bottle runs about $25 or less. The end result is a blend that’s specifically dialed in to be sipped not mixed (Red Label is Johnnie Walker’s mixing blended scotch). (Surprisingly, limited edition Crown Royal Texas Mesquite was greeted with pleasure by The Whiskey Jug and costs around $25 for 750 ml.). While Tullamore D.E.W. Figgy pudding cut with walnuts mingles with apples and caramel on the nose. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. This Speyside blend from William Grant & Sons highlights the shingle’s three Dufftown distilleries: Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie. This go-to blend combines up to 40 malt and grain whiskies, yielding a smooth and sippable spirit. If you do find it, buy two bottles. Indeed it is, at a spend of around $25 for a 750 ml bottle. Good whiskey doesn't have to cost a fortune, especially when it comes to bourbon. After decades of disdain, however, America has been welcoming back the taste of Canadian whisky and its most popular import by far: Crown Royal has more than two-thirds of the U.S. market for Canadian whiskey. This is a very easy sipper and bridges the old-school Scotch single malts with newer Virginia whisky-making. This is designed to be a sipper and it hits that mark wonderfully — blooming wonderfully with a little water. This expression really shines on the rocks. This Kentucky bourbon stands tall as a daily nip, according to The Whiskey Jug blog. These two wheated bourbons were once made at the famous Stitzel-Weller Distillery, along with other big names like Old Rip Van Winkle and Old Fitzgerald. This double matured whiskey is super easy-drinking. It garners 4 out of 5 stars in consumer reviews at Master Of Malt, where the site's own experts comment on the full nose, fruity finish, and complex palate (e.g., creamy toffee, citrus, dry spice, and smoke). Consumers likewise shower Tyrconnell with praise, calling it refined and creamy. It’s our list and we’re giving it a spot. WhistlePig’s new PiggyBack Rye Whiskey is touching tribute to late Master Distiller Dave Pickerell that’s perfect for the bartender in your life. Check out 10 Cheap but Tasty Summer Cocktails. Price: $45Don’t let the price tag fool you -- this guy’s more complex than the Saturday New York Times crossword. Made with a unique mash, its flavors are described as earthy, with notes of clay, cornbread, with sweet and savory oak tones tasted on the finish. To each their own on that count. Nathan “Nearest” Green was an enslaved African-American man who taught Jack Daniels how to distill and passed along his charcoal filtration method, and this 7-year, 93 proof sipper is a great way to raise a glass in his honor. The only two parameters we’re following are 1) is this scotch enjoyable on its own? Apples covered in caramel and walnuts mix with a bit of sherry jamminess on the nose. Campari’s third expression in their Whiskey Barons Collection hit shelves early this year, and at a non-chill-filtered 107 proof it is our favorite of their line so far. This is Old Forester’s first new mash bill in 150 years, but it was absolutely worth the wait. And others are finished or double barreled, if you’re hunting for a perfect present for the whiskey lover who has everything. Best of all – it’s readily available and priced right around $30. This is the original wheated bourbon. There are 375 ml bottles out there for about $20. Order yours on drizly.com now. also won the double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition three years in a row. Courtesy image. Experts describe the layers of flavor as juicy and ripe, with clear notes of peach as well as baking spices and a touch of oak. This is a really fine sipper to have on hand and feels like it should cost twice as much, easily. The holiday season is officially upon us, and soon we’ll be out hunting for the perfect bottle to pour at the dinner table, wrap up to gift… or just keep for ourselves. One of the better bargains on the blended Scotch market, this light-amber spirit scores 4 out of 5 stars at The Whisky Exchange. Whiskey prices have risen considerably over the last few years, and in a market with dozens of new whiskeys, it can be challenging to spend money right and avoid disappointment.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'mensjournal_com-under_second_paragraph','ezslot_4',164,'0','0'])); The good news: For a lot of new brands, the quality has been getting better every year, and for a lot of established brands, there are still some great values on the market. Because there are tons of great whiskeys under $50 available at your local store, we’ve compiled 15 of our favorites that are easy to find today and drink tonight. That leads to a taste that leans into classic bourbon territory with plenty of bourbon vanilla, accentuated by stone fruit and red berries. While we might still be mourning the loss of the Kentucky-only 6-year Bottled-in-Bond, we’ve been able to begin our healing with a healthy pour of the recently released namesake 7-year. Master Taster Jackie Zykan picks single barrels from the Old Forester rickhouse for this bottling. We couldn’t resist. Life feels very complicated right now, we’re keeping this list simple.