The 11 Best Irish Whiskeys
Under $50

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.”
Mark Twain

What Makes Irish Whiskey Unique from the Rest?

Unlike bourbon that’s made in the states, or Scotch that’s made in Scotland, Irish Whiskey is, as the name suggests, made in Ireland. Other than the origins of its production, Irish Whiskey also differs from its counterparts by its maturation process, ingredient profile, distillation and fermentation process, and taste.

In addition, Irish Whiskey also happens to be one of the oldest type of whiskey, predating itself to the 1400’s even before Scotch was first discovered. 

Within the Irish Whiskey category itself, there are four distinct types: single malt, blended, single pot still, and grain whiskey. While all are considered Irish whiskey, each boast their own unique flavors and pallets, as well as price tag. While some brands and rare varieties can become quite expensive, there are options that fall between the $30-50 range.

Is Irish Whiskey the Best Whiskey? 

Certainly up for debate…However, Irish Whiskey has made an incredible comeback in recent years, solidifying itself as one of, if not the most popular whiskey in the world. If you’ve never tried Irish Whiskey before, you’ll notice defiant differences between it and other types of whiskey. 

Related: Guide to Irish Whiskey

Most obvious is the smoothness in comparison to its counterparts which are stronger, more bitter, and require an increasingly developed pallet to appreciate. 

Nevertheless, Irish Whiskey sits atop the list, and for good reason. If you’ve never tried Irish Whiskey, or if you have and you now want to try the best of the best, then keep reading; we’ve got the list for you! 

The good news is since its resurgence, Irish Whiskey has become widely available and accessible.

Even better?

Some of the best, most popular Irish whiskeys fall under the affordable $50 price point, while others land just above it. With that said, below is a list that you can use to guide your next Irish Whiskey purchase.

Related: Best Whiskey Cocktails

If you don’t want to burn a hole through your wallet, this list of the best Irish whiskeys under $50 is for you! 

Below are the top 11 Irish whiskeys under $50:

  • Redbreast 12-Year
  • Jameson Black Barrel
  • Jameson Caskmates Stout
  • Bushmills Single Malt 10-Year
  • Kilbeggan Single Grain 8-Year
  • Tullamore D.E.W Triple Distilled
  • Connemara Peated Single Malt
  • Powers Signature 
  • Proper Twelve 
  • Teeling Small Batch
  • Jameson Triple Distilled Classic

Redbreast 12-Year

The Whiskey: Single Pot Still
Distillery: Midleton Distillery
ABV: 40%
Price Range: $49.99-54.99

An Irish Whiskey list wouldn’t be complete without the honorary mention of Redbreast. While Redbreast is known to be the cream of the crop, you’ll be happy to know that their 12-year quite affordable comparatively! Boasting a mature and elegant flavour derived from old American Oak barrels, you’ll cherish each and every sip. 

Tasting Notes:
As a full-bodied whiskey full of complexity and richness, you’ll be surprised by its spicy, fruity, yet toasted notes. Smooth and balanced, Redbreast sits atop the list for a reason.

Jameson Black Barrel

The Whiskey: Blended
Distillery: Midleton Distillery
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $45

Jameson is one of the most authoritative brands in the whiskey market, and for good reason. Their Black Barrel variant is no different. Similar to Redbreast 12, Jameson Black Barrel boasts notes of complexity and richness, whilst still providing the pallet with a welcomed smoothness. 

Tasting Notes:
In part, thanks to the maturation process in aged barrels, enjoy a nutty note accompanied by an all-to-familiar hint of vanilla and spice. 

 

Jameson Caskmates Stout

The Whiskey: Blended, Triple Distilled
Distillery: Midleton Distillery
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $29.99-36.99

While we me be in discussion of whiskey, you’ll be surprised that Jameson’s Caskmates Stout derives from Brewery Barrels, NOT whiskey barrels; hence the unique stout flavours…As a triple distilled Irish whiskey, Jameson’s Caskmates Stout introduces us to the world of craft beer, whilst remaining true to the Irish heritage of spirits.

Tasting Notes:
With a welcomed aroma of fresh apples and pears, leading to a more aggressive aroma of hazelnut and milk chocolate, the initial flavour will leave hints of cocoa and beer amongst your pallet. To finish, a sweet farewell of the Irish Still Pot. 

Bushmills Single Malt 10-Year

The Whiskey: Single Malt
Distillery: Old Bushmills Distillery
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $39.99-41.99

If you’re a fan of melted chocolate, honey, and fruits, you’ll love Bushmills Single Malt. As the winner of the Best Irish Single Malt at the World of Whiskies award, you’d be remiss not to give Bushmills a chance. Light, Crisp and clean, you’ll have no problem acquiring its flavours. 

Tasting Notes:
As mentioned, once you’ve gathered the fruits and spices from the nose, your tongue will capture the melted chocolate and honey notes. To finish, enjoy the gentleness and smoothness as it exits the pallet.

Kilbeggan Single Grain 8-Year

The Whiskey: Grain
Distillery: Kilbeggan Distillery
ABV: 43%
Price Range: $36.99-39.99

Previously Greenore, the Kilbeggan 8-year is an idyllic expression of true single grain Irish whiskey. Aged in bourbon barrels before being transferred to wine barrels, you may wonder where it gets its honest Irish flavors. Ideal for cocktails but smooth enough for a neat glass by the fire, Kilbeggan Single Grain 8-Year is a safe but sensational choice of Irish Whiskey.

Tasting Notes:
As a welcoming balance of maple pecan and chocolate, Kilbeggan’s decedent flavour is one of uniqueness and sweetness. As the vanilla notes quickly come and go, replaced by the oak of the barrel its aged in, you’ll be left with a sensation of honest whiskey notes on the tongue

Tullamore D.E.W Triple Distilled

The Whiskey: Blended
Distillery: Tullamore Distillery
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $40

Tullamore’s Original is a triple distilled, triple blended Irish Whiskey known globally for its smooth & gentle notes. As a balanced and blended whiskey, Tullamore D.E.W’s Original offers a spectrum of flavour notes, from fruity to spicy, and everything in between.

Tasting Notes:
Blended, balanced, and bright, but one “b-word’ it’s not is bitter. This triple distilled Irish whiskey provides your tastebuds with hints of spice, fruit, and oak, all paired perfectly to equate to smooth and equatable drink. 

Connemara Peated Single Malt

The Whiskey: Single Malt
Distillery: Cooley Distillery
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $37.99

Unique amongst the world of whiskeys, Connemara’s Peated Single Malt Irish whiskey was made through inspiration of 18th century stories of art. Unlike most Irish whiskey’s, this variant gives off a ‘peatiness’ that may be unwelcome by the amateurs pallet. Nevertheless, Connemara has nailed this peated whiskey on the head, from its aroma and tasteful notes, to its branding and inspired history.

Tasting Notes:
its golden, amber-like appearance isn’t to be confused with amber rum. Instead, it’s clear, elegant appearance makes for a great rocky cocktail. With an initial sweetness of honey, then eliminated by a smokiness of oak and barley, finishing with a vanilla spice, Connemara’s Peated will take those tasting it on a trip like no other. 

Powers Signature Release

The Whiskey: Single Pot Still
Distillery: Midleton Distillery
ABV: 43%
Average Price: $45

Launched in 2013, Power’s Signature Release as been a powerful (no pun intended) force in the comeback of single pot still whiskey. Triple distilled, blended with both malted and unmalted barley, and aged primarily in bourbon barrels, the maturity of such a whiskey is welcomed, and has become a popular choice for many in recent years.

Tasting Notes:
With a honey-like aroma similar to that of the taste, and accompanied by a balance of cream and spice, this fruity casked Irish Whiskey provides those consuming it with a sweet & spicy contrast, all but perfectly smooth to the touch.

Proper Twelve 

The Whiskey: Blended
Distillery: Old Bushmills Distillery
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $30

Proper No.12 Irish Whiskey by the Notorious Conor McGregor is one of controversy, bringing about conflict, debate, and differing opinions within the whiskey community. While it doesn’t come without a controversial stance, it does deserve to be included in this list, and here’s why. Aside from it being a decent quality whiskey, it’s also affordable. Moreover, while the controversy so obviously stems around the influence of Conor McGregor himself, I for one welcome anyone passionate enough to grow the community of whiskey! 

Tasting Notes:
Before it touches your palate, you’ll receive notes of vanilla, barley, and wood. Once contact has been made, you’ll be excited to taste hints of fruit, honey, and a pepper-like spice towards the end. Lastly, caramel! 

Teeling Small Batch

The Whiskey: Blended
Distillery: Teeling Distillery
ABV: 46%
Average Price: $40

As a blended Irish whiskey, the Teeling Small batch is made with a balance of malt and grain-style whiskeys, providing consumers with a widespread, full-bodied flavour. Aged in bourbon barrels before being transferred into rum casks, the Teeling small batch goes through a unique distillation and maturation process comparatively speaking. At 46% ABV, you’re getting quite the rich whiskey here! 

Tasting Notes:
As most whiskeys provide, Teeling is no different. With notes of honey, vanilla, oak, fruit, and spice, the Teeling Small Batch stacks up well against its kinfolk. To complete the full-body flavour, tasters will be hit with a hint of caramel and herbs, uniquely enough…

Jameson Triple Distilled Classic

The Whiskey: Blended
Distillery: Midleton Distillery
ABV: 40%
Average Price: $25

Last but certainly not least is Jameson’s Triple Distilled Classic; not only an honorary mention but a popular choice amongst amateurs and connoisseurs alike. At a more than affordable price, offering top quality tastes and aromas, you truly can’t go wrong with this Irish classic. 

Tasting Notes:
With a sherry, oak, and toast-like character, a smooth and crystal-clear amber body, and rich notes of woodiness and nut, the Jameson Classic is a safe and sufficient choice for a truly authentic Irish Whiskey experience. 

There you have the list of, in my opinion, the best Irish whiskeys under $50.  

How many on this list of the best Irish whiskeys under $50 have you had?

Which ones are on your bucket list?

Related: Best Rye Whiskey Under $50

If you haven’t tried all of them yet, well, what are you waiting for?

Stay Gold & Cheers.

About Todd Smidt

Todd is a man of simple tastes: traveling, words, whiskey, & dad jokes. He enjoys first-rate banter, long walks along the coast, High West, and Vonnegut. He spends his free time traveling the world, drinking whiskey, and writing about it.

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