The Best Irish Whiskey Under $50

Irish Whiskey for the Drinker on a Budget

  • 15 Drink
  • Updated: Nov 23, 2016

The Best Irish Whiskey that Won't Break the Bank

Irish whiskey is a bit of a strange category. Thanks to decades (if not centuries, in some cases) of consolidation, there are now only a handful of operating Irish whiskey distilleries that produce almost all of the brands that come out of the country. That's changing as the craft spirits movement takes off globally, but in the meantime we're left with relatively few options compared to similar categories like scotch whisky.

We put together this guide to help people who may be new to Irish whiskey figure out where to start, but it should also be helpful for those who love it but simply don't want to spend half their month's rent on a bottle. While the best Irish whiskeys under $50 aren't necessarily cheap, they're certainly on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

These Irish whiskeys are some of our personal favorites, and while there's a bit of brand repetition, we think you'll come across a bottle or two that even the biggest fans have never heard of.

  • Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
    Redbreast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey is a single pot still Irish whiskey, meaning that it is distilled using only a pot still and no column distillates. It's regarded by many critics and fans as one of the standout Irish whiskeys in the world, and an excellent example of the style against which others can be judged. And coming in at just about $50 per bottle,…
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey is one of the premium offerings from Bushmills, which holds the honor of being the oldest operating distillery in Ireland. It's finished in sherry casks, which give it some qualities reminiscent of a scotch whisky, and make it an interesting expression in the Bushmills line. Black Bush is also a favorite among critics, and …
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve is one of the older offerings in Tullamore Dew's line of Irish whiskeys, and that extra maturity has made it a favorite among critics and consumers alike. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 12-15 years, it's a spicy, nutty, and woody whiskey with notes of chocolate and citrus at the forefront as it moves along the …
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey is one of the Jameson line's Select Reserve expressions, aged in ex-bourbon and sherry casks. It's a blend of pot still whiskey and grain whiskey, and with a price point just around $35 it really won't break the bank. Apparently, the Black Barrel name comes from the fact that the bourbon barrels are double-charred, giving t…
  • Single Malt Irish Whiskey
    Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey is produced by one of the few remaining independent Irish whiskey distillers in the world (most others have been bought up by major conglomerates), and it's generally regarded as one of the better value single malts out there. Smooth, fruity, and finishing up with nice notes of oak, this 12 year old Iris…
  • Single Malt Irish Whiskey
    Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt is a triple-distilled Irish whiskey aged for 10 years in American bourbon barrels. It's labeled as a single malt due to its use of 100% barley in the fermentation process. This Bushmills product is pretty highly regarded among critics and consumers alike, and boasts flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and elegant American oak. It…
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Bushmills Irish Whiskey is the flagship product in the Bushmills line, and one of the most popular and widely-available Irish whiskeys in the world. It's produced at Old Bushmills Distillery, which holds the honor of being the oldest whiskey distillery in Ireland, and while it's generally very well regarded by critics, it remains one of the more affordable b…
  • Irish Whiskey
    Jameson is often the first name that comes to mind when Americans think of Irish whiskey, and for good reason—it was the most popular whiskey in the world as early as 1805. It's ubiquitous in bars around the globe (and sees its fair share of overconsumption each year on St. Patrick's Day), and while it isn't the most stunningly complex Irish whiskey, it cert…
  • Single Malt Irish Whiskey
    Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Single Malt is an interesting Irish whiskey in that it is matured in four different cask varieties, namely ex-bourbon, madeira, Oloroso sherry, and port. These impart a complex interplay of wood flavors, as well as earthy and fruity notes that make it a great (and quite affordable, at just over $30) bottle of Irish for people lookin…
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Tullamore Dew Original Irish Whiskey is one of the most widely-available and popular Irish whiskeys in the world. It's a wonderfully affordable bottle, and despite not rating quite as high as some of the other products in their range, the triple-distilled original is a great place to start for those looking to explore the world of Irish whiskey. While T…
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey is the flagship offering from Kilbeggan, a brand that takes its name from St Bécán, one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland who founded a monastery in the area in the 6th century. Its owners have sought to increase their whiskey's popularity in the American market in recent years, so it's becoming a more common sight in stateside bars. …
  • Single Grain Irish Whiskey
    Kilbeggan 8 Year Old Single Grain is an interesting Irish whiskey because it is made with 100% corn instead of the typical barley, which is where it gets its moniker as "single grain." It's a newer product from Kilbeggan, and was apparently re-branded from the Greenore label by its owners, Beam-Suntory. It's light, with notes of honey, vanilla, and oak, and …
  • Irish Whiskey
    Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey is the flagship product in its line, which was first introduced all the way back in 1791. It's reportedly the most popular Irish whiskey sold in Ireland, which gives it some serious street cred, and it's also regarded as one of the better deals in its category. Prices have steadily risen in recent years, though, as Powers' pop…
  • Irish Whiskey
    Powers 12 Year Old Special Reserve Irish Whiskey is a slightly more mature expression of the flagship Powers Gold Label, and along with its age statement comes a bit more refinement and malty smoothness. It's a newer addition to US markets, but it's been popular in Ireland for a good long while now, and it remains a great deal in the world of Irish whiskey.
  • Irish Whiskey
    Mosswood Sherry Cask Irish Whiskey is the only Irish whiskey produced by Berkeley, California-based Mosswood Distillers, who are better known for their creatively barrel-finished American whiskeys. They source their four-year-old base whiskey from Cooley Distillery in County Louth, Ireland, then finish it in Amontillado sherry casks for one year. The finishe…

Curated by