Scotland gets a lot of the credit when it comes to whisky making, but there’s another whiskey (with an “e”) powerhouse right next door: Ireland. Irish whiskey isn’t just for picklebacks. Whether you want something you can sip straight, on the rocks, shoot out of a shot glass, or mix into cocktails, there’s an Irish whiskey for all occasions. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find one you like.
Here are the eight best Irish whiskies under $50.
Knappogue 12 Year
Knappogue’s youngest aged offering is a great everyday whiskey for complex cocktails or sipping neat. Mellow notes of honey and vanilla from the barrel aging temper out apple and peach flavors. The alcohol doesn’t come off too hot and it goes down smooth. Average Price: $45
Powers Signature Release
Spice and oak are the first things you notice in the Powers Signature Release. It’s peppery and slightly herbal with a finish that stays on your tongue long after you complete the sip. This is one that you’ll want to enjoy either neat or on the rocks. Average Price: $45
Green Spot is at the top of the price limit here, but it’s worth it. It’s a single pot still whiskey aged for seven to eight years in 25 percent sherry casks and 75 percent bourbon casks. A nuttiness and apple flavor from the sherry casks is still prevalent, as well as toffee. Average Price: $50
The second-best-selling Irish whiskey is nothing to scoff at. It’s triple distilled with a toasty flavor. There’s a slight sweetness that makes this whiskey go down easy, but Tullamore is best as a shot or in a cocktail like an Irish Coffee not for slow sipping. Average Price: $23
Bushmills Original is a blend of triple distilled Irish single malt whiskey and whiskey that’s been aged for at least five years in American oak casks. It’s a value whiskey for when you want something simple, cheap, and reliable. Average Price: $20
One of the main differentiators between Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky is the fact that Scotch is traditionally defined by peat and Irish whiskey isn’t. Kilbeggan bends the rules a bit with hints of peat added to honey sweetness. It’s less refined than some of the other options on the list, but for a taste of something different at an extremely low price, it’s hard to beat Kilbeggan. Average Price: $22
If you like peaty flavors in your whiskey, but you want something a little more than Kilbeggan, then try out Connemara. It’s a single malt Irish whiskey with an easy-drinking sweet malt flavor as well as peat flavors that add a layer of complexity. Average Price: $38
You don’t know Irish whiskey unless you know Jameson. It’s the best-selling Irish whiskey for a reason. It’s cheap, simple, mixes easily, and tastes great with pickle juice. Average Price: $25