Best Budget Whiskey: Top Picks for Affordable and Delicious Whiskey Options

Updated on February 13, 2024

Whiskey lovers know that finding a good bottle of whiskey can be a daunting task, especially if you’re on a budget. But fear not, we’ve done the research for you and have compiled a list of the best budget whiskeys on the market.

Whiskey is a distilled spirit made from fermented grain mash, typically aged in wooden barrels. It’s a popular drink around the world, known for its complex flavors and aromas. Whiskey is usually categorized by its country of origin, type of grain used, and aging process.

When it comes to budget whiskeys, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, price doesn’t always determine quality. Some affordable whiskeys can be just as good, if not better, than their more expensive counterparts. Second, consider the type of whiskey you’re looking for. Are you in the mood for a smooth and mellow bourbon, or a peaty and smoky scotch? Finally, pay attention to the age statement. While older whiskeys are generally more expensive, they don’t always guarantee a better taste.

With these factors in mind, we’ve scoured the market for the best budget whiskeys that won’t break the bank. So sit back, pour yourself a glass, and let’s dive into the world of affordable whiskey.

Best Budget Whiskey

We know that finding a good budget whiskey can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve done the research and put together a list of the best budget whiskeys on the market. These whiskeys won’t break the bank, but they still offer great flavor and quality. Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey drinker or just starting out, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, here are our top picks for the best budget whiskeys.

Illumive Whiskey Set

Whiskey| Ultimate Whiskey Set| Whiskey Infusion Kit Includes Whiskey Glass, Whiskey Stones 3 Woodchips and 6 Botanicals| Great for Men, Whiskey Gifts for Men, Mens Birthday Gift Ideas

If you're looking for a whiskey set that will let you create personalized drinks, then the Illumive Whiskey Set is a great option.

Pros:
  • The set includes all the accessories you need to make a variety of flavorful drinks.
  • You can customize your whiskey using the included wood chip blends and botanicals.
  • The set includes two whiskey glasses, so you can share your creations with a friend.
Cons:
  • The instructions could be more detailed.
  • The whiskey stones are lighter than some other options.
  • The set is a bit pricey compared to other whiskey sets.
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We recently tried out the Illumive Whiskey Set and were impressed with the variety of accessories included. The set comes with two whiskey glasses, two whiskey bottles with customizable labels and wooden cork, six stainless steel whiskey stones, three types of wood chips, and six botanicals. The instructions provide a basic overview of how to create your own whiskey, but we found that some outside research was necessary to confidently get started.

One of the best things about this set is the ability to customize your whiskey using the included wood chip blends and botanicals. Whether you’re looking for a smokey, woody, or fruity taste, you can use your creativity to make your whiskey just the way you like it.

The whiskey glasses included in the set are a good size and allow you to add your whiskey stones for a cold, chilled drink. We also appreciated the inclusion of six whiskey stones, which cool your drink without diluting it.

Overall, the Illumive Whiskey Set is a great option for anyone looking to create personalized drinks. While it is a bit pricey compared to other whiskey sets, the variety of accessories included makes it worth the investment.

CARVELITA Personalized 11oz Whiskey Glass

CARVELITA Personalized 11oz Whiskey Glass, Engraved Old Fashion Custom Rack Glass, Pour Line Gift Idea, Personalized For Him, Single Pour, Double Pour, For Christmas, Fathers Day, Birthday

If you're looking for a personalized whiskey glass to elevate your drinking experience or to give as a thoughtful gift, the CARVELITA Personalized 11oz Whiskey Glass is a great option.

Pros:
  • The unique pour line design adds an element of fun and control to your pour, allowing you to measure your whisky precisely and experiment with mixing for unique flavors.
  • The quality craftsmanship and personalized rock glass material give the glass a one-of-a-kind texture that enhances its aesthetic appeal.
  • The 11oz capacity is perfect for savoring the perfect serving of whiskey without overpouring or running out too quickly.
Cons:
  • The customization options are limited to laser-engraved text, so if you're looking for a more intricate design or logo, this may not be the best option.
  • The glass is hand-wash only, which may be inconvenient for some users who prefer dishwasher-safe glassware.
  • The glass may be too heavy for some users, especially if they have arthritis or other hand conditions.
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If you’re looking for a personalized whiskey glass that is affordable yet elegant, the CARVELITA Personalized 11oz Whiskey Glass is a great option. Crafted from personalized rock glass material, the glass boasts a one-of-a-kind texture that enhances its aesthetic appeal. The unique pour line design adds an element of fun and control to your pour, allowing you to measure your whisky precisely and experiment with mixing for unique flavors. The 11oz capacity is perfect for savoring the perfect serving of whiskey without overpouring or running out too quickly.

However, the customization options are limited to laser-engraved text, so if you’re looking for a more intricate design or logo, this may not be the best option. Additionally, the glass is hand-wash only, which may be inconvenient for some users who prefer dishwasher-safe glassware. Finally, the glass may be too heavy for some users, especially if they have arthritis or other hand conditions.

Overall, if you’re looking for a personalized whiskey glass that won’t break the bank, the CARVELITA Personalized 11oz Whiskey Glass is a great option. It’s perfect for relaxed dinners, family gatherings, or solitary indulgences, and it makes for a heartfelt gift for any occasion.

Liquor Quik Whiskey Infusion Kit

Liquor Quik Whiskey Infusion Kit - Complete DIY Whiskey Making Kit Complete w/ 450ml Glass Infuser Vessel & 3 Craft Infusing Flavor Packets - Alcohol Gifts for Him, Mixology Cocktail Bar Accessori...

If you're looking for a unique and creative way to infuse your whiskey with different flavors, the Liquor Quik Whiskey Infusion Kit might be just what you need.

Pros:
  • Unleash your creativity and experiment with different flavors
  • Includes all the necessary components to get started
  • Makes a great gift for the whiskey enthusiast in your life
Cons:
  • Infusion packets may be too strong for some tastes
  • Lack of ingredient transparency may be a concern for some users
  • Glass vessel may be prone to breakage if mishandled
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We recently had the opportunity to test out the Liquor Quik Whiskey Infusion Kit, and we were impressed with the results. The kit comes with a 450ml glass vessel, a stainless steel basket, and three different infusion packets (Cinnamon Fire, Bourbon Spice, and Top Shelf Straight Whiskey), as well as a recipe guide on how to infuse and age flavorful whiskey at home.

Using the kit is simple: just empty one packet into the stainless steel basket, fill the infusion bottle with unflavored whiskey or bourbon of your choice until the basket contents are submerged (requires 450ml of liquid), seal, shake, and start tasting the flavor difference after just 2 days.

We found that the infusion packets provided a strong and distinct flavor, which may be too overpowering for some tastes. However, the ability to experiment with different flavors and create unique batches of flavored whiskey is a definite plus.

Overall, we think the Liquor Quik Whiskey Infusion Kit is a great choice for the home cocktail bartender or whiskey enthusiast looking to unleash their creativity and experiment with different flavors.

Xtra Dirty Cocktail Smoker Kit

Xtra Dirty Cocktail Smoker Kit - 4 Flame Jet Torch - Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit - Whiskey Gift for Men - Valentine's Day Gift for Him - Whiskey Infusion Kit - Bourbon Smoker (8 Wood Chip Jars)

If you're looking for a unique and innovative way to elevate your whiskey drinking experience, the Xtra Dirty Cocktail Smoker Kit is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • Craft visually stunning smoke patterns for unique presentations
  • Enhances the flavor profile of your favorite spirits
  • Comes with eight distinct wood chip flavors for added variety
Cons:
  • Torch may require a bit of practice to use effectively
  • Some users have reported issues with the torch malfunctioning
  • Packaging could be more aesthetically pleasing
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We were impressed with the Xtra Dirty Cocktail Smoker Kit and the innovative Infuse-Smoke-Technology that it utilizes. The Quad Flame Torch and bourbon infusing kit allow for artistic streams of smoke to be created, resulting in visually stunning smoke patterns that are sure to impress your guests.

Using the kit to infuse smoke into your favorite spirits is easy and enjoyable, and the eight distinct wood chip flavors that come with the kit add an extra layer of variety to your drinking experience. We especially enjoyed the cherry wood chips, which added a delicious smoky flavor to our Old Fashioned cocktails.

While the torch may require a bit of practice to use effectively, we found that it performed well once we got the hang of it. Some users have reported issues with the torch malfunctioning, but we did not experience any problems during our testing.

Overall, we think the Xtra Dirty Cocktail Smoker Kit is a great option for anyone looking to elevate their whiskey drinking experience. The added variety of wood chip flavors and the visually stunning smoke patterns make this kit a unique and enjoyable addition to any bar collection.

ROMUCHE Cocktail Smoker Kit with Torch Whiskey Smoker Kit with 6 Flavors Wood Chips Ice Cubes Bourbon Smoker Kit for Infuse Cocktail Bourbon Whiskey Making Kit for Men Christmas Valentine’s Day extra

ROMUCHE Cocktail Smoker Kit with Torch Whiskey Smoker Kit with 6 Flavors Wood Chips Ice Cubes Bourbon Smoker Kit for Infuse Cocktail Bourbon Whiskey Making Kit for Men Christmas Valentine's Day

If you're looking for a budget-friendly cocktail smoker, the ROMUCHE Cocktail Smoker Kit is a great choice.

Pros:
  • The kit comes with various flavors of wood chips, allowing you to experiment with different smoky flavors in your cocktails.
  • The smoke infuser creates a beautiful cascading waterfall of smoke that will add a unique sensory experience to your drinks.
  • The kit is easy to use, making it perfect for beginners and pros alike.
Cons:
  • The torch needs to be filled with butane before the first use, which may be inconvenient for some users.
  • The kit is made in China, which may be a drawback for those who prefer products made in other countries.
  • Some users have reported issues with the butane torch breaking upon delivery.
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The ROMUCHE Cocktail Smoker Kit is a versatile tool that can be used to smoke cocktails, whiskey, cheese, desserts, and meats. The kit includes a smoke infuser, a torch (butane-free), 4 ice cubes, a clip, a small spoon, a cleaning brush, 2 filters, and 6 flavors of wood chips (apple, cherry, pecan, oak, pear, and peach) without artificial fragrance ingredients. The size of the smoke top perfectly fits different sizes of cups, glasses, and small bowls, making it easy to use anywhere.

Using the kit is simple and easy. Just put the drink smoker infuser kit on your glass, drop some wood chips, use a smoking gun to ignite the chips, which need to be fully burned, and shake it slightly. Wait for a few seconds, and a flavored drink is created, which will completely change the way you experience drinks and food.

Overall, the ROMUCHE Cocktail Smoker Kit is an excellent choice for those looking to add a smoky twist to their cocktails without breaking the bank. It also makes a great gift for whiskey-making lovers, especially during holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Mixology & Craft Whiskey Stones

Mixology & Craft Whiskey Stones - Cube-Shaped Granite Chilling Whiskey Rocks Set of 6, are Great Whiskey Gifts for Men and Groomsmen Gifts - Graphite Grey

If you're a whiskey lover who hates the taste of watered-down drinks, then you should definitely consider purchasing the Mixology & Craft Whiskey Stones. This set of six cube-shaped natural granite whiskey stones comes with a wooden tray for easy organization and freezer storage.

Pros:
  • Upgrade your happy hour with this whiskey stones gift set that includes 6 cube-shaped natural granite whiskey stones and a wooden tray for easy organization and freezer storage.
  • Made from natural and machine polished granite, our whiskey rock set will surely impress any house guest. Avoid watered-down drinks and keep them cold with these premium whiskey ice stones.
  • Our granite chilling stones come with a conveniently sized wooden tray for easy organization. Simply place the tray in the freezer until the stones are cool, and add them into your drink to enjoy!
Cons:
  • Share the joy of a perfectly chilled glass of whiskey. Our whiskey stones pack includes 6 different reusable cocktail ice cubes so you can enjoy them with a friend or a partner.
  • Whether you're looking for Christmas gifts for men who want nothing or the perfect stocking stuffer for dad, like bourbon this whiskey stone gift set only gets better with age.
  • The stones don't keep the drink cold for very long.
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We loved using the Mixology & Craft Whiskey Stones to keep our drinks cold without diluting them. The natural granite stones are a beautiful addition to any whiskey glass, and the wooden tray makes it easy to store them in the freezer. However, we did notice that the stones don’t keep the drink cold for very long, so you may need to use multiple sets if you like your drink extra cold. Overall, we highly recommend this whiskey stone set for anyone who wants to enjoy their whiskey without the taste of watered-down drinks.

TAPCRAFT Irish Whiskey Mash and Fermentation Kit

Complete Malted Barley, Specialty Grain Irish Whiskey Mash and Fermentation Kit - Make Your Own Irish Whiskey at Home - Gifts for Whiskey Lovers - Gifts for Him - Gifts for Dad

If you're looking to create your own Irish whiskey at home, the TAPCRAFT Irish Whiskey Mash and Fermentation Kit is an excellent option.

Pros:
  • The kit contains all the necessary ingredients, except for spring water, to make a 5-gallon mash of Irish whiskey.
  • Specialty grains are included, ensuring a more mature flavor with less time required.
  • Oak chips are included in the kit, which have a high surface area to impart oak flavor much quicker than staves or barrels.
Cons:
  • You'll need to purchase spring water separately, which can be a hassle.
  • The kit doesn't include a still, so you'll need to purchase one separately if you want to distill your whiskey.
  • The instructions can be a bit confusing for beginners.
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We found that the TAPCRAFT Irish Whiskey Mash and Fermentation Kit was easy to use and produced a delicious whiskey with a mature flavor. The specialty grains and oak chips included in the kit really made a difference in the final product. However, we did have to purchase spring water separately, which was a bit of a hassle. Additionally, the instructions can be a bit confusing for beginners, so it’s important to read them carefully before starting the process.

Overall, we would recommend the TAPCRAFT Irish Whiskey Mash and Fermentation Kit to anyone looking to make their own whiskey at home. It’s an affordable and easy-to-use option that produces great results.

The Home Bartender: The Third Edition: 200+ Cocktails Made with Four Ingredients or Less

The Home Bartender: The Third Edition: 200+ Cocktails Made with Four Ingredients or Less

If you're looking to up your cocktail game without breaking the bank, The Home Bartender: The Third Edition is a great investment. With over 200 recipes made with four ingredients or less, this book is perfect for beginners and seasoned home bartenders alike.

Pros:
  • The book is well-organized and easy to navigate, with recipes sorted by base spirit and additional sections for punches, non-alcoholic drinks, and more.
  • The recipes are simple and straightforward, with clear instructions and minimal ingredients, making it easy to whip up a cocktail on a whim.
  • The book includes beautiful photographs of each cocktail, making it easy to see what you're making and how it should look.
Cons:
  • While the book is great for those just starting out, more experienced bartenders may find the recipes a bit too basic.
  • Some of the recipes call for specific brands of spirits or mixers, which may be difficult to find or more expensive than other options.
  • The book doesn't include much information on technique or history, so if you're looking to learn more about the art of bartending, you may want to supplement this book with others.
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Overall, we highly recommend The Home Bartender: The Third Edition for anyone looking to expand their cocktail repertoire without breaking the bank. The recipes are easy to follow and delicious, and the book is a great addition to any home bar.

Mantello Whiskey Stones Gift Set for Men

Mantello Whiskey Stones Gift Set for Men - Whiskey Glass Set of 2 with Stainless Steel Whiskey Stones - Whiskey Gifts for Men, Whisky Glasses and Whiskey Stones Rocks

If you are looking for a budget-friendly whiskey set that is perfect for gifting, then the Mantello Whiskey Stones Gift Set for Men is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The set comes with everything you need to enjoy your whiskey, including two twist bourbon glasses, six stainless steel whisky stones, metal tongs, coasters, and a wooden gift box.
  • The stainless steel whisky stones don't leave any residue, ensuring that your drink remains smooth and pure.
  • The rounded edges of the cubes prevent your cool whisky glasses from getting scratched.
Cons:
  • The set is not suitable for warm drinks.
  • The coasters are not very durable.
  • The glasses are on the smaller side.
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We were impressed with the quality of this whiskey set. The glasses are well-made and feel sturdy in your hands. The stainless steel whisky stones are a great alternative to traditional ice cubes, as they don’t dilute your drink or leave any aftertaste.

The wooden gift box is beautifully crafted and makes for a great presentation. It’s perfect for gifting to your friends and family who enjoy a good glass of whiskey.

Overall, we highly recommend the Mantello Whiskey Stones Gift Set for Men. It’s a great budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality.

Aged & Charred Whiskey Infusion Kit

Whiskey Making Kit Complete - Craft Your Own Flavor of Whiskey - Bourbon Gifts for Men - Whiskey Infusion Kit - Whisky Gifts for Men Unique - Gifts for Husband Birthday Unique

Craft your own flavor of whiskey with Aged & Charred's Whiskey Infusion Kit, a perfect gift for whiskey and bourbon enthusiasts who want to experiment with various infusion flavors to find the perfect pour.

Pros:
  • Infuse your favorite adult beverage with flavors of your choice, including orange, cinnamon, oak, cherry, pecan, and peach.
  • Unique infusion bottle includes a filter specifically designed to prevent unwanted particles from getting into spirits.
  • Generously-sized wood chip containers and infusion bottles ensure that you’ll have plenty to enjoy yourself and share with friends.
Cons:
  • The process takes at least 24 hours, so it requires a bit of advance planning.
  • The kit does not come with whiskey or bourbon, so you'll need to purchase that separately.
  • The kit may not be suitable for those who prefer traditional, unflavored whiskey.
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We recently tried out Aged & Charred’s Whiskey Infusion Kit, and we were impressed with how easy it was to use. The kit includes everything you need to infuse your favorite spirits, including an infusion bottle with a filter, six containers of flavors (oak, pecan, cherry, peach, orange peel, cinnamon), and detailed instructions.

We were surprised by how much flavor the wood chips imparted in just 24 hours. We tried infusing our whiskey with cinnamon and oak, and the resulting drink had a delicious, complex flavor that was perfect for sipping on a chilly evening. The unique infusion bottle with a filter prevented any unwanted particles from getting into the whiskey, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience.

Overall, we highly recommend Aged & Charred’s Whiskey Infusion Kit for anyone who wants to experiment with infused whiskey or bourbon. It’s a fun and easy way to take your drinks to the next level, and the kit would make a great gift for the whiskey lover in your life.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best budget whiskey, there are a few important factors to consider to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. Here are some key features to look for when making your selection:

Age

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a budget whiskey is the age of the product. Generally, the longer a whiskey is aged, the smoother and more complex it will be. However, this also means that it will likely be more expensive. If you’re looking for a budget option, you may want to consider a younger whiskey, which can still offer plenty of flavor and character at a more affordable price point.

Type

Another important factor to consider is the type of whiskey you’re looking for. There are several different types of whiskey, including bourbon, rye, and scotch, each with its own unique flavor profile. If you’re new to whiskey, you may want to try a few different types to see which one you prefer.

Proof

The proof of a whiskey refers to its alcohol content, and can have a big impact on its flavor and overall quality. Generally, higher-proof whiskeys will have a stronger flavor and more intense aroma, but may also be more expensive. If you’re looking for a budget option, you may want to consider a lower-proof whiskey, which can still offer plenty of flavor without breaking the bank.

Brand

While brand isn’t necessarily a determining factor in the quality of a whiskey, it can be helpful to choose a reputable brand that you trust. Some well-known whiskey brands may offer budget options that still deliver on quality and flavor, so it’s worth doing some research to find a brand that you like.

By considering these factors, you can choose a budget whiskey that offers great flavor and quality without breaking the bank.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.