Best Budget Whiskies for Christmas 2023

Best Budget Whiskies for Christmas 2023

With Christmas approaching, we got in touch our whisky Club Members to ask them to share their recommendations on the best budget whiskies available today. These are not only great choices to have in the drinks cabinet as family and friends visit, but also some great suggestions for presents at a reasonable price.
We’ve divided them up into different sections of Scotch, Peated/Smoky, Irish and Blends, depending on which type you prefer and provided some pricing info.

Best Budget Scotch Whisky for Christmas

Our Members recommendations are Old Pulteney 12, Tomatin Legacy, Arran 10 and Glenmorangie 10
old pulteney 12 best budget whiskies for xmas 2022

Old Pulteney 12

£36.50 in Tesco (currently £26 with Clubcard)

This whisky came up from many of our Members with Michael recommending it as a ‘lovely addition at the lower end’ and Amber saying it is whisky that ‘has served me well in the past for around £25’.

You’ll usually find this one on offer in major supermarkets around Christmas and overall it is a great choice for all drammers, no matter where you are on your journey. Soft, approachable and very drinkable.

Tomatin Legacy Best budget scotch for christmas 2022

Tomatin Legacy

£29.50 in Tesco

Recommended by Paul and Adam. Tomatin Legacy is a whisky matured in both bourbon and virgin oak and, being bottled at 43%, should have a little more depth and spice to the Old Pulteney. However, general opinion is that this is still an easy-drinking, soft and uncomplicated whisky. I’m going to describe this as a great ‘grabbable’ whisky, place it front and centre on shelf as the one you’re happy for anyone to pour.

whisky arran 10 best budget whisky 2022

Arran 10

£39.95 plus delivery from House of Malt

Many members mention this one. A good solid scotch at 46% and another age statement at that.
Honey, floral, approachable but with a bit more of a ‘robustness’ than previous recommendations. If you’ve ever had those night’s introducing someone to whisky, this is a great reference whisky is sampling different regions or styles for the evening.

‘Starter for 10 anyone?’

Glenmorganie 10 best budget whisky 2022 for Christmas

Glenmorangie 10

£39 in Waitrose (currently £28)

Whisky and Christmas. There’s something about a recognisable traditional scotch that just takes us all back to those Christmas’ years ago. It’s that parent or uncle bringing over that ‘some special’, which generally just meant it wasn’t Bells. (Famous Grouse in the early 1990s anyone?). At this point last year this whisky was £36 plus delivery, so if you’re interested in getting a bottle get it whilst on deal as there are not many options that are cheaper than a year ago.

Glenmorganie 10, described by our members as a ‘can’t go wrong’ whisky and great for gifting. It’s been around forever for a good reason. Not sure on the new bottle design though.

Best Budget Peated Whisky for Christmas

For those looking for affordable peated or smoky whiskies, our Members recommendations are Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Bruichladdich Classic Laddie and Ledaig Sinclair Rioja
Laphroaig Quarter Cask Best peated whisky for christmas 2022

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

£43.95 plus delivery from The Whisky Exchange

Peated whisky – now we’re talking! And what could be more iconic than a Laphroaig? As challenging to drink as it is to spell.

You’ve been there, someone’s looking at your whisky bottles and out comes that immortal phrase – ‘I don’t know, I’ve tried whisky and they all taste the time to me’. A glass of Laphroaig for you my friend! And they either love it, or hate it. Either way, argument settled!

If you like your peated whiskies, chances are you know the southern lleach well, but it’s worth reminding you that now is the time to stock up. If you are new to the style, this is the one to go for. Meaty, smoky, moreish and ‘moorish’ with it’s briny, earthy, mossy notes. Expect opinions and conversation.

buichladdich Classic Laddie ideal whisky for christmas 2023

Bruichladdich Classic Laddie

£44.50 in Morrisons (currently £36) 

A new entry this year recommended by Lewis, who suggested that “it’s really interesting, sweet and salty, quite light, but not what I’d call an easy drinker. Finish is also quite short, but there is so much going on and a drop of water really enhances it at 50% abv it’s hard to beat at that price.”

Ledaig Sinclair Rioja Best peated whisky for christmas 2022

Ledaig Sinclair Rioja

£33.90 plus delivery from House of Malt (an inflation busting option that was £34.45 last Christmas)

‘Amazing Value for money’ was Matthew’s quote and others Members commented it was a drink they could sip all day long.

This is one of the best value whiskies on our list; a complex, smoky, spicy dram that’s more tasty than testing. An ideal whisky gift for a peat head that needs to try something a little different.

Best Budget Blended Whisky for Christmas

For blended whiskies, our Members recommend Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, Cutty Sark Prohibition, Maclean's Nose and Thompson Brothers SRV5
Shackleton Blended Malt Whisky best whiskies under £25 at asda

Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

£26 in Asda (Currently £21)

Tristan recommends another blend in Shackleton as “a cracking whisky for sub £25. There is a lovely sweetness to it that doesn’t feel rushed or artificial. I find it quite oaty with some butterscotch.”

Cutty Sark Prohibition Best blended whisky for christmas 2022

Cutty Sark Prohibition

£26.90 plus delivery from House of Malt

Proving that Blends aren’t Single Malt’s sensible brother, Cutty Sark Prohibition is the strongest recommendation on our list at 50% abv. Many of our Members commented on the great bang-for-your-buck with the price alone. Plus you get the play the ‘I wonder where the spirits come from’ game that I know you all play when you try a characterful blend.

Maclean's Nose best budget whisky for christmas 2023

Maclean's Nose

£28.99 plus delivery from Tyndrum Whisky

Released this year, Maclean’s Nose is a nod to whisky legend Charles Maclean and is a standout bottle for Andy who has “bought multiple so far this year and bought for others too.” He goes on to qualify this with, “personally I have never bought 10 bottles of anything before and this is such a great session dram kicking well above its price tag!”

Thompson Brothers SRV5 Whiskies for xmas 2023

Thompson Brothers SRV5

£34.90 plus delivery from Master of Malt

Thompson Brothers have been quietly building a fantastic reputation for both quality and value, and SRV5 fits that reputation well and is Anthony’s new go to whisky.

Created from a combination of single malts all aged over 8 years and vatted in a 1200 litre charred European oak barrel (which is depicted on the label). This Solera-style vat is never completely emptied of its contents to allow the remaining liquid to blend and integrate with the next batch of blended malt to be added.

Best Budget Whisky for Christmas from Aldi / Lidl

For whiskies from Aldi and Lidl, our Members have recommended the Ben Bracken range from Lidl.
Ben Bracken Range best whisky from lidl for christmas 2022

Ben Bracken Range (Lidl)

£18.99 in Lidl 

Bargain whiskies from discount retail chains have had an interesting history. It only seems like yesterday that Aldi released a 40 year old single malt for £49.99. While we’re probably not going to see similar offers for while, there are still some pretty good offerings from these shops. And always worth a stroll down the ‘central aisle of dreams’ to pickup a blowtorch, paddleboard and milk frother, and other Christmas essentials.

Graham had high praises about the Ben Bracken range from Lidl, ‘especially the Islay’.

The range has an Islay, Highland and Speyside regional expressions and each being a single malt, have come from a single (but undeclared) distillery. A real bargain at the price point.

Best Budget Irish Whisky for Christmas

Good choices for budget Irish whiskey for Christmas is Redbreast 12, Green Spot and Jameson Crested.
redbreast 12 best irish whisky for christmas 2022

Redbreast 12

£43.90 plus delivery from The Whisky World

You want Irish-Christmas Whiskey-in-a-glass you want Redbreast 12.

Descriptions include sweet, dried dark fruit, sherry, marzipan, walnuts, vanilla, spices.. is it just Christmas cake in a glass? (Don’t set this one on fire though please!)

green spot best irish whisky for christmas 2022

Green Spot Irish Whiskey

£42.90 plus delivery from Master of Malt (£39.99 currently)

Our Members who recommended Redbreast also repeatedly mentioned Green Spot.

As part of the ‘spot’ range for the Mitchell family’s shop in Dublin, this is a great whiskey for those getting into Irish whiskey without thinking it’s all about Jameson. The unmalted and malted barley combination really shows through with this whiskey with a much more creamy ’roundness’ that’s extremely soft and pleasant. Novices will find it very approachable, others will appreciate the quality and nuance.

Jameson Crested

Jameson Crested

£30 plus delivery from Threshers 

A new recommendation from Mel, “A cheeky little drinker. A rebranded version of one of Jameson’s best kept secrets, the previously confusingly named Crested Ten, which wasn’t ten years old and was hard to find outside of Ireland. Having dropped the “Ten”, Crested has now been relaunched internationally.

The first Crested release came in 1963, with Jameson beginning to bottle their own whiskey (rather than selling to bonders) and it’s known to have a healthy proportion of pot still whiskey as well as a high proportion of Sherry casks used for maturation (bourbon barrels are also used).”

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, and everyone’s recommendations may be different as we all have our own tastes and preferences, but hopefully this guide will support you in your whisky and whiskey journey as it’s been created by whisky drinkers for whisky drinkers.

Thank you to all Summerton Whisky Club members who shared their thoughts to help create this guide.

Post written by Jon. Prices correct at time of publishing.