How much does a good whisky cost?

The most expensive whiskey in the world was probably the Macallan "M" whisky, which sold at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong in 2014 for an eye-watering $628,205. 

Then, in April 2018, another record was broken when two very rare 1926 Macallan whiskies were sold in Dubai for $1.2 million at luxury spirits retailer Le Clos. This was officially the most “expensive whisky retail sale in history” according to Forbes magazine. 

If you have more conservative tastes, you might want to try the Dalmore 50 Year Old, which will only set you back £50,000 a bottle. But still, definitely a sipping whisky.

Most of us though, are looking for a drink that doesn’t cost the same as a TESLA. It’s important too, to remember that price doesn’t always reflect quality. Production, quantity and demand can all cause prices to go up or down. And you can certainly get a very decent whisky (or whiskey) for less than £50.

If you are an avid whisky lover and would like more information on our exclusive partnership with Glenfiddich, click here.

Here’s our price guide to help you choose the right whisky for you.

Price point: £20-40

Looking for a good whisky for a night in with friends? Or the perfect whisky for a cocktail? These are some excellent choices for under £40.

Grant’s Family Reserve Whisky 
40% ABV, 1L 
Where? Sainsbury’s
How much? £20
Notes: We love Grant’s, it’s a versatile, accessible whisky with a fruity aroma and light, malty taste with some slightly smoky sweetness. Drink it straight or use it in a cocktail and you won’t be disappointed.

Jack Daniels 
40% ABV, 1L
Where? Sainsbury’s
How much? £30
Notes: Good alone, with ice, or in a cocktail, Jack Daniels is a party favourite, and a high quality Tennessee Whiskey.

Laphroaig Select Single Malt Whisky 
40%, 70cl
Where? Sainsbury’s
How much? £33.00
Notes: This is a distinctive single malt whisky with a big character. Peaty, fiery and with a touch of the sea, this one is to be enjoyed alone with a drop or two of still water.

Price point: £41-70

If you want something special for your drinks cabinet or would like to buy you father-in-law an impressive bottle, you won’t be disappointed with this selection for under £80. 

Johnnie Walker Swing
70cl / 40%
Where? The Whisky Exchange
How much? £51.45
Notes: The first thing you’ll notice is the distinctive bottle which “swings” when pushed. Then you’ll get lost in the dark gold spirit. With slightly smoky notes of oak, you’ll also find it fresh with a touch of sweetness. It’s smooth to drink and a firm favourite everywhere.

Lagavulin 16 Year Old
43% ABV 70cl
Where? The Whisky Exchange
How much? £55.45
Notes: Like the Laphroaig, this whisky is a bit of a head-turner. It doesn’t go down without a fight, but those who love it, really love it. It’s a full-bodied single malt hails from Islay and has a distinctive peaty, deep and dry quality. 

Macallan 10 Year Old Fine oak range
40% ABV 70cl
Where? The Whisky Exchange
How much? £69.95
Notes: This accessible Speyside single malt scotch whisky has a medium body, which is slightly smoky with reminders of heather, oak and malt and some sweet undertones of honey.

Price point: £70-110

Caol Ila 2002 Distiller’s Edition 
43% ABV, 70cl 
Where? The Whisky Exchange
How much? £71.95
Notes: Full-bodied, smoky, rich with good level of sweetness, this is a good whisky to taste, savour and enjoy.

Glenlivet Code 
70cl / 48%
Where? The Whisky Exchange /
How much? £99.95
Notes: This Speyside single malt scotch whisky is a little...different. With no information about the nose, taste or finish, Glenlivet are challenging its fans to test their senses and crack the “code”. According to Glenlivet the tasting notes will be revealed at the end of 2018.

Price point: £111- 150

It’s getting pretty serious over £100 and whisky connoisseurs will be delighted with these distinctive single malts. 

Aberlour 18 Year Old
43% ABV 
Where? The Whisky Exchange
How much? £117
Notes: The Aberlour is a rich, full-bodied, mildly sweet whisky and very drinkable. North of £100,  this 18-year-old single malt scotch is one to enjoy on its own with a drop or two of still water to open up the dram. 

The Glenfiddich Distillery Malt Whisky
Variable ABV varies, 70cl
Where? Glenfiddich Online 
How much? £120.00
Notes: With a fruity, aroma and a dash of vanilla, it’s a complex whisky with a spicy hints of oak, ginger and other rich flavour tones.

Price point: 150 +

If you really want to push the boat out and try something special, we’ve thrown an Irish single malt and an American bourbon into the mix.

Bushmills 21 Year Old
Madeira Finish
40% ABV, 70cl 
Where? The Whisky Exchange
How much? £169
Notes: This Irish Single Malt Whiskey is medium-bodied and sweet. Matured in bourbon and sherry casks for 19 years and finished in ex-Madeira casks for a further 2 years, this is a top class Irish Whiskey from the oldest distillery in the world.

Four Roses Small Batch 2013, 125th Anniversary Bourbon
51.6% ABV, 70cl 
Where? The Whisky Exchange
How much? £550
Notes: We’ve thrown a bourbon into the mix here. Matured in specially selected casks for its 125th anniversary, the Four Roses is a limited edition that has been aged for 13 to 18 years. At this price, you are buying its rarity, quality and an interesting talking point.

If you enjoyed this article and want to read the next chapter in our whisky series then click here.