Spirits & Liqueurs Other Whiskey

The Best World Whisk(e)y Under $40

(photo illustration: Laura Sant).

You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why.

Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.

  • Clontarf 1014 (Ireland, $25)

    “Clontarf is an Irish whiskey that’s triple-distilled and aged in bourbon casks. It’s an excellent gift for bourbon and Irish whiskey drinkers alike. It’s also fun to use instead of bourbon in a cocktail.”—Mindy Magers, general manager at Oklahoma City’s Pritchard

  • Lot No. 40 (Canadian, $39)

    “A 100 percent rye whisky that has lots of great spice like cinnamon and clove, as well as some buttery notes. It’s great for sipping or for cocktails.”—Brian Means, bartender at San Francisco's Pacific Cocktail Haven

  • Slane (Ireland, $35)

    “Slane is so mellow and easy to use with other ingredients. The finish from the sherry casks it is aged in adds a boost of orange and nuttiness.”—Lucinda Sterling, managing partner and bartender at New York City's Middle Branch

  • Teeling Small Batch (Ireland, $38)

    “One of the more recent distilleries to open in Ireland, this group has been putting out one great expression after another. Start with their flagship and explore from there.”—Jamie Boudreau, owner of and bartender at Seattle's Canon

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • Writers’ Tears Copper Pot (Ireland, $39)

    “Just a solid example of pot still whisky at its smoothest.”—Patrick Marran, bartender at New York City's On the Rocks