What Is The Best Scotch Whiskey

Differences Between Irish Whiskey And Scotch Production Processes

Top 8 BUCKET LIST Scotch Whiskies (according to whisky lovers)

Its the little things that set Irish whiskey and Scotch apart in big ways. Nuances between how Scotch and Irish whiskey are made significantly impact the final product. From fermentation to distillation to maturation, well break down the production processes of each spirit and what sets them apart.

Our Top Scotch Is The Glendronach Revival

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Liquor / Chloe Jeong

Best Single Estate:Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate at Drizly

Its honey-blossom nose leads to vanilla and roasted nuts, a delightful herbaceousness, and a hint of orange.

You can have a single malt in America, Japan, Taiwan or elsewhere, but to be scotch, it has to be made in Scotland, says Tommy Tardie, owner of New York’s The Flatiron Room and Fine and Rare. But thats just a starting pointtheres plenty of diversity to the nations signature spirit, including single malts, which are made with malted barley, and blended scotches, whose mash bills include other grains.

Best Blended: Dewars White Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Courtesy of Drizly

While youve most likely ordered Dewars White Label from a flight attendant, its a good call to keep a bottle on the shelf at home, too. Created in 1899, this highly affordable blended Scotch whisky possesses solid archetypical flavors. Smoky and savory, this expression offers notes of honey, citrus, and tree fruit against a cascade of char. If you’d like, you certainly can sip it neat, but Dewars also makes quite the refreshing highball with soda and lemon.

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Best Mixer: Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky

Courtesy of Wine.com

The folks at William Grant & Sons set out to create Monkey Shoulder as an elevated base for whisky drinksand they succeeded. The curious Scotch whisky is a melange of Speyside single malts and no grain spirits, and its name is derived from a repetitive stress injury that workers would get from hand-turning the malting barley. While it was born to mix, its a rich whisky loaded with citrus, honey, vanilla, spice, oak, and a faint hint of grass, so it can easily stand alone.

Best Single Malt: Glenmorangie Original 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

best Scottish whisky brands

Courtesy of Caskers

While there are more affordable single malts on the market, few of those expressions pack as much flavor into the bottle as Glenmorangie Original. The Highland maker ages the spirit in ex-bourbon barrels for a decade in the tallest pot stills in Scotland. The result is soft and supple, with riffs of juicy tree fruit, citrus, and vanillastraight magic in a glass. Sure, Glenmorangie Original tastes like it should cost a tidy sum, but, thankfully, it doesnt.

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How We Test The Best Whisky

To find the best whisky, our trusty panel of 10 whisky drinkers were given 27 different drams to try. Whether youre looking for something super-smooth to enjoy at home or a full-bodied bottle to gift, these are the ones worth forking out for

Have that fire extinguisher on standby Islays Bruichladdich has gone all experimental with its heavily peated, cask-strength Octomore range. First launched in 2002, it aims to challenge preconceptions of what a whisky can and cant be. The 12.1 edition combines that heavy smoke with a fruity, floral distillate, aged for five years in American whiskey casks. Theres savoury, meaty smoke think BBQ flavours with some toasted malt and a little coffee to balance things out.

What Should I Look For When Picking A Whisky

If whisky is all new to you, you might want to avoid the overly smoky, peated styles, which can be quite overpowering to the uninitiated. Instead, the best whisky for your palate will likely be an easy-drinking sweet and fruity dram, but if in doubt, our tasting notes should direct you to the perfect whisky for you.

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Highland Park 12 Year Old 40%

With a greater northerliness than even Wolfburn, Highland Park comes from Orkney and claims a history dating back to 1798. They still have their own floor malting and use local peat, which gives their whiskies part of the character for which theyre famous.

The 12-year-old is the mainstay of their range, and the nose is balanced and medium bodied. Theres an apple note redolent of calvados, with raisins, a suggestion of leather and vanilla-led spices filling it out. Light smokiness and a hint of briney air intermingle.

To drink, it continues balanced, dryish with the smoke and brine covering a malt sweetness that emerges at the end, and a slight nuttiness under the bonfire notes on the short finish. Beautifully balanced and a great introduction to peat Scotch, this is tremendous whisky, even before you get to the price.

Available from:

Available from: Lidl .

Lidl has been making a noise in the world of spirits for a few years by bringing their ruthless pricing to drinks like Scotch whisky, which have in general become noticeably more expensive over the last decade.

Abrachan, a blended malt whisky, sits at the same price point as their Islay, Highland and Speyside single malts , and is comprised of whiskies aged in oloroso sherry butts, bourbon barrels and tawny port pipes.

This may not compete on complexity with some of the other entries, but its still a very pleasing drop at a fraction of the price, and a great reminder that blended Scotch doesnt need to be second best.

Glasgow 1770 Single Malt Scotch Whisky Triple Distilled

The 8 Most “Classic” SPEYSIDE Scotch Whiskies (according to whisky lovers)

Coming from Scotlands Lowland region and landing in the single malt premium category, where bottles are priced between £36-£50, is this Master winner: the Triple Distilled edition of the Glasgow 1770 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which boasts notes of banana and tropical fruit.

The Spirits Business editor, Melita Kiely, noted: Fruitiness follows on the palate with caramel and toffee sweetness. A lot of flavour for the price Id be very happy to pay this for a bottle.

The brand also received a Master for its Sauternes Cask Finish which landed on the savoury side of the palate.

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Old Pulteney 35 Year Old

If you enjoy a finish like the one in Memento, where it leaves you sitting in amazement and deep in thought for an hour, this is the single malt for you. In the world of high age expressions, in which some have been probably pushed too far in an effort to plaster the bottle with a high number, Old Pulteney 35 can go toe-to-toe with any of the ones that did it right. As mentioned before, the finish is tremendous. It slowly develops on your tongue over time with sweet and smoky notes appearing and fading away. Released for the first time only a few years ago, only 450 cases were initially distributed around the world, so trying it is more of a challenge than picking out all the notes on the finish. Link

Best Under $: Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie

Region: Islay | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Brown Sugar, Grass

Bruichladdich is known for releasing some intensely smoky whisky, a signature flavor profile of the Islay region of Scotland. This includes the Port Charlotte and annual Octomore releases, which at times reaches some of the highest levels of peat in any whisky out there. But the core bottling is actually this lovely unpeated whisky.

The Classic Laddie is a non-age statement single malt that is light and full of notes of citrus, sweet malted barley, vanilla and honey. This is a good value at under $100, a great whisky to sip neat, and elevates a simple highball cocktail.

The team at Bruichladdich has been hard at work establishing themselves in the field, and this rare unpeated whisky from Islay absolutely brings some modern, forward-thinking, and transparency to the region.” Stephen Kurpinsky, U.S. brand ambassador for Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

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Hidden Track: Compass Box Artist Blend

Average Price:$40

The Whisky:

The lions share of this blend 45 percent comes from a single grain whisky aged in ex-bourbon from Cameronbridge Distillery. 22 percent is a single malt aged in ex-bourbon that comes from Linkwood Distillery. The rest is a mix of French oak and ex-bourbon single malts and blended malts from the Highlands, Clyneilish, Linkwood, and Balmenach. Those whiskies are vatted and then proofed down before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with a very clear and concise note of apple candy with a hint of salted caramel ice cream cut with a touch of eggnog spices. Theres a nice maltiness that leans into a creamy vanilla, soft holiday spice mix, butter toffee, and a hint of milk chocolate near the end. The finish is warming with a whisper of tobacco next to a woody apple, spice candies , and a final hint of cocoa and caramel.

Value For Dollar:

While all of the above blends are built from distilleries within the parent companys portfolio, Compass Box gets to have the best of all worlds. They source their barrels from every distillery they can in Scotland, regardless of who owns them. That means youre getting a true blend of Scottish whiskies that very few other blenderies are doing. That alone almost makes these blends invaluable when looking at the big picture of blended whisky in Scotland.

Plus, this juice is just delicious.

As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

The Worlds Best Scotch Whiskies: 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

The 12 Best Single Malt Scotch Brands to Drink Now

Some of the finalists for the Best in Class: Scotch Whisky

An unprecedented 70 Scotch whisky expressions scored Double Gold at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition . Thirteen whiskies advanced to the various sweeps elimination rounds.

Founded in 2000, the SFWSC is the oldest competition in North America and the largest spirits judging in the world. A total of 70 judges from around the world evaluated approximately 5,000 spirits over two weeks in April 2022.

The competition is organized by the Tasting Alliance, an organization founded by Anthony Dias Blue, and in addition to the SFWSC includes spirit competitions in New York and Singapore and wine competitions in San Francisco and New York.

In the Distillers Single Malt No Age Statement Category there were two finalists: Glen Scotia, Victoriana Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 54.2% ABV, 750 ml and Ardbeg, Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 54.2% ABV, 750 ml.

Victoriana is a cask strength whisky that is crafted to be reminiscent of Scotch whisky during the mid-to-late 19th century the reign of Queen Victoria hence the name.

The whisky is matured in ex-bourbon casks, after which 30% is finished in first-fill Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks and 70% is finished in new casks of heavily charred American oak.

The whisky is smoky and earthy on the nose. There is dried fruit with a bit of well-seasoned wood on the palate, along with wood spices. The finish is long, sweet and fruity.

Sláinte

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What Is Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Put simply, single malt scotch must have been distilled at a single distillery in, you guessed it, Scotland, in order to bear this label.

The whiskys grain, distillation and maturing process define not only its character from smoky Islay scotches, to the sweet and smooth sippers more typically associated with the Lowlands but also its clarity and the amount of health-boosting ingredients it might have. However, whisky has no fat, no carbs, and almost no sugar, so as booze goes, its relatively healthy in moderation.

Smws 11255 The Devil In Pink Silky Pyjamas

If there was a prize for the best named whiskies, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society would win every time. As it happens, the Scotch bottler didnt need the extra category to clean up at this years tastings, taking away a total of six accolades for its submissions, including a Master medal for 112.55 The Devil in Pink Silky Pyjamas. Spirits writer Jennings enthused: A tropical fruit explosion, deceptively drinkable at full strength, and with water it just sings from the rafters drink me all day long. I adored this.

The SMWS also took home Master medals for its Campeltown single malt Apocalypse Cow the cask-strength The Gentle Sparkling Beast From the East the creamy and fruity Funky Old Bodega and Islay single malt Lighthouse to Smokehouse plus a Gold medal for Sacher Torte and Simnel Cake.

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Best New: Torabhaig 2017 Legacy Series

Courtesy of Total Wine

Region: Isle of Skye | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Salt, Honey, Smoke, Bitter herbs

Want to get in on the ground floor with a new distillery? Only the second-ever licensed facility on the Isle of Skye, Torabhaig opened in 2017, and its first release, this single malt blended from 100 select barrels, is young but delightful. The heavy peat character is tempered by a brisk sweetness from the pure island spring water used to make it and the Kentucky bourbon barrels used to age it. The honeyed vanilla char of the wood mingles with isle seagrass and iodine for a whisky made for sipping or stirring into drinks.

Which Is The Best Scotch Whisky

The 8 “Best” HIGH PROOF Scotch (according to whisky lovers)

There are far too many variables to denote an all-time best Scotch whisky. That said, statements such as Lagavulin 16 Year Old, The Macallan Fine Oak 21 Year, The Balvenie 21 Year Old Port Wood, and Highland Park 18 Year Old are cherished by seasoned drinkers worldwide. That’s not to mention highly sought-after releases such as the Bowmore 50 Year or The Macallan M, which occupy a category all their own.

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Is There A Misconception Of Blended Scotch Whisky

Out of all the Scotch whisky sold in the world, its estimated 90% of it is a blend.

When a blended whisky carries an age statement , that statement pertains to the youngest whisky in the blend. For example, Johnnie Walker Black Label 12-Year-Old consists of whisky thats been aged for 12 years or more. The biggest misconception about blended Scotch is that because of this, the quality is lacking. We asked the whisky experts, is there a misconception about the quality of blended Scotch Whisky? and heres what they had to say.

Theres absolutely a misconception about blended whisky! For the longest time blends were the king of whisky, only in the last 50 years or so did single malts become popular. That isnt to say that every blended whisky on the market is good there are certainly some underwhelming drams out there but theyve definitely received an undeserved bad rap over the last few decades, said Oliver Maruda, a whisky expert and co-founder of The Whisky List.

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Glendronach 12 Year Old

Chosen by Geraldine Murphy, manager at The Pot Still whisky bar in Glasgow: “You can’t beat this wonderful little dram, one of my favourites, it’s a big delicious sherry monster.

“Although proving a little harder to get just now due to stock issues I believe you can still get it from Whisky Exchange/Master of Malt at a good price.”

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Highland Park 25 Year Old

Highland Parks 25 Year Old was the first spiritnot just scotchto score a 100 in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2013. Not too shabby. Needless to say, its kind of a big deal. Its a rich single malt with a good amount of honey. Its powerful and could probably use a bit of water, but the flavors are spectacular. Procuring a bottle is up to you. We like to imagine this is the bottle Ron Burgundy pulled from his bar cart after a particularly good shift. Link

Or Put It In A Cocktail

13 Best Whiskey Brands Of 2020

Scotch and soda? Classic. Ditto for the Rob Roy and the Rusty Nail. But Scotch also plays well with grapefruit and honey-ginger syrup, as well as with sweet vermouth and orange, and even pear nectar and ginger ale. Just because your grandpa only drank Scotch neat doesn’t mean you have to. After all, you’re an expert nowyou can drink it any damn way you like.

Sub in Scotch for any other type of whiskey in these cozy cocktails for a very happy winter.

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The 30 Best Scotch Whiskies For 2022

Where Kentucky boasts more aging barrels of whiskey than living inhabitants, Scotland can counter with having one distillery for every 40,000 inhabitants. More than any other nation or region in the world, Scotland stakes a credible claim as being the home of whisky with or without the e.

At a quick glance, the category can seem intimidating. There are various regions to explore, from Speyside to Islay. Then there are the different styles: single malts blends and blended malts peated and unpeated. Where to begin?

Thankfully, youve come to the right place. Within this list, theres something for every palate, budget, and occasion. Whether youre looking for a single malt that overdelivers on price, or you finally want to take the first steps into a fiery peated exploration, youll find the perfect partner listed below.

Without further ado, here are the 30 best Scotch whiskies for 2022.

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