There are many myths about whisky that people have. For instance, even though single-malt scotch may receive high praise from critics, many people still view it as a special, debonair beverage. However, blended scotch dominates single malt in terms of sales, making it the clear winner in terms of popularity. Price undoubtedly matters because a mix is typically far less expensive than a single malt, but that isn’t always the case. Although single malt whisky truly highlights the distinctive qualities of the specific distillery where it is produced, both varieties have their advantages. Despite this, many people favor the former. Simply said, single malt scotch cannot bear this designation unless it was distilled at a single distillery in, you guessed it, Scotland.
The grain, distillation, and maturation processes of the whisky determine not just its character. From the smokey Islay scotches to the sweet and smooth sippers most commonly associated with the Lowlands. But also its clarity and the quantity of health-promoting compounds it may contain. Whisky, on the other hand, has nearly little sugar, no carbs, and no fat, therefore when consumed in moderation, it’s relatively healthful.
We have a suggestion no matter what your preferences are. These are the top Scotch whisky bottles on the market today.
Due to its obsession with all things Viking and its remote Orkney location. Which makes it Scotland’s northernmost distillery. Highland Park is well known for a few characteristics that are distinctive within the scotch whiskey business. The majority of the whisky’s maturation took place in sherry-seasoned casks, while some expressions also matured in bourbon barrels. The whisky is often mildly peaty. The core collection of whiskies available in the United States is made up of 10-, 12-, and 18-year-old bottles. All of which successfully strike a balance between smoky notes and rich dried fruit flavors.
The Viking Heart 15-year-old expression, which is contained in a striking ceramic bottle, was added to the portfolio last year. It was aged in a mix of first-fill European and American oak casks that had been seasoned with sherry as well as a few refill casks. The Cask Strength expression is another recent and delicious addition to the family. This NAS, non-chill filtered whisky’s second batch was made available last fall. It was bottled at 63.9% ABV and has strong flavors of smoke, vanilla, and honey. There are many more Highland Park Norse-themed bottles to discover, with age declarations of up to 50 years. Whisky from Highland Park doesn’t have any coloring added.
The people of Aberlour in Speyside have been pouring a bottle of whisky into the River Spey every February to “bless” the start of the salmon fishing season for as long as anyone can remember. And, as luck would have it, the fish have never objected. In honor of Aberlour’s founder, James Fleming, the name A’Bunadh, which means “of the roots,” is Scottish Gaelic.
One batch at a time is made of this full-bodied, creamy expression, and only first-fill oloroso sherry barrels are used for maturation. Mixed spices, praline, and citrus zest are all present in the aroma. A plethora of vibrant fruit flavors laced with ginger and dark chocolate are present on the palate. Cask strength, which varies somewhat from batch to batch and generally hovers around 122 proof, is what it is bottled at. Aberlour A’Bunadh, a whisky that changed the game completely when it was released in 1997, has gained a cult-like following.
The world’s most well-known premium blended Scotch, Johnnie Walker Blue Label is, in the opinion of many whisky connoisseurs. Like a cherished pair of Levi’s—comfortable, dependable, and never out of fashion. Only one out of every 10,000 casks in the House of Walker’s stock will be used for this mix. They claim, and many of those come from distilleries that are no longer in business.
Therefore, this is a special treat. With aromas of sherry, honey, and vanilla, blue is smooth and mellow. It’s finest consumed neat, immediately following a taste of ice-cold spring water. And is one of the greatest sipping whiskies ever.
Scotland’s Isle of Skye is among its most stunning regions. And the single malt whisky produced at the Talisker distillery there is as wonderful. If you can use your imagination to match flavor to setting, this whisky is rough, windswept, and briny. Particularly after 25 years of maturing in American and European oak casks. The peat is noticeable but milder than some of its Islay equivalents.
Tendrils of smoke encircle the aromas of vanilla, caramel, and luscious tropical fruit. Adding elegance to this powerful whisky that packs a little heat at 91.6 percent. There are many 25-year-old whiskies available; nevertheless, make sure this one is on your list.
Aberfeldy, a distillery in the Highlands, is well-known for its distinctive honey undertones. Which has guaranteed its status as a crucial ingredient in Dewar’s blend. A unique release by malt expert Stephanie MacLeod, the 18-year-old is one of the many superb elder age-statement bottles available today.
It spent almost two decades aging in first-fill bourbon barrels, re-char, and refill casks before spending a further six months in Côte Rôtie red wine casks. The tannic and berry flavors drawn out of these wine casks blend beautifully with the nuances of honey and vanilla.
The Macallan is perhaps the first brand that comes to mind when you mention single malts that have been aged in sherry casks. All right, but if you haven’t had The GlenDronach, you’re in for a treat. However, after first maturing in PX and Oloroso sherry barrels, the Port Wood release undergoes a prolonged secondary aging period in port pipes, which imparts additional complexity. On the palate, this offers a touch of spiciness, some vibrant grape notes, and a drizzle of dark chocolate. You’ll want to drink Port Wood whisky again and over again.
Single malts might receive the majority of the attention, but there are several blends that are equally interesting. Interesting brand Compass Box purchases and blends whiskies from several distilleries. While revealing as much information as they are permitted to about the production process.
A great new offering, The Story of the Spaniard combines malts from Glen Elgin, Deanston, and Glendullan distilleries with a Highlands blend, the majority of which were aged in sherry butts. The usual overtones of dried fruit and creamy vanilla are supported by aromas of bright citrus and warm chocolate, so be prepared for the unexpected.
The legendary David Stewart has worked at The Balvenie for 60 years. The DCS Compendium, a collection of 25 handpicked barrels created by Stewart that includes vintage single malts spanning his illustrious career, is a compilation of vintage single malts that he helped create. He is the longest-tenured and most highly awarded malt master in the industry.
However, Stewart once revealed to me that of all the whiskies he’s produced. DoubleWood 12-Year Old is what makes him most happy since it revolutionized how the industry treated spirit maturation. It is matured in sherry barrels made of European oak and American oak. In the modern era, almost every whisky distillery in the world offers whiskies that are similarly aged, but only one is the real original.
The port city of Oban, which is pronounced “OH-bin,” is located in western Scotland and is regarded as the entryway to the Hebridean islands. Established in 1794, the whisky’s eponymous distillery crafts spirits with a flavor profile that spans the lively. More flavorful Highland malts and the smokey style of Scotland’s islands.
Oban 14 Years Old is fairly heavy and a little bit greasy scotch. It smells like pears and lemons sprinkled with sea salt and placed on a burning table. The first impression is of honey-dipped dried figs, followed by a dry oak and malt flavor. Begs to be matched with smoked salmon and oysters.