Scotland is the natural home of whisky and has been for hundreds of years. Split into five different regions it boasts around 120 distilleries, with about 90 that are currently in production. But where does this leave the discerning drammer? How do whisky drinkers ensure that amongst all these Scotches available, they get the best dram out there, for a reasonable price? Here to try and answer this conundrum is the Great Drams’ Best Scotch Under £100 (which includes the best scotch under $100, for US folk). Why don’t you try them and decide for yourself?
When I say ‘Best Scotch Under £100’, I’m not referring to just one whisky. Instead, this is a top 5. Some, like Glenfiddich 18 year old, creep in below the $100 mark. So this isn’t just a guide to the best scotch under £100 for Brits. It includes the best scotch under $100 for neighbours across the pond. Enough preamble. Here we go.
The Glenfiddich 18 Year Old combines a rich Speyside fruitiness with a beautiful spicy finish. The hint of apple combines well with the cinnamon that runs throughout, marrying together some beautiful sweet and spicy flavours. Having been matured in Spanish Oloroso and American Oak casks, this malt has a full and robust body, just bursting out of the bottle! The Glenfiddich 18 Year Old has everything you could ask of a Speyside single malt, securing its spot in my list of the best scotch under £100.
Bottled at cask strength, this is a fantastically smoky, Islay malt that just explodes with flavour. Just as the Glenfiddich 18 Year Old matches its Speyside roots, the Lagavulin epitomises the deep smoky bass tones of its Islay home. It also exudes its seaside surroundings with hints of salt spray throughout, which collide into a taste sensation with the Lagavulin smoke. The 12 Year Old also has a zest to it, with a citrus undertone that plays alongside the other more savoury flavours. This is definitely a malt to savour.
Rich and delicate, the Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original ties together a floral backbone with a deep, sweet base. A variety of creamy, fruit flavours are released from this single malt and work to carry the drinker from the picturesque, heather filled Highlands of Scotland to the citrus orchards of Italy. The full on flavour rounds off with a note of spiciness that includes hints of nutmeg and cinnamon, perfectly complementing its fruitiness. The delicate intricateness and complexity of the malt make it a treat for all the senses, and it may just become your new favourite malt, if it isn’t already!
One of Highland Park’s core expressions, this 18 Year Old exudes sweetness and smokiness. It stands on the backbone of sweet toffee, swirled with hints of maple syrup and brown sugar that tantilise the tastebuds. From this, the 18 Year Old moves onto a neat floral undertone that piques and highlights the original sweetness.
Finally, this single malt rounds off with a beautiful hint of Island peat and a light smokiness that perfectly complements the sweet, floral expressions that just ooze of the Highland Park 18 Year Old
Finally, we have the Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength, a beautifully strong and hearty liquid. This malt begins with a rich, deep smokiness that heralds its coastal settings alongside the hints of seaweed that appear throughout. This is only further intensified through the tang of salty peat flavours that spring up and tie in perfectly.
This Laphroaig single malt also shows its complexity in the spicy floral undertones that round off a truly wonderful dram. The flavours tie in so well together, creating a beautiful marriage of flavour sensations that take the drinker back to the rocky shores of the Islay coast that present Scotch at its finest.
Also published on Medium.