Top 10 Single Malt Scotches on a Budget
By definition, single malt scotch is a type of whiskey derived from Scotland, containing malts from a single distillery, and aged for a minimum of three years. While there are literally hundreds of scotches which would fit the given specifications, there are certainly options with proven character and quality which may lead one to believe they are indeed imbibing with the elite.
10. The Famous Grouse Gold Reserve
This 12 year single malt is sweet and toasty. The nose hearkens hints of cinnamon rolls and roasted cashews. The palate introduces raisin-like qualities which assimilate nicely with the pre-existing cinnamon. The finish adds a touch of spice to the mix as sweetened dough with a pinch of pepper lingers.
9. Bowmore 12 Year
This Islay malt is unique and complex. The nose introduces peat and smoke which give way to lemongrass. The palate exhibits a citrus flavor lined with caramelized brown sugar. The finish retains smoked oak with lingering lemongrass and brown sugar.
8. Glenmorangie 12 Year
Full-bodied and rich, this scotch provides depth with sweet overtones. The nose provides richness akin to tiramisu. The palate brings together amaretto and cream. The finish is long with ample density.
7. Highland Park 12 Year
Peat and smoke dominate this well-balanced single malt which hails from the highland region of Scotland. The nose is smoky with distinct notes of peat and leather. The palate maintains peat with smoky oak, while hints of salt are introduced along with sherry. The finish is consistent with the smoky, peaty character of this scotch which concludes with a hint of sherry sweetness.
6. Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera
The Solera casks are a combination of fresh oak, Spanish sherry, and American bourbon, and provide a melding of flavors from the start. The nose produces a combination of peat, earth, and tart berry. The palate maintains the fruit while developing a robust consistency and spice. The finish remains largely consistent, but adds a bit of oak and smoke.
5. The Dalmore 12 Year
Another great single malt containing sweetness and body without being overpowering. The nose is smooth with a touch of black cherry and sherry. The palate continues with hints of fruit, while an inviting toffee flavor takes prominence. The finish exudes a combination of toffee and nuts.
4. Bunnahabhain 12 Year
This is an excellent choice for those seeking scotch, but with a lighter overall experience. The nose is rich and mild with caramelized brown sugar and refreshing sea breeze. The palate maintains the light sea breeze which intermingles with candied figs. The finish reminds you that this scotch was aged in oak, but still keeps things light and sweet.
3. The Glenlivet 15 Year French Oak Reserve
Aged in new French Oak casks, this scotch develops provides an excellent profile for the price. The nose introduces a spicy, woody presence with a hint of citrus. The palate maintains the citrus and wood while a hazelnut presence unfolds. The finish leaves a lingering combination of sweet hazelnut and smoked wood.
2. The Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood
This single malt develops its unique flavors during a process in which it moves from oak whiskey casks to Spanish oak sherry casks. The nose introduces nuttiness and earth. The palate envelops sherry and fig. The finish provides rich dark chocolate with a faint hint of raspberry.
1. The Macallan 12 Year Sherry Oak
Aged in casks of Spanish Oak previously filled with Sherry, the Macallan 12 Year is a gold standard for quality single malts under fifty dollars. Reliable in quality and consistency, this scotch is simply stellar for the price. The nose exudes oak and sherry. The palate is creamy sherry with a hint of citrus and smoke. The finish leaves a pleasant, smoky sherry lingering.