RANKED! The Best Entry-Level Scotches For National Scotch Day
Scotch can be intimidating. It might seem like a stuffy, overpriced spirit imbibed in peculiar-looking drams by mustachioed, monocle-wearing gentlemen in tweed sport coats. Well, it is enjoyed by gentlemen who resemble that, but it’s also a style that’s easy to jump into without a vast knowledge of the Scottish Highlands, fly fishing, or a taste for haggis. We’ve ranked our favorite entry-level bottles of scotch so you can stock up in time for National Scotch Day on July 27.
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6. Aberlour 12
This double cask-aged single malt was matured in American oak casks as well as sherry butts. The result is rich, smooth, complex whisky with hints of cinnamon, Christmas spices, and vanilla.
5. Chivas Regal 12
If you’re new to scotch, a great idea is to slowly dip your toe in by enjoying a blended whisky first. Chivas Regal 12 is a great choice because it’s rich, sweet, and full of vanilla, dried fruit, and caramel flavors.
4. Glenlivet 12
No gateway scotch article is complete without one of the most well-known brands in the world: Glenlivet. The distillery’s 12-year-old offering is reasonably priced and perfect for entry-level drinking. There’s a reason this smooth Speyside whisky with hints of vanilla, honey, and chocolate is the top-selling single malt in the world.
3. Glenmorange The Original
If you enjoy bourbon, this Highland single malt is for you. It's smooth, rich, and creamy with hints of vanilla and toffee, all flavors that appeal to fans of Kentucky’s favorite whiskey.
2. Ardbeg 10
If you’re getting acquainted with scotch, you shouldn’t forget about peated, smoky whiskies (mostly from Islay). One of the best entry-level peated whiskies is Ardbeg 10. This award-winning whisky is a mix of smoke and sweetness with hints of tobacco, licorice, coffee, and vanilla.
1. The Macallan 12
If anyone ever asks us the one scotch we couldn't live without, we always say The Macallan 12. Probably the best value scotch on the market, it’s aged in oak barrels before receiving extra maturation in sherry butts. The result is sweet and complex with hints of toffee, caramel, vanilla, and subtle spices.
Photo: The Macallan