Read our expert guide to lớn the best whisky Scotland has to lớn offer for every occasion, from Burns Night lớn First footing. Whether it’s supermarket bargains or the best of independent distilleries, our Scotch taste tests include single malts and more.

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The world of Scotch whisky is varied và occasionally intimidating, ranging from the light & heathery khổng lồ the smoky and medicinal, with a huge gamut in-between. While a lot of distilleries were closed down or mothballed in the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a recent Scotch whisky revival. Some exciting new entrants are rubbing shoulders with distilleries centuries old to produce this illustrious spirit drink, rivalled only by fine wine for depth.

Here is an introductory stroll through our choice of the best Scottish whisky – perfect for drinking with your haggis, neeps and tatties on Burns Night. We’ve included a range of price points from £30-80 a bottle, as well as styles, so whether you’re new khổng lồ the world of Scotch or know exactly what you like, we’ve got a regional spirit for everybody.

All the Scotch whiskies below have been chosen & tested by our drinks expert Richard Davie. Richard is a writer, barman và brewer with roots in home-brewing. He co-wrote The Art of Drinking Sober with Miriam Nice. When he’s not making his own beer và cocktails, Richard works at award-winning micro pub The Beer siêu thị ( He has previously written round-ups of the best Irish whiskey & best Japanese whisky for bbc Good Food.

For more drinks sản phẩm reviews, see our buyer’s guides lớn craft whisky, classic whisky, bourbon and much more in our dedicated reviews section with over 400 expert reviews.

The best Scotch whisky lớn buy at a glance

The best Scotch whisky lớn buy 2022

Glenkinchie 12 year old


Best young ScotchABV: 46%

Claiming lớn be the most northerly distillery on the mainland, Wolfburn is new enough that Burns Night will mark only the seventh anniversary of its first cask being laid down.

Young whiskies are often fiery. The Northland manages that tendency magnificently, with a far greater smoothness and complexity than you’d expect for its age.

There’s no age statement on Wolfburn Aurora, but it certainly has the feel of a young whisky, with a fresh, light nose giving off a cảm biến of green apple & grass, a little smoke và sea air. It drinks light và dry, with a restrained complexity.

Grounded by nut & a chocolate/coffee hint nestling under the fresh flavours that roll on from the aroma, the lightness and youth is balanced by a hint of fudge and grape. A gentle finish accentuates the smoke, while revealing a quiet sweetness.

If you want lớn lean into the smoke, Wolfburn Morven is lightly peated, without losing the relatively youthful freshness.

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Highland Park 12 year old

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Best classic ScotchABV: 43%

Mothballed for long stretches by one of Diageo’s precursors, before being reopened by independent bottlers Gordon và MacPhail in 1998, Benromach has expanded in the last twenty years from just two distillers lớn a small team today. It currently pitches itself as reviving the authentic taste of Speyside by bringing a light and, it is claimed, historically accurate peat note, to the refined spirits of the region.

A slightly buttery malt nose, with toffee, touches of green apple và liquorice with a light waft of smoke. The Benromach 10 year old drinks deceptively easily, with spicy pepper, light sweet malt and more toffee notes, the bonfire air restrained & entwined with cardamom.

The higher peat levels are a joyous union with Speyside's traditional refinement. If you’re looking for extra oomph, the Benromach 100° Proof has a ‘more is more’ approach, which, interestingly, brings down the smoke notes.

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Ardbeg 10 year old

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Best smoky whiskyABV: 46%

While Ardbeg is another distillery that’s seen a few ups and downs in its 200-year history, it’s hard to lớn believe that its doors were closed as recently as the 1990s. Along with Highland Park, this is an iconic Scotch whisky, & the Ardbeg 10 year old is a great, if bracing, introduction to the distinctive peat và sea air characteristics of Islay whiskies.

A peat nose verges towards coal smoke, with softening vanilla và some citrus. Pepper và even soap tuck in among them. To lớn drink, the body toàn thân is rich & smooth – a soft, light caramel malt sweetness before that peat barrels in. The vanilla adds a counterpoint and keeps it from pure liquid smoke, even as the soft malt reveals layers of coffee, liquorice root và pepper. A rich mouthfeel contributes khổng lồ a long finish, with more of that savoury smoke, plus a hint of toasted sugar.

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Lagavulin 16 year old

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Best long-aged whiskyABV: 43%

Another iconic Islay whisky, and one that doesn’t stint on the peat smoke heft, the Lagavulin 16 year old has a large và very devoted following. While an 8 year old has recently been added khổng lồ the permanent range (and is very good), the additional body toàn thân and refinement of the 16 makes it the Lagavulin to start with.

As with the Ardbeg, it has a big peat smoke nose và is just as intense, but here it pushes lapsang souchong & brine, while throttling back the bonfire. Vanilla adds a creamy note, along with cất cánh leaf, even as the smoke và brine swirls around it.

As you sip it, that peat comes straight onto the tongue, with the sweetness the smokes brings sitting alongside a slightly salty iodine. A full malt toàn thân slowly reveals itself, as well as a woody dryness & more spice. A long, spicy, sweet smoke finish revives the lapsang souchong air.

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Gordon và MacPhail Discovery Miltonduff 10 year old

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Best independent whiskyABV: 43%

Beyond the big distilleries is a thriving group of independent bottlers (to muddy the waters, some of them have distilleries, but still), whose skill lies in buying new-make spirits directly from distilleries, then ageing & bottling themselves. Some, like Gordon & MacPhail, even send their own carefully considered casks to be filled at the distillery.

Done well, independent bottlings offer quality, value, và the unexpected from distilleries you thought you knew. This particular bottling is from Miltonduff, a distillery that mainly goes into Ballantines’ blends và is rarely regarded as a single malt.

The nose is very rich. Soft cocoa, stewed raisins, spicy rum, sweet malt và a nutty hint at the edges. When you drink it, there’s a little aggression at the beginning, but that richness quickly reasserts itself, with fruitcake notes, more of the sherry, oaky vanilla và fig. It finishes with nut, oak woodiness và cinnamon spice, adding complexity & dryness to lớn a whisky that might otherwise tip into excessive opulence.

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Caol Ila 12 year old

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Best Scotch whisky for beginnersABV: 43%

Caol Ila has spent a large part of its history largely producing fodder for blending, though its owners Diageo spotted an opportunity and started releasing under its own name in 2002. Although the measurable peat quantities are as high as Lagavulin, it’s an easier-going Islay, one khổng lồ help you get your head around all that smoke và salt aficionados so enjoy.

A sniff reveals both full & delicate peat smoke, with sweetness & a light element of brine, possibly even samphire. On drinking, there’s an oiliness too, which follows along. There’s a lovely full, clean mouthfeel, guiding the sweetness, while the peat smoke follows after, filling out the space.

Fruity notes with a melon juiciness bring variety lớn the sweetness, & that strangely easy, oily body fades into a long smoky finish and longer sweet edge. An Islay that doesn’t overwhelm may seem lượt thích faint praise, but not everyone is after a bruiser, and when the elements are as well arranged as this, why deny the appeal?

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Raasay và Borders Distillers The Tweeddale Grain Of Truth

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Best grain whiskyABV: 46%

Tweeddale’s Grain of Truth is a bold attempt to reclaim the notion of grain whisky as a term khổng lồ be used with pride. While the other whiskies in this article are single malt (that is, from a single distillery and made only with malted barley), grain whisky can include other grains, such as wheat, rye or oats, malted or unmalted. Grain whisky normally has a lighter body, & that lightness usually pushes it khổng lồ blends, rather than to being used in its own right.

Here though, a grain whisky is the star. A grist of một nửa barley and 1/2 wheat, matured in bourbon barrels và finished in oloroso sherry hogshead casks, this has an unexpected fullness, with a rich fruity nose. Vanilla và candy floss mingle with a clean, almost menthol quality. Very smooth, with an edge of the alcohol presenting itself at 46%, plus titbits of ginger biscuits và hazelnut poking through. It finishes cleanly, with the spice & hint of tannins of oak.

Rich, but sidestepping the heft of many single malts, Grain of Truth also sits very neatly in cocktails lượt thích a bobby burns, or in the place of bourbon in a boulevardier.

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The GlenAllachie 15 Year Old

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Best Scotch whisky for an accessible SpeysideABV: 46%

While the The GlenAllachie, built in the late 1960s, lacks the heritage of some of its older Speyside neighbours, the distillery has seen a revival in the last few years. Taken on by the feted master distiller & blender Billy Walker in 2017, it has started putting out a fuller, fruitier spirit than before, with the 15 year old a great example.

Bottled at 46%, with no chill filtering, it has a rich chestnut glow in the glass. The nose is full và complex, without being heavy – dried fruit, honey, baked quince, cinnamon, nutmeg và a hint of frangipane. On the palate, dried figs, chocolate & vanilla emerge on a full mouthfeel, as well as a dark sugar sweetness that avoids being sticky. It finishes lightly, a whisper of smoke và the spices và fruit lingering for a few seconds.

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A lưu ý on whisky miniatures...

Xem thêm: Hàng Like New Là Gì ? Những Lưu Ý Khi Mua Điện Thoại Like New

If diving in và picking up a whole bottle seems intimidating, many specialist whisky retailers offer double measure bottlings (50ml) at a commensurate price. Drinks by the Dram offer many excellent small measure sets you can experiment with.

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This review was last updated in October 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite

What bởi you think of our selection of best Scotch whisky? bởi you have a favourite bottle khổng lồ recommend? We'd love khổng lồ hear your hàng hóa suggestions in the comments below...