It’s time to get serious about your whiskey drinking. While plenty of great bottles are at the bottom of the barrel, you’ll want something more than an essential blend. For that, we recommend splurging on these five single malt Scotch whiskies:
Ardbeg 10 Year Old
Ardbeg, 10-Year-Old, is a single malt Scotch whisky from Islay. It’s aged in ex-bourbon casks and peated to a phenol content of 55 ppm. This is an excellent example of a peaty Islay Scotch, with smokey and medicinal notes balanced by sweet fruit flavors.
The finish is long and lingering, with plenty of subtle smoke lingering on the palate. If you’re new to whiskies, this would be an excellent starting point for trying out single malts; it’s not very expensive but still packs some punch!
Glenmorangie Original is a single malt Scotch whisky from the Glenmorangie distillery in Tain, Ross-shire.
The non-age statement spirit is bottled at 40% ABV and matured in American oak casks. The whisky is made from 100% malted barley. It has been described on official tasting notes as having “sweet fruits and floral notes” and a “slight spice finish.”
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Laphroaig Quarter Cask is a single malt Scotch whisky produced by the Laphroaig distillery. It’s matured in a quarter cask and bottled at 48% ABV.
The name “quarter cask” is derived from the size of the cask used for maturation: approximately 125 liters (33 gallons) rather than the usual 225-liter (60 gallons) hogshead that most other single malts are matured in. This results in less wood influencing the flavor of the whisky, thus creating a more intense experience for the drinker.
Lagavulin 16 Year Old
Lagavulin distillery was founded in 1816 by John Johnston and Peter Mackie, who built a distillery in the village of Carbost. The distillery’s name is derived from an old Celtic word meaning “hollow by the mill.”
The regular 16-year Lagavulin single malt is available for around $50. It has a strong smoky taste with some peaty notes and vanilla aromas. The whisky has been aged for 16 years in charred oak barrels (mizunara).
The Balvenie Doublewood 12-Year-Old
The Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year Old is a Scotch whisky from The Balvenie distillery in Scotland. This single malt Scotch whisky is aged twice, first in American white oak barrels and then in European oak sherry casks.
It has a sweet, fruity flavor with honey, caramel, and raisins. Its complex flavor profile makes it an ideal sour cocktail base or sipping neat on rainy days when you need something to warm your bones.
In summary, single malt Scotch whisky has a long history of producing elegant and complex flavors that will please any connoisseur or novice alike. If you’re looking for a great gift idea or want to treat yourself, these five whiskies are sure to please.