The World’s Best Single Malt Scotch —According To The Scotch Whisky Masters
The best overall single malt scotch, in a very competitive field, is Aberlour This whisky combines the best flavors of bourbon and sherry cask maturation and provides the best complexity of flavor and palate for its price range. Dec 21, · The 12 Best Single Malt Scotch Brands to Drink Now BenRiach. BenRiach isn’t the best known scotch distillery out there, but it is really quite interesting, producing some Aberfeldy. Aberfeldy was mostly known for producing malt whisky that went into the Dewar’s blend until about 20 years.
The single malt whisky world has seen a lot of new challengers in recent years, from Japan and India to Australia and Taiwan. Some great whisksy have come out of all of these countries to be sure.
Make no mistake: Scotland is still the best single malt maker in the world. Great bottles at every price point. We picked the 10 best new aa on the market for whis,ey to try… if you can find them. Black Art has a long history of being mysterious as hell when it comes to this delicious whisky. What we do know is that for the fifth release fourth pictured herethey used fewer wine casks, and still managed a creamy, fruit-laden spirit with toffee and honey notes.
Mxlt infamous Tun is a special aging technique: a Manhattan apartment-sized barrel holding an entire batch of whisky, long enough slngle it to marry to perfection. If Batch 3 is judged by its predecessors, this sequel might be the best in the series. The core line remains the same, but the newest line of Norse-themed bottles starts with Valkyrie, a bourbon-and-sherry-cask finished version of their standard year-old, with an extra kick of peat to deepen the smokey, heather flavors of this unique single malt.
Will it replace your favorite? Take Edition No. Dried fruit and vanilla are balanced by toffee notes and a bit of spice. Endlessly drinkable. With a notoriously goov and bright spirit quality, Glenmorangie might be mistaken for an entry-level single malt, but the special releases are bold and flavorful sinvle a way that can excite even the most hardened scotch drinker.
Countless awards already adorn their portfolio, which is well known abroad. Our favorite is the year-old, an oaky whisky with hints of vanilla, raisin, how to eat avocado for breakfast baking spices. The rest of the world is ahead of us on this one, but not for long. Rounding out the total package is a Baccarat decanter and a presentation case from Linley. That should explain the equally staggering price point.
Crowned one of the best single malts in the world how to vent a garage heater through the wall year, Craigellachie pronounced Craig-ella-key 31 is a gem bottle within a gem brand. Maxim Marketplace. Maxim Cover Girl. Home Entertainment. By Maxim Staff. By Maxim Video.
By Zeynep Yenisey. By Brandon Friederich. S Beau Hayhoe. By Chris Wilson.
Aug 24, · The panelists for the Scotch Whisky Masters discerned elements of coconut, marzipan, allspice, gentle malt and gingerbread. These all tug for attention on Author: Brad Japhe. Jul 05, · A single malt whiskey is one produced entirely by a single distillery using only malted barley. In Scotland and Ireland, a whiskey must be aged at least three years to be called single malt. May 31, · A Glenfiddich single malt whisky, for example, must be produced at the Glenfiddich Distillery. A Talisker single malt is, you guessed it, made at the Talisker speednicedating.com: George Koutsakis.
For some reason, single malt scotch still falls into an elite, rarefied category for a certain kind of whisky drinker. It conjures up images of serious men in tweed thoughtfully sniffing their Glencairn glasses around a roaring fire as they comment on notes of toasted nutmeg and candied fruit.
This is nonsense, of course, particularly the bit about scotch being a drink reserved for the boys club. Although those tasting notes could be dead on. The concept that whisky is too complicated for everyone to understand and should be tasted by following a series of ridiculous steps that remove all joy from the experience is crumbling. And this past year saw pompous, sexist blowhards like Whisky Bible author Jim Murray get called out for outdated, immature, and gender-biased tasting notes.
Both mark a welcome shift in the whisky world. Yes, single malts are complex spirits built around flavor nuances derived from every step of production, from malting to fermentation to distillation to maturation. But while you can and should take whisky seriously if you choose, there is no reason anyone should feel intimidated by a bottle. Whisky is meant to be enjoyed, after all, and it absolutely should be inclusive.
A quick primer on single malt scotch: "Single malt" means that the whisky comes from one distillery in Scotland and is made from percent malted barley. So Glenfiddich 12, for example, may be a blend of a few hundred barrels, but all of them come from the Glenfiddich distillery.
The year-old age statement refers to the youngest whisky in the mix. The best-selling whiskies coming out of Scotland are actually blends, but single malts better speak to the character of a particular distillery from a specific scotch whisky region. There are five or six of these different regions, depending on who you ask—Lowlands, Speyside, Highlands, Campbeltown, Islay, and sometimes Islands.
While Islay in particular is known for using peat in the malting process, which gives its whisky that smoky flavor , the majority of scotch is not smoky at all. Peat is measured in ppm, or parts per million; the higher the ppm, the smokier the whisky will be. Legally, a small amount of caramel coloring can be used for color consistency in single malts. Some people are staunchly against this, believing it affects the character of the whisky, while others argue that it makes no noticeable difference.
Regardless, the distilleries that don't use coloring at all in their whiskies will proudly and loudly let this be known. There are so many to choose from over and counting , but here are 12 of the best single malt scotch distilleries making whisky right now.
The most accessible and affordable whiskies are simply and directly named—the Original Ten and the Smoky Ten, the Twelve and the Smoky Twelve. As you can guess, one of each is peated, the other is not. No color is added to BenRiach's delicate and flavorful whiskies, which are complex enough for seasoned drinkers but simultaneously suitable for newcomers to scotch. Shop Benriach reservebar. This past fall saw the release of two new wine cask-finished whiskies in the Exceptional Cask series, both of them remarkable.
The year-old expression was finished for four to five months in first-fill Pauillac wine casks from Bordeaux, while the year-old was finished for a year in Sauternes wine casks. Both are pricey bottles but worth sampling if you can swing it.
Shop Aberfeldy reservebar. Mortlach is another distillery pumping out delicious whisky that is kind of under-recognized by the general public. This might be due, in part, to the fact that the core range has been revamped a few times over the past six or seven years. The distillery utilizes what it calls a 2. The bottom line is that these single malts have big dried fruit and spice notes that come from a healthy dose of sherry cask aging, mingled with vanilla and citrus flavors from the American oak.
Shop Mortlach reservebar. The whisky is generally moderately peaty and matured mostly in sherry-seasoned casks, with bourbon barrels used for a few expressions as well. The core range here in the U. A new and really flavorful addition to the family is the Cask Strength Batch No. This release will vary from batch to batch, so it will be interesting to see what comes next. There are many other Norse-themed bottles from Highland Park to explore, with age statements ranging up to 50 years.
Highland Park does not add coloring to its whisky. Shop Highland Park reservebar. William Grant and Sons has two neighboring distilleries just outside of Dufftown in Speyside: the larger Glenfiddich and the smaller Balvenie. The Balvenie is arguably the more delicate and unique of the two in terms of flavor, although Glenfiddich is much more popular. Balvenie malt master David Stewart has worked in the industry for more than half a century and is still coming up with new creations.
One of his crowning achievements is DoubleWood 12, which launched in The whisky is aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads, finished for nine months in Oloroso sherry casks, and then transferred into large "tuns" to allow the liquid to mingle.
The whisky in the year-old Caribbean Cask is finished in rum barrels, where it picks up molasses and fruit notes. In recent years, the distillery has come up with more new whiskies, some under the auspices of apprentice malt master Kelsey McKechnie. These include Balvenie Stories, a series highlighting the effects of toasted oak, peat, fresh heather, and dark barley. On top of it all, Questlove has begun a multi-year partnership with the Balvenie that'll include a digital series set to debut in fall of Shop The Balvenie reservebar.
Peaty scotch can be a very divisive issue for whisky drinkers. Some people love the earthy, smoky rush that envelops them from nose to finish, while others think it tastes like an acrid tire fire. There are different levels of peat, of course. Laphroaig, from the Islay region of Scotland known for its smoky scotch, falls around 45 ppm, which makes this a decidedly peat-forward whisky.
If you have the money to spend, the extra-aged expressions are where the whisky really starts to take on new dimensions. The Ian Hunter Story is a newer series of whiskies highlighting the life and contributions of the former Laphroaig owner.
Book 2, the most recent release, was aged for 30 years in former Oloroso sherry casks, and it is a delicious, if expensive, dram. Shop Laphroaig reservebar. Bowmore is an Islay distillery owned by Beam Suntory, which also owns Laphroaig, but the whisky it produces is very different.
The No. Regardless, this is layered, textured whisky that stays with you for quite a while. The year-old spends its last three years maturing in Oloroso sherry casks, while the liquid in the year-old a standout bottle spends its life in both bourbon and sherry casks before being blended together.
Bowmore is also known for its Black Bowmore series of ultra-expensive aged whiskies, the most recent of which is called DB5 For something a bit more reasonable, check out the new permanent addition to the lineup, Bowmore The first bottles of this annual whisky release were aged in sherry hogshead and bourbon barrels. Shop Bowmore drizly. In the Double Cask lineup, the new and year-old age statements are matured in American and European oak, Oloroso sherry-seasoned casks—both exceptional whiskies that are spicy and fruity, with notes of chocolate and vanilla.
The Macallan is also famous for its incredibly expensive, extra-aged whisky, some of which approaches three-quarters of a century of maturation. More recently, the sixth and final entry in its Edition series was released, a whisky inspired by the River Spey, which runs by the distillery. No coloring is added to any of the whisky. Shop The Macallan reservebar. Another robust Islay whisky comes from Ardbeg, which at about 50 ppm is slightly peatier than Laphroaig.
Ardbeg, the sister distillery to Glenmorangie, generally appeals to hardcore fans of the smoky stuff, and for many years was sort of a cult whisky. The whisky is predominantly aged in first- and second-fill bourbon barrels, with some liquid going into sherry butts and French oak as well. The year-old anchors the range, with some hard-to-pronounce, Gaelic-named expressions to round it out.
Uigeadail brings sherry cask whisky into the mix, with dried cherry and prune notes complementing the peat, while Corryvreckan ups the ABV to Each June, the distillery celebrates Ardbeg Day with a special release.
And on opposite ends of the age spectrum, the distillery has added two whiskies to its lineup: Wee Beastie, a vibrant and tasty five-year-old expression, and an Ardbeg 25 Years Old that arrives in January of Ardbeg does not add coloring to its whisky. Shop Ardbeg reservebar. A few years ago, the GlenDronach was acquired by Brown-Forman along with the previously mentioned BenRiach , increasing its profile in the competitive world of single malts.
Like the Macallan, its focus is on sherry cask maturation, but the whisky produced here is entirely different. The core lineup ranges in age from 12 to 21 years, and there have been some excellent new limited editions as well.
And most recently, the GlenDronach Port Wood was released, a no age statement whisky aged in sherry casks and finished for two to three years in port pipes. The GlenDronach does not add coloring to its whisky. Shop The GlenDronach reservebar. Bruichladdich is a study in creative contradictions. The Islay distillery produces some of the most heavily peated whisky available.
Literally—the Octomore range ventures into the hundreds of ppm, which is seriously, not-fucking-around smoky the Recent expressions have focused on the concept of terroir in whisky, an idea that Bruichladdich is trying to convince the doubters really exists. While some people think the cask plays the biggest part in flavor, overriding barley varieties and even peat source, Bruichladdich is intent on proving otherwise.
The most recent Octomore series the 11th , includes some interesting experiments like the five-year-old Bruichladdich does not add coloring to its whisky. Shop Bruichladdich reservebar. Another standout smoky whisky comes from Lagavulin.
There are many different expressions to try from this venerated Islay distillery, in addition to the core eight-, and year old bottles. Last year, actor Nick Offerman, a partner and spokesman of sorts for the distillery , helped to pick the liquid that went into an 11 Year Old. While the age statements are similar in many Lagavulin expressions, there is a great deal of variety in terms of flavor.