Best single malt scotch

Sharpshooter3

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Feb 10, 2018
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#1
What is your favorite single malt scotch for the under $100 per bottle range. I have always enjoyed Johnny Walker scotch but a friend and I have started down the rabbit hole of single malts, so far I have tried Macallan, Glenmorangie, Glenfiddech, and Aberlour. I liked the Macallan the best.
 
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Jan 9, 2011
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#2
Bourbon haha.

On all seriousness I am a Balvenie Fan.

If you like Scotches try some single malt Irish as well, very tasty. The 16 year knappogue castle is really nice.
 
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whatsupdoc

Duck season
Dec 12, 2017
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#3
Bunnahabhain 12 is very good and inexpensive. I have an old bottle of 18yo that is oh so smooth.
Have you tried the peated scotches Lagavulin Lephroaig and Ardbeg to name a few.



Be careful as this hole goes very deep.

Ask me how I know!
 
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Sharpshooter3

New Hide Member
Feb 10, 2018
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#6
I haven't had a a chance to try any of those but I'm headed to the city this weekend and my friend requested I pick up a bottle of Lagavulin, so we will know more about that one by next weekend haha.
 

goosed

Sergeant of the Hide
May 11, 2014
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#11
I’ve heard you gota swish it to get all the flavor. That a thing?
No need to swish... it is generally recommended to let it roll across the tongue front to back and then side to side before swallowing, but I wouldn't worry to much about that. Sure it may help decide which part of the tongue is picking up the flavor, but it's still very difficult for most of us to pick out the different flavors this way.

Instead if you're interested in improving your taste perception do head to head tastings.

It's amazing the differences you can pick out when you have 2 different cups to compare against each other. It's just like shooting, in that the more you practice picking out the differences in head to head tastings the more differences and flavors you'll be able to pick out.
 

SmCaudata

New Hide Member
Feb 19, 2018
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#12
I've been lurking but registered to reply.
Oban, Talisker, Kilchoman (Machir Bay), Laphroig (quarter cask), Lagavulin 16, Tamdhu, Glenmorangie (Nectar D'or), Balvenie (double wood, Caribbean), Ardbeg.

Personnaly I feel $60-80 is often the sweet spot for really good scotch. Sure a few more years smooths it some, but it's usually not needed.
 
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Dirty D

Poo flinging monkey
Mar 29, 2010
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#13
I have tried Scotch straight and with a touch of water, ice and no ice and no ice with just a touch of bottled water makes the flavors really come out, try it every way and see for yourself. As to brands the best is whichever you like, I have had $200 bottles of single malt and they weren’t appreciably better than a Balveine 12yr or a GlenMorangie 18 yr at half the cost. Again, the best is which one appeals to your palate.
 
Jan 9, 2011
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#14
I second having multiple ones to taste back to back. My buddies and I do this often with Bourbon especially but sometimes scotch and Irish whisky. Amazing what you can pick up with the different ones back to back.
 
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Sep 7, 2011
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#15
distilled water right? not tap as I remember

Glendronach 12 year is pretty tasty. aged all 12 years in a sherry cask, smooth as butter from memory. It has been a while, though I have a fresh bottle here I am thinking of cracking one of these days. I was going to this weekend, was already so tired when we got home from our dinner and had an early. morning coming.
I like the ones mentioned as well. be ready for the smoke with the Lagavulin!
 
Dec 20, 2017
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#16
Balvenie Doublewood
Dalmore 12

These are my 2 favorites if I want a scotch, both are in the $50-$60 range. Personally I think the Dalmore is sweeter, and when I say sweeter I mean sweet as in the way prunes or raisins are sweet. Doublewood is more oaky/vanilla-y if that makes sense. Flavor is pretty subjective though, TimeWillTell likes shit that tastes like seaweed burnt on a shitty sod fire then dunked in saltwater. He’s weird like that.

To me, scotches don’t slap you in the face with flavor like bourbons do, they’re more subtle.
 
Jan 9, 2011
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#17
Balvenie Doublewood
Dalmore 12

These are my 2 favorites if I want a scotch, both are in the $50-$60 range. Personally I think the Dalmore is sweeter, and when I say sweeter I mean sweet as in the way prunes or raisins are sweet. Doublewood is more oaky/vanilla-y if that makes sense. Flavor is pretty subjective though, TimeWillTell likes shit that tastes like seaweed burnt on a shitty sod fire then dunked in saltwater. He’s weird like that.

To me, scotches don’t slap you in the face with flavor like bourbons do, they’re more subtle.
Glad to see you back JG. I do appreciate a Laphraoige or Laugavulin but I'll stick with Bourbon 90% of the time.
 
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goosed

Sergeant of the Hide
May 11, 2014
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#18
distilled is technically c
I have tried Scotch straight and with a touch of water, ice and no ice and no ice with just a touch of bottled water makes the flavors really come out, try it every way and see for yourself. As to brands the best is whichever you like, I have had $200 bottles of single malt and they weren’t appreciably better than a Balveine 12yr or a GlenMorangie 18 yr at half the cost. Again, the best is which one appeals to your palate.
Have you tried adding a few drops of water after every 3 or 4 sips?

I was a bit surprised to see just how much the flavor opened up and changed the first time I tried adding water as I went.
 

Dirty D

Poo flinging monkey
Mar 29, 2010
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#19
distilled is technically c


Have you tried adding a few drops of water after every 3 or 4 sips?

I was a bit surprised to see just how much the flavor opened up and changed the first time I tried adding water as I went.
Just like load workup I am always game for testing new things, I’ll give that a try.
 
Jan 16, 2012
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#21
Get some scotch stones. They are rock cubes you keep in the freezer to keep your scotch cold without diluting it. I like Laphroig. It’s a bit too Smokey and peaty form most. It’s genetic if you like it. You either hate or love it. Just have to have the gene.
 

Tucker301

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Feb 13, 2015
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#23
Dewar's White Label is honestly very good for the price, and it is now my everyday sip.
For special occasions, such as this past weekend, I like to dig a little deeper into the pocket. The Glenfiddich 18 Special Reserve was just near perfect.

When it gets very cold, I like to switch from the Highlands to the Islay varieties, and Bowmore will make you fart a smoke ring.
 

Mike 556

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
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#24
Glendronach, 12 or 15 year . My holy grail scotch
Oban, Balvinie, laphroig, lagavulin. All are really nice and have lots to offer.
Pretty much drink JW Black for blended.
 

hermosabeach

Confused Coffee Drinker
Feb 13, 2012
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#29
I am not a big scotch fan... but when I have scotch, I want to to taste like I am licking the wall in a very old cellar in Scotland.... So I drink Lephroaig - (LA Frog) as it is an extremely nice and smoky drink
 

hermosabeach

Confused Coffee Drinker
Feb 13, 2012
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If you have never done a tasting party with friends, you cook dinner, each guest gets to bring a bottle of scotch made in Scotland that is single malt.... Its cold outside and a great time of year to host one
 

softcock

novice judgmental prick
Mar 24, 2006
876
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Oregon
#32
Balvenie Doublewood
Dalmore 12

These are my 2 favorites if I want a scotch, both are in the $50-$60 range. Personally I think the Dalmore is sweeter, and when I say sweeter I mean sweet as in the way prunes or raisins are sweet. Doublewood is more oaky/vanilla-y if that makes sense. Flavor is pretty subjective though, TimeWillTell likes shit that tastes like seaweed burnt on a shitty sod fire then dunked in saltwater. He’s weird like that.

To me, scotches don’t slap you in the face with flavor like bourbons do, they’re more subtle.
-
* Balvenie 21 port wood, double cast is it for me and when I splurge extra coin on my myself .
But This what you said ... Balvenie 12-year double wood is king for just all around good sipping .
the Balvenie 12 (imho) way much better than the 17 and I don't know why ? , the 12 and 17 are suppose to be very similar for cask and 17 just aged more, but 12 taste better to me .
.
 
May 20, 2006
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#34
Bourbon haha.

On all seriousness I am a Balvenie Fan.

If you like Scotches try some single malt Irish as well, very tasty. The 16 year knappogue castle is really nice.
It is the used Bourbon barrels that the Scottish folk put their whiskey in, to both Age and Store it. THAT is what makes "Scotch" good.
:p

Yeah, we've a few bottles of 'the scotch' around here as well, to go with our selection of Bourbon. We're not the greatest fans of the 'peated scotches' but I won't deny that there's the possibility of one out there that can be good.

(that oughta get some dander's ruffled!)
 
Mar 8, 2014
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#37
I prefer the clean taste of the Highland single malts. Aberlour 12 year double cask (love the Sherry finish), Edradour 10 year and Glengoyne 17 year are my go to drinks. I personally prefer Irish whiskey and these are close enough for me. As a side note, if you like Scotch, you might try Bushmills 16 year Irish whiskey. It's aged in bourbon barrels and Sherry casks for 16 years, then finished in Port wine Pipes. Has a great taste and finish.
 

Drawman623

New Hide Member
Feb 1, 2018
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#39
Oban 18 is right at your maximum. ($104) and is superb. Oban 14 is very good and at the mid range of your budget.

Aberlour has an expression that is lesser known but among the best bangs for the dollar in Scotch. They expanded the distillery and dug up a time capsule. It had an old bottle that was so impressive to them that they duplicated it for current production. Filtration process recast and aging is in sherry casks. The result has a thick mouthfeel and a sherry explosion. Its a monster for $65. Aberlour A'bunadh (pronounced ah-boo-nar). Thank me later :)
 

Drawman623

New Hide Member
Feb 1, 2018
10
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#41
Lagavulin 16. Nectar of the Gods!
Respect to gunjunkie45. I so enjoy the differing tastes of a forum community. We may all be bound by marksmanship but in terms of Scotch appreciation... wow there is a broad consensus.

Lagavulin 16 may be the peatiest, smokiest scotch in existence. I like a Laphroaig from time to time, but Lagavulin is so peaty...medicinal peaty...that it is in a class by itself. If you like this spirit, I'll wager few others can measure up. Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Octomore have power...no shame in fact, but such heavy handed peat smoke is uncommon.

If you are unfamiliar, brace up brother! This dram has a recoil all its own.
 
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softcock

novice judgmental prick
Mar 24, 2006
876
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Oregon
#42
Respect to gunjunkie45. I so enjoy the differing tastes of a forum community. We may all be bound by marksmanship but in terms of Scotch appreciation... wow there is a broad consensus.

Lagavulin 16 may be the peatiest, smokiest scotch in existence. I like a Laphroaig from time to time, but Lagavulin is so peaty...medicinal peaty...that it is in a class by itself. If you like this spirit, I'll wager few others can measure up. Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Octomore have power...no shame in fact, but such heavy handed peat smoke is uncommon.

If you are unfamiliar, brace up brother! This dram has a recoil all its own.
-
you need to give sip to, Bowmore 'full cask strength' for some strong peat flavor .
.
 

goosed

Sergeant of the Hide
May 11, 2014
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#43
Respect to gunjunkie45. I so enjoy the differing tastes of a forum community. We may all be bound by marksmanship but in terms of Scotch appreciation... wow there is a broad consensus.

Lagavulin 16 may be the peatiest, smokiest scotch in existence. I like a Laphroaig from time to time, but Lagavulin is so peaty...medicinal peaty...that it is in a class by itself. If you like this spirit, I'll wager few others can measure up. Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Octomore have power...no shame in fact, but such heavy handed peat smoke is uncommon.

If you are unfamiliar, brace up brother! This dram has a recoil all its own.
Lagavulin 16 is without a doubt among the peatiest islay scotches. Not so sure about peatiest in existence... compass box, for example, offers some real peat monsters.

I can certainly understand your adversity to it though compared to the sherry bomb you get in aberlour a'bunahd. I know it's not nearly as available, but Tamdhu 10 or better yet Tamdhu batch strength(sweeter and more intense/bold) is another you may enjoy. Sub-$100 sherry bombs like these aren't real common.
 
Dec 24, 2007
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#44
Call me a rookie, but I really liked the Highland park 12. We did a blind Highland park tasting and it is much smoother than the 18. Also, the JL Weller's 12 reserve was also very smooth, but I can't find it anywhere
 
Jan 9, 2011
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#45
Call me a rookie, but I really liked the Highland park 12. We did a blind Highland park tasting and it is much smoother than the 18. Also, the JL Weller's 12 reserve was also very smooth, but I can't find it anywhere
The weller 12 used to be the best kept secret in Bourbon but now it's like hens teeth. A buddy happened to ask his local shop and they hid them in back to prevent people from buying them all out. At that time he paid $55 which is ridiculous compared to what it was in the high-20 to mid-30s range. The standard weller is like $18 a bottle def worth trying. It doesn't have the depth of the 12 year but still a fine easy sipping Bourbon. Much better than Makers or Larceny in terms of a worsted Bourbon imo.
 

goosed

Sergeant of the Hide
May 11, 2014
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#46
The weller 12 used to be the best kept secret in Bourbon but now it's like hens teeth. A buddy happened to ask his local shop and they hid them in back to prevent people from buying them all out. At that time he paid $55 which is ridiculous compared to what it was in the high-20 to mid-30s range. The standard weller is like $18 a bottle def worth trying. It doesn't have the depth of the 12 year but still a fine easy sipping Bourbon. Much better than Makers or Larceny in terms of a worsted Bourbon imo.
With the unicorn/bigfoot/etc. type scarcity of Pappy it's really no surprise that Weller has become so hard to get. Especially with the rumors that Weller is the exact same as the main whiskey stock in the Pappy blend.
 
Jan 9, 2011
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#47
With the unicorn/bigfoot/etc. type scarcity of Pappy it's really no surprise that Weller has become so hard to get. Especially with the rumors that Weller is the exact same as the main whiskey stock in the Pappy blend.
Yeah I haven't had the pleasure of Pappy unfortunately but the Weller is very good. That said my personal favorite from Buffalo Trace is the EH Taylor line. Blantons has really grown on my as well.
 

goosed

Sergeant of the Hide
May 11, 2014
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#48
Yeah I haven't had the pleasure of Pappy unfortunately but the Weller is very good. That said my personal favorite from Buffalo Trace is the EH Taylor line. Blantons has really grown on my as well.
EH Taylor's single barrel is actually on my short list to try for first time this year. If I can find it in stock...
 
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