Hailing from the great green lands of Scotland, Scotch whiskies have been a favorite libation for generations. The golden amber hue; the sweet, smoky notes; that lingering spice – it’s the perfect combination for a warming sip or as a compliment to a mix of beverages.
When it comes to Scotch whiskies, the difficult part is finding a brand and bottle that won’t disappoint, and sometimes that means spending a little more. For under $200, you can get a premium bottle of whiskey that will not only look great on your shelf but also taste great when the occasion to pop it open arises.
So you’re not throwing money around without knowing that you’re getting something good, we’ve compiled this list of ten of the top Scotch whiskies you can find for under $200.
In many states, being 18-years-old means you’re old enough to drive. For Bunnahabhain, 18-years-old means the whiskey contained within the darkened bottle is the perfect age for bottling and consumption. This aged whiskey isn’t colored and gives off a caramel scent accompanied by a coastal salty taste and roasted chestnuts. Woodspice finishes off this thicker, Islay whiskey.
This lighter hued Scotch whiskey hails from the Speyside region and is aged for 21 glorious years. The moment you pop the top, you’re met with a hint of tobacco, solidifying this as the quintessential “man’s drink.” Butterscotch is accented by creamy malt and white pepper while a pleasant aroma of oak and vanilla waft from the long-necked bottle.
This 25-year-old single malt whiskey from the Speyside region may look dark and harsh but the first taste that hits the palate is smooth and light, a tangy but creamy barley touched with hints of chocolate and nuttiness. Smoke and buttery cocoa finish off this classic Scottish beverage, which has become a favorite of whiskey connoisseurs.
An Island Whiskey from the Highlands of Scotland, Aaron’s 20-year-old single malt will make you hungry just by its scent. The nose is one of chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, plums, lavender, and a touch of rye bread while its flavor boasts chocolate oranges, tropical fruit, and Christmas spices. The sweet, spiced flavor is distilled in a single cask and has a finish of raisins and treacle.
From the Highlands of Scotland, GlenDronach’s 21-year-old distilled malt is a light, golden whiskey with touches of smoke and lemon juice that are heightened by apple peel, date and walnuts, espresso, and cedar wood. Beneath those odorous delights is an earthiness that dissipates with the syrup and raisin notes. Your palate may also pick up oak, cherry blossom, cocoa, and honeydew melon.
Balvenie 21 Portwood Finish
This amber whiskey may be 21-years-old, but it was finished in 30-year-old port pipes that give it an elegant flare. Pop the top and enjoy a white peach aroma kissed with a hint of smoke. Once it hits your palate, you’ll be privy to a delicate hint of fruit, raisins, and honey, finished off with a bitter and sweet cocoa. If the multiple awards aren’t enough to sell Balvenie’s 21-year-old Portwood Finish, then the flavor profile will.
Glenlivet Archive 21
The golden amber 21-year-old Glenlivet not only looks appealing, but its three-time International Wine & Spirit Competition award-winning flavor is its most notable trait. Hints of pine and sandalwood fill your nose while walnuts, fruitcake, spice, and syrup delight your palate. At tShe end of this Speyside whiskey is a finish of oaky sweetness.
Dalmore King Alexander III
The fancy bottle of the Dalmore King Alexander isn’t its only appealing facet. Once the bottle is popped, a scent of malty, orange zest, malty cereal, and barley fills the air. Distilled in the Highlands of Scotland, Alexander III boasts a winter berry and orange zest rounded off by a noticeable spice. Finishing each sip is a peppered hint with oak and claret that lingers.
Port Charlotte PC12 Oilenach Furachail
If you’re for a citrus-infused peated malt, Port Charlotte’s 12-year-old Islay whiskey is an absolute must. A nose of smoke, blueberry, and honeycomb accompany the citrus while your palate is bound to pick up smoked dates, lemon curd, porridge, and poached pear. Lingering behind is a touch of plum wine and malt loaf that rounds off the delicious flavors of Bruichladdich’s distillery.
Macallan 18 Year Fine Oak
The very light, golden color of Macallan’s 18-year Scotch whiskey certainly isn’t indicative of its flavor profile. The Sherried notes are rounded off with toffee, chocolate orange, fresh ginger while your nose will pick up hints of dried fruit and crushed hazelnut. At the end of each sip is a finish of oak and dried grass