You can purchase single malt anywhere—in America, Japan, Taiwan, or any other country—but for it to qualify as scotch, it must be produced in Scotland. The scotch industry is also changing as restless distillers experiment with a variety of whiskey categories, from heavily-peated smoke bombs to sherry-cask whiskies. The distinctions between flavor profiles have become increasingly hazy, and experimentation has increased. Here are the best Scotch whiskies to stock your home bar.
Douglas Laing Big Peat Islay Malt – 46% ABV – Sooty, Ashy
Big Peat is a blend of only Islay-based single malt Scotch whiskies. It encapsulates everything that is Islay in a single bottle, with Caol Ila spirit adding sweetness, Bowmore providing the ideal balance, Ardbeg an earthy, medicinal note, and Port Ellen adding a touch of refinement.
Glenmorangie Signet – 46% ABV – Coffee, Espresso, Raisins, Cinnamon
The barley was so heavily toasted that the spirit is known as chocolate malt. Similar to how a chocolate malt gives a porter or stout a mocha flavor in brewing, this Highland scotch is full of cocoa and espresso flavors that only get stronger with age. It has a seriousness that Tardie respects because it is made from the distillery's oldest whisky, a 35- to 40-year-old scotch that was aged in American white oak. Dark chocolate and coffee grinds come through strongly when you sip it and the alcohol burns off.
Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate – 43% ABV – Wild Herbs, Roasted Nuts, Honey, Floral
People believe that because Glenmorangie whiskies go so well with food, the distiller prefers wine over whisky. This light, flowery scotch, made with estate-grown malted barley and aged 15 years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels, goes well with a range of summertime dishes. Try pairing the whisky with bbq spare ribs, marinated grilled chicken, fresh berries for dessert, or mint-laced salads after opening it with some water. A pleasant herbaceousness, vanilla, toasted almonds, and a trace of citrus follow the honey-blossom aroma.
The Macallan A Night On Earth Single Malt
Macallan's A Night On Earth Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a joyful limited edition Scotch that captures the excitement and warmth of change-of-year celebrations and bottles this sensation with uncanny similarity. It is a tribute to Scotland's Hogmanay, New Year's Eve, and the last day of the year. Expect a strong fragrant nuance characterized by vanilla, stone fruits and baked cookies, as well as dried citrus, shortbread, and cinnamon on the palate, owing to a partnership with Japanese-French illustrator Erica Dorn.
Glenmorangie The Nectar D’Or Single Malt
Drinking The Nectar D'Or is like to taking a trip with your senses to a French pastry store, where the air is filled with delicious aromas and a gentle rhythm of spice. This whisky was inspired by the experience of visiting a bakery for the first time. It is about that first experience when your senses are delectably overpowered, when you are inhaling sweet aromas and hoping you could bite into every creamy, flaky pleasure you see. Nectar D'Or allows you to taste everything.