10 Cheap Scotches to Get You Started

A number of people here at the Whisky Party have been discussing some cheap, quality bottlings to recommend to folks just getting into drinking single malt scotch whisky.  Here’s what one of us came up with.  Let us know what you think:

  1. Jura Superstition (never had it, but young peated casks vatted with 23 yo unpeated casks from a unique Island distillery; $40-45)
  2. Highland Park 12 yo (one of my favorites, a critical darling, and a true “all-rounder” Island whisky for under $40)
  3. Glenkinchie 10 yo (light and grassy, with a non-citrus fruit in the middle. Maybe pears).
  4. Caol Ila 12 yo (I prefer the 18 yo, but at $45, this one is peatier and more interesting than often assumed)
  5. Laphroaig Quartercask ($47; a vatting of young whiskies finished in tiny casks, imparting much wood flavor and mellowness.  Anyone who hasn’t had this should kill themselves)
  6. Clynelish 14 yo (a northern, coastal Highland and undervalued)
  7. Glenmorangie 10 yo (another superb Highland; $40-50)
  8. Bowmore 12 yo ($30-40; see Dr. Whisky)
  9. Cragganmore 12 yo (top notch Speyside; big, floral nose; nice buttery body with some rich fruit and a touch of smoke; right around $50).
  10. Balvenie – either the 10 yo ($40) or the 12 yo doublewood ($50)