When it comes to buying whisky, one of the prevailing views is that if you want a really good drink, then you’ll need to spend the big bucks to get it. While that may be true for the most part, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great drop at a more affordable price tag.
If you’ve been looking to grab yourself a nice dram, we’ve put together a list of six great choices that you can pick up for less than $100 a bottle.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
Aberlour 12 Year Old Double Cask Single Malt Scotch
If you love a rich-tasting whisky, might I suggest picking up a bottle of Aberlour’s 12-Year-Old Double Cask Single Malt? Simply put, this is one of the best Speyside single malts that money can buy.
Matured in both traditional oak and sherry casks and aged for 12 years, this particular bottle of Aberlour whisky has flavour notes of sweet fruits and toasted oak. It’s a good dram if your palate favours sweeter things. If you’re someone who enjoys a more smokey whisky, you probably won’t get much out of this.
12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
Highland Park’s 12 Year Old is a solid option if you’re in the market for a good, but affordable, single malt. A smooth and balanced whisky with a stunning gold colour.
This Highland Park whisky is quite aromatic with clear floral and honey notes. In terms of the palate, it has a syrupy sweetness that combines with fruity flavours and subtle smokiness. It’s a good bottle to have if you want to have a cheeky dram every now and then.
Johnnie Walker Green Label
One of the most recognisable scotch whiskies out there. Johnnie Walker’s Green Label, in particular, is a solid option if you want to get the most bang for your buck. It’s also a safe bet if you aren’t that huge on whisky, but are looking to, figuratively, dip your toe into it.
It is a blended malt that combines malt whiskies from different distilleries. Considering that Johnnie Walker has access to some of the best distilleries from all over Scotland, those blended malts are nothing but top-shelf. Green Label is also aged for 15 years, and it contains no grain whiskey.
Nikka From The Barrel Japanese Whisky
Personally, I’m a big fan of Japanese whiskies. They’re my first port of call if I’m looking to grab a new bottle. I randomly picked up a bottle of Nikka’s From The Barrel and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
From The Barrel is a blended whisky that is both rich and full flavoured. It smells of spice and fresh fruit with floral notes; and has a smokey, creamy caramel, vanilla taste with hints of oak.
If you’re someone who’s new to drinking their whiskies neat, I’d recommend diluting it a bit before you drink it. The high alcohol percentage (51.4%) really packs a punch.
Starward Two-Fold Double Grain Australian Whisky
If you want locally made whisky, Starward Two-Fold Double Grain is a pretty solid option. It’s made from a combination of Australian malted barley (40%) and wheat (60%), which are distilled and matured separately in Australian red wine barrels.
The end result is a whisky that has an aroma of sweet berries, burnt toast and vanilla, and a strong flavour that enforces those notes. It’s a pleasure to drink, from opening the bottle to finishing another glass.
Suntory TOKI Blended Japanese Whisky
If you’re looking to get into Japanese whiskies and you don’t want to break the bank, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of Suntory.
The iconic Japanese brand’s Toki is a blended whisky, made of whiskies from three of Suntory’s Japanese distilleries: malt from Yamazaki and Hakushu, with grain from Chita. Suntory’s Toki has a fruity aroma with a nice light, smooth, fruity taste. It’s a great choice for a highball.
If you’re looking to add something fancier to your drink cart that exceeds the limits of your budget, Vintage Cellars is currently giving away a 55-year-old bottle of Yamazaki whisky. It’s one of 100 bottles that exist in the world, so it’s safe to say that it’s valued at a bit more than a hundred bucks.
To snag this rare drop, all you need to do is grab a VC Club membership and then spend $100 on liquor in-store or online by Tuesday, 26 April. You can check out more info for this offer here.