It doesn’t matter if you’re an old Scotch hound or a total novice; there’s always something new to discover and learn.
 
Scotch continues to find new audiences, and whether you already know your Speysides from your Islays or still find Scotch an acquired taste you’ve yet to actually acquire, we’re here to introduce you to our best-rated bottle-by-bottle guide that put Scotland on the lips of the great, the good and the grand all around the world. So grab your quaich and drink to the good stuff.
 

Best Scotch under $50

With $50 to spend, you should be able to buy yourself a nice Scotch. To help you with the decision, we've compiled a list of the best reasonably-priced Scotch Whiskies, according to the Flaviar community.
 

The Glenrothes 12 Year Old

The Glenrothes 12YO expression is a nod to the process of sun-drying grapes in Jerez for Sherry production, so it's no surprise this bottle is all about Sherry richness. The banana and vanilla aromas working together with rich flavors of lemon and cinnamon are the epitome of the Glenrothes distillery style, and it shows the true character of its makers. 

The Glenrothes 12 Year Old

“First time I have tasted Glenrothes. Vanilla, melon, and cinnamon. I usually sip Chevas 12 0r 18-year-old single malt. In their order, the cinnamon, then melon, and finally a very light hint of vanilla. I am sold. I have a new sipper in the house. I am a new Glenrothes fan.”  - Ron
 
OTHER BEST SCOTCH UNDER $50:
 

Best Scotch under $100

In case you want to broadcast your allegiance to excellence, these Scotch bottles all stay on the friendlier side of 100 bucks.

And with a $100 budget, the Scotch Whiskyworld opens up widely for you to explore. Most of the blended Whiskies and many (many!) exceptional Single Malts will be in this price range.
 

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 

Caol Ila 12 Year Old is a malt that takes you back to the coastal shores from where it comes. This is a smoky and sweet expression hailing from Islay, a classic combination that Caol Ila 12 nails perfectly. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just like every other smoked Islay malt. The Caol Ila 12 Year Old has a lot more to offer than just peat.

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 

“This is my favorite Islay whiskey. The peat and smoke are there, but it is complex and rewarding with citrus, vanilla, and spice. Delicious!”  - Matthew
 
OTHER BEST SCOTCH UNDER $100:
 

Most Exclusive Scotch

One of the best reasons to be a Flaviarista is access to Spirits that are made exclusively for Members – and sometimes by Members. Meet Flaviar’s private bottlings.
 

Son of a Peat Batch 03 The Redeemer

The Smoky Redemption Is Here: Behold, Son of a Peat Batch 03!
 
The twelve Whiskies in this blend come from Islay, Speyside, the Islands, and the Highlands. They were aged in hogsheads, Sherry butt casks, and ex-Bourbon barrels for up to 20 years.
 
If your bucket list has “forget smoothness as a defining quality of great Whisky,” cross it out now. Son of a Peat Batch 03 comes with big guns ablaze and a desire to punch you (in a good way).

Cask strength, peaty as hell, and no-nonsense character. It's as authentic as they come. No fake-ass color; it’s non-chill-filtered, hand-blended, hand-bottled, hand-sealed, and hand-labeled. 
Son of a Peat Batch 03 The Redeemer

Not only is Member's favorite, but it also won a Gold medal at San Francisco World Spirit Competition 2021. 
 
“I love anything peat, and this being non-chill and natural color really makes it that much better. It really is a blend of all the peated expression from islay, the islands, and peat from the mainlands. So glad I bought 4 bottles to make up for missing out on the first 2 batches.” - Michael
 
MORE EXCLUSIVE BOTTLES: The holy mission of Flaviar has always been finding you something new to try. Our scope is beyond the already existing Spirits, so we create new offerings.

Dear, Bear & Moose range is absolutely adored and top rated by Flaviar members. These are members’ only very limited and special Whiskies that we source and bottle in very small batches in order to make great, inaccessible Scotch Whisky available to our members. Learn more about exclusive Spirits from different categories with a story to tell.
 

Best Single Malt Scotch 

Single Malt is one of the most talked-about categories of Scotch Whisky. And although Single Malts make up just a small percentage of the entire Whisky market, they've managed to achieve something of a cult status over the past few decades.
 

Highland Park Twisted Tattoo 16 Year Old

Perhaps the most famous Whisky connoisseur of all time — journalist Michael James Jackson — called Highland Park, “The greatest all-rounder in the world of Malt Whisky.” 
 
Highland Park Twisted Tattoo is a sixteen-year-old Single Malt with a fascinating cask heritage. One third of the Spirit was aged in ex-Bourbon casks and the other two thirds in Spanish Rioja casks. This yields a fruit-forward, almost luscious dram. In fact, from the first sip, you know that you are tasting a fine Single Malt, while you are reminded of Sangria in gentle aromas and flavor notes ringing in the background.
 
 It’s called “Twisted Tattoo” because the packaging design was done in collaboration with Colin Dale — a noted tattoo artist and designer.

Highland Park Twisted Tattoo 16 Year Old

“Highland Park did it again! Amazing dram with a hint of peat and lots of berries and deep flavors. Sadly this product is limited, so if you have a chance to get it, do not miss the opportunity.” - Aleksanteri
 
 

Best Blended Scotch

Blended Whiskies make for 95% of Whisky sales but are often overlooked. There are great blend brands around & making them is more challenging than you'd think.

Every good home bar needs a good blend. This can be used in countless cocktails or enjoyed neat, depending on how creative you feel. Blends are consistent in flavor and are richly complex.
 

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Of course, the best-selling blend is the world-renowned Johnnie Walker, and it’s always good to have a popular brand at hand. 
 
Johnnie Walker Blue Label is formulated to recreate the character of the original and is regarded as one of the best blends available.

This should come as no surprise, as only the finest Scotch Whiskies make it into the blend - only one in every ten thousand casks, to be exact. In fact, Johnnie Walker Blue Label is so top-of-the-line that insiders often refer to it by its nickname: “Max Walker.” 
 
It’s adored for its smoky character, hazelnuts, dark chocolate, and ginger flavor notes.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

“This is the whisky that started it all for me. Ever since trying this one, I have been interested in learning and trying more whisk(e)y. Worth every penny!”  - Theodore
 
OTHER BEST BLENDED SCOTCH:
 

Best Scotch By Region

There are five Whisky regions in Scotland. Islands are sometimes mentioned as the sixth region but are not officially recognized. Since they’ve been around so long, many Whisky purists regard them as important features to consider when buying any Scotch.

Let’s take a look at Flaviar member’s favorites. It will be like taking a mini trip to Scotland from behind your desk, minus those little snack packs of airline pretzels. Which is kind of a damn shame.
 
 

Best Scotch For Beginners

Scotch is a pretty versatile drink and caters to many tastes. When you're new to it, the Scotch world can seem like a maze with so many different brands and expressions out there. To give some direction to all Scotch newbies, here are some best-rated members’ suggestions for those looking to discover their first dram.
 

Craigellachie 13 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Besides its impossibly hard name to pronounce (Craig-el-Achy), it is a great offering from the people at Dewar’s.
 
Craigellachie is one of the last distilleries to use worm tail condensation in the distillation process. This creates longer contact on copper as the spirit condenses and makes for a cleaner spirit. It is then aged in Bourbon Barrels for 13 years to give it a warm vanilla feel.
 
For anyone who is just discovering Single Malt Whisky, this is a great next step into the realms of Speyside.

Craigellachie 13 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Modestly priced but excellent and complex, apples, a hint of smoke and a hint of tropical fruit after the first dram. Really enjoyed.”  - John
 
OTHER BEST SCOTCH FOR BEGINNER:
 

Best Peated Scotch 

Peated Scotch is an acquired taste, but it’s one hell of a taste, to be honest. Peat may not be for everyone, but it’s true: once you go peat, you always go neat.
 

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardbeg Uigeadail won a Double Gold medal at San Francisco World Spirit Competition 2017, and it was named the Whisky of The Year 2009 by Jim Murray's Whisky Bible.

The Uigeadail is named for the Loch from where Ardbeg draws its waters, and in Gaelic stands for Dark and Mysterious Place. The Uigeadail is a marriage of Ardbeg's Whisky aged in Bourbon barrels and Sherry butts. It’s bottled at cask strength for maximum flavor impact. Oo-Yeah.

Craigellachie 13 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
 
“How can this be so smooth and yet so packed with flavor? It tastes like barbecue, without the meat. Smoke and sweetness and salt. And yet it goes down so smooth, a perfect post-dinner whiskey.”  - Jackson
 
OTHER BEST PEATED SCOTCH:
(all three available to try in Peat It, Peat It! Vol.2 tasting box)


Best Scotch for Cocktails

We all have friends who love to bartend and make drinks, whether they do it for a living or the amateur mixologist who is just shaking up drinks in his or her kitchen.

If you ever hear people expounding on the beauty of a Manhattan or the Sazerac, this is great Whisky for them to try their hand with to make Scotch cocktails.
 

Glenfarclas 105

Glenfarclas is one the few family-owned distilleries in Scotland and makes some of the best value Whisky on the market; there is no expression they make that we would not drink on a daily basis.
 
When it comes to making cocktails, using cask strength Whisky always makes for more exciting and more full-flavored drinks, and this offering from Glenfarclas is one of the all-time greats. It has a big full flavor of dark stone fruits and baking spices. And it was the winner of the Flaviar Community Award 2017 in its respective category! 

ardbeg uigeadail
 
“This is one of the better scotches I've had in a while, and I have a ton of high-end scotches in my collection.” - Michael
 
OTHER BEST SCOTCH FOR COCKTAILS:
 

Best Scotch to Sip On 

If you want to try Scotch that not only can be mixed to make great long drinks and cocktails but which are fabulous to sip, read on.
 

The Glendronach 15 Year Old Revival

The Glendronach 15 Year old Revival celebrates the revitalization of Glendronach after it was bought by The BenRiach Distillery in 2008. This Scotch is aged 15 years exclusively in Olorosso Sherry casks, making it wonderfully raisiny, savory, and fruity. It’s a favorite among Scotch enthusiasts, sitting right in-between the 18YO and 12YO Glendronach, quite possibly the best in their whole range.

the glendronach 15 year old revival

 
“Delightful! It is full, rich, and complex with flavors that just keep coming.” - Winston
 
OTHER BEST SCOTCH TO SIP ON: 
 

Best Scotch for Food Pairing

Voltaire once said, “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”  While drinking Scotch may not be incredibly essential to survival, it is definitely a great pleasure, and enjoying food with it makes that pleasure all the better.
 

Ballantines 17 Year Old

In 2011 it swept aside all Single Malt rivals to take the prestigious Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible Award. That's saying a lot.  It has subtle notes of smoke, with hints of bitter coffee and sweet vanilla. A slightly sugary note comes through on the palate, but the earthiness sets this malt apart.

Ballantines 17 Year Old
 
“One of my favorites!! Hands Down!!” - James
 
OTHER BEST SCOTCH FOR FOOD PAIRING:
 

Best Scotch Experience

If you still cannot decide on your next favorite, we suggest joining a club of Spirits connoisseurs. Flaviar Members get exclusive access to private bottlings, special editions, and rare gems. Noobs or pros, Flaviaristas also learn new stuff through tasting and content (masterclasses, videos, articles, School of Spirits, tasting webinars, etc.)
 

 
As a Flaviar Member, you will get to pick a full-size bottle and a themed Tasting Box every three months, take advantage of unlimited free shipping on qualifying orders, access The Vault full of the one-percenter drams, join free tasting events, earn perks through referrals, and have the best community that rates and review at the fingertip. 
 
There's only one thing left to say: Sláinte!