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We Requested 18 Bartenders: Which Scotch Affords the Greatest Bang for Your Buck?


Whether or not loved neat by a roaring hearth or skillfully combined into a fancy cocktail, Scotch’s historical past and craftsmanship make it one of the vital revered whisky classes on this planet. Whereas devoted drinkers like to wax poetic in regards to the Scottish spirit’s many virtues — distinctive, layered, and iconic — these new to its charms are amazed to search out it presents an nearly intimidatingly numerous vary of types.

To assist navigate the multitude of choices, we requested bartenders and beverage administrators throughout the nation which manufacturers ship on each high quality and value. From single malts to blended Scotch whiskies, maintain studying for the bottles consultants persistently attain for repeatedly.

The Scotch Whiskies That Provide the Greatest Bang for Your Buck

  • Ardbeg Wee Beastie
  • Bruichladdich The Traditional Laddie
  • Dewar’s Cask Sequence
  • Dewar’s Japanese Easy
  • Well-known Grouse
  • Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch
  • Aberlour A’Bunadh
  • Bunnahabhain 12 Yr Outdated
  • Glenfiddich 14 Yr Outdated
  • Compass Field Orchard Home
  • Compass Field Peat Monster
  • Copper Canine
  • Glenfarclas 12 Yr Outdated
  • The Dalmore 12 Yr Outdated
  • Gordon & MacPhail
  • Johnnie Walker Black
  • Springbank Distillery (Hazelburn, Longrow, and Springbank)
  • The Glenlivet 12 Yr Outdated

Ardbeg Wee Beastie is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

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Wee Beastie Islay Scotch from Ardbeg is my go-to selection for worth, drinkability, and cocktail utilization. It has a pleasant peat profile with out being overbearing.” —Dimitre Darrocca, lead bar director, Moon Rabbit, Washington, D.C.

“Ardbeg Wee Beastie: solely 5 years outdated, however nonetheless loads of peat and priced very fairly.” —Nicholas Lappen, bartender, Backbar and Boston Baijiu Bar, Somerville, Mass.

“Ardbeg is an Islay single-malt Scotch with a contact of sweetness and a pleasant velvety texture. Good value level for what it’s, and it really works properly in floral cocktails.” —Ferit Ozergul, bar director, Cranes, Washington, D.C.

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Bruichladdich The Laddie is a superb Islay Scotch in a wonderful blue bottle (the colour of the Scottish waters off the coast from the distillery). Mild, aromatic, and refreshing.” —Mary Ellen Angel, proprietor, Angel Share, Houston

Dewar's Cask Series is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

“I’m keen on the Dewar’s Cask Sequence, which options Dewar’s 8-Yr-Outdated double-aged Scotch whisky, which is then completed by numerous used casks. Bottles on this sequence have featured Scotches completed in port casks, Caribbean rum casks, and even mezcal casks, which makes it one in all my favorites. I actually benefit from the Japanese Easy bottle which is completed in Japanese mizunara oak casks for six months. That is tremendous tasty with delicate floral, honey, and cinnamon notes. The most effective a part of these experimental Scotches is that they retail for round $30-$35.” —Nicholas Bennett, beverage director, Porchlight, NYC

Famous Grouse is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Well-known Grouse is a superb whisky at an incredible value level. There’s a bottle of Well-known Grouse in my field of tenting tools, a bottle subsequent to the fireside at dwelling, and it’s our on a regular basis Scotch at sometime. It’s a blended Scotch whisky, however the single malts used within the Well-known Grouse mix are from Highland Park and The Macallan, two extremely regarded and celebrated Scotch producers. Well-known Grouse is extraordinarily easy and fairly wealthy; beautiful by itself and likewise works extraordinarily properly in quite a lot of cocktails. It’s flavorful and interesting, with notes of dried lemon and orange, candied ginger, cinnamon, and buttery shortbread cookies (which we use to garnish our Bobby Burns cocktails).” —Graham Information, proprietor, sometime, Portland, Ore.

Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch: Because the cool children say, this Scotch is an absolute bang on your buck! Monkey Shoulder is a mix of some killer single malts (comparable to Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Kininvie) which vary in age wherever between 6-12 years. Talking of getting old, this whisky sits in ex-bourbon barrels making for a easy sip each time with layers of vanilla and tropical fruits. You like to style it! For all of those causes, Monkey Shoulder might be loved solo or as the bottom spirit in your favourite cocktail. Really a flexible whisky.” —Ally Marrone, beverage director, Grand Military Bar, Brooklyn

Aberlour A'Bunadh is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Aberlour A’Bunadh: This Scotch is completed in oloroso sherry casks. You’ll be able to’t discover one other Scotch that’s across the value of Aberlour A’Bunadh, completed in a sherry cask, or as refined. There are a lot of Scotches (to not title names, however they begin with Mac and rhyme with Allan; begin with Glen and rhyme with divet) which can be aged for much much less time in sherry casks than Aberlour A’Bunadh and value twice as a lot. Thank me later.” —Matt Landes, founder and CEO, Cocktail Academy, Los Angeles

Bunnahabhain 12 is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Bunnahabhain 12: A improbable under-the-radar single malt with scrumptious flavors and not one of the value baggage of comparable 12-year single malts.” —Wilson Trang, bartender, Shake Bartending, Seattle

Glenfarclas 12 is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

“Something from Signatory: Sure, it’s a bunch reply, however I stand by it. Andrew Symington (managing companion at impartial bottler Signatory Classic Scotch Whisky Co.) has been shopping for, maturing, and reanimating whisky casks from all around the nation since 1988. It permits our friends entry to single malts that by no means make it over to the U.S., or usually find yourself in standard blended whiskies. Typically, we even see Scotches which have fully completely different barrel maturations than their distilleries usually supply to the market. Regardless, you all the time get extra years and extra ABV (nearly all of the merchandise are launched at cask energy) on your greenback than the identical whiskies you see on each again bar.” —Mike Trow, director of bar operations, RPM Eating places, Chicago

Glenfiddish 14 is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Glenfiddich 14: Aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Heat sweetness and punchy notes of vanilla. Ripe and spherical with stunning honey notes.” —Harrison Ginsberg, bar director, Overstory, NYC

Compass Box Orchard House is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Compass Field Orchard Home: Collectively, let’s drop the concept that single malts are superior. They are often wonderful, don’t get me fallacious, however to say they’re the tip all be all is a disservice to the remainder of the Scotch whisky class. Consider single malts as identifiers of 1 distillery. A lot in the identical approach a rose will all the time scent like a rose, Ardbeg whisky, for instance, will all the time style prefer it’s from the Ardbeg distillery. Now take into account blended whisky as a composition, the identical approach a fragrance is. Within the case of Orchard Home (a blended malt whisky), whisky from Linkwood, Clynelish, Glen Moray, and Caol Ila are being utilized in various proportions to precise a really particular profile — specifically that of apple, pear, nectar, and honeysuckle. It’s mild, approachable, and an ideal gateway into the world of Scotch whisky. Drink it neat or on the rocks, make it right into a highball; hell, use it to make the most effective ‘Appletini’ you’ve ever had! Compass Field as an entire is the reigning champion of ‘whiskies as compositions’ and shouldn’t be dismissed. You shouldn’t be paying any greater than $45 for this bottle, however toss in slightly extra and spring for a bottle like Compass Field Hedonism, and you’ll by no means communicate unwell of blends once more.” —Mark Mentzel, lead bartender, The Elk Room, Baltimore

Compass Box Peat Monster is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

Compass Field Peat Monster ($41) truthfully is a good way so as to add peat to any cocktail. On high of that, the label and bottle is sweet on any again bar.” —Judy Elahi, bar director, Michelin-starred Gravitas and 101 Hospitality, Washington, D.C.

Copper Dog is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

“Mix: Copper Canine, a beautiful, mild, and clear blended malt with crisp apple and lightweight spice. A mix of eight Speyside single malts, it’s nice sipped neat, on ice, or in your favourite cocktail. With the ABV sitting kindly at 40 p.c, it received’t blow your palate away with burn. Seize a bottle for round $25-$35 and luxuriate in. Single malt: Glenfarclas 12, a wonderful single malt one hundred pc matured in oloroso sherry casks. Household-owned since 1965, it’s a sherry bomb and nice sipped on these colder nights. Typically, it retails round $40-$60 and with an ABV at 43 p.c, it’s a steal for my part for a fruit-laden single malt with sturdy oak and peppery tones.” —Darron Foy, bar supervisor, The Flatiron Room, NYC

The Dalmore 12 Year is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

The Dalmore 12 Yr, is a single-malt Scotch that exhibits character properly past its age, making it a bona fide diamond within the tough. Third-generation grasp distiller Richard Patterson distills a robust spirit that exudes complexity and spine. The care he brings to his craft — coupled with The Dalmore heritage, has cultivated a spirit as iconic because the 12-pointer that graces its label.” — Jason Hedges, licensed sommelier and director of beverage, Laurent Tourondel Hospitality’s L’Amico, The Vine, and Skirt Steak, NYC

Gordon & MacPhail is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

“Scotch is a harder class because it depends upon the place your style buds are within the second. That’s why I like to choose up a bottle of Gordon & MacPhail. I’ve all the time been impressed with this impartial bottler’s in depth line and fascinating getting old variations. One in all their Benriachs will certainly hit a candy spot.” —Kai Wilson, beverage director, Mercat a la Planxa, Chicago

Johnnie Walker Black is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

“​​Blended Scotch: Johnnie Walker Black. That wonderful lick of smoke you get proper on the end, mixed with an ace steadiness of malt and grain, actually make this a tough one to beat. Each every so often, the go-to whisky is definitely an excellent ‘un. Bang on your buck single malt within the U.S. is a little bit of an oxymoron sadly, however should you’re going to dive in on one whisky model that has probably the most to show, it must be Springbank Distillery. They’ve three single-malt SKU’s (Hazelburn, Longrow, and Springbank) that vary in peat ranges. They make the most of quite a lot of cask varieties in getting old. They use conventional worm tub condensers and are one of many final family-owned distilleries in Scotland. If you happen to’re going to nerd out on one model that has probably the most to show, it’s Springbank Distillery. —Iain Griffiths, artistic director, Hidden Leaf, Midnight Cafe, and Midnight Theatre, NYC

The Glenlivet 12 is a Scotch that offers great bang for your buck according to bartenders.

“If I’ve to choose a Scotch whisky to drink and keep watch over my buck, I’ll positively go for The Glenlivet 12. This iconic whisky might be present in most bars across the globe, because it’s nice for each cocktails and sipping. Glenlivet 12 has a wonderful gold coloration, which comes from utilizing each European and American casks when getting old it. The Scotch could be very contemporary and delicate, with notes of tropical fruit that attain your nostril and palate. It’s the proper Scotch for individuals who are simply beginning to method the whiskey world but in addition a basic go-to for professionals.” —Federico Doldi, director of meals & beverage, Gansevoort Meatpacking, NYC



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