Life Style

The Best Bottles Of Scotch Whisky Between $90-$100

Uproxx

Even with a recent tariff freeze, good scotch is always going to be more expensive than a good bourbon. We’re closing in on the $100 mark in our quest to find the best Scotch whisky at every price range and we’re only now getting into special limited releases, unique mashes, and finishings. We’re still squarely in the mid-range stuff — in fact, one of the bottles on this list is a standard 14-year-old release.

While we’re not the rarefied heights that Scotch whisky is known to reach just yet, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting something special and damn tasty for just under a hundy. And over the next couple of price rungs, things will get really interesting and unique.

As always, these prices are taken on average. Prices are always in flux. Trade wars, import costs, local state taxes, and retailer whims are going make some of these bottles a little more expensive or a little cheaper depending on where you are. Let’s dive in!

Related: The Best Bottles Of Scotch Whisky Between $80-$90

Glenkinchie Distillers Edition

Diageo

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $92

The Whisky:

This limited edition expression from last year’s Diageo Distillers Edition is expertly crafted whisky. The Lowland juice has a finishing maturation in a specially made barrel which is constructed from used and new American oak that’s then filled with Amontillado sherry for a month. Once that fortified wine is dumped, the whisky goes in for its final maturation.

Tasting Notes:

There are hints of very soft wood next to berries steeped in honey with a light vanilla edge. The taste dips into a slight black pepper with a note of brie rinds or, maybe, a cheese cellar. The end is slow and leaves you with a nice, warm buzzing in your senses and a real feeling of velvet roundness.

Bottom Line:

This was one of our favorites when we tasted them on Expression Session earlier this year. It’s a great sipper that goes down almost too easily (even without ice).

Oban 14

Diageo

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $93

The Whisky:

This is a great gateway to both Oban and scotch to have on hand. The juice is classically made and then matured in the Oban storehouses for 14 long years — all within a stone’s throw of the sea.

Tasting Notes:

Citrus, salt, and a billow of peat smoke open this one up in classic fashion. That citrus carries on as a foundation for mild spices, a note of honey, hints of pears, and plummy dried fruits mingle on the tongue. The oak spice and extremely mild peat smoke meet on the end with a slight malty sweetness as the sip fades.

Bottom Line:

We have a soft spot for this tiny Highland distillery nestled in the middle of a quaint seaside town. The whisky really is one of the most accessible on the market while still packing serious sweet-leaning notes. It also pairs perfectly with a plate of raw oysters or a nice chowder.

The Macallan Classic Cut 2019

Edrington Group

ABV: 52.9%

Average Price: $95

The Whisky:

The Macallan might be the most famous Highland malt there is. This special limited edition release drops every year and highlights the casks specifically. Whisky Maker Polly Logan hand-selects sherry barrels for the maturation of this whisky. Those barrels are then hand-selected by Logan after aging and bottled as is.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a holiday cake vibe on the nose touching on candied orange zest, dried fruit, nuts, and plenty of eggnog spices. The palate dials in on the spices, highlighting the orange zest and fresh ginger juice sharpness while the oak lingers in the background with the malts. The end doesn’t last too long and leaves you with a velvet honeyed sweetness.

Bottom Line:

These yearly releases have been excellent sippers. What you’re paying for with this bottle is the masterful craft that goes into single malts marrying sherry casking and how that can really shine.

Aberlour A’bunadh

Pernod Ricard

ABV: 56.2% (varies)

Average Price: $95

The Whisky:

A’bunadh (ah-boon-arh) means “the original” in Gaelic and the juice in this Highland bottle represents that for Aberlour. The whisky is matured in old Olorosso sherry casks exclusively. The juice then goes into the bottle at cask strength, unfussed with.

Tasting Notes:

That sherry plumminess is evident right up top, with hints of bright orange oils, clumps of dark chocolate, honey, and nuts, and a hint of oak. The taste shines with notes of dark, ripe cherries, prunes, more bright orange zest, dark chocolate, and a good measure of svelte vanilla. The slow finish leaves you with a creamy mouthfeel next to bitter chocolate next to sweet cherries and plums, all of which leads towards a warming spice on the tongue at the end.

Bottom Line:

This is a damn-fine sipper. A little ice or few drops of water really helps to open up the deeper bitter chocolate and vanilla edges while holding onto all those fruits. Price aside, this also makes a killer cocktail.

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 57.1%

Average Price: $95

The Whisky:

This whisky is named after the world’s second-largest whirlpool, which spins in the inky seas between the isles of Islay and Jura off the coast of Scotland. The juice is classic Ardbeg distillate that is aged exclusively in fresh French Limousin casks. That juice is then married to the ten-year-old Ardbeg and bottled at cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

This is a big whisky with hints of pine resin, smoked bacon fat, worn briny ropes, blue and blackberries, dark spices, and a hint of minty dark chocolate on the nose. The palate is straight-up chewy with black pepper coated bacon fat next to heavily roasted coffee beans and salted almonds all while still holding onto those dark berries as a sweet counterpoint. The end is a mix of dark berries, bitter coffee or chocolate, and that fatty and peppery smoked meat with a seaspray edge that lasts a very long time.

Bottom Line:

This is a great candidate for someone who doesn’t want to go all-in on a peat monster but still is interested. It’s very smoky, yes, but there’s a nuance to that smoke and the fatty, peppery, sea spray vibe can be really enticing (think old barbecue houses), especially when you cut this with a little water or ice.

Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $95

The Whisky:

Glenmorangie dropped this release on the North American market last year. The juice is made from Highland barley grown exclusively on the 440-acre Cadboll Estate, which surrounds the distillery. The juice is then filled into French casks which held Muscat and Sémillion wines. It’s then left alone for 15 years to mature.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a sense of buttered scones with lemon curd next to a good dose of vanilla and a touch of savory herbs on the nose. The palate really holds onto that biscuity nature while adding in a caramel candy note next to a bit of butter with a white sugar cube vibe. That lemon comes back on the short finish with hints of old straw and strawberry jam.

Bottom Line:

This is an interesting one-off. This really doesn’t feel like an everyday sipper, as it leans a little sweet (for us), but we can see how this could be someone’s jam with all that lemon/strawberry/buttered biscuit depth.

Highland Park Cask Strength

Edrington Group

ABV: 63.3%

Average Price: $96

The Whisky:

This drop from last fall is the first in a new line from the Orkney Island’s distillery. The juice is a blend of single malts that are aged exclusively in old American oak that held sherry. The barrels are married and bottled as is to assure you’re getting all the nuance and flavor of their malts meeting that oak.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a light sense of wildflowers on the nose with a rich vanilla husk that leads towards a touch of peat. The taste is surprisingly silken (for a cask strength) with rich and buttery toffee next to honeysuckle, eggnog spices and creaminess, and a small dose of orange zest as a counterpoint. The end holds onto the creaminess and spices as the peat just edges in with a whisper of resinous pine smoke.

Bottom Line:

This is another great option for someone looking to just dip their toes in the peat world. There’s definite smoke in play, but it takes a backseat to the finer points of the dram, especially when a little water is added. You’ll get this dark chocolate sense with a bit of a wet forest vibe.

Tamdhu Batch Strength 004

Ian MacLeod Distillers

ABV: 57.8%

Average Price: $98

The Whisky:

Tamdhu continues to quietly put out award-winning whiskies. Their limited-edition releases in their Batch Strength series always wow. The juice was aged for 15 years in American and European oak that held sherry in Spain. The whisky is then bottled from batched barrels with zero fussing.

Tasting Notes:

The nose has vanilla beans mixing with walnut shells, dark spices, and a note of sherried oak. The palate veers away from that with highlights of buttery biscuits, orange oils, bright red berries, more spice, and a creamy mouthfeel. The end is medium-length and hits on that spice, oak, and fruit one last time, leaving you with a sweet finish.

Bottom Line:

This one will be a little harder to source but worth the effort. It’s a special bottle that’d work well as a gift or just a slow weekend sipper.

Deanston 15 Organic Whisky

Distell Group Limited

ABV: 46.3%

Average Price: $99

The Whisky:

Deanston is renowned for making unique expressions. Their 15-Year Orange Whisky uses barley that’s certified organic by the Organic Food Federation. The barrels are only batched with other 15-year-old Highland malts from Deanston that offer the same certification to assure a purely organic whisky.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a blend of sweetgrass next to vanilla pods, sweetbread, and apple orchards. That apple turns into pear on the palate as vanilla becomes creamy and a little spice-laden with a hint of that sweetgrass and oak lurking in the background. The end is light yet long as a cedar note arrives to sort of house all that vanilla, orchard fruit, and spice.

Bottom Line:

This is just an interesting palate expander, especially if you’re looking for a bridge between bourbon and scotch. If you can find it, give it a shot in our favorite bourbon cocktails or on the rocks.

The Dalmore Port Wood Reserve

Whyte & Mackay

ABV: 46.5%

Average Price: $99

The Whisky:

This Highland single malt continues to wow. The juice is aged in ex-bourbon white oak before it’s batched and transferred to port pipes. The pipes are sourced from the iconic port distiller W&J Graham’s. The results are then remarried, proofed with soft Highland water, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

You’re greeted with a nutty and plummy oak next to spicy stewed dates with a rich toffee and vanilla cream. The palate delivers on that while offering a counterpoint of bright orange zest and dark coffee bitterness with a hint of apricot. The end leans back into the toffee, vanilla, and plummy spice while the orange darkens to a tobacco chew and a final hint of syrupy cherries arrives on the long finish.

Bottom Line:

This is a super-rich and silken dram of whisky that feels like a real treat — like you get a bottle once a year and really enjoy it slowly. A little water or ice will amp up the coffee and cherries while highlighting the orange tobacco vibe.

Source: The Best Bottles Of Scotch Whisky Between $90-$100

Back to top button