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These Awesome 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskies Are All Priced Below $70

When it comes to single malt Scotch whisky, there’s an aging sweet spot that tends to fall around 12 years. Generally speaking, that’s enough time to create pronounced, nuanced, and rich flavors, but not so long that the price of the juice in the bottle skyrockets. If you grab yourself a 12-year-old single malt from a well-known distillery, you can rest assured you’re going to get a high-quality, if beginner-level spirit.

Solid stuff at a good price.

Below, you’ll find eight of our favorite 12-year-old single malt Scotch whiskies to drink right now. Some are household names and others are lesser-known offerings, especially outside of Scotland. All are exceptional, nicely aged expressions you won’t soon forget — click on the prices if you want to try one!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Scotch Whisky Posts of 2021

The Glenlivet 12

The Glenlivet

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $49

The Whisky:

Even if you don’t know anything about scotch, you’ve probably heard of The Glenlivet. The brand’s flagship expression is its 12-year-old single malt. This double oaked expression is aged in both sherry and bourbon casks before it’s vatted, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a lot of fruit on the nose. This is followed by sweet caramel and toasted vanilla beans. The palate is filled with dried fruits, sticky toffee, vanilla cream, and the backbone of rich toasted oak. The finish is sweet, malty, and subtly spicy.

Bottom Line:

Honestly, if you buy any whisky on this list, make it The Glenlivet 12. For the price, it’s hard to find a better expression.

Aberfeldy 12

Aberfeldy

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $43

The Whisky:

If you’re a fan of blended whisky, you probably know Aberfeldy as one of the main whiskies used to make Dewar’s. Aberfeldy 12 is a member of the brand’s “Last Great Malts” along with Royal Brackla, Aultmore, The Deveron, and Craigellachie. It’s aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks for 12 long years in Speyside before it’s vatted and proofed with local lake water.

Tasting Notes:

The nose swirls with aromas of sweet sherry, raisins, vanilla, and slight citrus. The sip reveals hints of sweet malts, vanilla beans, candied orange peels, and charred oak. The last sip is sweet and spicy with citrus and caramel.

Bottom Line:

Fans of sherry-finished single malts will love the bargain price of this sweet sherry-centric whisky. It’s a great sipper on a cool late summer night.

Highland Park 12

Highland Park

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $58

The Whisky:

Highland Park is the bold, Viking of the Scotch whisky market. The most northern distillery in the country, it’s located in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. Its 12-year-old expression is matured in a combination of sherry-season European as well as American oak casks.

Tasting Notes:

Complex notes of wet grass, sweet clover honey, candied orange peels, and caramel are prevalent on the nose. The palate is highlighted by the flavors of citrus zest, toffee, vanilla beans, and gentle, warming smoke throughout. It all ends with notes of pepper and caramelized sugar.

Bottom Line:

There are few 12-year-old whiskies more complex than Highland Park 12. Instead of knocking you out with smoke like some of the Islay expressions, the smoke is simply one of many flavors that work together to create this complex whisky.

Glen Moray 12

Glen Moray

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $41

The Whisky:

Glen Moray doesn’t have the name recognition of some of the other “Glens” in the whisky world. Its 12-year-old expression spends all twelve years of its aging process in used bourbon barrels. The result is a sweet, oaky, rich whisky well-suited for mixing or sipping neat.

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of toasted vanilla beans, dried orange peels, wood char, and mint swirl around the nose. The palate is filled with caramel candy, raisins, apricots, and a gentle, nutty sweetness throughout. The finish is warming, sweet, and memorable.

Bottom Line:

This is an approachable single malt for people who aren’t too keen on sherry-finished whiskies. This is one is all rich oak and caramel.

Glengoyne 12

Glengoyne

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $58

The Whisky:

Often, Highland whiskies have at least a hint of peat smoke. The appeal of this sweet, soft whisky is the fact that it doesn’t have any smoke (a fact the brand makes an effort to highlight). Well-known as Scotland’s slowest distillation process, this 12-year-old expression is filled with cooking spices and fall flavors.

Tasting Notes:

The nose brings forth scents of dried orange peels, honey, wood char, and vanilla beans. From the first sip, you’re met with notes of caramel apples, cinnamon sugar, candied oranges, and oak. The finish is a nice combination of sherry sweetness and wood.

Bottom Line:

Fans of Highland whiskies looking for a solid, sweet, unpeated expression should look no further than Glengoyne and specifically their 12-year-old offering.

Tamdhu 12

Tamdhu

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $69

The Whisky:

This single malt is a sherry fan’s dream. Matured in a combination of first-fill and refill Oloroso sherry butts for all twelve years of the maturation process, this expression is spicy, sweet, and highly sippable. A truly memorable whisky for fans of sherry-matured single malts.

Tasting Notes:

This award-winning whisky begins with aromas of cinnamon sugar, fresh mint leaves, dried orange peels, and butterscotch. Take a sip and be transported to a world of ripe berries, oaky wood, dried fruits, vanilla beans, and sweet treacle. You’ll be met with just a hint of smoke at the very end.

Bottom Line:

If Glen Moray 12 is the single malt for sherry haters, Tamdhu 12 is the whisky for people who want their whisky to be filled with a ridiculous amount of sherry sweetness and ripe fruit flavor.

Glenfiddich 12

Glenfiddich

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $49

The Whisky:

Glenfiddich is one of the most well-known Scotch whisky distilleries for a reason. Its 12-year-old expression is extremely complex. Matured in American oak barrels and European sherry butts for a minimum of 12 years before being mellowed in oak marrying tuns, it’s known for its rich, oaky, sweet flavor.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is filled with ripe fruit, sweet sherry, caramel, and rich oak. The palate is littered with hints of ripe berries, dried fruits, sticky toffee pudding, sweet malts, and more oaky wood. The finish is long, warming, and smooth.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to 12-year-old single malts, there are few more complex than Glenfiddich’s expression. It’s sweet, rich, and filled with memorable oaky flavors.

Aberlour 12

Aberlour

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $59

The Whisky:

Aberlour 12 is a constant on “best beginner scotch” lists. This is because this beloved single malt is aged in a combination of European oak and sherry seasoned casks. The result is an extremely mellow, rich, subtly sweet whiskey well-suited for slow sipping in a Glencairn glass.

Tasting Notes:

The nose begins with hints of caramelized apple, ripe fruits, raisins, and butterscotch. The palate stars notes of sweet sherry, ripe berries, chocolate fudge, caramelized sugar, and rich oak. The last few sips are sweet, spicy, and highly memorable.

Bottom Line:

Aberlour 12 is one of the unsung heroes of the introductory single malt whisky world. It’s sweet, slightly spicy, and completely sippable.


As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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