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The Best Bottles Of Scotch Whisky Between $200-$250, Ranked

Let’s talk about expensive Scotch whisky. Is it ever worth spending $250 on? Simple answer: “yes.” The thing with Scotch whisky is that this price point is rarely about hype. These whiskies actually cost this much money without the whisky machine inflating the prices the way you see in bourbon right now. A $250 bottle of Scotch is priced fairly to reflect the craft and time put into it. That’s not to say these are average bottles but they’re not unicorns by any stretch either.

So where do these pricey whiskies fit in the ecosystem? They’re all “the good stuff” and are (mostly) all 20 years old. This is kind of where the Scotch journey hits a peak before getting into rarities you might not ever actually find. So while the ten Scotch whiskies below are expensive, they’re still all fairly accessible on the open market.

For the ranking of these, I’m keeping it simple. I actually have the top four bottles open on my shelf right now and enjoy them regularly. The rest are all bottles I respect and think offer something unique at this price point but that I don’t generally chase down and spend my own cash on (just being real!). That said, your palate is different than mine — if something strikes your fancy, grab it!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Scotch Whisky Posts of The Last Six Months

10. Royal Brackla 21

Royal Brackla
Bacardi

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $250

The Whisky:

This whisky is the oldest aged statement from the Last Great Malts from John Dewar & Sons line. The juice is distilled slowly before it spends 21 long years maturing Olorosso sherry casks where it’s left untouched. The barrels are vatted when they’re just right, proofed with soft Speyside water, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

Light vanilla pudding with a big dollop of berry compote welcomes you on the nose as this vibrant white grape bursts forth. The taste meanders from spicy dark chocolate towards a malty Black Forest cake as stewed cherries, light cream, and a lot of dark chocolate shavings come together. The finish embraces the chocolate until that bright white grape comes back to bring about a nice end.

Bottom Line:

I randomly picked up a bottle of this at a whisky show and was pleasantly surprised. It’s light, sure, but there’s some real depth. In the end, it feels like an easy entry point to higher-end Scotch single malts that’s not challenging but just tasty.

9. Highland Park Draken Single Cask

The Edrington Group

ABV: 64.3%

Average Price: $200

The Whisky:

This whisky from the far north of the Orkney Islands is all about balance. The one-off bottling only yielded 400-odd bottles from a single sherry cask that held the juice for 13 years. The whisky was bottled as-is to really highlight the beauty of cold-weather whisky maturation in every sip.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a subtle warmth that ties ginger to eggnog spices on the nose with a hint of dry, almost cedary smoke. That smoke falls back towards a dry moss as the oak kicks in, with hints of marzipan, dark dried fruits, and a cinnamon-stewed fig, leading towards another note of sharp candied ginger. The end is long but soft, with a balance of sweet and fruity smoke lingering on your warmed senses.

Bottom Line:

This is a subtle whisky from a bold distillery. I really dig this over a rock or two to calm it down a bit, which is why it ranks a little lower on this list.

8. Aberfeldy 20 Exceptional Cask

Bacardi

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $225

The Whisky:

This special release spent 20 years mellowing in re-fill bourbon and sherry casks. Then the prime juice was married and filled into hand-selected Sauternes sweet wine casks from France for a final year of maturation. The results hold onto the signature honeyed heart of Aberfeldy while adding more sweetened nuance to the dram.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a clear sense of honey on the nose with dried fruit, malts, and light oak. The taste leans into the honey and malts while a sweet red berry flourish arrives. There’s a hint of butter toffee next to those whisky malts that eventually end up with sweet honey tobacco married to soft dried apricots, sultanas, and a hint of cream soda. The finish feels like honey-soaked cedar planks that have been left in a fruit orchard all summer with a hint of black soil lurking underneath it all.

Bottom Line:

This is one of those bottles I have on the shelf but always sort of forget about until I stumble across it for a tasting. It’s great but then I forget about it again. I’m not sure why it doesn’t stick in my mind and that lowers its rank compared to some of the killers on this list.

7. Glenfiddich 21 Reserva Rum Cask Finish

Glenfiddich 21
William Grant & Sons

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $230

The Whisky:

Rum casks and sweet single malts are a great match. This whisky starts off by mellowing for 21 years in ex-bourbon casks before that juice is transferred to Caribbean rum barrels for a final rest. That whisky is then blended and proofed down for bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Burnt toffee and dark chocolate lead the way on the nose as rum-soaked dates and plums mingle with wintry spice, a hint of cherry tobacco, worn leather gloves, and what feels like the most expensive cream soda you’ve ever drunk. There’s a floral flourish on the palate that gives way to ground ginger, cinnamon sticks, and black peppercorns before the dried fruit kick back in on the mid-palate with a rich and buttery sweetness. That mid-palate turns into a banana bread with walnuts as the finish fades into more winter spice and the slightest hint of lime zest on the very end.

Bottom Line:

This has no business being this good at 80 proof. There’s not a watery note anywhere and that’s kind of a miracle. Still, this is mostly fruity and sweet with a spicy edge and feels somewhat one-note.

6. Glenmorangie Signet

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $240

The Whisky:

This Glenmorangie expression is a prime example of something truly special. The juice is a mix of single malts with estate-grown malts and “chocolate malts” (meaning they were roasted until dark and chocolate-y). The hot juice then went into new American oak for varying amounts of time for blending, proofing, and bottling. While there’s no age statement, there are barrels up to 40 years old in the mix.

Tasting Notes:

You’re greeted with a note of dried apricots with a hint of clove, leading towards a very light dark orange chocolate. The chocolate amps up the bitterness, reaching espresso bean levels as some eggnog spice kicks in with a silky mouthfeel and a touch of wet tobacco. The end brings about a flourish of bright citrus zest that dries everything out, leaving you with a lingering end and a final note of earthy dried mushrooms.

Bottom Line:

This is a nice, deeply flavored whisky that’s also pretty easy to drink. You won’t be challenged or overwhelmed but you will be satisfied.

5. Dewar’s The Signature 25

Bacardi

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $249

The Whisky:

Master Blender Stephanie MacLeod has taken blended scotch to the next level with this expression. Grain and single malt whiskies are aged for 25 very long years before they’re married and placed in oak vats to get to know each other. Then the whisky is filled into single malt whisky casks from Royal Brackla Distillery for a final maturation. Think of it as a special finishing that’s a single malt barrel instead of rum, port, stout, etc.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a note of that iconic Aberfeldy honey at the core of the nose, leading your senses towards dried apple chips, a touch of cedar, and what feels like an English muffin covered in clotted cream and berry jam. The taste really leans into the muffin and berries as light notes of honey syrup, dried florals, and more of those dried apples (with a pinch of salt) mix on your tongue. The end is long and fruity with a nice spice counterpoint and a final note of minty tobacco in a cedar box.

Bottom Line:

This is a great pour of blended Scotch whisky. It’s pure sweet whisky to its core and really feels special in the glass, and that makes it a good turning point in this ranking toward the undeniably great bottles below.

4. Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Diageo

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $240

The Whisky:

This is the mountaintop of Johnnie Walker’s whiskies. The blend is a marriage of ultra-rare stock from extinct Diageo distilleries around Scotland. That’s just … cool. This expression is all about barrel selection and the mastery of a great noser and blender working together to create something special.

Tasting Notes:

Prunes and dates lead to a smoked apricot vibe with hints of old leather, orange-infused marzipan, dried roses, and a honeyed sweetness on the nose. The palate is so soft and holds onto that orange/marzipan/rose vibe before turning towards a malty dark chocolate mid-palate with smoked almonds and plums lingering on the backend. The finish is full of spicy malts and smoked stone fruits with that dark chocolate adding a thin layer of bitterness.

Bottom Line:

This is a damn near perfect sipper, especially on a rock or two. It’s complex yet approachable. It’s so soft and welcoming while still having that whisper of Islay smoke lurking in the background. You cannot go wrong pouring some of this into a glass at the end of the day and letting it wash over you.

3. The Dalmore 18

Whyte & Mackay

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $250

The Whisky:

This is more than just an 18-year-old whisky. The juice in this case spent 14 years maturing in ex-bourbon casks. Then the whisky was filled into Matusalem sherry casks that held sherry for 30 (!) years for four more years of maturation. The casks, from Bodega González-Byass, are exceedingly rare and impart something truly unique into this whisky.

Tasting Notes:

Dried roses meet your nose as orange-zest bespeckled dark chocolate dances with hints of old book leather, vanilla husks, and sultanas. The taste holds onto the orange and chocolate tightly as a nutty, peppery, syrupy vibe takes over with a light touch of oakiness. The chocolate zeroes in its bitter qualities on the end, with a little bit more vanilla sweetness and a savory counterpoint that’s kind of like saline (or wet salt).

Bottom Line:

This is a highwater mark in sweet scotch. It feels like spring in a glass with such brightness and lightness. Yet it never overpowers your palate. It’s just … really nice.

2. Talisker 18

Diageo

ABV: 45.8%

Average Price: $250

The Whisky:

This is a classic single malt that also happens to hold the title of “Best Single Malt Whisky in the World” from the World Whiskies Awards. The iconic juice is rendered in Talisker’s bespoke stills and then spends nearly two decades resting in both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry barrels, like most of the true classic single malts.

Tasting Notes:

This is subtle. The nose has a light yet clear sense of ripe plums, orange oils, buttery toffee, and an almost sour apple next to a distant whiff of briny campfire smoke from one beach over. The orange oils remain on the palate as eggnog spices peek in gently, with hints of that butter toffee driving a rich silkiness. The smoke remains in the distance as the spices warm your senses and the meaty fruit takes the edge off on the slow and satisfying fade.

Bottom Line:

This is the peated whisky that might get you addicted to peaties. This whisky is so subtle yet distinct while never slapping you in the face with its flavor notes, especially the bigger briny and smoky ones. This with a single rock is pretty much perfection, add in a freshly shucked oyster and it is.

1. The GlenDronach Parliament Aged 21 Years

Brown-Forman

ABV: 48%

Average Price: $250

The Whisky:

Don’t let the name fool you. The “parliament” in this case is the collective noun for rooks — a type of European crow that nests above the distillery. That dark essence is rendered in the whisky through 21 long years of maturation in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks exclusively.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a lot going on with this nose, starting with blackberry brambles hanging heavy with ripe fruit leading towards a well-spiced oatmeal cookie vibe and cut with hints of orange zest and vanilla. A sticky toffee pudding sweetness arrives (heavy on the dates) with flourishes of bitter dark chocolate notes and a sharp holiday spice matrix. The end is very long but very velvety with hints of dark fruits and spices warming your body as it fades away.

Bottom Line:

This is one of my favorite all-time whiskies, so there’s that. Moreover, this is just a great dram all around, especially for anyone looking for something truly special that stills feels comfortable and nostalgic. Neat or on a single rock, this whisky will stick with you for life.

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