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The Best Bottles Of Scotch Whisky Between $50-$60

Our journey to find the best scotch whisky at every price point is past its “cheap bottles” phase and is edging closer to the “yep, this is the good stuff” range. Scotch whisky that costs between $50 and $60 is starting to show signs of serious refinement. Sure, we’re still talking about a mix of blended scotch whiskies and single malt scotch whiskies, but we’re also talking about almost universally good booze.

If you’re charging people half a hundy for a bottle, it’s safe to say that there’s a solid amount of effort and craft being put in.

The ten bottles of scotch below touch on what makes scotch such a varied style of whisky. Please note, prices will fluctuate depending on which state you’re in. As always with this series, taste is the only parameter besides the price range. Sound good? Let’s get into the best scotch whiskies between $50 and $60. Click the prices to order the expressions that look best to you!

Chivas Regal Mizunara

Pernod Ricard

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $52

The Whisky:

Chivas is renowned for its iconic blended whisky. This expression — originally created for the Japanese market and released in the U.S. in 2019 — adds a unique dimension to the classic blend. A portion of the whisky is finished in Japanese Mizunara casks, adding a layer of nuanced flavors to the standard Chivas.

Tasting Notes:

There’s serious fruit up top with hints of ripe pear next to almost spicy orange zest, leather, and softwood. That spice becomes the backbone of the sip as subtle notes of fatty nuts mingle with more fruit and a moment of honey-soaked oak. The end holds onto the spiciness with a velvet texture and sweet pear on a medium-length finish.

Bottom Line:

This is a really interesting and nice step up from the standard Chivas (which is perfectly fine). It’s a nice sipper (get some water in it to get a dark chocolate/hazelnut Nutella vibe with that orange oil) that has no rough edges while expanding your palate.

Compass Box The Peat Monster

Compass Box

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $53

The Whisky:

Compass Box is one of the most interesting blenders working today. This expression is the perfect example of the craft of whisky blending, with six masterfully married peaty barrels coming together, focusing on Caol Ila and Laphroaig. A touch of Highland malt is added to bring in hints of dark spice to balance all that Islay peat.

Tasting Notes:

Yes, this is peaty but not ridiculously so, thanks to the subtlety that is Caol Ila. There’s a really rich and sweet apple/pear vibe that cuts through the earthy peat while a vanilla cream brings about a velvet mouthfeel. The smoke returns but is tied to the fruit — like a bushel of smoked apples, pears, and apricots next to a touch of ashy smoke.

Bottom Line:

This is a great bottle to dip your toe into the world of peaty whisky. Yes, it’s bold, but it’s well-rounded and really accessible for a peat monster. Add a little water or a few rocks to really let it shine in the glass.

Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $54

The Whisky:

This dram from Glenmorangie is a much-loved Highland malt. The juice is matured in ex-bourbon barrels for an undisclosed number of years. The whisky is then transferred to French Sauternes barrels which held sweet dessert wines where it spends two more years finishing.

Tasting Notes:

This has that classic “shortbread cut with lemon and vanilla” vibe that makes some single malts so approachable. The sip has a buttery toffee nature that’s layered with subtle oak, mild brown spices, and more fruits tied into a creamy pudding body. The spice then leans a little towards ginger with that buttery shortbread as it slowly fades out.

Bottom Line:

This is a very nice sipper with a few rocks. It’s also a great highball candidate with some good mineral water and a spritz of citrus oils.

Highland Park 12

Erdington Group

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $55

The Whisky:

This is a pretty unique whisky. The distillery is located in Scotland’s far north islands on Orkney. The juice in the bottles is a classic peaty single malt that spends 12 years maturing in European and American oak, which was seasoned with sherry.

The whiskies are then married and proofed down to a very accessible 40 percent.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a real sense of rich and almost rummy Christmas cake full of dark spices, dried fruits, candied citrus, and nuts with a hint of smoke. A touch of fragrant honey arrives to smooth out the texture while adding sweetness. That smoke pops back in on the finish but it’s more like a chimney smoke from a house a few doors down on a wintry day.

Bottom Line:

This is a solid entry point single malt from Highland Park. It’s also a solid workhorse and will shine as brightly in a cocktail as in a glass with a little water.

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Diageo

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $56

The Whisky:

This expression is all about amping up the oak and smoke. The juice is standard Johnnie Black that’s finished in a heavily charred oak barrel for final maturation. That heavy char really allows the more earthen flavors to pop on the palate.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a dark spice that’s counterpointed by a soft smoke that’s almost sweet — like a cherry-wood filled smoker. The palate has a balance of fruits from apples to dried berries with creamy vanilla underpinning more of that smoke. The end brings back the spice with a tobacco buzz as the smoke and oak linger on the senses for a fair bit.

Bottom Line:

This really does feel like Johnnie Black re-done for the peatier whisky drinkers. It’s definitely worth trying in a highball or in your favorite scotch cocktail.

Mortlach 12

Diageo

ABV: 43.4%

Average Price: $58

The Whisky:

This single malt hails from a tiny yet beloved Speyside distillery. The actual whisky is also made on their smallest still, nicknamed “Wee Witchie.” That juice then goes into ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks for 12 years. Finally, those whiskies are married, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

This is subtle yet engaging, with a nose of almost burnt toffee next to bright red berries, mild spice, hints of oak, and a bit of cedar. The palate leans into the berries by becoming jammy with more of that toffee and a mild sense of spicy tobacco arriving late. The end is long-ish with a plummy chew next to that tobacco and malty spice.

Bottom Line:

This is a solid neat sipper that’s super soft and enticing. Make sure to add a little water to let it bloom and take your time. You’ll find an extra dimension of dark cacao with a hint of cherry before that tobacco spice really amps things up.

Dalwhinnie 15

Diageo

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $58

The Whisky:

This is a classic Highland/Speyside malt in every way. The juice is made at a tiny distillery on a windswept hill, making it one of the highest elevation distilleries in Scotland. The extreme, high-altitude weather adds to the uniqueness of the barreling program.

Tasting Notes:

You can really feel the softness of this dram from the nose, as notes of wild/sweet herbs mingle with buttery toffee and a touch of pear soaked in honey. The palate holds onto the honey with notes of vanilla cake topped with nuts and dusted with cinnamon. The fruit makes a reappearance on the slow end with hints of honey and spice holding onto your senses the longest as that almost inherent softness coats your mouth.

Bottom Line:

This is a superb and subtle sipper. It’s soft, welcoming, and drinkable, even neat. Still, add a little water to let it bloom in the glass.

Aberlour 12

Pernod Ricard

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $59

The Whisky:

Aberlour is the whisky that’s at the core of famed bottles like Chivas. The juice in this bottle is aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks for 12 years. They’re then married, proofed, and bottled, creating a hidden gem single malt from Speyside.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a clear sense of apples baked into a cinnamon cake with buttery streusel on top. The palate has that sherry edge of plums stewed in spice with walnuts or hazelnuts swimming in those stewing juices next to a hint of oak and vanilla. The end is medium-length with the fruit and spice at the center of the fade.

Bottom Line:

This is a solid whisky for highballs, cocktails, or on the rocks. It’s versatile and really easy to drink.

Laphroaig 10

Beam Suntory

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $59.99

The Whisky:

This might be one of the most “classic” Islay smoky whiskies on the shelf. The craft behind this whisky is a blend of the unique Islay peat (used to smoke the malts) and the influence of the sea, which laps at the distillery’s outer walls.

Tasting Notes:

The smoke is what greets you with a hint of fruity wood, creating an almost sweet smoke next to a hint of anise and maybe some Band-Aid scent (not in a bad way!). The palate holds onto the smoke while adding a wet seaweed brininess next to hints of vanilla cream, peppery spice, and soft oak. The end really amps up the smokiness while holding onto the iodine of the sea with a final note of salted toffee.

Bottom Line:

This really is a love/hate whisky. We’d argue that if you let it bloom with a little water or a rock, you’ll find something truly special in the glass — but you have to like smoke.

It’s also a killer whisky to use in a funky sour cocktail.

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley The Classic Laddie

Rémy Cointreau

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $59.99

The Whisky:

Bruichladdich’s philosophy on whisky making is pretty unique. Each batch highlights local, unpeated Scottish barley that’s fermented and distilled. That juice then goes into some combination of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and ex-wine casks for a varied amount of time. That means each batch is unique.

Bruichladdich provides a code on their bottles so that you can go to their website and find out what makes the bottle in your hand special. Pretty cool, right?

Tasting Notes:

Though each batch has its own nuance, there will be a throughline on the taste of this whisky. Expect a nose full of wildflowers, fresh mint, brine, and salted caramel wax paper with a touch of citrus oils. The taste will edge towards malts and sweet woods with hints of sea spray, tart apples, and dark syrups. The end is often very slow and has a well-balanced fade of sea salt, malt, and oak.

Bottom Line:

Find yourself a bottle and take your time. Geek out on the uniqueness of each batch. Make sure to add water to let it bloom to get the full experience.


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