Life

The Best Bottles Of Scotch Whisky Between $60-$70

Our quest to find the best scotch whisky at every price point is starting to hit the really good bottles. Getting gradually closer to the “don’t you dare mix this stuff” stuff. Yes, we’re still talking about entry point whiskies for many of the featured brands, but, we’d argue, all of these scotch whiskies have layered flavors that will expand your palate.

Nothing on this list tastes typical or standard issue.

Remember that at the end of the day scotch is generally going to be more expensive than bourbon (sometimes by a lot). While we’re already talking about bourbons that contain 20-year-old expressions featured in their blends at this same price point, these scotches land squarely in the ten to 12-year range. Still, the featured bottles have unique flavor profiles and will give you a better understanding of just how broad Scotland’s whisky scene can be.

The prices below are averages on delivery sites. You may find some of these bottles for far less, depending on which state you’re in and which coast that state is on. Click on the price if the bottle feels like the one for you. Let’s dive in!

Glenmorangie The Quinta Ruban Port Cask Finish

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $60

The Whisky:

This award-winning expression from Glenmorangie is all about the marrying of two distinct casks. The juice spends over a decade mellowing in ex-bourbon casks. Then the whisky is transferred to Port pipes from the Quintas wine estates from the Duoro Valley of Portugal.

Tasting Notes:

Spice and berries greet you with a slightly stewed plumminess — plus some walnuts mingling in the mix. The taste has a rose-water-by-way of a clove-studded orange vibe that touches on malts, oak, and a very distant hint of peppermint ice cream with chunks of dark chocolate. The end is just the right length and touches on the orange, mint, stewed and spicy plum, and malts as it fades away.

Bottom Line:

On paper, orange and mint shouldn’t work this well. Still, the chocolate really ties the sip together, creating an excellent sipper on a few rocks.

BenRiach The Smoky 12

Brown-Forman

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $63

The Whisky:

This is an interesting and subtle whisky. The base is a mix of unpeated and peated malted barley. Those juices are then mellowed for at least 12 years in a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and ex-Marsala wine casks. The results are then blended by whisky icon Dr. Rachel Barrie into this arresting whisky.

Tasting Notes:

I say this in the best way possible, but… you’re greeted with fresh out of the package Band-Aids touched by cacao nibs and a hint of smoky sandalwood incense. The sip leans into the chocolate, adding orange and spice as the Band-Aid note (you know you love that smell!) stays prominent with hints at old, cold ashes from a campfire way back in the background. The end adds a spicy tobacco chew with a slight, warming buzz as it quickly fades away.

Bottom Line:

This is a great candidate for anyone looking to try a mild “smoky” whisky. The smoke is so subtle while highlighting more “peaty” qualities along the way. It’s also super easy to sip and doesn’t really even need water.

The Dalmore 12

Whyte & Mackay

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $65

The Whisky:

This Highland malt is a classic entry-point sipper to the wider wonders of The Dalmore. The whisky is aged for over a decade in old bourbon barrels before it’s transferred to hand-selected sherry casks for a finishing touch.

Tasting Notes:

This is rich from the first nose to the last drop as star anise, orange oils, dark chocolate, and a nutty/bitter/creamy espresso draws you in. The taste amps up all of that into a full-on Christmas cake full of candied and dried fruits, hazelnuts, malts, spices, and an almost rummy veneer. A little water brings about a creamy chocolate as the finish really embraces the roundness of the Christmas cake vibes while fading fairly quickly.

Bottom Line:

This feels like a digestif dram that you enjoy from a snifter next to a crackling fire. That being said, we really like this one in cocktails too, especially something like a Manhattan.

Ardbeg An Oa

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

ABV: 46.6%

Average Price: $65

The Whisky:

This is a quintessential Islay peaty whisky. The juice is aged in a combo of Pedro Ximénez, charred virgin oak, and ex-bourbon casks before being married and rested again in Ardbeg’s bespoke oak “Gathering Vat,” allowing the whiskies to really meld into a cohesive dram.

Tasting Notes:

Imagine slow-smoked peaches, soft cherrywood on fire, and singed sage. That nose leads towards buttery but almost burnt toffee with hints of egg nog spices, savory leafy green veg with a bit of dirt, walnut shells, black tea, and a little bit of pancake syrup (the high fructose corn syrup kind). The finish is long, has hits of black licorice, and really brings the soft yet sweet smoke with an almost meat smoker edge.

Bottom Line:

If you don’t like smoky whisky, you’re not going to dig on this. If you don’t know smoky whisky and this is the first one you have, it might turn you off the style forever.

But if you dig on the smoke and peat and funk, this is going to be your jam for life.

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12

William Grant & Sons

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $67

The Whisky:

You can thank The Balvenie’s Malt Master David Stewart for the whole wood finishing movement and this signature bottle for starting it. This expression spends 12 years mellowing in ex-bourbon casks of varying sizes before it’s transferred to ex-Oloroso sherry casks for a final nine months of finishing. All of those whiskies are then dumped into a large oak “tun” where they spend another four or so months marrying before proofing with Speyside springwater and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

This is “very sherry” — in the sense that you get those sweet plum, nutty, and dried fruit notes next to classic Speyside honey and bourbon vanilla. The taste really embraces those notes while creating a sort of berry cobbler vibe with walnuts and buttery dollops of malty biscuits on top. There’s a long fade at play that touches on subtle dark spice, more berry, and a buttery end.

Bottom Line:

This makes for a hell of a cocktail base. It’s just a classic sweet whisky from Scotland that is very easy to understand while still providing clear notes in the flavor profile.

Talisker 10

Diageo

ABV: 45.8%

Average Price: $68

The Whisky:

This is one of the most awarded single malts ever. The juice is matured in ex-bourbon casks in Talisker’s warehouse which is literally feet away from the sea. The subtly peated malts take on a real seaside feel as those years tick past, creating a whisky that will not disappoint.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a distance to Talisker that draws you in on the nose — like campfire smoke from a few hundred yards down a rainy beach. The sea spray mellows the smoky peat to a fine point as oyster shells dance with almost sandy pears, dried apricot, and rich malt. The end doesn’t overstay its welcome and reminds you of oysters, liquor, and that smoldering campfire somewhere far down a rainy beach.

Bottom Line:

I’m nostalgic for this scotch to my core. This is the bottle that got me “into” scotch almost 20 years ago. I can remember the exact college dorm bar I was visiting in Edinburgh when I first took a sip of this. It’s the perfect sip of very subtly peated whisky to get even the most novice drinkers into the really good stuff.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Heavily Peated 10

Rémy Cointreau

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $68

The Whisky:

This whisky is designed to be the ultimate expression of Islay peated malt. The whisky utilizes that iconic Port Charlotte peated malt in its base. That juice then spends ten years maturing in first-fill and second-fill ex-bourbon casks along with second-fill French wine barrels. The results are married and just touched with Islay’s soft water to bring it down to a very approachable 100 proof.

Tasting Notes:

Yes, this is peaty and smoky from the first whiff but also offers up lemon cake with vanilla frosting, a touch of toffee, and the sharpness of fresh ginger. The palate veers into smoked shellfish territory as the vanilla gets creamy while hints of sea-salt cured lemons grab your senses. A slight banana-in-browned-butter essence arrives late as smoked whitefish and shellfish, earthy (almost manure-laden) peat, and a dark chocolate orange pop on the slow AF fade all leading towards a dry billow of smoke.

Bottom Line:

This is the bottle you go to after you realize you might like smoky whiskey to find out if you really like smoky/peaty whisky or not.

Balblair 12

InterBev

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $69

The Whisky:

This entry-point single malt from the Highlands is an easy drinker. The juice is aged in a combo of ex-bourbon casks and “double fired” or charred used American oak barrels. The results are touched with a little water to bring it down to proof and then bottled.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a rich lemon pudding vibe on the nose that leads towards Granny Smith apple cores and plenty of malts. The taste veers into honey sweetness with dark spices (think cloves) and a touch of orange oils. There’s a light old oakiness with hints of worn leather and very mild tobacco on the short end.

Bottom Line:

This is the perfect introduction to sweet single malts. It’s easy, straightforward, and hits on just the right notes. If you’re a long-time scotch drinker, however, you might be past this level and ready for Balblair’s older expressions.

The Macallan 12

Edrington Group

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $69.99

The Whisky:

Where many scotches spend time in ex-bourbon and then ex-sherry casks or some combination therein, this expression spends all 12 years of its maturation just in sherry casks. The barrels are imported from Jerez, Spain, and hand-selected for their excellence to mature this much-beloved whisky.

Tasting Notes:

Apple cider with a cut of cinnamon and clove in the juice greets you with a clear sense of vanilla, nuts, and plums. Those plums turn into prunes as orange peels mingle with sweet oak and a hint of tobacco spice. The end is long, full of that sherry dried fruit and sweetness, and returns back to the chewy tobacco spice.

Bottom Line:

This is a super easy sipper and a great introduction bottle for those interested in sweet scotch.

Glenfiddich IPA Cask

William Grant & Sons

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $69.99

The Whisky:

This expression from Speyside’s Glenfiddich takes the idea of a beer cask finishing up a notch. The juice is aged in IPA casks that aged a brew made specifically to meld with this whisky. The result is a whisky that brings a sense of beer along for the ride.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is a full-on orchard with pears and apples hanging heavy from tree limbs next to florals just reminiscent of hops. There are orange zest and vanilla vibes to the body of the sip that eventually lean into the bright florals, with more pear and apple and a touch of bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, sage).

The fruits sweeten as the florals dry on the short but distinct finish.

Bottom Line:

This is more than a gimmicky bottle of scotch. It’s a great sipper that works as a highwater mark in the whole “beer barrel-aged” genre of whisky.


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

×