Life

Bartenders Share Their Favorite Value Scotch Whiskies Under $60

Collecting and sometimes simply drinking Scotch whisky might seem like a rich person’s game. But it really isn’t. Sure, you can spend hundreds (and even thousands) of dollars on rare, hard-to-find, ancient bottles of single malt Scotch. But even if you don’t have a butler who brings you 45-year-old whisky from The Dalmore, there are more than a few bottles of Scotch whisky for you to love.

Today, we’re going to turn our attention to bangers below $60 (and some significantly lower) to help you get into the style from Scotland. For this list, we asked some well-respected bartenders (and drinks experts) to tell us the best Scotch whiskies (not simply single malts) below $60. Keep scrolling below to see the bottles they picked and then hit those prices to try them for yourself.

Speyburn 10

Speyburn 10
Speyburn

Sue Stia, bartender at TPC Jasna Polana in Princeton, New Jersey

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $45

Why This Whisky?

Speyburn 10 Year Old is my value pick. It’s a classic Speyside single malt that is easy to drink. It’s medium-bodied with hints of toffee and butterscotch and a sweet, long finish. It’s has a classic flavor for a reasonable price. What could be better?

Jane Walker Blended Scotch

Jane Walker
Diageo

Katherine Ball, mixology director at Black Button Distilling in Rochester, New York

ABV: 41.9%

Average Price: $45

Why This Whisky?

Here’s my shoutout to my fellow female Scotch drinkers. I’m going with Jane Walker. Being on the sweeter side, it still has a great smoky flavor with warm vanilla notes. It’s a very easy drinker.

Plus, I love the Jane Walker First Women Grant Program. It’s awesome to see that coming from the spirits industry.

Glenfiddich 12

Glenfiddich 12
Glenfiddich

Christopher Rodriguez, lead bartender at Lucy Bar in Yountville, California

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $59

Why This Whisky?

I do not purchase scotch often, but the Glenfiddich 12 year is a simple base scotch that is easy to drink and definitely does not break the bank. It’s filled with traditional Scotch flavors like vanilla, caramel, and candied orange peel.

Glenmorangie 10

Glenmorangie 10
Glenmorangie

Mike Fayad, general manager at Hearth and Hill in Park City, Utah

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $43

Why This Whisky?

Glenmorangie 10 Year is hard to beat. Also known as “The Original”, I think it’s a very solid scotch that is not out of the price point for cocktails, but it’s also very pleasant to drink on its own with notes of honey, vanilla beans, and orange zest.

Bank Note 5 Year Blended Scotch

Bank Note Scotch
Bank Notes

Joshua Duncan, general manager at Adrift Tiki Bar in Denver

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $20

Why This Whisky?

If you like an affordable, true to its self scotch, look no further than Bank Note 5-year. Bank Note is a blended Scotch whisky that carries all the lightness of a blended scotch while also introducing a strong nuttiness that gives it character beyond the name brands like Dewar’s or Monkey Shoulder. Bank Note comes in at a price between $20 to $30 in store, and packs all the punch you’d want for either cocktails or just to sip on.

Clan Macgregor Blended Scotch

Clan MacGregor Blended Scotch
Clan MacGregor

Austin Sheffield, bartender at 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grille in Beaver Creek, Colorado

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $20

Why This Whisky?

This one is not so much about the taste but more about the nostalgia and family. This takes me back to my granny’s Alabama kitchen watching her cook up a storm and enjoy a drink. My granny loved to drink cheap Scotch with ice and water. Over the years the ratio of Scotch to water increased while the water decreased.

Still, as cheap as it is, it’s loaded with flavors like oak, vanilla, and toffee.

Highland Park 12: Viking Honour

Highland Park 12
Highland Park

Lauren Navarro, head bartender at Apothecary 330-A Cocktail Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $58

Why This Whisky?

Highland Park 12: Viking Honour is a great, moderately priced Scotch whisky. It has a dried fruity flavor since it was finished in sherry casks with a lovely nuttiness you can’t ignore. It’s good for beginners looking to get into the world of Scotch whisky.

Glenmorangie X

Glenmorangie X
Glenmorangie

Nicholas Karel, director of bars, lounges, and beverages at Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $35

Why This Whisky?

Glenmorangie X is a new offering from Glenmorangie. It was made for mixing but is still great for a value sipper. It’s full flavors like orange peel, fudge, and a gentle fruitiness with exceptional smoothness perfect for mixing or slow sipping.

Aberfeldy 12

Aberfeldy 12
Aberfeldy

Robert Kidd, head bartender at Le Cavalier in Wilmington, Delaware

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $40

Why This Whisky?

Aberfeldy 12 Year is great scotch at an approachable price. The highland scotch has soft notes of spice and rich dried fruits. A bar spoon of blanc vermouth and a twist of grapefruit can take this scotch to a wonderful place.

Laphroaig 10

Laphroaig 10
Laphroaig

Alex Barbatsis, head bartender at The Whistler in Chicago

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $59

Why This Whisky?

I often want something redolent with peat when drinking scotch. So for a “budget” single malt, I’ll often pour myself some Laphroaig 10 Year Single Malt. It’s reasonably priced and scratches that dank funky Scotch itch with notes of peat, ocean brine, and mellow oak.

Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch

Johnnie Walker Black
Johnnie Walker

Darron Foy, bar manager at The Flatiron Room in New York City

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $40

Why This Whisky?

Johnnie Walker Black is what I would call a ‘bang for your buck’ whisky. It consists of about forty different whiskies, both grain and malt whiskies, from all the regions of Scotch whisky with Islay being the most prominent. It’s simple and effective with notes of barley, citrus, and warming smoke.

Ardbeg 10

Ardbeg 10
Ardbeg

Mallory O’Meara, author of GIRLY DRINKS: A World History of Women and Alcohol

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $60

Why This Whisky?

If I had to pick a bargain scotch, it would probably be the standard Ardbeg 10, which is still $50 in my part of the world (Southern California). I love smoky and peaty, and the Ardbeg 10 is so smoky while also having a lovely sweetness.

Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch

Monkey Shoulder
Monkey Shoulder

Nicholas Bennett, beverage director at Porchlight in New York City

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $35

Why This Whisky?

I love the Monkey Shoulder if I am looking for a well-rounded scotch that won’t break the bank. This blended malt whisky is made from three single malt distilleries: Kininvie, Glenfiddich, and The Balvenie. There are notes of orange zest, vanilla, spicy and floral flavors that can be just as pronounced using this whisky in a cocktail as sipping it neat or on the rocks.

Dewar’s 15 Year Old Blended Scotch

Dewar's 15
Dewar

Christian Beretta, bartender at South Seas Island Resort in Captiva, Florida

ABV: 40%

Average Price: $47

Why This Whisky?

My selection is Dewar’s 15. It’s a smooth scotch with a slight burn. I usually drink scotch straight but was amazed at the flavor that came out when I added a few drops of water. It is sweet and spicy at the same time but with a smoky finish. Notes of honey, vanilla, and dried orange make for a refined blend.

Enjoyed best on the rocks with one large ice cube.


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

×