What Is The Best Single Malt Whiskey – Audio

Thinking about giving single-malt Scotch whisky a try but worried it’s all too posh and pricey? Thankfully, you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy some quality single-malt. There are plenty of affordable options out there that are perfect for dipping your toes into the world of whisky. And if you’re feeling splurgy, there are certainly some luxurious bottles to consider too. So, no worries about needing a big wallet or a fancy palate to start exploring the different single-malts available.

What is the best overall single malt whiskey?

At the end of the day, the best single malt whisky for you is really gonna depend on your personal preference. There are lots of unique flavors shaped by distinct aging processes and cask types, from the affordable, sweet Glen Moray Classic to the richly layered Aberlour A’Bunadh.

Infographic on top single malt whiskies and their flavors.
What Is The Best Single Malt Whiskey – The Top Four

Glen Moray Classic 

Glen Moray Classic is the perfect choice for those looking for an affordable option to try single malt whisky. Aged in ex-bourbon casks, it has a sweet flavor and a medium finish. You could also taste hints of apple, honey, and lemon. 

Aberlour A’Bunadh

Despite its price hike, Aberlour A’ Bunadh fans remain loyal to the brand. It is aged in oloroso sherry casks, which lend to the nose’s hints of spice, clove, raisins, and orange. Its flavor has hints of ginger, cherry, nutmeg, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. 

Nc’nean Organic Single Malt 

Nc’nean Organic Single Malt is the perfect choice for environmentally conscious people. The bottles that house it are 100% recycled and made using sustainable energy in the UK. It was made from organic malted barley and aged in select ex-bourbon and ex-wine barrels. The barrels were specifically chosen to impart specific flavors to the whiskey. It has hints of vanilla and pepper on the nose and hints of pear and vanilla on the palate. It finishes with a combination of sweet and spicy flavors. 

Benriach The Original 10

Made in Speyside, Benriach The Original 10 is perfect for those just getting started in single malt whiskey because it is very easy to drink. It was aged for at least 10 years in three kinds of casks: virgin oak, sherry, and bourbon. It has hints of cream, earthy peat, buttery pastry, and orchard fruits on the palate. You can find traces of cedar, vanilla, and soft fruit on its nose. 

Aberfeldy 12 Year Old

The Aberfeldy 12 Year Old is a good choice for those looking for a sweeter single-malt whiskey. It is also an excellent way to try a drink from a Highland distillery. Its sweetness has a honey flavor and hints of fudge, pineapple, and spiced vanilla. 

Glen Scotia Victoriana

Glen Scotia Victoriana is ideal for those already used to drinking whiskey. Aged in deeply charred oak, it is a smooth-tasting single malt whisky. It was bottled right from the barrel without being filtered, and you can taste hints of vanilla and wood. Its prominent flavor is spicy fruit, which finishes with a hint of smoky aftertaste. 

Caol Ila 12

Caol Ila 12 is ideal for those who like peated whisky. It is ideal for a cold winter night or for sharing around a campfire in the summer. Smoky on the nose and palate, its finish is long with a hint of pepper.  

Lindores Abbey

Lindores Abbey is most likely something you would enjoy drinking if you are a history buff. Its distillery is where the very first recorded Scotch whisky was distilled in 1494. Aged in ex-sherry, ex-bourbon, and ex-Burgundy red wine barrels, it has a full-bodied flavor that is light on the palate with hints of fruity and spicy flavors. It has a medium and fruity finish. 

What is the best single malt whiskey in the UK?

Choosing the perfect UK single malt whisky ultimately boils down to individual preference. The spectrum ranges from the approachably sweet to the complex and robust. Each whisky presents a unique character, deeply shaped by the regions and the specific barrels used for aging, offering a distinct experience for every palate.

If you want to check out some more UK whiskeys, check out our article: What Is The Best Single Malt Scotch.

Guide to top UK single malt whiskies.
What Is The Best Single Malt Whiskey – Top Four In The UK

GlenAllachie 12

Aged in virgin oak, oloroso, and Pedro Ximenez casks, you’ll find its light, sweet sherry aroma on the nose. Even though it is packed with flavor, it is very easy to drink and can serve as a great introduction to single-malt scotch. 

Balvenie 25 Year Old Marriages

Balvenie 25 Year Old Marriages is an affordable single-malt whiskey. It has a rich and fruity taste with many layers to its flavor due to its long aging process. On the palate, it has hints of toffee apples and dark berries. Its ginger hint makes it perfect to drink on a cold night. It has a lingering finish with a touch of cinnamon. 

Lindores Abbey MCDXCIV

Lindores Abbey started producing drinks in the summer of 2021, but it does so at the site where the first scotch whisky was made. Lindores Abbey MCDXCIV is easy on the palate with hints of vanilla, orchard fruits, and spice. Its finish features a creamy texture with hints of richer fruits and light oak. 

AnCnoc 2009

If you want to broaden your taste in drinking scotch, a good way to do so is to buy limited-release scotch. Such scotch is usually expensive, but if you look hard enough, you may find one that is offered at an attractive price. AnCnoc 2009 is a single-malt whisky that checks all of the boxes. It is produced in limited quantities and doesn’t break the bank. It has citrus, honey, and chocolate flavors, making it a creamy drink perfect to enjoy on a cold night. 

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 

If you want to know if you would like a whisky with a lot of peat, then you should try Laphroaig 10 Year Old. It is full-on smoky, with hints of iodine and briny seaweed. It also has a subtle sweetness to it that complements the underlying fruity notes. 

The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao

Those who buy whisky as an investment usually buy one of Macallan’s limited releases. The whiskies made by Macallan are highly regarded all over the world because they taste great, are made in the traditional way, and are only made in small batches. One of their most recent collaborations is with chocolatier Jordi Roca to create The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, a single malt whisky perfect for pairing with chocolate. It is sweet, with notes of cocoa, spicy ginger, and fruity fig. 

Aberlour a’bunadh

Aberlour a’ Bunadh is one of the cask-strength whiskies that has maintained its exceptional quality since it was released to the public in 1997. On its nose, you will find notes of fruit cake and vanilla. On the palate, it has notes of oak, honey, ginger, fruits, and prune juice. It has a long finish with hints of raisins and chocolate. 

What is the best value single malt scotch whiskey?

These whiskies provide a rich tasting experience despite their modest price, making each a smart choice for both novice enthusiasts and seasoned connoisseurs looking to expand their collections without breaking the bank.

Infographic on best value single malt Scotch whisky.
What Is The Best Single Malt Scotch Whiskey – Top Four Best Value

Glenlivet 12 Year

Aged in American and European oak casks, the Glenlivet 12 Year is known for its smoothness. It has a balanced flavor with underlying notes of vanilla and pineapple. It has a long and creamy finish. 

Laphroaig 10 Year

Laphroaig 10 Year has a distinct, full-bodied flavor because peat was used to dry it. It has a sweet, nutty flavor. 

Balvenie 21 Year Port Wood 

A multi-awarded drink, the Balvenie 21-year-old Port Wood tastes silky and creamy, with spice, honey, and fruit notes. 

Glen Ness Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

Awarded silver in the 2015 SF Spirits Competition, this malt scotch whisky is made in the Highland region of Scotland. Whisky from the Highlands is known for being of high quality and having a complex taste. Glen Ness Single Malt Scotch Whisky was aged in specific oak casks that added to its flavor and smoothness. 

Highland Park 12 Year 

A gold medal winner in the 2017 SF World Spirits competition, this whisky has a full-bodied flavor with notes of oranges, dried fruit, honey, and spices. It has a light, smoky finish. 

Aberlour 12 Year 

Aberlour 12 Year won double gold in the 2016 SF World Spirits Competition. On its palate, it has notes of apple and orchard fruits. It smells fruity and like sherry, with hints of toffee, chocolate, ginger, and cinnamon. It has a warm and long finish. 

Glenfiddich 15 Year 

Glenfiddich 15 Year is a spicy single malt that was aged in sherry, new oak, and bourbon casks before being finished in a Solera vat. 

Shieldaig Speyside Single Malt 18 Year 

Only the best malted barley was used to make this classic whisky with citrus and herbal notes. 

What is the best brand of single malt, single barrel, aged scotch whiskey?

Choosing the best brand of single malt, single barrel, aged Scotch whisky can be an exploration of both taste and the unique stories behind each distillery. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for something accessible, or you’re looking for something a bit unconventional and distinctive.

Guide to top single malt Scotch whiskies.
What Is The Best Single Malt Whiskey – Top Four Single Malt, Single Barrel, Aged

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky 70 cl is a light, fruity, smooth drink with hints of pear, mint, and toffee apple and a lingering, creamy finish. 

Bowmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

Bowmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 70 cl, is a medium-peated drink with hints of mango, pineapple, and lemon zest. 

Jura Journey Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

A well-balanced whisky, it has the sweetness of cereal milk with hints of cocoa, spice, and smoke. It is perfect for making whisky cocktails. 

Glengoyne 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

The Glengoyne 10 year old single malt Scotch whisky is a honeyed Highlander whisky with a hint of cinnamon and a strong finish. 

Tamdhu 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

Aged in Oloroso sherry casks, this whisky has pronounced notes of figs, dried orange, and prunes, as well as subtle hints of spice and smoke. It has a smooth, silky feel to the mouth. 

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish 

Aged for 21 years, this whisky was finished for four months in rum casks, where it got its sweet tropical fruit flavor. It has spice and butter caramel hints and a smooth, vanilla-flavored finish. 

Dalmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Matured in sherry and ex-bourbon casks, this whisky has a sweet flavor with hints of coffee, vanilla, and dried fruit. 

Which whiskey is best, single malt or blended?

Single malt whisky is made in only one distillery with malted barley and the traditional pot still method. Blended whisky, on the other hand, is made of different grains and is generally cheaper to produce. Many people who drink whiskey agree that single-malt whisky has more flavor than blended whisky. 

Is single malt better whiskey?

Many whiskey drinkers will agree that single-malt whiskey is more flavorful than blended whiskey. Many people also assume that a single malt will always taste smoother than a blended whiskey. The answer to this question lies in your personal preference. You can give both a try to see which you like better. If you are on a budget, blended whiskeys are almost always cheaper than single-malt whiskeys. 

Want a deeper dive, check out our article on the malting process.

Single malt vs. blended whiskey comparison infographic.
What Is The Best Single Malt Whiskey – Is Single Malt Better Whiskey

Which whiskey is the smoothest?

If you’re in search of the smoothest Scotch whiskies, a few brands stand out for their exceptionally silky and mellow profiles, perfect for those who prefer a gentle sip.

Infographic comparing smooth whiskey varieties.
What Is The Best Single Malt Whiskey – Top Four Smoothest

Aberlour 16 Whiskey

Aberlour 16-Year Whiskey was aged for 16 years in sherry and bourbon casks. It has a sweet and pleasant taste with hints of honey, cloves, pepper, and oak spices. 

Westland Peated Whiskey

The Westland Peated Whiskey is aged in new American oak barrels and ex-bourbon casks. On the palate, it has notes of pear and chocolate truffle. On the nose, it has a hint of dark-roasted coffee beans. 

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Single Barrel Four Roses Bourbon is rich in flavors and has a very light aftertaste. It has vanilla, apple, and caramel flavors and finishes with hints of clove, wood, and cinnamon. 

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is technically not whiskey. It is like a shot of Jack Daniel’s with a teaspoon of honey added and has a lingering finish. 

Suntory Hakushu

Suntory Hakushu was made using ingredients from the southern Japanese Alps. It has pear, green apple, and vanilla flavors with hints of ginger and peat, which make it spicy. 

Balvenie DoubleWood

Balvenie Double Wood is a light, smooth whiskey with pronounced malted barley flavors. Its taste can be likened to freshly baked bread with a hint of chocolate.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Bourbon has been aged in oak barrels for at least eight years. On the palate, it has notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel, butterscotch, and cracked pepper. It has a very rich aftertaste, one that will overwhelm your senses. 

What are the top 5 whisky brands?

Exploring the top five whiskey brands from around the globe reveals a rich tapestry of flavors, histories, and unique production methodologies. Here are some standout names:

Glenmorangie Signet

Glenmorangie Signet is the first single malt to have roasted chocolate malted barley. On the nose, it has a generally sweet aroma with notes of ginger, coffee, cinnamon, tiramisu, and dark chocolate. The taste is a rich combination of dark chocolate and mocha with hints of exotic spice and apricot. Its finish has notes of amaretto, bittersweet orange, and creamy cappuccino. 

Macallan 12 Year Double Cask

If you want a satisfying scotch that is easy on the pocketbook, you can’t go wrong with Macallan 12 Year Double Cask. It’s an entry-level drink from Macallan Distillery, but its notes of oak spices, fruits, and caramel make it enjoyable to sip. 

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

The Johnnie Walker brand is the most recognizable whiskey brand in the world. The Blue Label is its most premium label. It has a balanced aroma with notes of tobacco, sandalwood, toasted oak, and hazelnut on the palate. 

Oban Distillers Edition Single Malt

Fino sherry casks are used to finish Oban Distillers Edition Single Malt, which makes it sweeter than it would have been otherwise. Aged in bourbon casks for 14 years, it is full-bodied with hints of florals, fresh honey, candied fruit, and toasted spices. 

12 Year Bowmore’s Single Malt Scotch

The 12 Year Old Bowmore’s Single Malt Scotch is a peated and sweet whisky with honey and lemon undertones. It has a light, lingering finish. 


If you want to try single-malt whiskey, there are many options available. You can have a great-tasting single malt at an affordable price. For an elevated experience, you can pick one of the premium single malt whiskeys, and it will be money well spent.