Scotch whisky is extremely collectable… and expensive.
Older bottles can sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Currently, the most expensive bottle of whisky in the world is Isabella’s Islay, which, because of its diamond-covered bottle, sold for a staggering $6.2 million dollars.
Macallan “M” comes in a hand-blown, 750 mL Lalique crystal decanter and has a mix of various whiskies, including one distilled in 1940 and sold in an auction for over $600,000. But just because some Scotch whisky is so expensive that only a fortune 500 CEO or Saudi prince could afford it doesn’t mean there aren’t great low-priced whiskies on the market. From Monkey Shoulder to Cutty Sark to Glenmorangie, not all blends and single malts will break the bank. You don’t have to remortgage your home to afford these delicious, high-quality whiskies. Check out six of the best budget Scotch whiskies below.
Every bartender’s favorite Scotch for mixing, Monkey Shoulder is the world’s first “triple malt” whisky, made from a blend of three of Speyside’s most notable single malts and matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. It’s smooth, complex, and perfect for mixing into a Penicillin or any of your favorite Scotch-based cocktails.
Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition
This very special Scotch whisky was released in honor of the 90th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. It was distilled to pay tribute to Captain William McCoy, who was less famous for his sailing skills and more famous for smuggling Cutty Sark into America during Prohibition in the 1920s. This 100 proof whisky is a blend of single malt and grain whisky and is spicy, sweet, and the perfect way to honor the ending of the Volstead Act.
Glenmorangie The Original
It’s hard to top an original, so why even try? This 10-year-old Scotch is Glemorangie’s flagship offering for a reason. This whisky is matured for a decade in ex-bourbon barrels, giving it a smooth, rich, creamy, and very complex taste that you’ll come back to over and over again.
Dewar’s Scratched Cask
This special release from Dewar’s is the perfect way for bourbon fans to get their foot in the door of Scotch whisky. That’s because, as the name suggests, this spirit is made using a technique similar to that of bourbon production. Scratched cask is a blend of as many as 40 different single malt and single grain whiskies that are matured in charred and scratched barrels. This gives the whisky notes of toasted almonds, toffee, and vanilla.
Speyburn 10 Year Old
Speyside—along with Islay, Campbelltown, the Highlands, and the Lowlands—is one of the famed Scotch-producing regions of Scotland. This iconic distillery is named for the region, and its 10 year old is a steal at around $30. Matured in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry butts, it’s sweet and rich with hints of vanilla, toffee, and caramel: a true, classic Scotch with the same price tag as a cheap bottle of American whiskey.
Harleston Green Scotch Whisky
Edgewater Spirits founders Rich Roberts and Daniel Undhammar, the guys behind the revival of Wódka vodka, recently launched Harleston Green Scotch Whisky. With Scotch in particular being close to their hearts, Rich Roberts & Daniel Undhammar both previously worked for Seagram’s International on fine whiskies from American, to Canadian to Irish and Scotch. This blended Scotch Whisky commemorates the moment in 1786 when a group of Scottish merchants gathered with some sticks and balls at Harleston Green, America’s first golf club, and introduced America to one of Scotland’s two greatest exports.