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Which are the 7 best scotch whiskies quality-price in 2020?

Which are the 7 best scotch whiskies quality-price in 2020?

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Whisky -as well as classical music, literature and art – thanks to its quality, has run through the time challenge, fashion and tasting, turning every moment in a memorable flavour, but how do we know which is the best scotch whisky?

To select the best scotch whisky could be an overwhelming task, there are too many characteristics of uniqueness to consider, when it comes to selecting the appropriate bottle for your occasion and taste.

The main features, which may be listed or not on the label, depending on the brand, are:

  • Type of whisky
  • Region
  • Age statement
  • Taste, smell and the proper way to serve it

In this article, you will find a selection of the best scotch whiskies with the best quality-price ratio, that are supposed to be a great purchase, the best affordable whiskies, the best blended whiskies and, of course, good whiskies.

If you want to enjoy an excellent whisky but your budget is too tight, check out our article about the  best cheap whisky you will find on the market in 2019.

Comparative tables between best scotch whiskies in 2020

 whisky lagavulin 16
Lagavulin 16
Whisky

Johnnie Walker
Blue Label
whisky dalmore 12
Dalmore 12
Whisky

The Macallan 12
Whisky
Royal salute 21 years
Chivas Royal
Salute 21 whisky
Dalwhnnie 15 whisky
Dalwhinnie 15
Whisky
Suntory Toky japanese whisky
Suntory Toki Hibiki
Japanese Whisky
Age16 YearsNo age declaration12 Years12 Years21 Years15 YearsNo age declaration
Type of whiskySingle Malt
Scotch Whisky
Blended
Scotch Whisky
Single Malt
Scotch Whisky
Single Malt
Scotch Whisky
Blended
Scotch Whisky
Single Malt
Scotch Whisky
Blended
Japanese Whisky
Smell and tastePeat, smoke,
sea salt, sweet,
wood, sea algae, iodine
Dried fruits, citrus smoke,
notes of honey, sweet
spice and vanilla
Seville oranges,
dried fruits and
hints of vanilla pod
sweet,
honeyed
and rounded
notes of chocolate,
dried fruit, caramel
and toasted oak
Cereals, honey,
vanilla,
lemon
notes of orange peel
and
white chocolate
SummaryIntense,
rich,
smoky
Velvety smooth
and vibrant
ts intricate aromas and flavours,
is recognised as a whisky with
character far beyond its age
Perfect balance of European
and American oak maturation
to create a distinctive
American oak style
Smooth and
flavourful experience
Intense,
supple,
warm
Delicately balanced,
smooth
and subtly sweet
Price Price Price Price Price Price Price Price

 

Which is the best scotch whisky you will find in 2020?

 

Lagavulin 16 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

whisky Lagavulin 16
Price

Lagavulin is a 16-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky born in a roaring bonfire from the coast of Islay. It is the best single malt whisky of the Lagavulin Distillery at a reasonable price.

Aged in oak casks for at least sixteen years, it has the peated smoked flavour typical of southern Islay and the dry that turns it into a fascinating spirit beverage.

It has a deep amber-gold appearance, on the nose the peat smoke with iodine and seaweed with a little touch of sweetness is immediately appreciated

It offers a rich body, in the palate, you could sense it is dry, peated and smoked. It also has a strong sweetness followed by intense sea and salt flavours with touches of smoky wood.

It is elegant, with a strong and long finish, Lagavulin 16-year-old demands to be served in a traditional whisky glass, neat or diluted with a few drops of water.

Recommended with blue cheese like Gorgonzola and Roquefort or Stilton. For a whisky cocktail, I strongly recommend the Angus Collins.

More reviews about this whisky here.

Advantages

  • Peated and smoked whisky
  • Great finish
  • Better with ice

Disadvantages

  • Heavily peated whisky
  • There are users that said do not like the smell and the spicy sting feeling
  • It contains E150 for a deeper caramel color

Price

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky

whisky johnnie walker
Price

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, was born from the combination of the Scotland’s rarest and most exceptional whiskies. You could say this is a masterpiece. There are the some who think it is the Johnnie´s best scotch whisky.

It combines rare casks from the Speyside and Highland distilleries like Cardhu and Clynelish. Only one in every ten thousand casks has the elusive quality character and flavour to be selected.

In the nose is extremely mellow and you could appreciate the dry smokiness mixed with the sweetness of raisins.

In the palate is velvety with a combination of vanilla, honey and rose petals. It also has notes of hazelnut, sherry and dark chocolate.

The finishing is rich and luxuriously long. You definitely will sense the Johnnie Walker’s smokiness characteristic.

As a bartender, I highly recommend to drink it neat or on the rocks. I also recommend whisky cocktails like the Whisky Scotch Highball or the Whisky Old Fashioned.

If you are a beginner, you should probably start with a cheaper one before you try this one.

More reviews about this whisky here.

Advantages

  • The blue bottle is remarkable
  • A Blend of rarest whiskies
  • Notable taste of honey and raisins

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Some users say this whisky is overrated
  • It has no age statement

Price

Dalmore 12 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Whisky dalmore 12
Price

Dalmore´s best single malt whisky, as many users have said, the Dalmore 12 single malt scotch whisky is matured for at least 12 years in American white oaks casks hat used to contain Bourbon.

One half is then transferred to Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks.

It has the aroma of citrus fruits, chocolate and notes of aromatic spices.

The flavour reminds Seville oranges, dried fruits and hints of vanilla pod.  The finishing notes are roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

It is a good whisky, but not a fantastic option. It is ideal for those who love strong flavours.

I highly recommend to serve it on the rocks or with some drops of mineral waters. Also, you should try it in whisky cocktail like the Ginger Scotch.

More reviews about this whisky here.

Advantages

  • Great vanilla smell
  • It hits a full range of notes
  • Smooth and easy to drink
  • Very nice bottle, excellent for a gift

Disadvantages

  • Could be too sweet and it has a strong alcohol taste
  • The vanilla flavour does not last long time
  • Some users think it tastes like caramel
  • It contains E150 for a deeper caramel color

Price

Macallan 12 Double Cask Scotch Whisky

Whisky macallan triple cask
Price
The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old is the best single malt whisky with double cask matured that you will find in the market for this price.

Triple cask combination that includes European and American sherry seasoned oak casks.

The colour is rich straw, in the nose is complex, it smells like vanilla with hints of melon and lemon zest.

The flavour is proper balanced with lemon citrus, vanilla and light toasted oak and nutmeg. At the finish is lingering with melon, papaya, fresh oak and oak spice.

As a bartender, I strongly recommend to try it neat, with some drops of mineral water or with an ice ball that will melt slowly.

More reviews about this whisky here.

Advantages

  • Extraordinarily smooth
  • Delicate and yet complex
  • New bold bottle and packaging

Disadvantages

  • Could be expensive
  • Some users believe it is overrated.

Price

Chivas Royal Salute 21 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky

chivas regal royal salute
Price
Royal Salute is a collection of whiskies dedicated to those who seek and enjoy the highest form of opulence.

It is considered as Chivas´ best blended whisky for most people.

It was created more than 50 years ago from the rarest Scotch whiskies to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

The range features whiskies have been aged for a minimum of 21 years in oak casks before bottling in a handcrafted porcelain flagon.

You will taste notes of chocolate, dried fruit, caramel and toasted oak. The finishing offers a subtle taste of white raisins and cherry blossoms.

More reviews about this whisky here.

Advantages

  • Porcelain bottle.
  • 21 years aged.
  • Smooth and flavourful experience.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive.

Price

Dalwhinnie 15 Years Old Whisky Single Malt Scotch

whisky dalwhinie
Price
Dalwhinnie is distilled in the wild highlands of Scotland, 15 years of ageing in bourbon barrels.

The main features of this single malt are intensity and smoothness.

It is an aromatic and sweet single malt with a malty note. It has a gold appearance; the smell mesmerizes like honey and vanilla with hints of heather.

It can be served neat or with still water, but could be better with an ice ball that will melt slowly in the glass.

The flavour is extremely malty with notes of honey, vanilla and lemon. The finishing is smoky and earthy.

Advantages

  • Soft and aromatic.
  • Iced cold and sweet like sugar.
  • Best flavour notes.
  • Easy to drink.

Disadvantages

  • There are users that consider it too simple.
  • The finish could be very short and weak.
  • The tasting notes could difficult to appreciate.

Price

Suntory Toki & Hibiki Japanese Harmony

japanese whisky hibiki
Price
It is not a scotch whisky but it must appear in this review. It is one of the most equilibrated Japanese whiskies. It proceeds from the blend of 3 different distilleries.

There is no age declaration, visually is amber gold with aromas like roses, sandalwood, a hint of rosemary and mature woodiness.

It has been aged in 5 different oak casks, including American White Oak, Mizunara Oak and Sherry barrels.

On the palate is extremely sweet with honey flavour and a touch of bitterness, some palates can sense white chocolate flavour and candied orange peel.

The finish is subtle, tender long finish, leaving wood flavour. You can drink it in a classic whisky glass with ice ball or mineral water, it helps to liberate new aromas and tastes.

More reviews about this whisky here.

Advantages

  • Nice and sweet flavour.
  • Very easy to drink.

Disadvantages

  • It has no age statement.

Price

 

Buying guide for the best scotch whiskey

As I mentioned before, when you are choosing the best scotch whisky, you always must consider the year, the type, how it was aged, the bottle´s presentation, the smell, and of course, the taste.

Whisky´s origins  

Scotland

There are too many opinions regarding its origin, but a lot of people firmly think that whisky, as we know it, is only from Scotland and is known as Scotch Whisky.

The most sophisticated users prefer the Scotch Whisky. Many of the most famous distilleries were born in Scotland.

Some of the most renowned brand names are Lagavulin, Cardhu, Macallan and Glenfiddich.

You will find two different spellings: Whiskey (Scottish form) and Whisky (Irish form). It does not matter, but you must know that the latter corresponds to a bottle aged in the United States or Ireland.

Whisky is produced all over the world. There are countries that have gained a very good reputation for producing quality whisky. You will find great whiskies in Canada, Japan, England, the United States, Ireland and even countries like Taiwan and Indonesia.

Types of whiskies

There are at least 10 types of whiskies. I shall explain the most commons so you will always be able to identify them when reading the label:

barkley

  • Blended Whisky: It was created from the blend of diverse barrels from different distilleries which gives a subtler profile to whisky. It was the first type of whisky that was merchandised around the world.
  • Single Malt Whisky: It has only malted barley grain, from only one distillery. It should be noted that the whisky could be aged in different casks.
  • Pure Malt or Vatted Malt Whisky: It is a blend; it only contains malted barley grain from different distilleries. You usually will see “Malt” in the bottle´s label.

Ageing

best scotch whisky

The Scottish law says that all Scotch Whisky must be aged in oak barrels at least three years.

So, if there is no aged declaration in the bottle´s label, it means the whisky is at least three years old.

When the age is declared, it means that the youngest barrel has at least the age mentioned. That is why you see different prices whether it is identified on the label or not.

If you are a beginner and you are starting in the world of whisky, I strongly recommend you to begin with young single malts that have no aged declaration.

They are subtler, easier to drink, you even should sense fruit flavours in some of them. By comparison, those that have been aged are more complex; the time they spend in barrels give them way more aromas and flavours.

There are too many good whiskies that have no aged declaration. Although it is an important feature to consider, is not always the most important.

Bottle´s Presentation

The standard-sized bottles are 500 ml, 700 ml or 1-litre, depending on the edition.

There are wonderful versions that whisky collectors track down for their collections. Others want to keep the bottle after finishing the whisky.

whisky bottle

If you want to go further the basic features, consider if you want your bottle to be the main attraction at your gathering or in your private cellar.

Smell and taste

Maybe this is the most important topic that we are going to deal with, everybody has different tastes and likes. Most of them come from the time the whisky spends ageing in the oak barrels. It also could be pointed out that young whiskies have a flavour focused in the distillation process.

On the other hand, the whiskies that have been aged for years, have touched the wood more time than young whiskies; hence they have more intense aromas and flavours that could not be reached only with distillation.

You will probably sense smokiness or fruitiness in some of these whiskies. You must also take into consideration whether you add drops of water, ice or another beverage because the taste will change. At the end of the day, you will decide how to drink it and enjoy it.

How to drink the best whiskey?

There is something to make something clear, there is no right or wrong way to drink the best whisky. You will be the one who will drink it and who will enjoy it, that is what matters, although you can follow some recommendations to make the experience more pleasant.

For a better experience visit our article on how whiskey is served.

The best scotch whisky

Pour some whisky in a glass, hold it by the base and inhale it gently, take the time to enjoy the aroma.

Then take a sip and savour it, let it run along the palate for a few seconds.

The whisky will bring to your mind memories and flavours already experienced, everyone perceives different flavours, but some persons tend to feel the same.

Share it with other people so you can experience the fun of tasting whisky.

It is also advisable to clean the palate with cold water before drinking whisky, although the simplest way to drink it is pure.

You will have a wonderful experience looking and tasting for the best whisky; at the end of the day is a personal choice because we are all different with different tastes.

Remember that the key is to experiment, the best way to do it is to drink it. Always with responsibility.

[Total: 2   Average: 5/5]
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1 thought on “Which are the 7 best scotch whiskies quality-price in 2020?”

  1. There’s no way johnnie walker blue, lagavulin 16, or any macallan make a “best value” scotch. Those are all scotches that have inflated prices due to branding. Meanwhile, laphroaig 10 and talisker 10 are still ~$45 in some areas, and are highly regarded as well above average scotches.

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