Locating the best bang for your buck in single malt scotch can require some serious searching. It’s no secret that scotch prices have crept up in the last few years and many releases are small in quantity. And while tasting through thousands of bottles to find the best values isn’t an entirely unappealing endeavor, we realize not everyone has the time, or the budget, to do so. Here then are 9 splurge-worthy whiskies that top of our list of favorites and sell for under $100—some considerably less! Best of all, these whiskies are available on many store shelves—you may even have one in your liquor cabinet already. They deliver on aroma, flavor, and finish, offering superb quality for less money than you would spend on a night out.
Try One of These 90+ Point Scotches for Less than $100
The sherry-centric house style of Glenfarclas is at its best here: fruity, oaky, sweet, and dense, a dram our reviewer described as “seductive…a femme fatale of a malt.” Let yourself be lured in—you won’t regret it. (And if you’re traveling through the UK or Europe and want to try another excellent Glenfarclas, pick up a bottle of the 15 year old, which rivals its older sibling for satisfying, lush drinkability.)
Chewy, robust, and a bit old-fashioned in just the right way, Craigellachie is a meaty malt that leaves a strong impression. Enjoy bold fruit flavors and a “lift of (good) sulfur”—a welcome bit of character imparted by the distillery’s use of worm tub condensers.
Fun fact: In the Tintin comics, Captain Haddock’s preferred brand of whisky is Loch Lomond. Even if you aren’t a foul-mouthed, bearded cartoon sailor, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this sweet, fruity, and spicy whisky that has just the right touch of peat smoke.
Do you have doubts that a distillery that normally makes unpeated whisky can pull off a heavily peated single malt? Let Cutter allay them. At 20.5 ppm, it’s ashy and medicinal, but rounded out with citrus and sweet vanilla. If you like that profile, try the other expressions in anCnoc’s peated range, like Rutter and Flaughter.
Glen Moray rolled out a new line of age-statement whiskies last winter, and they’ve proven to be quite the incredible value. The 15 year old is aged in bourbon and sherry casks, showing off both sweetness and spiciness. Trade up to the 18 year old if you want more fruit, malt, oak and toffee flavors: It’ll still come in under a Benjamin.
Okay, it’s at $100, not under it—but depending on where you shop, you may find it for even less. Glenmorangie’s 2017 Private Edition release highlights fruit and sweetness, thanks to its two-year finish in Malmsey Madeira casks. If you can’t find Bacalta after its limited stocks have sold out, just about any whisky in Glenmorangie’s core range will match it for tastiness and value.
Get ready for a kaleidoscope of flavors. Little Bay spins from malt and salt to dark chocolate, citrus fruits, and berries, before whirling into baking spices, oak and a long finish. This is an ideal whisky to linger over.
Peatheads the world over love Lagavulin for its sweet, subtle character and enduringly affordable price point. At a time when some NAS malts of more dubious quality are going for much more money, Lagavulin remains consistent, classic, and true to itself: a whisky you can always count on.