1. Highland Park 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof91.4 (45.7% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Situated in the Orkney archipelago in Northern Scotland, Highland Park Distillery was founded in 1798 by Magnus Eunson. The name of the distillery is derived not from the region of Scotland known as The Highlands — the Orkney islands are not a part of the Highlands — but rather from the region known as High Park, where the distillery was founded. Highland Park is an incredible longstanding whisky house, and they pride themselves on their rich Norse heritage, an essence which is reflected in their craft.

    Today, over two centuries after its founding, Highland Park Distillery remains one of the few Scottish distilleries that continues to hand-turn, malt, and peat its own barley, using locally cut peat from the nearby Hobbister Moor. The malt is peated to 20 parts per million phenol, and then mixed with unpeated malt produced on the Scottish mainland.. "You have to be careful here on the malting floor," says Eric Tait, Highland Park's Maltman. "You find it can get a wee bit slippery underneath. I have to turn the malt every eight hours to prevent the roots getting tangled and to get it all aerated properly. The airing also helps it to grow. The malt will be on the floor for seven days, and I'm running five floors at the moment."

    After malting the barley, Highland Park Distillery smokes it using peat sourced from Hobbister Moor, a peat bog located approximately seven miles from the distillery. Hobbister Moor peat is sourced from floral heather bushes, which burn hotter and cleaner than the grassy peats of Islay. Also, the peat sourced from Hobbister Moor has greater derivatives of carbohydrates and a lower concentration of lignin than peat from Islay, giving Highland Park's peat a unique chemical fingerprint.

    The peat sourced from Hobbister Moor is "absolutely fundamental in understanding the flavor of Highland Park Whisky," says Russell Anderson, the distillery manager. Together with Orkney's unique environment (the temperate, moist climate of the archipelago results in an even maturation process), the peat gives Highland Park Whisky its traditional malty flavors that are tempered by just a subtle touch of smoke.

    In 2013, Highland Park 25 Year Old became the first spirit ever to receive a perfect 100-point score — not to mention the Chairman’s Trophy for Best of Category — at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. With an unmatched depth and vibrancy, this legendary expression is crafted in small batches and matured in predominantly first fill European oak casks, each seasoned with Oloroso sherry and hand chosen by Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion.

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    A red and golden hue, with an aroma of mature oak, fudge and chocolate. The whisky has initial notes of honey and nutty toffee, which lead to a rich and supple finish.
    $987.99
  2. Auchentoshan 21 Year Old Limited Release Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof86 (43% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Situated at the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills in Western Scotland, Auchentoshan (pronounced Aw-khen-tosh-an) Distillery was founded in 1800 and is one of the last remaining Lowland Single Malt Whisky distilleries. The distillery is nicknamed "Glasgow's Distillery"due to its proximity to the eponymous city, and its whisky is nicknamed "breakfast whisky" due to its sweet flavor and elegant texture. During World War II, the distillery was bombed relentlessly by Germany, and much of the whisky that was being matured in its rickhouses was lost to fire or spilled into the Clyde River, which is situated adjacent to the distillery. Following the end of the war, the distillery was rebuilt and today, it remains a testament to Scottish perseverance and innovation.

    Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from malted, optic barley that is gently kilned and completely unpeated. Once the barley has been malted, it is milled and mashed before being fermented in wooden washbacks made from Oregon Pine. While wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they retain a portion of the heat produced during fermentation, and ultimately produce a lighter and slightly sweeter whisky.

    Following fermentation, the whisky is distilled through Auchentoshan's copper pot stills. While Scotch whisky is traditionally distilled twice, Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch is distilled three times: first through a wash still, then through an intermediate still, and finally, through a spirit still. This extra distillation step — no other major Scotch distillery uses an intermediate still — produces a purer and more refined spirit that dramatically affects the character of the whisky produced.

    Auchentoshan 21 Year Old Limited Release Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon casks and ex-Spanish sherry casks for a minimum of 21 years. The limited-edition Scotch has an aroma of ripe berries, creamy vanilla, oak, honey and mint. The aroma gives way to notes of sweet milk chocolate, honeyed oak, green apples and nutty dough, and leads to a long, elegant finish. The whisky earned a score of 91 points from Whisky Advocate, and was named F. Paul Pacult's "top choice" as the quintessential Lowland Single Malt.

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    Aroma of ripe berries, creamy vanilla, oak, honey and mint. Notes of sweet milk chocolate, honeyed oak, green apples and nutty dough, leading to a long, elegant finish. Full bodied and chewy.
    $240.99
  3. Talisker 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof91.6 (45.8% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    78%
    (4)
    Situated on the shores of Loch Harport, Talisker Distillery is heavily influenced by its location on the Isle of Skye — it embodies the spirit of the rocky, storm-lashed island and its strong, steadfast people. The distillery was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill, who leased the Talisker House from Clan MacLeod and eventually converted it into a distillery. When a new lease for the distillery was negotiated between the MacAskills and Clan MacLeod in the second half of the 19th century, the annual rent settled upon was £23.12 and a ten-gallon cask of the best Talisker Whisky available.

    Talisker Single Malt Whisky is made from malted barley sourced from the Muir of Ord, a village in Highland, Scotland. The barley is lightly peated to approximately 18 phenol parts per million, which contributes a slightly smoky flavor profile to the whisky. Once the barley has been malted and peated, it is mashed using soft water drawn from one of the 14 underground springs that rise from Hawk Hill — Talisker has been using the same water source since it was founded nearly two centuries ago. "I'm restless at heart so you'll find me poking my nose into the mash tun at all hours," says Mark Lochhead, Talisker's Distillery Manager.

    After the barley has been mashed, it is fermented in the distillery's wooden washbacks before being twice distilled through Talisker's copper-pot stills. The stills are equipped with unique swan-shaped lye pipes and worm tubs. As a result of this configuration, a portion of the vapor during distillation condenses before reaching the cooler, and runs back into the still for redistillation. This process gives Talisker Single Malt Whisky its signature, full-bodied flavor profile.

    Following distillation, Talisker 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured in traditional oak casks for a minimum of 18 years. As a result, the whisky has a bold aroma, with notes of toffee, espresso, maple syrup and peat smoke. The aroma gives way to notes of honeyed nuts, orange zest, citrus and rock candy, and leads to a finish accented by hints of tobacco and leather.

    Talisker 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky earned a score of 93 points from Whisky Advocate and 90-95 points from Wine Enthusiast. It was also rated the "Best Whisky in the World" at the World Whiskies Awards in 2007.

    "Making Talisker demands long hours and no compromises, so I tour the distillery several times a day making sure no part of the process betrays the rest," says Lochhead.

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    Bold aroma, with notes of toffee, espresso, maple syrup and peat smoke. Notes of honeyed nuts, orange zest, citrus and rock candy. Finish accented by hints of tobacco and leather.
    $204.99
  4. Oban 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof117 (58.5% ABV)
    Size750mL
    After moving with their widowed mother to the small port city of Oban (situated in northwest Scotland), John and Hugh Stevenson took jobs building and repairing boats at the city's boatyard, a trade they had learned from their late father. In the 1790s, the brothers left their boat-making jobs and founded a brewery in the city. In 1794, they converted their brewery into Oban Distillery, one of the oldest and most prestigious distilleries in Scotland.

    For nearly a century, Oban Distillery remained in the hands of the Stevenson family. In 1883, however, J. Walter Higgin purchased the distillery and began renovations. While Higgin renovated both the distillery's equipment and structure, he did so piecemeal in order to ensure that the distillery was able to meet the uninterrupted demand for its whisky. Today, over 100 years later, Oban Distillery remains substantially the same as it was after Higgin's refurbishment.

    Oban Single Malt Whisky is made using 100% barley, which is malted to the distillery's exact specifications. After the barley is malted, it is partially germinated and gently dried over a peat kiln, giving it a slightly smoky, malty flavor profile. The malted barley is then mashed and fermented before being twice-distilled through Oban's lantern-shaped copper-pot stills. The stills are among the smallest in Scotland, and limit Oban's production to just 650,000 liters of whisky annually.

    Oban 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the third limited release whisky produced by Oban Distillery in its 219-year history. Released as part of Diageo's 2013 Special Release Whiskies, Oban 21 Year Old was matured for 21 years in rejuvenated American oak and second-fill ex-bodega casks before being bottled at cask strength. The whisky has a copper-golden color, along with an aroma of warm gingerbread, caramel, maple syrup and spicy apples. The aroma gives way to notes of creamy vanilla, barley, stewed pears and ginger on the palate, and leads to a finish accented by salty tang and lemon zest.

    Only 2,860 bottles of this whisky have ever been produced. Pick up a bottle today!

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    Copper-golden color, along with an aroma of warm gingerbread, caramel, maple syrup and spicy apples. Notes of creamy vanilla, barley, stewed pears and ginger on the palate. Finish accented by salty tang and lemon zest.
    $543.99
  5. Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof86 (43% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    53%
    (1)
    In 1738, a brewery was built upon Morangie Farm in the Highlands region of Scotland. A century later, William Matheson acquired the farm and equipped the Morangie brewery with two stills that he purchased second-hand, and renamed the brewery-converted-distillery Glenmorangie.

    Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made using malted barley, which is germinated with water sourced from the Tarlogie Spring. The water produced from the spring, which spends nearly a century underground before it is extracted, is unusually rich in minerals. (In the 1980s, when development in the area threatened the spring's water quality, the distillery purchased 600 acres of land around and including the spring, in order to ensure consistent water quality and adequate supply.)

    After germination, the grains are mashed and fermented before being twice distilled through Glenmorangie's copper-pot stills. The stills are equipped with relatively small boiler pots, which increases the exposure of the whisky to the copper, resulting in a more pure flavor. In addition, the stills are nearly seventeen feet tall — the tallest of any distillery in Scotland — and as a result, produce a lighter, more refined whisky.

    After distillation, Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Single Malt Scotch Whisky is aged for fifteen years in used bourbon casks. Approximately 30% of the whisky is then double-barreled, or finished, in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks for an additional three years. After both the original and double-barreled whisky have reached 18 years of age, they are blended together in order to create Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Whisky.

    Glenmorangie's 18 Year Old Extremely Rare "embodies our house style," says Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie's Head of Distilling and Flavor Creation since 1998. Lumsden, who holds a PhD in Biochemistry (he wrote his dissertation on yeast physiology) and is the only person in the world to have been honored with Whisky Advocate's "Industry Leader of the Year" award three times, is one of the most respected figures in the Scotch whisky industry. "It develops and fills out the characteristics of the 10 Years Old, adding another dimension," he says of the 18 Year Old expression, "but it remains true to its origin."

    The whisky has a deep amber color, with notes of mandarin, banana, apple and pear. Well-textured, the flavors open up to notes of apricots, nuts and vanilla, along with hints of raisins and fudge. The finish, which lingers, has a touch of almonds and sweet citrus.

    Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Whisky earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010, and the title "Best in Class" at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2009.

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    Notes of mandarin, banana, apple and pear. Well-textured, flavors open up to notes of apricots, nuts and vanilla, along with hints of raisins and fudge. Finish lingers with a touch of almonds and sweet citrus.
    $145.99
  6. John Walker & Sons King George V Blended Scotch Whisky

    Proof86 (43% ABV)
    Size750mL
    In 1820, John Walker started out in business with a single small shop, but he always had big ambitions. Just over a century later, John Walker & Sons was awarded a Royal Warrant by King George V.
    By then, Johnnie Walker was already well on its way to becoming the world’s most popular Scotch Whisky. Becoming a supplier to the Royal Household was an important step on that journey. 

    John Walker & Sons King George V commemorates the granting of the Royal Warrant on 1 January 1934. Created using only the finest whiskies from distilleries that were operating during George’s twenty-five-year reign (1910 – 1936), some of which, like the famed Port Ellen, no longer exist. They are blended together to reflect the distinctive Johnnie Walker style of the era.

    John Walker & Sons King George V is an opulent and regal blend, complex, layered and intense, is a kaleidoscope of flavors and aromas. Hints of roasted nuts, dark chocolate and an imposing sweet smokiness combine elegantly with suggestions of honey, citrus orange and rose petals. This is an extremely complex luxury whisky.

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    Hints of roasted nuts, dark chocolate and an imposing sweet smokiness combine elegantly with suggestions of honey, citrus orange and rose petals.
    $619.99
  7. Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof86 (43% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    93%
    (1)
    Situated on the Recherlich Farm in the Speyside region of Scotland, Glenfarclas Distillery was founded in 1836 by Robert Hay, a tenant farmer. In 1865, John Grant purchased the distillery from Hay for £511. Grant was a cattle breeder at the time, and was looking for a staging post between his farm in Glenlivet and the commercial market situated in Elgin.

    When Grant passed away in 1889, he left the estate to his son George. George died shortly thereafter and his children, also named George and John Grant, took control of the distillery. After saving the distillery from the brink of bankruptcy, the Grant Brothers modernized and expanded the operations such that in May 1912, a rival distiller wrote: "of all the whiskies, malt is king — of all the kings, Glenfarclas reigns supreme."

    Today, George S. Grant — the great-great-great grandson of a cattle farmer — represents the sixth generation of Grants that own and manage the Glenfarclas Distillery, one of the last remaining independent distilleries in Scotland.

    Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from freshly harvested barley, which is steeped in water sourced from the heather-clad slopes of the Ben Rinnes mountain. The crystal-clear spring water, which cascades down the 3,000-foot mountain through peat and granite, is the lifeblood of the Glenfarclas Distillery. After the barley is malted, it is milled and mashed before being fermented using 100% cultured distiller's yeast.

    The wash — the liquid that remains after fermentation — is then distilled twice through Glenfarclas's copper-pot stills. While most distilleries use steam-powered stills (because they are more efficient and preserve the lifespan of the still), Glenfarclas Distillery continues to use traditional direct-heated stills in order to preserve the traditional flavors of the whisky. After distillation, the heads and tails (the whisky produced at the beginning and end of the distillation process) are discarded, and only about 15% of the distillate — the heart of hearts — is preserved for maturation.

    Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured for 21 years in a combination of ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry casks (the sherry casks had previously matured Oloroso and Fino sherry in Seville, Spain). As a result, the single malt has an aroma of butterscotch and dried fruits, which gives way to full-bodied and rounded notes of chocolate, cherries and a touch of smoke and honey. The lingering finish has hints of toffee and caramel.

    Glenfarclas 21 YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky earned a score of 95 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2013, and was rated "extraordinary."

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    Aroma of butterscotch and dried fruits, which gives way to full-bodied and rounded notes of chocolate, cherries and a touch of smoke and honey. Lingering finish has hints of toffee and caramel.
    $171.99
  8. Laphroaig Lore Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof96 (48% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Rating:
    73%
    (1)
    In 1815, Donald and Alexander Johnston began leasing nearly 1,000 acres of land on the island of Islay. Their intent was to use the land in order to raise and sell cattle and as a result, they began growing barley to be used as feed for their livestock. Following a particularly bountiful harvest, the brothers distilled the excess grains they had grown into whisky, and sold it to the inhabitants of the island. Soon thereafter, the brothers found it more profitable to distill whisky rather than raise cattle, and Laphroaig (pronounced La-froyg) Distillery was born.

    For over a century, the distillery would remain in the hands of one of Johnston's descendants. In 1954, however, Ian Hunter passed away childless and bequeathed the distillery to Bessie Williamson, a secretary that had been working at the distillery for two decades. Hunter was incredibly protective of the distillery — while he slowly revealed its secrets to Williamson after she had earned his trust, Hunter prevented a cooper who was employed at the distillery from publishing his memoirs because they described the workings of the distillery in too great a detail.

    Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky is one of the most flavorful and intense whiskies made anywhere in the world. During Prohibition, it was one of the few whiskies still legally imported into the United States, as it was considered a medicinal spirit. Laphroaig Single Malt is made from the finest Scottish barley, which is then malted at the distillery and smoked over a peat flame. Unlike other distilleries which source peat from the Scottish mainland, the peat used to smoke Laphroaig barley is made from the heather, mosses and lichens of Islay and adds a distinct iodine-like flavor to the whisky. After the barley has been malted and peated, it is fermented before being twice-distilled through Laphroaig's copper-pot stills. The unique stills have an usually flat base and flat surfaces, which contributes to the overall intensity of the whisky.

    Described by Laphroaig’s distillery manager, John Campbell, as “the richest of the rich,” Laphroaig Lore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky pays homage to the distillery managers of Laphroaig’s past, the custodians who have encapsulated and continued the distillery’s rich craft for generations.

    “From the founding of Laphroaig, these custodians have each made their own mark, whether it was drying the malting barley at lower temperatures than most, using two sizes of spirit still, pioneering the use of ex-bourbon barrels, or reintroducing the quarter cask to Scotch whisky-making,” says Campbell. “Each of these decisions has made Laphroaig the unique, premium whisky it is today. We make the whisky we make because of what has been passed on down to us.”

    Laphroaig Lore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is aged in a number of casks, combining the best of first-fill bourbon barrels, quarter casks and Oloroso Sherry hogsheads. As a result, the whisky has a rich, smoky aroma with notes of ocean spray and ash. The palate, which is filled with bitter chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel and roasted chestnuts, leads beautifully to a finish complete with malt grain, chocolate chip cookies, tropical fruit and, of course, lots of peat.

    “It’s our story, bottled.” says Campbell.

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    Rich, smoky aroma with notes of ocean spray and ash. The palate, which is filled with bitter chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel and roasted chestnuts, leads beautifully to a finish complete with malt grain, chocolate chip cookies, tropical fruit and, of course, lots of peat.
    $120.99
  9. Compass Box The General Blended Scotch Whisky

    Proof106.8 (53.4% ABV)
    Size750mL
    Since its inception in 2000, Compass Box Whisky Company has been stewarded by John Glaser, one of the most progressive and innovative whisky blenders of his generation. "Like a winemaker blending grape varieties, we can create layers of complexity by blending whisky," says Glaser, who was named "Innovator of the Year" four times by Whisky Magazine and "Pioneer of the Year" twice by Malt Advocate. While Glaser initially began his career in the industry as a marketing agent, he quickly realized that by blending quality whiskies, he was able to create a product that was greater than the sum of its rare parts.

    Compass Box is a unique blend of grain Scotch whisky. Nearly a century ago, grain whiskies were common across Europe, but were overtaken in terms of popularity when the larger distilleries in Scotland began focusing on single malt whisky. "When good Scotch grain whisky is aged in good quality American oak casks, the results can be stunning," says Glaser. They are strong advocates for quality cask selection. They use only whiskies in their blends that are aged in first-fill American oak casks which tend to yield more vanilla character, richness, and sweetness than the traditionally used casks in Scotch maturation. They also use a high malt content, differentiating themselves from most Scotch whisky producers.

    Released in 2013, The General is a very special blended Scotch whisky. It's a blend of both single malt and single grain whiskies that were blended at a very young age, then returned into casks. The final blend was crafted by John Glaser and consists of two blends, one being 33 years old. Named after a 1926 film, only 1,698 bottles were produced, so The General is getting exceedingly rare. It was bottled at a cask strength of 106.8 proof.

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    The nose opens with oak, leather, dried fruit, raisin, and spice aromas. The palate is oaky with caramel, vanilla, sherry, tobacco, orange jam, and floral undertones, culminating in a medium-long finish.
    $4,479.99
  10. Mortlach 20 Year "Cowie's Blue Seal" Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Proof86.8 (43.4 % ABV)
    Size750mL
    Situated in the heart of the Speyside region of Scotland, Dufftown is known the Whisky Capital of the World. The village, which produces more malt whisky than any other town in Scotland, is home to seven distilleries, the oldest of which is Mortlach Distillery.

    Mortlach Distillery was founded in 1823 by James Findlater, together with his friends Alexander Gordon and James Macintosh. In 1831, however, Findlater sold the distillery to John Robertson for the paltry sum of ₤270. In 1837, it was sold again to John and James Grant, who dismantled the distilling equipment and shuttered the doors to the distillery. For the next two decades, the building was used first as a brewery, and then, rather curiously, a church. In 1851, however, the distillery began producing whisky once more. Even at the time, it was an impressive distillery, according to the Wine & Spirits Trade Record. The distillery had two still-houses: "in one there are three old-fashioned stills…in the other there are three larger stills, installed in 1897.” The distillery also had “four gigantic malt floors, and the largest mash tun in the district.”

    In 1964, the distillery was largely rebuilt and today, houses a unique configuration of six stills. The stills — three wash stills and three spirit stills — are each different shapes and sizes (one still is nicknamed “Wee Witchie” because it is shaped like a witch’s cap), and aren’t paired together. This unusual configuration, together with the partial triple distillation method used at Mortlach Distillery, produces a whisky that is full-bodied and meaty.

    This 20 Year single malt is part of the new core range for Mortlach (replacing their Rare Old, Special Strength, 18 Year and 25 Year). Mortlach whiskies have a signature meaty flavor profile, achieved through a 2.81 times distillation process coined “The Way.” Aged in a combination of refill and first-fill American and ex-sherry casks this Mortlach beast is bottled at 43.4% ABV.

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    Assertive spice with notes of vanilla, sea salt, and fig. Notes of raisin and leather linger on the finish.
    $233.99
Top 10 Scotch

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Top 10 Scotch

Looking for a great Scotch to try but don’t know where to start? Scotch whisky definitely gets the lion's share of the popularity in the world of whiskey and is a staple of every home bar.

We’ve rounded up the top ten Scotch whiskies you won’t want to miss. From Speyside to Islay and everything in between, get your glasses ready for this world-famous Scottish legend.

Let us help you find your new favorite Scotch bottle for your collection. If you are feeling adventurous get to know whiskey from all over the world and check our list of best 10 whiskeys!

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