There is no time like now to drink whiskey, especially japanese whisky.
Aside from some of the most renowned whiskey brands that we all have come to love over the years, new distilleries have been ramping up and making new waves in the market. With new flavor profiles, aging methods, and distillation practices — whiskey brands are constantly keeping the drink relevant and fresh for lovers and newcomers alike to savor.
Made for just about any occasion, we have collated a list of our 15 dearest whiskey brands. From the best budget to the most fascinating burst in flavors, discover them all in our recommended list below:
More than it meets the eye — do not pass up this drink because of its affordable price tag. Speyburn’s Scotch whiskey consistently delivers flavors that effortlessly slide down your throat. It is luscious to drink, pleasant to sip, and bears a complexity more than you would expect.
If you are on a budget, Speyburn’s Bradan Orach would be perfect for you. Anticipate nuances of sweet and sour flavors, and be rewarded with a fine aftertaste. For a drink younger than others on this list, it sure makes up for time with its exceptional flavor.
2. Glen Moray
Native to Scotland, Glen Moray is an exemplary distillery famous for its many awards. It is also one of the best-trusted whiskey distillers for the brand dates back to 1897. Glen Moray is said to be inclined towards sweetness. It contains a vast array of notes, making it a pleasant beverage to sip. For whiskey beginners, this single malt is a drink they will love for its citrus flavor that slides over the palate easily. To enhance the generous flavors of black pepper-like notes, add a drop of water before sipping.
Craigellachie strikes the perfect balance between being distinct enough to impress whiskey connoisseurs while still managing to warmly welcome spirit beginners. As the perfect entry-level whiskey since being introduced in 2014, it is famous for flavors that gently allude to meat. If you are looking for thick flavors with a tinge of sweetness, the drink offers a complex palette of toffee, fruits, and fudge right onto your tongue.
4. Highland Park
Highland Park distillery exhibits exemplary 200 historical years of experience in the market. From its striking bottle designs and flavors, it is a brand with character. The drink carries a honey taste and bears an excellent nose. For an inviting medium price tag, be ready for it to wash over you with tinges of sweet licorice, followed by a burnt and salty taste after. Drink it neat to bring out the flavors of fruity notes and honey from the beverage.
Since the 1820s, the Glenlivet distillery has been consistently churning out reputable whiskey and its bottles secures a spot in the highest-selling whiskeys in America. Despite its international popularity, the starting price for a bottle remains at an affordable $29.99.
You will never make a mistake with Glenmorangie. Over two centuries, the distillery’s recipe has hardly changed, offering you an indisputable recipe for success. Released in 2016, Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990 made waves around the world.
With its nose being the most impressive part of the whiskey, it also strikes in cinnamon flavors with a sweet and pleasant aroma; not forgetting great tinges of vanilla as well as oak to an extensive and malty completion.
Teeling takes pride in producing whiskey that sets it apart from its competitors. With a history dating back to the 1700s, the brand has produced an array of distinct flavors and characters. Its Vintage Reserve provides flavor unlike anything else with three rounds of distillation, from in casks to wine barrels. Released with a 5,000 bottle limit, the 24-Year-Old bears the notes of your favorite flavors like chocolate truffle, and orange. Also, note the long and calm finish of baked fruits and a tinge of vanilla. It is perfect for collectors to savor over time.
8. Johnnie Walker
Popular among beginners and experts, the brand stands undefeated as the world’s most popular Scotch. Entering with a higher price tag, the Blue Label carries the highest prestige among the brand’s collection with an excellent value of flavors that follow. Expect an implosion of sweetness and flavor on your palate upon tasting it; people know it for its velvet quality. So anticipate the waves of hazelnut, and sandalwood when drinking it with ice.
Oban brings reminiscence in a bottle with its ‘coastal-yet-sweet’ combinations. Native to a small distillery in Scotland, it is a brand that stays firmly on every whiskey lover’s map. With an elevated sweetness of the spirit, Oban’s Distillers Edition Single Malt is completed in casks; aging first for 14 years in Bourbon casks. Bearing an arguably low price point, it is our must-buy. The result is a drink that’s silky and soft to the palate while remaining full-bodied in tinges of refreshing florals and a tinge of honey.
The recipient of the most awards for a single malt, the Glenfiddich offers a reasonable price tag that is affordable for all. Despite its name, the brand is a whisky which also offers tinges of sweet classic Bourbon flavors. The 14 Year has malt-based flavors, with oak, spice, and fruit amplified. Experience a luscious mouthful with a side of cinnamon as it finishes warmly.
Not for people looking for a chill drink, Laphroaig offers a strong taste perfect for lovers of peaty and smoky whiskey. Its smoke peat can only be found on Islay, giving it a distinct and unique flavor profile. The Cairdeas Triple Wood bears a unique bottling and offers a striking amber shine. It also introduces stronger flavors of oranges, apricots, and caramelized sugar. Mixing it into a cocktail allows it to harmonize with walnut notes over time, allowing you to fully relish in its sugar-sweet creaminess. Also, feel free to enjoy it undiluted.
Balvenie has been making the finest whiskey since the 1960s and carries with it a reputation of detail and care. Its Speyside whiskey is a classic post-dinner malt with generosity in flavor and depth. The brand’s 12 Year Doublewood is famous for being luscious on the palate and even better if accompanied by a cigar. Bring out tinges of orange peel by mixing it into an old fashioned. Though it isn’t strong in smoke, it outshines with other notes that offers an unfolding complexity over time.
Bowmore strikes a balance of peatiness and sweetness to create a variety of excellent drinks. The brand’s 15 Year is an exemplary example of the balance: a combination of sherry notes and outbursts of fruity and charred raisins. It bears a pungent palate and full-body, emerging as an interesting beverage to taste; and finishes in dark, woody spice and tar. Reveal the sweetness of coconut, and cinnamon sugar by leaving it in the glass to sit.
For the past 130 years, Buchanan has garnered a reputation in the market and is famous as another beloved brand in the world. It leaves a powerful initial impression on your palate with depth at an affordable price point. Enjoy it on its own or with some water, or mix it with soda water to reveal a tinge of citrus, it is a drink that carries some of Scotland’s best flavors.
With many awards across categories, Bunnahabhain was established in the 1880s as another Islay-based distillery. Reputable for its sleek flavor and profound blends, it is a prestigious brand with sweeter notes. A must-buy for anyone who loves whiskey, the brand offers a complex range of flavors. Spend more time with it and you will find the surfacing flavors of roasted malt, raisins, and spices as well.
From the vast diversity in bottle designs to the explosion of flavors on your tongue — swirling in roasted fruits, silky finishes, and lingering aftertastes, there is definitely whiskey made for everyone. These are our 15 must-try whiskey brands for newcomers and anyone who’s already a fan of the beloved drink.