Drink Responsibly (ie 0-2 drinks/day). Prices are formatted 750ML/1.75L (otherwise known as a Fifth vs a Handle).
Check out a great list of cocktail recipes, most recommended are official IBA (International Bartenders Association) recipes.

Note: Don’t use ice. some can use a tiny splash/droplets of water to open up flavors especially if high alcohol content but don’t make this a habit. also, sip it, no need to rush enjoyment.

Best Value Scotch Whisky

Cheap or Blended Whisky, Best Scotch for a Scotch and SodaFamous Grouse Scotch Whisky
Cheap Blended Scotch isn’t worth it, bourbon is probably a better value or stepping it up to the single malt scotches. However, one of these would go great in a Scotch and Soda (mixing 1.5 part scotch to 1 part seltzer water):
Famous Grouse $18/$30 (most sold whiskey in Scotland since 1980)
Black Grouse (slightly better/smokier finish than Famous Grouse but more expensive) $22/750
White Horse $23/1.75

(better than Johnnie Walker Red, J&B, Dewar’s, Jameson, Teacher’s, etc.). Johnnie Walker Black and Chivas 12yr might be better but versus that higher price range I’d go for cheap or a “Best Value Beginner” Single Malt Scotch instead

Best Value Beginner Scotch Whisky
Highland Park 12yr $40/750 (fruity/earthy)
Ardbeg 10yr $48 (smokey/peaty, a little better than Ardbeg An Oa)
Laphroaig Quarter Cask $48 (smokey/peaty)
(all great and complex unlike the widely-known Glenlivet/Glenfiddich)

Secondary: Balvenie Doublewood 12yr $60 (great for beginners but not as much of a “keeper”), GlenDronach 12 $45 a little hard to find but a good value sherry scotch, Talisker 10 $48 (a little too herbal, but decent, prefer Ardbeg 10 slightly over it), Laphroaig 10 (don’t get, too young age, and low peat, more subtle)

Don’t get: Oban 14 is decent for a nuanced highlander dessert dram but one-note, Yamazaki 12, Hibiki

Top-Rated Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Peaty/Smokey from Islay region)Ardbeg Corryvreckan
These are moreso the Scotch connoisseur choices, as they have the most flavor and complexities.

Lagavulin 16yr $95/750 (Very Smokey/Peaty) – Some call this the “best scotch if they could only drink one forever” (for price and complexity)
Laphroaig 10yr Cask Strength (smokier and slightly more complex than Quarter Cask) $90
Ardbeg Corryvreckan $90 (more different things coming out than Uigeadail)

Secondary: Ardbeg Uigeadail $55 (some people dislike however and would pay extra for the Corryvreckan, sherry and peat, some say Corryvreckan tastes younger but it is higher ABV)

Top-Rated Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Sweet/Spicy from Highland/Speyside regions)
Aberlour A’bunadh (this is a Sherry Bomb) $65
Talisker Distiller’s Edition $71
Highland Park 18 $100

Secondary (just okay): Balvenie 15yr Single Cask $74, Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or $63

Don’t get: Macallan (expensive at each of its levels but better than Glenlivet/Glenfiddich), Glenlivet (2 dimension but at least better than the dreaded Glenfiddich), Talisker 18 is superb but sadly at $140 is a little too much to spend on it even though it’s superb (possibly at the top of the listed top-rated Single Malt Scotches, another great all-arounder like Highland Park 18),

Top-Rated Irish Whiskey

Like the cheap blended scotches, Irish Whiskey tends to not be a great value for the flavor (bourbon or single malt scotch would take the cake for flavor monsters).

Best Value: Redbreast 12 Year Old $45 (better value than Green Spot $60) or Teeling $40
Best in the US: Redbreast 12 year cask strength is better but hard to find and more expensive $80
Best only in the UK: Yellow Spot $100

Don’t get: Kilbeggan, Jameson, Concannon, Irish Mist (honey liqueur), Teeling (not made traditionally Irish as it is finished in Flor de Cana rum casks)

American Whiskey and Bourbon

Rittenhouse Rye 100Cheap Mixer (ie Manhattan, Whiskey Sour):
– Pikesville Supreme (rye whiskey to make an original Manhattan)

Secondary: Old Overholt (rye), Evan Williams Black $16/1.75 or Evan Williams 1783 (Green Label) $13/$20 for a tamer taste

Best Value Sipper Bourbon:
– Very Old Barton $12/750 (Kentuckians’ Un-Official Table Bourbon)
– Evan Williams Bottled in Bond (BIB) “White Label” Bourbon (100 proof)
– Rittenhouse Rye $22 — I recommend the most for best mixer (also recommend using the vermouth “Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth” in case you are making Manhattans) — Best Whiskey for Manhattan (according to SavoyStomp.com)
– Evan Williams Single Barrel $24
– Ancient Ancient Age 10 year $18
– Wild Turkey Rye 101 $19/$36 (more for mixing) — Best Whiskey for Sazerac or Old Fashioned (According to SavoyStomp.com)
– Ezra Brooks (great cheap alternative) $9/$22
– Sazerac Rye 6yr $26

Secondary: Elmer T Lee $28 (tad expensive but good), Elijah Craig 12 year $25 (tad expensive but good, oakmonster)

Best Expensive Sipper:
(Don’t recommend due to price unless Bourbon is your favorite)
Basil Hayden $42
Blanton’s $65 (Hard to find) – People even collect the bottle and bottle stopper on eBay
Four Roses Rye Single Barrel $57
George T Stagg $68 (Hard to find)
Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old $120 (an Absolute Best – Hard to find)

Secondary: Willett Pot Still $57, Booker $60, William Larue Weller $65, WhistlePig Rye $73 (one of best Ryes but expensive), Sazerac Rye 18yr $45 (one of the best Ryes)

DO NOT GET: Weak/Overpriced (Jack Daniels), Nasty/Overpriced (Jim Beam), Just Okay/Overpriced (Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek strong rye but uninteresting, Woodford Reserve, Baker’s, Basil Hayden, Bulleit, Eagle Rare 10yr, Buffalo Trace, Old Grand-Dad 100 Proof), Old Ezra 101 (discontinued)

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. hey i am in trinidad and tobago , where a beer is a carib and the best foods are like a bake and shark , well for a good scotch – most trinis might go for a black and white or a johnny walker black , other than that my choice would be the dewers white lable or a highlander , with ginger ale or coconut water , with ice , and a nice woman after to ahve some fun well its an evening to enjouyed [email protected]

  2. Link to the cheapest places in the dc metro area is broken. Can you re-post pls? Cheapest I’ve seen for lagavulin is 80$

  3. if only I could get Uigeadail for $55

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
Read previous post:
Finest Cognac and Brandy

Drink Responsibly (ie 0-2 drinks/day). Prices are formatted 750ML/1.75L (otherwise known as a Fifth vs a Handle). Check out a...