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16 Bottles of Top Shelf Scotch Whisky to Try

Glenlivet top shelf scotch presents their bottles

Top-shelf Scotch is the epitome of luxury and refinement in the world of spirits. Known for its smooth, complex flavors and rich, golden color, Scotch is a favorite among connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. This premium spirit is often aged for many years in oak barrels, allowing it to develop a depth of flavor and character that sets it apart from other types of whiskey.

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The distinct taste of Scotch is often described as smoky, peaty, and full-bodied, with hints of caramel, vanilla, and spices. Its high quality and meticulous production process make it a sought-after beverage for special occasions and celebrations. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as part of a sophisticated cocktail, top-shelf scotch is a timeless and revered choice for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

The Glenlivet

The Glenlivet 1824
Source: theglenlivet.com

Located in Moray, Scotland, The Glenlivet is a single-malt Scotch distillery that originated in 1824. They use French and Oak casks to age a long line of Scotches. One of their finest Scotches is the 25-year-old single malt scotch aged in cognac and sherry casks. It has tasting notes of fig and blood orange with a spicy and warming ginger, and charred oak and pineapple finish.


The Macallan 

mac 2018 sherry oak 12 yo bottle rgb png

Originating in Northeast Scotland overlooking the river Spey, The Macallan is a venerated Scotch distillery that opened in 1824. The Macallan uses European barley sourced sustainably to elaborate an extensive list of single malt scotches. A top-shelf scotch is their triple cask 18-year Scotch that uses American sherry and bourbon casks to impart unique flavor notes of cocoa, orange, and spice.

See also  8 Most Expensive Scotch in the World

Dewar’s 15 Year

Dewar's 15 Year
Source: dewars.com

Founded by John Dewar in 1846, Dewar’s started as a liquor store that quickly became a popular blended scotch brand thanks to Dewar’s expertise and artistry. Dewar’s 15-Year Blended Scotch has a bright golden color with complex flavor notes, starting with honey and caramel, transforming into exotic fruits, coconut, and vanilla. The finish ends with delicate floral notes. 


Aberfeldy 12 Year Old

Aberfeldy
Source: aberfeldy.com

Aberfeldy is a subsidiary line of single malt scotches from the Dewar brand. Aberfeldy 12-year oak barrel-aged scotch from the highlands of Scotland. It has a fruity nose of pineapple with sweet honey, toast, and cereal flavors mid-palate. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with a rich, almost thick texture more characteristic of liqueurs.


Johnnie Walker Blue

blue label menu us
Source: johnniewalker.com

Another famed blended whiskey brand that started as a liquor store, Johnnie Walker sources the finest Scotch whiskeys from around Scotland to create an award-winning line of blends. Johnnie Walker Blue label is the most popular blend of hand-selected whiskeys. Its flavor palate of hazelnut and chocolate ends in a delightfully smoky finish.


Glenmorangie

Glenmorangie
Source: glenmorangie.com

Located in Tain Ross-shire Scotland, Glenmorangie is a storied distillery that was once a brewery during the 1700s. Glenmorangie produces single-malt Scotch in three varieties, aged 10, 12, 14, 18, and 25 years. A rarer top-shelf Scotch is the Cognac Cask Finished scotch, aged 13 years, offering intense flavors of spice, fruit, and leather.


Laphroaig

Laphroaig
Source: laphroaig.com

The Laphroaig distillery is an over 200-year-old distillery on the island of Islay overlooking Loch Laphroaig. They have one of the most extensive offerings of Scotch whiskeys ranging in age from 10 to 40 years! Their 10-year aged single malt Scotch is an award-winning bottle that uses the peat from Islay to instill its signature smoky flavor.

See also  Top 17 Scotch Whiskies Under $50 to Drink

The Balvenie 

The Balvenie
Source: balvenie.com

Founded by William Grant in 1892, The Balvenie distillery earned its name from the converted estate in which it still lies. They are one of the only distilleries that grow the barely used in its scotch on the estate grounds. Their Rare Marriages cask finished line offers the best selection of fine scotch blends aged up to 60 years.


Lagavulin

Lagavulin
Source: malts.com

Named for the Islay Island town in which it’s located, Lagavulin is an iconic distiller founded in 1816, offering single malt whiskeys. Its 16-Year Aged Single Malt is its finest Scotch and is acclaimed by critics as one of the finest in the world. Its elegance and sophistication feature unique Islay tasting notes like tar, seaweed, fruitcake, and clove.


Oban

Oban
Source: obanwhisky.com

Established in 1794, Oban is one of the oldest and smallest distilleries in Scotland. Oban stays true to its centuries-old Scotch recipes that continue to win medals. A favorite bottle is the Little Bay single malt, small cask scotch, featuring notes of citrus, Christmas pudding, and spice, with a rich chocolate finish. 


Monkey Shoulder 

Monkey Shoulder
Source: monkeyshoulder.com

Monkey Shoulder is a modern distillery committed to revolutionizing the Scotch industry by offering malt blends made for mixing. Their signature and award-winning malt blend is perfect for newcomers to Scotch, offering a delicate flavor palate of fruit and vanilla.


Ardbeg

Ardbeg
Source: ardbeg.com

Another famed and historic Isle of Islay distillery Ardbeg has been continuously operating since 1815 and has long been a staple in the fine Scotch world. Ardbeg single malt 8-year-aged Scotch is a unique offering, featuring a flavor profile of fennel, celery, and wood smoke. 

See also  Top 13 Scotch Whiskies Under $100

Highland Park

Highland Park
Source: highlandparkwhisky.com

Located on the cliffs of Orkney overlooking the North Sea, Highland Park distillery opened in 1798 under the ownership of Magnus Eunson. They offer a long line of signature single-malt whiskeys ranging from 10 to 50 years aged. The 14-year-old Spirit of the Wolf single malt whiskey has one of the most sumptuous flavor palates, featuring baked apples, cinnamon, butter, and smokey earth notes. 


Arran Robert Burns Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Arran Robert Burns Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Source: robertburnswhisky.com

Arran Whisky is a unique distiller that opened in 1995 on the island of Arran, using two distilleries known as Lagg and Lochranza. They make single malts, blends, and cream liqueur. The Robert Burns single malt whisky from Arran has a delicious aroma of cinnamon and vanilla that cedes to a palate of sweet honey and toffee-glazed pecans with a fruity finish. 


Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich
Source: bruichladdich.com

Founded in 1881 on the isle of Islay, Bruichladdich is a single-malt Scotch distillery founded by the Harvey family who had been distilling whisky since 1770. Bruichladdich offers both peated and unpeated scotch. Their Classic Ladie single malt whiskey is a signature with uncharacteristically high alcohol content and flavor notes of oak, barely, and brown sugar.


Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich
Source: glenfiddich.com

Glenfiddich is a long-standing distillery built in 1886 by founder William Grant and his seven sons. Their long line of single-malt collections offers a wide range of flavors and ages. A rare vintage 30-year-aged Glenfiddich uses bourbon and Spanish oak casks to create a flavor palate of fig, dark chocolate, and sherry that goes well in cocktails. 


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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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