Christmas 2023: 10 whiskies for under £60

As we countdown to Christmas, here are some gift ideas for the whisky fan.

Published 22nd Nov 2023
Updated 22 nd Nov 2023

With only a few more weeks until Christmas, we take a look at some great whiskies - all for £50 or under.

From blends to single malts, including supermarket whiskies and big names, there's something for everyone without breaking the bank.

whiskies under £60
Picture: OurWhisky Foundation/Christina-Kernohan

Nc’nean, £51.95

Nc’nean’s Organic Single Malt is the first whisky released to the public by this independent distillery.

Organic, made with renewable energy and bottled in the UK’s first-ever 100 per cent recycled clear glass bottle, the whisky showcases Nc’nean’s commitment to protecting the environment.

Nc’nean’s whisky is made from organic Scottish barley whose natural yields and rich soils contribute great depth of flavour, and gentle fermentation and distillation accentuate the delicate, fruity flavours in the spirit.

The whisky achieves its signature body and sweetness from having been left to mature for three years in selected ex-Bourbon and specially treated STR ex-red wine barrels. Each barrel has been chosen by Nc’nean for the distinct flavours the wood contributes to the whisky.

Nc’nean Organic Single Malt Whisky is priced at £51.95 for 70cl,  46% ABV.

Lidl Ben Bracken Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, £17.99

This cheap and cheerful single malt from Islay is sure to be loved by those that favour a peated dram.

Priced at £17.99, the three year old Ben Bracken Islay single malt is part award-winning whisky line-up in all Scottish stores alongside its ever-popular Abrachan Triple-Barrelled Blended Malt (41% ABV, 70cl), which is also £17.99.

Wee Smoky, £34.95

wee smoky

Launched as part of a limited released in November 2020, Wee Smoky is a single grain whisky that is being aimed at non-whisky drinkers.

Port Charlotte unveils first 18 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky

Just 400 distinctive electric blue and pink bottles from the first cask were available direct to consumers via the company’s website, with batch 2 now available online.

Founder Rory Gammell began to develop the concept for a whisky that is inclusive and welcoming to younger people and non-experts while living in San Francisco.

Grain whisky is made from grains other than malted barley, which is what is used in single malt whisky.

Monkey Shoulder, £29.95

whiskies under £60

You will no doubt have seen Monkey Shoulder in a range of places, it’s a really diverse (and often overlooked) blended Scotch whisky.

Made from a mix of three different Speyside Single Malts – Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie – Monkey Shoulder is popularly used in cocktails but is also great enjoyed neat.

Dream job for whisky fans as Scots company seek 'taste masters' to nose and taste drams

Or, for a simple to make tipple, just add ginger ale or soda for a delicious highball.

Monkey Shoulder is around £29 and you can buy a bottle here.

Scallywag Winter Edition, £59.95

Douglas Laing’s exclusive festive bottling is now available from Douglas Laing and online retailers.

Scallywag’s Winter Edition is bursting with full-bodied flavour making it the ideal dram for the colder months.

The launch of this year's edition is the fourth addition to the annual Speyside winter series and has been matured in a 100% sherry cask from the finest Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso Sherry butts.

The Macallan collaborates with Cirque du Soleil to launch an exclusive sensory experience in Speyside

The latest release, which has been bottled at a natural cask strength of 52.5%, sees a rich and robust combination of Speyside Single Malts that boast nutty flavours, combined with cocoa and juicy berries.

This combination delivers Christmas in a glass, with warm gingerbread, spiced oak, and orange rind on the nose and the taste of dates with forest fruits and winter spice on the long finish.

Encased in a luxe pearlescent gift tube with Scallywag’s well-loved fox terrier set against a backdrop of the Northern Lights, this special edition malt is ideal for whisky fans this Christmas.

Malt Riot, £29

Whiskies under £60

In 2020, the Glasgow Distillery Company introduced Malt Riot – a blended malt Scotch whisky – to its range.

The release is a selected blend of handpicked single malts from across Scotland, with the distillery’s Glasgow 1770 Single Malt at the heart of the spirit.

The whisky is inspired by the malt tax protests that took place in 1725. These started in Glasgow, then spread across the nation, where protesters came together to demand the tax on malted barley be overturned.

Malt Riot Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is available from the Glasgow Distillery website and independent retailers at an RRP of £29.

Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 year old, £28.95

whiskies under £60

One of Scotland's most famous blended whiskies, Johnnie Walker celebrated 200 years in 2020 and is the star in the namesake visitor attraction in Edinburgh.

The range includes Johnnie Walker Black, Gold, Red and Blue label, and our favourite is Johnnie Walker Black label.

A sweet and moreish dram ideal for beginners, it also holds its own in cocktails and highballs.

Priced at £28.95, you can buy a bottle here.

Tullibardine The Murray 2008, £50

whiskies under £60

Distilled in 2008, this limited edition bottling has been matured in first-fill American oak casks and bottled at cask strength.

On the nose, honeycomb candy with butterscotch fudge, layers of candy floss, crème brûlée and molasses all drenched in a warm spiced bergamot orange liqueur.

Rich, creamy toffee flavours infused with citrus fruits, brownie baked Alaska with hints of choc chip mint ice cream combine leaving a long lingering velvety finish.

A special whisky for the whisky fan looking for something a bit different this year. Buy it online here.

Jura Winter Edition, £46

whiskies under £60

This release from Jura is, as the name suggests, an ideal dram for a cold evening.

The team say: "Bringing distinct regional and seasonal flavours to our island malt, this unique Winter Edition explores the world of the rich sherry cask finish.

"Matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels and finished in hand selected aged sherry casks, this is a full-bodied and indulgent single malt. With its deep mahogany colour, inviting aromas and flavours of sweet spices and rich apple pie, this is the perfect winter warmer."

Lochlea Our Barley, £45

Lochlea’s award winning house whisky – Our Barley – is an approachable, delicious dram for both whisky aficionados and those new to single malts.

This elegant, unpeated single malt whisky is a marriage of spirit matured in three different cask types: first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, Oloroso sherry butts and STR barriques, all of which add depth of flavour to the final spirit.

Find out more and buy here.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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