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10 of the best Scotch whiskies (chosen by experts)

We asked some whisky experts from across Scotland (and beyond) to help us pick 10 of the best Scotch whiskies that are reasonably priced.

Published: January 18, 2017
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10 of the best Scotch whiskies

Glen Alba 22 Year Old

(Region: N/A , Style: Blended whisky/sherry bomb, Price: £30)

 best Scotch whiskies 

As chosen by leading whisky expert Charles MacLean: "I wasn't surprised when Lidl's range won all of their awards, they really are excellent drams that are incredibly reasonably priced.

"The Glen Alba has a rich aroma, dry overall, with a trace of white pepper: fruitcake moistened with rum and decorated with glacé angelica, with white coffee on the side. It really is remarkably good."

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

(Region: Islay, Style: Smokey big hitter, Price: approx. £40)

 best Scotch whiskies 

As chosen by whisky blogger Scotch Trooper (@scotch_trooper): "A smokey and sweet dram that will surely beg for your attention.

"Exactly what you would expect from a Laphroaig."

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Benromach 10 Year Old

(Region: Speyside, Style: all rounder, Price: approx: £35)

 best Scotch whiskies 

Picture: Whisky Exchange

Chosen by Blair Bowman, whisky writer and founder of World Whisky Day: "Well if I had to choose only one single malt to drink until the day I die I think I'd go for Benromach 10 year old.

"It tastes exactly how you think a whisky should taste, totally balanced sweet and fruit flavours. At 43% Abv it gives it that extra bit of oomph and a juicy and chewy mouth feel. Delicious!"

• READ MORE: 10 of the best Scotch whiskies for beginners to try out

Tomatin 12 Year Old

(Region: Highland, Style: light and sweet, Price: approx £35)

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best Scotch whiskies 

Picture: Whisky Exchange

Chosen by Jason Thomson, blogger at the Edinburgh Whisky Blog: "Even though Tomatin used to be one of the largest distilleries in Scotland, it still flies under the radar of many a whisky drinker.

"That looks to be changing though as their upgraded packaging and fresh, light spirit begin to win fans around the world."

Buy here

Highland Park 18

(Region: Highland, Style: rich and fruity with hints of smoke, Price: approx £110)

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best Scotch whiskies

Picture: Whisky Exchange

Chosen by Anne-Sophie Bigot, international whisky blogger at"My 'best whisky' would be Highland Park 18, its quality/price ratio is unbeatable,  it is widely available and easy to find, and I can enjoy it whatever the occasion.

"Mostly though, I've chosen it because it is the dram that made me realise I wanted to be part of this industry years ago.

"The mouthfeel is pure velvet, the smokiness is subtle, the fruity notes aren't overwhelming - this is simply a fantastic whisky."

Buy here

Ardbeg Uigeadail

(Region: Islay, Style: sweet and smoky, Price: approx. £55)

best Scotch whiskies


Chosen by Becky Paskin, editor at "People have been scared away from whiskies without age statements lately, but this lightly smoky expression from Islay’s Ardbeg distillery, which is bursting with rich fruitcake and spices, is one of the best value single malts you can buy."

Buy here

Old Pulteney 17 year old

(Region: Highland, Style: coastal and sweet, Price: £499)

best Scotch whiskies

Chosen by Mark Connelly, co-founder of Glasgow's Whisky Festival: "Old Pulteney is rich without being too off-putting for some, like the Islay whiskies, and it is consistent and affordable.

"It has a lovely sweetness delightfully balanced by salty, coastal notes - it should be a staple of every home whisky bar."

Buy here

Glendronach 12 year old

(Region: Highland, Style: Rich and fruity, Price: approx. £48.45)

best Scotch whiskies

Chosen by Geraldine Murphy, manager at The Pot Still whisky bar in Glasgow: "You can't beat this wonderful little dram, one of my favourites, it's a big delicious sherry monster.

"Although proving a little harder to get just now due to stock issues I believe you can still get it from Whisky Exchange/Master of Malt at a good price."

Buy here

Glenkinchie Distillers Edition

(Region: Lowland, Style: light and sweet, Price: approx. £64 )

best Scotch whiskies

Picture: Whisky Exchange

Chosen by Craig Johnstone (@whiskycraig), distiller at Lark Distillery, Tasmania: "Lowland malts are often overlooked, yet this Amontillado Sherry Cask finished Glenkinchie has a great mouthfeel, with notes of rich dark fruits, biscuit sweetness and an unmistakable Lowland subtlety and complexity. It'll make you rethink this region."

Buy here

And our own (bonus) choice:

 Springbank 10

(Region: Campbeltown, Style: rich, fruity and briny, Price: approx: £189)

best Scotch whiskies

Picture: Whisky Exchange

Chosen by Sean Murphy of the Scotsman Food and Drink: "A malt from the only distillery doing everything themselves, hiring local people and promoting a community first attitude in an industry often criticised for its corporate approach.

"On top of all this, it is absolutely delicious capturing sweetness, saltiness, oak and peat. Springbank is the epitome a whisky with a sense of people and place."

Buy here

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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