With Burns night just around the corner (25 January), we take a look at some whiskies that won’t break the bank.
From blends to single malts, all of these whiskies are £50 or under, and they’re ideal to toast Burns with.
Nothing says Burns night dram than one named after and inspired by the bard himself. Isle of Arran Distillers have been producing a Robert Burns branded single malt since 1995.
This whisky was produced in recognition of being the closest distillery, at the time, to Burns' birthplace of Alloway in Ayrshire. Burns indeed would have seen Arran most days from his home village.
This light aromatic single malt is produced 100 percent in Bourbon barrels making it a light fruity dram with lots of vanilla notes.
A very versatile dram, inspired by Scottish poet Robert Burns, this whisky can be enjoyed alone, with water or ice, or in a long drink.
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.
Based on the Ayrshire farm which was Robert Burns’ home and workplace from 1777 to 1784, Lochlea distillery began quietly distilling, casking and maturing their whisky in 2018 utilising their own barley and natural water resources to ensure full traceability from field to cask.
Named in honour of Robert Burns’ famous poem, To A Mouse, Timorous Beastie from Douglas Laing is a Highland single malt from, amongst other, Glen Garioch, Dalmore and Glengoyne distilleries, that's bursting with sweet vanilla, malted barley, meringue, honey and citrus flavours.
Priced at £34, it's a bargain buy, plus there's also a sherried version, a 10, 18 and 25 year old for those looking for something special.
You can buy it now at Master of Malt
Following the sold-out success of the first ever expression - Legacy Series 2017 - from the Isle of Skye distillery in February 2021, the second expression of Torabhaig single malt, Allt Gleann, was released in July 2021.
Named after the burn that flows down the side of the distillery in Teangue, on the Isle of Skye, this release was bottled in small batches at 46%, and drawn from no more than 30 casks.
It is currently available at a discounted price of £48.95 from The Whisky Stock.
Old Pulteney, The Maritime Malt, has recently introduced the newest addition to its portfolio, Old Pulteney Harbour - available to buy exclusively at Tesco stores across the UK and online.
Taking its name from the point which joins Old Pulteney's hometown of Wick to the North Sea, Old Pulteney Harbour celebrates the brand’s connection to the sea.
This approachable whisky is matured by the sea in a quartet of hand-selected fine American oak ex-bourbon casks, each imparting unique flavour profiles.
Second fill barrels, re-charred barrels, first fill ex-bourbon barrels and refill barrels are married together to create this newly released whisky.
Buy from January 22 in Tesco for £34.
Many of Scotland’s most famous malts hail from Speyside, known for their approachable, fruity style and floral complexity.
Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Classic Speyside Malt (ABV 44.2%) captures the very essence of the region, balancing subtle, honeyed fruit aromas with easy-going yet complex aromas.
In 2021, the discount supermarket released a new blended malt whisky - Abrachan.
The Lidl Abrachan blended malt Scotch whisky has hints of smoked sea salt, beach bonfires and caramelised sugar, and is in stores now for £17.99.
Inspired by Scottish folklore, Abrachan is a mythical beast who roamed the Highlands and Lowlands.
Whisky expert and founder of World Whisky Day, Blair Bowman, got a first taste of the new product and said "The Abrachan is a champion of blended malts, one packed with flavour that is an excellent introduction to whisky for new dram explorers.
"Its notes of warm vanilla and spiced finish are a nod to its Highlands and Speyside origins. A delicious and moreish blended malt with a lovely balance of sweetness and smokiness".
Buy in store.
The Glasgow Distillery brought whisky distilling back to Scotland’s biggest city in 2018 and has been going strong ever since. Their Original whisky is an ideal dram for Burns given its fruity and light flavour profile.
The team said “Bottled at 46% ABV, non-chill filtered and natural in colour, The Original is a true representation of the whisky we produce at The Glasgow Distillery and showcases our production philosophy and dedication to quality.”
Uhuru’s first release is a 10 year-old blended malt Scotch Whisky. This cask was chosen for its balance of sweet vs. smoke.
The team said that “It’s the first whisky to have an analysed measurement of sweetness identified through a revolutionary process. The whisky is defined as having 019 SPPM within it, which gives it the perfect balance of peat vs sweet.”
This whisky from Glen Moray is not only a great whisky to try if you’re new to the spirit, it’s also a bargain to boot.
The whisky is aged for around seven years in ex-bourbon casks and, and it’s a light, fruity and sweet dram - delicious.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask has the signature smoky taste of the classic peated whisky, however you'll also find notes of coconut, vanilla and banana that are imparted by close contact with American white oak.
Aged for 12 years in oak casks and using the unique spring water of the island of Orkney.
Intensely malty and fresh at first, and then the lingering smoky depth adds weight, fabulous bitter-sweet balance which pans out on the sweet side with a gentle build-up of honey.
Buy here, via the Whisky Shop.
Aged solely in sherry-seasoned casks, this Speyside whisky has notes of vanilla, melon, banana and cinnamon.
Buy The Glenrothes at The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt, The Whisky Shop
Established in 1790, Balblair distillery is tucked away in the ancient heart of the Highlands near the Dornoch Firth.
It’s one of the oldest working distilleries in the Northern Highlands, and the 12 Year Old (ABV46%) has been matured in a combination of double-fired American oak casks and ex-bourbon casks.
This means the whisky is complex with sweetness and spice, and a hint of fruit with lots of vanilla.
Buy here via The Whisky Exchange.
Located in Campbeltown, Scotland’s smallest whisky producing region and once the Victorian Whisky Capital of the World, Glen Scotia Distillery is renowned globally for its whisky making abilities, achieving several coveted accolades, including being named Distillery of the Year at the Scottish Whisky Awards and Best in Show at San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The Glen Scotia Double Cask ‘Rum Finish’ showcases the quality and versatility of Glen Scotia’s no-aged-statement single malt whiskies.
This rich and exotic whisky is matured in the finest American oak barrels and has tasting notes of cooked sugar, molasses and tropical fruit notes.
Buy here via the Whisky Exchange.
An ideal representation of Loch Lomond Distillery’s signature style, Loch Lomond 12 Year Old Perfectly Balanced Single Malt is created using a combination of the distillery’s unique straight-neck pot stills, and more traditional swan neck stills.
The result is a timeless spirit with notes of fruit, honey, and soft smoke that can only be found in Loch Lomond Signature Malt Whisky.
Buy here, via Master of Malt.
One of the most recognisable whiskies globally, thanks to its green triangle bottle, Glenfiddich 12 is a light and fruit dram ideal for those looking to get into whisky.
Not only is it approachable in taste, it's also affordable and easy to pick up for drinking at home, or you'll find it behind most bars here.
This award-winning Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Highlands is a non-age-statement known for its waxy texture that comes from a long fermentation and a slow distillation.
Crafted by hand and matured in ex-bourbon casks, creating its subtle, honeyed but zesty character. The spirit is then finished in virgin oak casks, adding subtle spicy aromas.
Ideal for Burns Night, Deanston Virgin Oak has a delightfully sweet taste, featuring notes of candied fruits, vanilla and toffee balanced with heather honey and a lightly spiced oaky finish.
The single malt whisky also works well in a variety of serves such as a Whisky Sour.
Deanston Virgin Oak has won a plethora of industry recognised gold awards, including the IWSC Awards, International Spirits Challenge and The Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Masters.
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.
Or, for a simple tipple, just add ginger ale or soda for a delicious highball.
Buy it here via the Whisky Exchange.
Toast Burns this month with a budget-friendly blend from Mossburn.
Mossburn Speyside Blended Malt is made using specially-built Oloroso casks with heavily-charred, virgin American oak heads - the result is a blend full of richness and depth.
Mossburn Distillers & Blenders is an independent bottler and blender and the whisky makers behind
Caisteal Chamius blended peated scotch and Torabhaig Single Malt, located on the Isle of Skye.
Buy it here from Whisky Exchange.
Aberlour whisky is created in the Speyside village of Aberlour, and is made with local spring water from the Ben Rinnes and barley, sourced from the fields near the distillery.
The 12 year-old expression is a fine example of how the distinctively crisp, citrus character of Aberlour’s new make spirit is softened by double cask maturation.
Traditional American oak and seasoned sherry butts are both used to great effect, as the mellowed spirits within are combined to deliver a subtly balanced flavour.
The 12 year old has a fine sherried character, fruity aromas balanced with rich chocolate.
Buy it here from Whisky Exchange.
Vinaya, a Sanskrit word meaning respect and gratitude, pays homage to Bladnoch Distillery’s original founders who paved the way for the brand’s exciting new era of innovation and production.
Non-chill filtered and natural in colour, Bladnoch Vinaya is matured in a unique combination of first-fill bourbon and sherry casks, a process which creates notes of fresh apple, sweet floral grass and hints of chocolate.
Buy it here from the distillery.
One of the most recognised blends, the Famous Grouse is an ideal buy when in the supermarket this month (with a Clubcard it's £15 in Tesco).
The Famous Grouse is a blend of malt and grain whiskies, the result of which is a rich, smooth flavour.