10 Must Try Scotch Whiskies This International Scotch Day
Celebrations for International Scotch Whisky Day are carried out all over the world in honour of Scotch, probably one of the greatest creations of mankind. The day is celebrated to bring together people from all over the world, from all walks of life to pour a dram (or two) out, raise their glasses and thank the heavens for the Scottish magic that transpired over five centuries ago.
Without it, the Scotch whiskies we so treasure and enjoy would be nowhere to find, and let’s just say that our lives would not be as happier as they are. Scotch whisky has been the catalyst to so many beautiful stories, friendships and nights well spent that to gauge its magnitude would be all too silly.
Do you know what wouldn’t be too silly? Celebrating the International Scotch Day with Scotch of course. If you have resisted the urge and the call from the copper-still heavens, or are looking for a bottle that matches the sheer dimension of this special occasion, you have come to the right place.
Begin your journey into the world of Scotch, or take your love for Scotch to the next level with The Whiskypedia’s carefully curated recommendations, and do not worry; there is a suitable choice for everyone no matter your preferences or budget!
Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch
It is perhaps most difficult to summarize the Ballantine’s Finest in a few words, even more so when one would rather spend the time enjoying a dram or two of it. Premium Scotch whiskies do not get better than the Finest, and it is for that reason that it is the second largest selling Scotch brand worldwide. Would you believe us if we said that over 200,000 bottles of Ballantine’s Finest are sold globally every day!
The creamy, supple and delicious Ballantine’s Finest is still blended from a recipe that remains unchanged since 1910, when it was first created by the Ballantine’s family. Soft aromas of honey, gentle spice and heather greet immediately, and the tantalizing flavours of ripe apples, sweet vanilla and milk chocolate complete a refreshing drinking experience.
It is hard to not get tempted into hyperbole with a Scotch that is as good as the Ballantine’s Finest, a timeless classic and one of the best there ever were. This is the premium Scotch among premium Scotches; take our word for it.
100 Pipers Deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky
100 Pipers Deluxe is the pinnacle of the budget Scotch whisky category, known best for its mellow flavours and smooth finish. Soft smoke and toasted oak give the blend an inviting nose, and the sweet, fruity malt whisky from Alt a’Bhainne is evident. Very delicious even when taken neat, which is not something one can say for most whiskies in the budget Scotch category.
The 100 Pipers blend is an ideal Scotch for beginners that have only just begun their journey in the complex world of tasting fine whisky. It takes home the title of best Scotch whisky comfortably, as it recently became the first ever Scotch whisky to sell over 1 million cases annually in India.
To do that in the country that consumes the most whisky than any other country is definitely a statement from this iconic Scotch brand. To celebrate the International Scotch Day with 100 Pipers Deluxe would only mean celebrating it well. 100 Pipers Scotch price varies across the i.e 100 Pipers price in Bangalore will not be the same as other cities.
Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky
The Black & White blend is one of the criminally underrated bottlings in the world of Scotch whiskies. It’s exceptional smoothness if renowned among whisky drinkers that fancy a dram or two on the regular. Black & White’s strength is the brand’s perceived value-for-money identity which is definitely not misplaced.
How Black & White ensures a competitive pricing and its signature smoothness is quite a simple answer. The blend is significantly heavy on grain whisky, which although robs Black & White of a lot of flavour, makes it a crisp and smooth drink.
Not to say that is completely devoid of flavour, as it does have some zesty citrus, vanilla and oak in the mix. A very good choice of whisky for Highball cocktails mixed with ginger ale, lemonade or even a plain soda.
Teacher’s Highland Cream Blended Scotch Whisky
Once the top selling blended Scotch whisky in the country, Teacher’s was forced to relinquish the throne to 100 Pipers Deluxe. While the Indian Scotch lover may have gravitated towards other brands, the Teacher’s brand retains its glowing personality.
Heavily peated whisky from the Ardmore distillery lends the smoky character to the Teacher’s blend, and the flavours of caramelized oak, toffee and honey make it a very appealing blend.
Like a lot of mainstays in the budget blended Scotch category including the ones that made our list, Teacher’s Highland Cream is known as a classic.
J&B Rare Blended Scotch Whisky
A robust and trustworthy blend from Justerini & Brooks that resonates well with the Indian Scotch lover. Easily recognizable by its green bottle and yellow label, the J&B Rare blend is renowned for its glowing qualities, of which value-for-money is always cited first.
The J&B Rare blend was honed and released exclusively for the American markets, keeping their preferences in mind. Thus, the extraordinary emphasis on smoothness, a gentle touch of smoke and not too heavily influenced by rich flavours, which makes for a terrific sipping whisky with a chaser, or Highball cocktails like Scotch & Soda, Ginger Ale Highball and more.
The trump card held by the J&B Rare is its mellow character, which at that price is one of the best qualities to offer. A reliable blended Scotch that would rarely disappoint, and the final deserving inclusion in our list of top five budget Scotch whisky brands.
For a lot of whisky drinkers, budget Scotch whiskies have been their first brush with what would go on to become a lifelong fascination. These are drinks that never fall out of favour, and make for a wonderful bottle to keep handy for a routine remedy.
The premium Scotch whisky segment is the next stop for ambitious and adventurous Scotch lovers that wish to broaden the horizons of their whisky curriculum vitae. As one moves towards premium Scotch whisky, they open themselves new flavours, techniques and experiences. Our list of the top five premium Scotch whisky brands to try this International Scotch Whisky Day are listed below;
Chivas Regal XV
The house of Chivas Regal were pioneers of the blended Scotch whisky world, and have single-handedly revolutionized the luxury whisky segment. In fact, it was Chivas Regal that created the world’s first luxury whisky, the Chivas Regal 25, which took the world by storm. We could think of no better Scotch to celebrate International Scotch Whisky Day than a Scotch from the house of Chivas.
Born from the genesis of innovation that continues to thrive at the Chivas Brothers, the Chivas Regal XV was released in 2018. It became one of the newest inclusions to the brand’s core range. A 15 Year Old blended of single malt and grain whiskies built around the valuable Strathisla single malt, it has been matured in highly coveted Grande Champagne barrels.
The result was a blend so silky in texture, infused with the richness of the exclusive barrels that it became an immediate success. Ripe pears and freshly cut apples, Christmas spice and orange marmalade, a sublime balance of sweetness and spice make the Chivas Regal XV our top pick for premium Scotch whiskies to try and celebrate International Scotch Whisky Day.
The Glenlivet 15 Year Old
What was once the premier Speyside distillery, and a world renowned single malt is still the same today. Sustaining their position as one of the best single malt distilleries in the world, The Glenlivet, guided by the brilliant Alan Winchester have always relentlessly pursued excellence. The Whiskypedia recommends The Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve to celebrate this day in style.
It is only natural to gravitate towards the best on a momentous occasion as International Scotch Day. Seeing as The Glenlivet is a bottle one treasures, reserving it only for special days and celebrations, International Scotch Whisky Day is definitely it.
Finished in rare, handpicked French Limousin Oak barrels which are known for their low density, this single malt seeps deeper into the wood than with others. Drawing out flavours and aromas that cannot be found in any other single malt, The Glenlivet 15 is a nutty, buttery and creamy delight. Such complexity and beautiful texture is going to make it difficult for you to wait until the next special occasion because this Scotch will tempt you like no other.
Aberlour 12 Year Old
The Aberlour distillery is a modest gem of the Speyside that deserves so much more recognition than it receives. Mainstream headlines may have not found their way to the Aberlour distillery, but critical success has been there more than once.
The current Aberlour core range includes three magnificent ‘Double-Cask Matured’ gems, and another highly coveted small-batch cask strength release. If you are yet to savour the wonderful Aberlour single malt, we suggest you begin with the Aberlour 12 Year Old this International Scotch Whisky Day.
Drawing its influence from two different types of barrels, traditional Oak and ex-Sherry butts, the Aberlour 12 Year Old is decadently fruity, with a distinct Sherry character. Plenty of fresh red apples, warm spice and sweetness make it a top notch Scotch whisky.
Longmorn Distiller’s Choice
A beautiful no-age-statement single malt from the people at Longmorn, who really know their way around crafting a Scotch whisky that can occupy prime real estate on any bar shelf. The Longmorn Distillery, much like the Aberlour Distillery have been quietly going about their business, producing one serial gold winning single malt after the other, and they show no signs of slowing down.
The Longmorn Distiller’s Choice was another step in the right direction, delivering a Gold medal at The Scotch Whisky Masters in 2018. A very uniquely put together recipe gives the Longmorn Distiller’s Choice a massive edge over any other Scotch whisky like itself.
The Distiller’s Choice expression has been matured in a combination of three different barrels such as ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry and Hogsheads. Freshly cut apples, oranges and citrus fruits accompany caramel on the nose, with the gentle bite of ginger, creamy chocolate and sweet honey rounding off a very pleasant drinking experience. If there is one bottle you must bring home to invite intrigue from your guests, it is the Longmorn Distiller’s Choice.
Ballantine’s 17 Year Old
The Ballantine’s Finest might be the reigning monarch of the budget Scotch whisky segment, but the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old presides over the premium niche. A benchmark blend that most are measured against, this one was a winner of the ‘World Whisky of the Year’ from Jim Murray in 2011.
What is not to be overlooked about this breath-taking blend is the 17 years of age that has left behind a drink with a body to die for. A true champion blend that has won a string of Gold medals at awards and competitions for consecutive years.
The Ballantine’s 17 Year Old is a very tasty drink. It boasts of gentle smoke, dark chocolate and coffee on the nose are followed by a thick, creamy palate with explosions of vanilla, citrus lemon tart and burnt chocolate brownie flavours. Strongly recommend taking this one neat, and always go for the slightly higher ABV bottling at 43%. This is a Scotch that can have anyone wishing for International Scotch Whisky Day to come by more than once a year.
That completes our list of the five best budget Scotch whisky brands, and five premium Scotch whisky brands to help you pay homage and celebrate Scotch whisky itself. Which one are you going to choose?