Not too long ago, I posted on the best value spirits in each category, and one category that truly needed to be expanded was whisky.
Whisky is an expensive habit, but it doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. While most whisky will run you around the $100 or more range, there are a number of options that don’t quite cost that much. The question is: in a cheaper price range, is the whisky even any good? Well, yes and no. There are plenty of bad whisky’s not worth your dollar, but there are also some surprisingly well valued ones as well.
Here are six, that are absolutely punching above their price point:
Aberfeldey- 12yr Old
I’d recommend this single malt whisky for anyone that isn’t a big fan of peat. Aberfeldy has a richly textured, honeyed nose with sweet creamy intensity, full of flavours of dried fruits, floral heather notes, creamy vanilla and hints of toasted coconut in a full-bodied palate, with a spicy, woody finish.
Cost: Approx. $55
Aberlour- 12yr Double Cask Matured
Aberlour is always a good choice as pretty much anything from this label can be considered one of the best valued Speyside malts around. This double matured version is a mix of traditional oak and sherry casks and is rich and fruity with delicious Christmas cake notes.
Cost: Approx. $60-65
Highland Park- 12yr Old
While the 10yr version is around ten to fifteen dollars cheaper, it’s worth the extra cash to invest in the 12yr. It starts out silky smooth and moves into the more complex oak and delicate smoke. Hints of vanilla and citrus compliment a very faint note of peat.
Cost: Approx $60
Ledaig- 10yr Old
This incredibly hard to find whisky is peated from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. Honestly rivals some of the other Islay drams for power, and the 10 year old does an excellent job balancing the intensity of youth with rounded, well-aged spirit.
Cost: Approx $60-65
Nikka- From the Barrel
An exceptionally well balanced whisky from Japan, this entry level Nikka features flavours like date and Brazil nut with some soft smoke flavours. This is capped off with a honey-like texture and even some crisp apple.
Cost: Approx $60-65
Writers Tears Pot Still
Technically because this is Irish, it is a “whiskey”, but that doesn’t make this any less of a bargain than the others on this list. Rated 93 points by the Whisky Bible this would make an excellent introduction to whisky/whiskey with its strong fruit and honey notes.
Cost: Approx $60-62