Spirits & Liqueurs Scotch

The Best Scotch Under $100, According to Industry Experts

Bar pros share their favorite whiskies from Scotland.

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The Best Scotch Under $100

Liquor / Chloe Jeong

Do you know who knows the best bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why. Here are their top picks of best scotches, all under $100.

Aberlour A'bunadh

Aberlour A'Bunadh (updated 2022)

READ FULL REVIEW: Aberlour A’Bunadh Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Region: Speyside | ABV: 61.2% (varies) | Tasting Notes: Baking spice, Orange peel, Dark Chocolate

“It’s finished in oloroso sherry casks, which is very pronounced. This is a bang-for-your-buck bottle, as it clocks in substantially cheaper than many things that spend half the time in a cask.”—Nick Detrich, co-owner and bartender at New Orleans' Manolito

Aberlour 12 Year Double Cask Matured

Aberlour 12 Year Double Cask Matured (updated 2022)

Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Baked apple, Toffee, Ginger

“This double-matured version is one of my favorites. It has that oak finish that we expect from most scotches, but adding that sherry cask in the mix takes it to another level—neat or on the rocks (big iceball/cube).”—Mcson Salicetti, CEO and co-founder of New York City's Salicetti Cubed Consulting

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Liquor.com

Region: Islay | ABV: 51.1% | Tasting Notes: Smoke, Tobacco, Coffee

“It’s a powerful expression of an Islay single malt from one of the best whisky producers in the world.”—Michael J. Huebner, bartender and founder of Two Barspoons

Read Next: The Best Scotch Whiskies

Ardbeg 10 Year

Ardbeg 10 Year

Liquor.com

Region: Islay | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Peat, Black pepper, Vanilla

“In my opinion, there’s no Islay scotch on the market that presents more peaty character and smoky backbone all wrapped together with an approachable sweetness for the price. I would dare to put it up against any other Islay on the market no matter what the cost or age.”—Joshua-Peter Smith, bar director at San Francisco's Mourad

Read Next: The Best Peaty Scotches

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardbeg Uigeadail

 Liquor.com

Region: Islay | ABV: 54.2% | Tasting Notes: Leather, Smoke, Cocoa

“Aged in bourbon and sherry barrels, this is a beautiful smoky, sweet scotch. When your money is at hand, bet on Ardbeg.”—Joseph Pereira, bartender at Las Vegas' Electra

Read Next: The Best Whiskeys

The Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask

The Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask

 Liquor.com

Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Brown sugar, Mango, Orange zest

“I love the addition of the flavor that the scotch takes on after being aged in the rum cask. It adds lovely fruit and toffee nuts to an already-amazing scotch.”—Christine Wiseman, beverage director at BarLab Hospitality Group

The Balvenie 14 Year Peat Week

The Balvenie 14 Year Peat Week 2003 Vintage
 Liquor.com

Region: Speyside | ABV: 48.3% | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Smoke, Spice

“It packs a lot of peaty punch for a Speyside. It’s exciting to see a distillery shift its entire style for one week per year.”—Adam Fortuna, assistant general manager and sommelier at Grand Rapids, Mich.'s Reserve Wine & Food

The Balvenie 12 Year DoubleWood

The Balvenie 12 Year DoubleWood Anniversary Edition

Liquor.com

Region: Speyside | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Raisin, Vanilla, Spice

“The unique aging process gives this scotch an approachable taste of sweet fruit and honey.”—Shawn Chen, beverage director at New York City's RedFarm and principal bartender at New York City's Decoy

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie

Liquor.com

Region: Islay | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Brown Sugar, Grass

“It’s a fantastic gateway into Islay whisky—great neat or on the rocks, even affordable enough to mix with at home or behind the bar. It’s coastal on the nose and honey on the palette, with a soft bounce of smoke to finish. I keep this around always.”—Jordan Joseph, bar manager at Raleigh, N.C.'s Centro and Gallo Pelón

Read Next: The Best Scotches for Your Scotch & Soda

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley

 Liquor.com

Region: Islay | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Dark Berries, Toasted Oak, Coffee

“For a whisky with such a high peat level of 40 ppm, this scotch is still well-balanced. It has a wonderfully rich flavor and great depth.”—Cari Hah, bartender and consultant

Read Next: The Best Bourbons

Craigellachie 13 Year

Craigellachie 13 Year

 Liquor.com

Region: Speyside | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Caramel, Spice

“It’s a fantastically clean, crisp Speyside with lighter fruity notes that make for an easy drink.”—Patrick Marran, bartender at New York City's On the Rocks

Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength

Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength

Liquor.com

Region: Highland | ABV: 60% | Tasting Notes: Oak, Nuts, Sherried Dried Fruit

“This is an outstanding cask-strength bottling that shows a lot of finesse.”—Michael J. Huebner, bartender and founder of Two Barspoons

Glenfiddich 18 Year

Glenfiddich 18 Year

Liquor.com

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Glenfiddich 18 Year Small Batch Reserve

Region: Speyside | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Red Apple, Cinnamon, Caramel

“It’s the perfect bridge between sweetness and smoke.”—Shawn Chen, beverage director at New York City's RedFarm and principal bartender at New York City's Decoy

Glenmorangie The Lasanta

Glenmorangie The Lasanta

 Liquor.com

Region: Highland | ABV: 44% | Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, Smoke, Toast

“This is one of my go-tos. Because of it being aged in Spanish sherry casks, it yields a smoother and sweeter scotch than most typical Highland scotches.”—Christine Wiseman, beverage director at BarLab Hospitality Group

Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or

Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or

Liquor.com

Region: Highland | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Honey, Apricot

“Finishing in French sauternes casks amplifies the spicy baking notes of this whisky but also gives it a bright burst of tropical fruit and a textured, honeyed finish—the perfect dessert scotch.”—Zac Overman, beverage director and co-owner of Seattle's L'Oursin

Glenmorangie Spìos

Glenmorangie Spìos

 Liquor.com

Region: Highland | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, Clove, White Chocolate

“It’s a brand-new release I had the delight to drink recently. Get this now before everyone knows how good it is.”—Patrick Marran, bartender at New York City's On the Rocks

Read Next: The Best Whiskey Glasses, According to Experts

Glen Scotia Double Cask

Glen Scotia Double Cask

Liquor.com

Region: Campbeltown | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Caramelized Fruit, Toffee, Baking Spice

“Glen Scotia is one of the three distilleries left in the Campbeltown region. This double-cask process with first-fill bourbon barrels and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks gives you a rich and spicy scotch with a touch of salt and brine from Campbeltown.”—Jung Park, founder of Philadelphia's Cocktail Culture Co.

Highland Park 15 Year

Highland Park 15 Year

Liquor.com

Region: Islay & Islands | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Peat, Citrus, Flowers

“It has everything really—smoke and light peat—but it's still driven by citrus and a nice floral note.”—Brian Means, operating partner at San Francisco's Kona's Street Market

Highland Park 12 Year

Highland Park 12 Year

Liquor.com 

Region: Islands | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Espresso, Dark Dried Fruits, Smoke

“It’s finished in sherry casks. What else do you need in a scotch?”—Christine Wiseman, beverage director at BarLab Hospitality Group

Highland Park Valkyrie

Highland Park Valkyrie

Liquor.com

Region: Islands | ABV: 45.9% | Tasting Notes: Smoke, Stone Fruit, Black Licorice

“For anyone who missed the now-discontinued Highland Park Dark Origins, this sherry-cask finish always hits the spot.”—Patrick Marran, bartender at New York City's On the Rocks

Jura Seven Wood

Isle of Jura Seven Wood

 Liquor.com

Region: Islands | ABV: 42% | Tasting Notes: Milk Chocolate, Coffee, Caramel

“A single malt from seven different barrels—I'll let you look them up to impress your dinner guests)—which truly showcases the abilities of a whisky blender to turn a solid whisky into a fantastic one.”—Nathaniel David Smith, bartender and spirits consultant

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Liquor.com

READ FULL REVIEW: Johnnie Walker Double Black Scotch

Region: Blend | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Smoked Honey, Vanilla, Charred Oak

"...More Islay-centric variation on the brand’s classic Black Label expression, Double Black aims to crank up the dry smoky notes through an increase of peated malts in the blend, as well as with the use of heavily charred ex-sherry casks. The result is not just cranked-up smoke but cranked-up everything: a blended whisky for single malt lovers." — Tony Sachs, spirits and cocktail writer

Read Next: The Best Cheap Scotches

Laphroaig Select

Laphroaig Select

Liquor.com

Region: Islay | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Smoke, Peat, Caramel

“For peat lovers out there, this peat beast will rock your socks off. It’s a campfire in your mouth.”—Jung Park, founder of Philadelphia's Cocktail Culture Co.

Read Next: The Best Whiskey Decanters

Laphroaig 10 Year Cask Strength

Laphroaig 10 Year Cask Strength

 Liquor.com

Region: Islay | ABV: 58.6% | Tasting Notes: Seaweed, Spice, Earth

“The only scenario where I've enjoyed being kicked in the face.”—Adam Fortuna, assistant general manager and sommelier at Grand Rapids, Mich.'s Reserve Wine & Food

The Macallan 12 Year Double Cask

The Macallan 12 Year Double Cask

Liquor.com 

Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% (may vary) | Tasting Notes: Spice, Orange Marmalade, Oak

This double oak with American and European sherry oak delivers a little sherry, sweet and spice.”—Jung Park, founder of Philadelphia's Cocktail Culture Co.

Oban Little Bay

Oban Little Bay
Liquor.com

Region: Highlands | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Spiced Apple, Honey, Orange Zest

“If you’re looking for a flavor roller coaster, this is the scotch for you.”—Shawn Chen, beverage director at New York City's RedFarm and principal bartender at New York City's Decoy

Springbank 10 Year

Springbank 10 Year

Liquor.com

Region: Campbeltown | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla Cream, Dried Fruit, Light Smoke

“This comes from my favorite distillery. You're really getting the best of everything in this one—lightly peated, matured in ex-bourbon and -sherry casks, smooth, creamy, farmy, fruity and a little smoky, with notes of caramel and wood. If you look hard enough, you can find this close to the $50 to $60 mark—a great value and fantastic representation of the distillery and its unique region.”—Jordan Joseph, bar manager at Raleigh, N.C.'s Centro and Gallo Pelón

Talisker Distillers Edition

Talisker Distillers Edition

Liquor.com

Region: Isle of Sky | ABV: 45.8% (may vary)| Tasting Notes: Sea Salt, Peat, Dried Apricots

“Few whiskeys can match this bottle on a price-to-quality ratio.”—Adam Fortuna, assistant general manager and sommelier at Grand Rapids, Mich.'s Reserve Wine & Food

Tamdhu 10 Year

Tamdhu 10 Year

Liquor.com 

Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Raisined Fruit, Spice, Sweet Cream

“It’s the only distillery aging its juice exclusively in ex-sherry barrels.”—Adam Fortuna, assistant general manager and sommelier at Grand Rapids, Mich.'s Reserve Wine & Food

Why Trust Liquor.com?

Prairie Rose is a seasoned drinks writer, trained sommelier, and wine and spirits educator. She has been the Commerce Editor at Liquor.com since 2020. She recently authored a book titled "Mixology for Beginners: Innovative Craft Cocktails for the Home Bartender."

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