You know who knows best which 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.
Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.
“Lowland single malts don't get enough love in the States. This is a good choice to help fix that.”—Marran
“Plenty of baking spice and everything nice gives this scotch the ability to have a winter vacation on the beach in the comfort of your own home.”—Joshua-Peter Smith
“This is possibly my favorite scotch. The whisky has great depth and tells a story from the front to the finish. It has just the perfect touch of peat and a wonderful long finish—highly recommend.”—Hah
“It’s a rare dram for those lucky enough to enjoy it. It’s Orkney at its peak—mouthwatering brine, complex spice and dark chocolate, with appealing, approachable smoke.”—Nathaniel David Smith
“It’s kind of basic but a must-have for a high-roller scotch collection.”—Park
“It doesn't get any more high-roller than this outstanding bottling from Johnnie Walker. This whisky is meant to take you back in time in the best possible way.”—Huebner
“It’s an Islay scotch with so much more than collectibility—smoke balanced with the softness imbued by American hogsheads. It’s a delightful whisky for drinking or collecting.”—Nathaniel David Smith
“If you can find this discontinued bottle, buy all of it.”—Fortuna
“I love the peat in this whisky. It’s strong but not overwhelming, and it carries through from front to finish.”—Hah
“Springbank Distillery can do no wrong, and this gem proves its prowess once again. Notes of rhubarb, candied plums, a touch of peat and a whisper of sea salt make this an excellent sipping scotch.”—Joshua-Peter Smith
“It's discontinued, but there are still a few out there. I always lean toward this when I see it in another bar.”—Marran
“It’s one of the most recognizable scotch brands. The rare cask is crafted using liquid aged in first-fill sherry oak casks, which makes it a rare treat.”—Chen
“Here’s God in the form of scotch, for the true whisky connoisseur. Fruity notes, refined sherry, rich and full with a long finish, this is best of the best—worth every penny.”—Park
“For the high-roller who needs a cask-strength option, this one is a sherry bomb, matured in first-fill sherry butts. Only 583 bottles were produced.”—Huebner