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Taster’s Club Best Single Malt Scotch In 2023

Written by Emma C | Updated May 2023

If you’re a Scotch enthusiast or just getting to know the timeless spirit, you might be searching for some great single malts. This whisky expression is made exclusively from malted barley at a single distillery before being matured in wooden casks for at least three years. Scotland is home to single malts from over 130 distilleries throughout the country – from Speyside and the Highlands to the Lowlands and beyond. So, it’s no wonder some people feel overwhelmed about choosing them. This is exactly why we’ve tasted many expressions and created Taster’s Club’s 2023 guide to the best single malt Scotch around – which are all conveniently available in our bottle shop. Take a look at our top recommendations for your next dram – there’s a style and profile out there for every taste, preference, mood, and budget.

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  • Top Single Malt: The Glendronach 15 | Aberfeldy 12 Year
  • Top Speyside: Aberlour 18 | Benriach The Smoky Twelve
  • Top Islay: Ardbeg Uigeadail | Bowmore 15
  • Top Highland: Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or | Glengoyne 18
  • Top Lowland: Glenkinchie 12 Year Old | Auchentoshan Three Wood
  • Top Campbeltown: Glen Scotia 10 Year | Springbank 18
  • Top Islands: Arran Sherry Cask Finish ‘The Bodega’ | Old Pulteney Huddart
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1. Cadenhead's Loch Lomond 17 year

Copy: We invite you to indulge in on of our favorite club offernings - the distinctive allure of Cadenhead's Loch Lomond 17 Year Single Malt, a robust expression from the renowned Inchfad series. Crafted at Loch Lomond distillery and nurtured in Oloroso sherry casks since 2021, this heavily peated dram unveils a symphony of flavors. Immerse your senses in smoky BBQ notes, complemented by a delicate interplay of cinnamon and pepper, offering a harmonious blend of bold and subtle nuances. Elevate your whisky experience with the rich complexity of this 17-year-aged masterpiece.

Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: BBQ, honey glaze, cinammon sticks | ABV: 46%

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2. Aberfeldy 12 Year

This is one of our favorites and best valued Scotches around. Aberfeldy 12 Year is distinguished single malt, nestled in the heart of Highland, Scotland and exudes sophistication with its golden hues and velvety texture. Aged for 12 years in oak casks, this whisky unveils a harmonious fusion of honeyed sweetness, subtle fruity notes, and a hint of spice. Every sip is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship that defines this smooth and approachable whisky, inviting you to savor the warmth of tradition and the allure of Highland heritage.

Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: Honey, spiced fruits, creamy vanilla | ABV: 40%

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3. The Macallan 12 Year Sherry Oak

Whether you are shopping for a special occassion or a last minute gift theThe Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old is a crowd pleaser. Crafted with precision, this single malt whisky unveils a matured character, boasting rich wood spice and decadent dried fruits. Its natural rich gold hue hints at the exceptional craftsmanship, a result of meticulous maturation in sherry seasoned oak casks from Jerez for over a decade. The Macallan 12 Year Sherry Oak is a testament to the artistry and tradition that defines this distinguished Scottish distillery.

Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: Dried fruit, oak, spice | ABV: 40%

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4. Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Laphroaig® Quarter Cask undergoes a distinctive double aging process, intensifying its profound peatiness while introducing delightful sweetness. Inspired by traditional whisky transport using smaller quarter-sized casks, this expression showcases the liveliest characteristics in our range. Unlike the notion that bigger barrels equate to superior flavor, Quarter Cask challenges expectations. Initially maturing in ex-Bourbon barrels, the whisky is then transferred to smaller casks, intensifying its interaction with the wood. This results in a dram with hints of coconut, banana, and vanilla, harmonizing with our signature heavy peat.

Region: Islay | Tasting Notes: Deep, complex, smoky | ABV: 48%

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5. Craigellachie 13 Year Old

Craigellachie 13 Year Old is one whisky that is a must have in our collections. And should be in yours. It is a whisky that transports you to Bonfire Night with every sip. Immerse yourself in the aromas of toasted marshmallows, fire-roasted pineapples, and baked apples adorned with cloves, reminiscent of a night lit by flickering flames. This robust and muscular Speyside malt defies convention, boasting hoards of exotic fruits in each sip. Matured in a blend of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, with a finish in first-fill Sherry and Bourbon casks, it's a steadfast dram bottled at 46% ABV.

Region: Speyside | Tasting Notes: Roasted pineapple, baked appes, toasted marshmallows | ABV: 46%

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6. Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Brace your taste buds for one our favorite Islay Scotches. Ardbeg Corryvreckan, named after the treacherous whirlpool north of Islay, captures the daring spirit of those who brave the abyss. This peaty powerhouse delivers swirling aromas and torrents of deep, peppery taste, creating a beautifully balanced dram that mirrors the tumultuous Corryvreckan. Not for the faint-hearted, it was awarded The World’s Best Single Malt in 2010 by the World Whiskies Awards, solidifying its place among the boldest and most revered whiskies of the world. Dive into the depths of flavor and embrace the untamed allure of Ardbeg Corryvreckan.

Region: Islay | Tasting Notes: Pepper, dark druits | ABV: 57.1%

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7. Oban Distiller's Edition

We just love this offering from Oban, one of our favorites distilleries here at Taster's Club. Oban Distiller's Edition Scotch is a testament to refinement, having undergone a second maturation in Montilla Fino sherry casks. This meticulous process imparts opulent notes of butterscotch, toffee, and caramel, elevating the whisky to a new level of indulgence. The sea salt undertones and a smoky-sweet finish add layers of complexity, creating a sensory experience that resonates with the rugged coastal charm of Oban.

Region: Highland | Tasting Notes: Fruit, sea salt, honey | ABV: 43%

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8. Bladnoch Samsara

This lowland is set to impress. This wondeful Scotch was a previous feature for our club and for good reason. Bladnoch Samsara Scotch, aptly named 'rebirth,' is a sensory journey encapsulating the essence of renewal. This full-bodied expression is a harmonious blend of malts, intricately matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-Californian red wine casks. The result is a fragrant symphony, where the influence of these seasoned barrels intertwines to create a whisky that embodies the spirit of rejuvenation.

Region: Lowland | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, citrus, rich | ABV: 46.7%

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9. Glen Scotia Double Cask

If you have not had the pleasure of trying anything from Campteltwon then we recommend Glen Scotia Double Cask to get started.This bottling offers whisky enthusiasts a captivating initiation into the Glen Scotia lineage. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this expression asserts that at Glen Scotia, character eclipses age. After maturing in first-fill bourbon barrels, the whisky undergoes a transformative finale, spending 12 months in PX sherry casks. The result is a tantalizing blend of toffee, fudge, and a symphony of rich, spicy fruit notes. With distinct Campbeltown characteristics, this whisky promises a delightful journey for those eager to explore the nuanced flavors of Glen Scotia.

Region: Campeltown | Tasting Notes: Sea spray, spicy fruits, oak | ABV: 46%

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10. Talisker 10 Year

It comes to no surprise that this is still one of our favorite drams from the Isly of Skye. Talisker 10 Year Old is an icon within the Talisker family and captures the essence of the Isle of Skye, where it has been crafted by the sea since 1830. The oldest distillery on the Isle of Skye, Talisker 10 offers a powerful maritime experience, with sea-salted aromas, spicy intricacies, a smoky-sweet character, and its distinctive peppery finish. Every sip is a journey to the rugged yet breathtaking landscapes of Skye, showcasing a rich peat-smoke flavor perfected through double distillation and a minimum 10-year maturation in American oak casks. A recipient of numerous accolades, this single malt is a warm welcome from the wild sea itself.

Region: Islands | Tasting Notes: Peat smoke, dried fruits, pepper | ABV: 45.8%

With this list of the best single malt Scotch, you’ll never be short of ideas whenever friends drop in, you’re wanting to stock up your home bar, or you just need to put your feet up at the end of the day. The best part is it’s so easy to grab any of these bottles 24/7 from our shop. Or, for a more curated experience, check out our Scotch Club for top Scotch whiskies delivered right to your door each month.

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