World Whiskey Day 2022: The best Scotch brands from the Highlands to Islay

It’s a busy time for the Scottish whiskey scene. Many new distilleries have opened in recent years, with their whiskeys now more common in the market, and many are finding innovative ways to produce their spirits and bring some life to the industry.

Meanwhile, established distilleries are becoming increasingly inventive with their products and marketing, not only to keep up with the new local kids but also to compete with the explosion of whiskey distilleries around the world (besides the huge amounts of gins, rums and more that fill the aisles with spirits).

To grab your attention, distilleries are constantly on the lookout for unique barrels in which to mature their spirits, often promoting them with inventive serving suggestions – sipping clean is no longer the only option. You’ll also find familiar brands revamping their established ranges; limited editions to tempt the collector or those looking for something a little more exclusive; no more cask strength bottled whisky; and, besides young whiskey from new distilleries, you might also notice a few distilleries boasting of their older releases.

In a bid to further their appeal, they will also partner with other brands to produce additional special collaborative editions, such as the recent partnership between Bowmore of Islay and luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin for their “Selection of Masters” (and yes, the whiskey is good).

To help you on your next adventure in the whiskey market, we’ve put together these suggestions featuring some of our favorite Scotch single malts. Whether you’re already a fan and looking to expand the range of bottles in your own collection, or you’re in the early stages of whiskey appreciation, we’re confident this list will cover all tastes.

How we tested

To deliver this selection, we lined up a few notable new releases alongside some of our old favorites and sampled them consistently over the course of a month. As well as looking for exceptional whiskey-making craftsmanship, we wanted our list to showcase the range of styles available, highlighting some of the best new additions alongside a few more familiar products.

The best Scotch single malt whiskeys for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Glen Allachie 12: £47.95,
  • Best Aged Whiskey – Rare Marriages Balvenie 25: £592.49,
  • Best New Distillery – Lindores Abbey mcdxciv: £42.99,
  • Limited Edition Best Deal – AnCnoc 2009: £49.95,
  • Ideal for a peated whiskey – Laphroaig 10 year old: £34.49,
  • Ideal for whiskey collectors – Macallan harmony rich cocoa collection: £114.95,
  • Best cask strength whiskey – Aberlour a’bunadh: £89,
  • Best for a bargain – Old Pulteney 12: £32,
  • Ideal for full flavors – Talisker 18: £175,
  • Best organic whiskey – Nc’nean organic single malt whisky: £56.95,

Freeda S. Scott