The 11 Best Scotch Whiskeys
Under $100

“I should’ve never switched from Scotch to Martinis!”
-Humphrey Bogart

What Makes Scotch Whiskey Different From the Rest?

If you’re even the smallest bit informed about the world of whiskey, you likely already know the primary differences between Scotch and the rest. For starters, we know that Irish Whiskey comes from Ireland; Scotch comes from Scotland; bourbon comes from America (i.e. Kentucky); and Rye is known to be Canadian whiskey (though it historically derives from Pennsylvania). 

Other than its origins, however, Scotch stands amongst the rest for other reasons as well. As all whiskeys do, Scotch has its own unique distillation process, fermentation process, maturation process, the bottling process, and thus, its own unique taste, flavour, and aromas.  

Related: Complete Guide to Scotch

One of the most unique facts that distinguish Scotch from the pack? It’s a law that Scotch must be matured in aged oak barrels for a minimum of three (3) years! Pretty cool, huh?! 

If you’ve never tried Scotch, you may be wondering why people love it so much. Even more, you might be begging the question, is Scotch the best whiskey of them all?

While that question comes with a pile of bias, hardly being able to conclusively answer it, we can quantify it to a degree…

Is Scotch Whiskey the BEST Whiskey?

If the question was instead “is whiskey the best alcoholic beverage” I’d unequivocally suggest that yes it is! However, as we know, while all Scotch is whiskey, not all whiskey is Scotch.

So, that begs the question, is Scotch the best whiskey? As discussed above, it’s impossible to place a conclusive answer on such a biased and opinionated question. While some would agree that it is, others prefer Irish whiskey or bourbon instead.

Related: Best Whiskey Cocktails

With that said, there are some quantifications that can be shared that may put into perspective just how popular Scotch is in the world…

Below are some fun but telling statistics about Scotch whiskey:

  • The most popular scotch globally (Johnnie Walker Red Label) alone sells nearly 20 million bottles annually 
  • Annual US Scotch consumption amounts to 9.17 million 9 liter cases
  • Scotch whiskey exports are valued at $4.29 billion
  • There are a total of 134 operational Scotch distilleries 
  • Scotch distilleries boast 2.2 million visits annually by tourists interested in the Scotch making process

While these certainly aren’t all of the daunting statistics surrounding Scotch and its popularity, those listed provide a fairly good idea of its reach globally. 

The 11 Best Scotch Whiskey’s Under $100

From Johnnie Walker and Glenlivet to Glenfiddich and the Balvenie, Scotch has several great options, especially those looking to spend under $100. 

While you can certainly get great Scotches under the $50 price point, and conversely, incredible Scotches above the $150 price point, you’d be remiss not to spend just a few more dollars above the $50 price point to experience a more matured Scotch.

Related: Best Scotch under $50

So, if you don’t want to burn your wallet, yet still want to acquire a high quality Scotch, this list is for you! 

Below are the Top 11 Scotch Whiskey’s Under $100
  • Johnnie Walker Double Black
  • Ardbeg 10-Year
  • The Balvenie 14-Year Peat Week
  • Lagavulin 16-Year
  • Ardbeg Corryvreckan 
  • Glenlivet 18-Year
  • Glenfiddich 15-Year
  • Glenfiddich 18-Year
  • Springbank 10-Year
  • Talisker Single Malt
  • Jura Seven Wood Single Malt

Johnnie Walker Double Black

The Whiskey: Blended Single Malt & Grain
The Distillery: Cardhu Distillery by Diageo
ABV: 40%
Price: $44.99

Johnnie Walker is one of, if not the revenue-leading Scotch whiskey brand in the world, and for good reason. With its color-coded product line, from green to black, you can imagine where Double Black lands. That’s right, at the top! okay, maybe not at the top, but it gives its older brother ‘Black Label’ a run for its money!

This premium, blended Scotch whiskey is intense, youthful, and full-bodied. A must-try for any Scotch connoisseur.

Tasting Notes:
It provides its consumers with a delicious smoky aroma, a rich peaty taste with hints of dried fruit, and a finish so powerful it’ll blow your socks off! Try at your own [pleasure] risk…

Ardbeg 10-Year

The Whiskey: Islay Single Malt
The Distillery: Ardbeg Distillery
ABV: 46%
Price: $58.99

Talked amongst millions around the world for it being the peatiest of all scotches (a stretch, but we’ll go with it…), this complex 10-year is a Devine addition to any scotch lover’s cabinet. Fun fact, it was named the world’s #1 whiskey of 2008!

Tasting Notes:
with a stiff ABV of 46%, you may want to take it easy-sipping. Not only is its ABV explosive, but its taste, as well! With pops of cinnamon, hints of buttermilk and bananas, and sprinkles of toffee and notes of cappuccino, it’s a full-bodied whiskey if you’ve ever had one! 

The Balvenie 14-Year Peat Week

The Whiskey: Single Malt
The Distillery: Balvenie Distillery
ABV: 48.3%
Price: $98.99+

One of three Balvenie product releases within its range, the 14-year Peat Week is a single malt Scotch whiskey that may or may not land within your $100 budget. Nevertheless, it’s worth it every time. As for its name, it was inspired by a distillery tradition where one week each year, the manager would distill scotch using Speyside peat; fun fact! 

Tasting Notes:
expressions of fragrant smoke will have you knowing you’re drinking a scotch. Notes of citrus, honey, and vanilla will have you coming back for more. Finally, its gentle finish will determine that it’s your new go-to scotch.

Lagavulin 16-Year

The Whiskey: Islay Single Malt
The Distillery: Lagavulin Distillery
ABV: 43%
Price: $79.99

A deep, dry, yet aromatic Scotch, the Lagavulin 16-year is a popular choice amongst many who desire authenticity. Don’t let its smokey, dry aroma fool you, however. While its smells are certainly stiff and bitter, its taste is as smooth and as sweet as any. The best adjective to describe it? Complex. 

Tasting Notes:
a great food pairing for wine (or scotch*) and cheeses, complimenting it well with its intense yet welcomed rich peat, sweet and salty blended body, and wonderfully smooth finish.

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

The Whiskey: Islay Single Malt
The Distillery: Ardbeg Distillery
ABV: 57.1%
Price: $79.99

Yes, you read that right, a 57.1% ABV; how obscure. And that’s just how we would describe the Ardbeg Corryvreckan to a tea. This Islay Single Malt Scotch whiskey by Ardbeg is incredibly satisfying for those who seek peat in their Scotch. Its inspiration? The famous whirlpool north of the Islay where only the bravest would endure. I must tip my hat to them as well, as it was awarded the world’s best single malt whiskey in 2010!

Tasting Notes:
Just like those who brave the whirlpool north of the Islay, the tasting notes of this Single Malt Scotch are both intense and powerful; think black tarry toffee, hot pepper sauce, and lingering hints of hickory and coffee. Enjoy this long, deep, and lasting Scotch by the fire for peak enjoyment.

Glenlivet 18-Year

The Whiskey: Speyside Single Malt
The Distillery: Glenlivet Distillery
ABV: 43%
Price: $99.99+

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Glenlivet is the pinnacle of Scotch whiskey’s and the 18-year is no different. While it may spill over your $100 budget, I’m eager to be an influence and suggest that it’s totally worth it! At 43% ABV like most Glenlivet Scotch’s, the 18-year boasts an incredible delicate taste you’ll admire for years to come. Gift it to yourself or your old man, but be sure to share it amongst one another for best enjoyment!

Tasting Notes:
Complex yet balanced, elegant yet a “suitable-for-everyone” Scotch. It offers a nose of rich toffee, a flavour ripe in citrus and spice, and a palate bursting of sweet orange. Pair with a fillet of fish and raise a glass to a great meal ahead.

Glenfiddich 15-Year

The Whiskey: Single Malt
The Distillery: Glenfiddich Distillery
ABV: 40%
Price: $69.99

Like pouring liquid gold, the Glenfiddich 15 is a Single Malt whiskey is an award-winning Scotch and once you taste it, you’ll quickly understand why. Pioneered by the distilleries fifth malt master, the Glenfiddich 15 is expressed through tradition, innovation, and passion. Not only is it an award-winning scotch, but it’s also on the list for the top 10 best-selling single malt whiskeys in the world!

Tasting Notes:
Bursting with flavour, its warm and spicy flavors, though complex, are quite simple and smooth once it hits the tongue. Let it sit and linger while smelling its honey and vanilla aromas. 

Glenfiddich 18-Year

The Whiskey: Single Malt
The Distillery: Glenfiddich Distillery
ABV: 40%
Price: $99.99+

If you want to take it up a level from the 15-year, the logical next step is, of course, its older sibling 18-year! While the price can become somewhat steep, it’s always worth it when you’re talking about high-quality Scotch.

Tasting Notes:
Aged in American Oak casks for 18-years, youll be rewarded with smooth aromas of caramel, notes of floral and vanilla, and a smooth finish that accentuates all that you receive from the smelling notes. 

Springbank 10-Year

The Whiskey: Single Malt
The Distillery: Springbank Distillery
ABV: 46%
Price: $99.99+

The most expensive on the list considering it’s only a 10-year is the Springbank 10-year Single Malt Scotch whiskey. A great introduction to the Scotch world, this renowned whiskey aged in both bourbon and sherry casks provides its consumers with a rich yet smooth taste.

Tasting Notes:
With only a hint of peat which makes it great for beginner Scotch drinkers, and a taste of nut, oak, spice, and vanilla, the finish is both sweet, savory, and even salty some would suggest.

Talisker Single Malt

The Whiskey: Single Malt
The Distillery: Talisker Distillery
ABV: 45.7%
Price: $80.99

Loved around the world for its unique maritime character, the Talisker Single Malt happens to be the only Single Malt Scotch in the Isles of Skye. Bottled as a deep amber spirit pours a palate full of warmth and fire. Taste at your own discretion and you just might never go back to another scotch again.

Tasting Notes:
As mentioned, its palate is full of warmth and fire. Packed with smoked pepper, spice, and welcoming hints of toffee and orange, the end result is a powerfully long finish, yet nothing close to overwhelming; quite the opposite, in fact. 

Jura Seven Wood Single Malt

The Whiskey: Single Malt
The Distillery: Isle of Jura Distillery Co.
ABV: 42%
Price: $67.99

Finally, a complex Single malt you’ve all been waiting for! It’s a combination of seven types of oak (hence the name, of course). Starting with bourbon and finishing in Vosges, Jupilles, Les Bertranges, Allier, Tronçais, and Limousine oak casks, the ultimate destination arrives at a spicy yet fruity bold taste.

Tasting Notes:
open your nose to enjoy notes of spruce beatdowns accompanied by chocolate and raisins. next, open your mouth to a full-bodied, creamy smooth spirit rich with hints of apples, pears, and oranges. Finally, let it linger notes of mint and coffee. Mmm, delicious! 

There you have the list of, in my opinion, the 11 best scotch whiskeys under $100.  

Sometimes, you want to buy something a little nicer, without breaking the bank which is exactly the options you’ll find on this list of the 11 best scotch whiskeys under $100.

If you do decide to get one of these bottles, do yourself a favor and be sure to sip.

Related: Best Irish Whiskey Under $100

Once you’ve tried one of these scotch whiskeys I’d love to hear about your experiences and personal opinions.

If I’ve missed one that should be added to the list, let me know!

Stay gold & Cheers.

About Todd Smidt

Todd is a man of simple tastes: traveling, words, whiskey, & dad jokes. He enjoys first-rate banter, long walks along the coast, High West, and Vonnegut. He spends his free time traveling the world, drinking whiskey, and writing about it.

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