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Acclaimed Scotch whiskies for Burns Night

As drinkers around the world prepare to toast Scotland’s national poet on Burns Night, SB has selected an assortment of award-winning Scotch whiskies that won’t break the bank.

SB presents a selection of top-tasting Scotch whiskies for Burns Night

This Saturday (25 January), the world will celebrate the life and work of Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns, widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.

Burns fans from across the globe will toast the bard with a dram of Scotch whisky while taking part in poetic recitals and indulging in a traditional Scottish supper.

For those looking to stock up their drinks cabinet ahead of the weekend, we’ve scoured the top medallists from our Scotch Whisky Masters blind-tasting to find affordable whiskies that garnered high praise.

Click through the following pages to see 10 top-tasting Scotch whiskies below US$100.

Bunnahabhain Toiteach A Dhà

Price: £43 (US$56)

In the Single Malt Islay – No Age Statement round, a Master medal went to Bunnahabhain Toiteach A Dhà, which was lauded for its melting pot of flavours, including “ash, bacon and salt”.

Produced by South African drinks group Distell, Bunnahabhain Toiteach A Dhà was created using a combination of ex-Bourbon and Sherry casks which were then matured in coastal warehouses in Bunnahabhain Bay.

The 46.3% ABV non-chill-filtered whisky means ‘smoky two’ in Scottish Gaelic.

Glenfiddich Project XX

Price: £50 (US$66)

The Gold-winning Glenfiddich Project XX stormed to success in the Single Malt: Speyside – Premium round.

Part of Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series, Project XX is a single malt vatting of 20 different casks, including Port pipes, Sherry butts and first-fill Bourbon casks, each chosen by the brand’s 20 global ambassadors.

Glenfiddich’s malt master Brian Kinsman asked each ambassador to select a cask that best represented their personality from Glenfiddich’s warehouses, before blending them together to create the brand’s first mass collaborated whisky.

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Price: £30 (US$39)

Diageo’s blended Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker snagged a Gold medal for its Black Label bottling.

The expression was described as “big, meaty and complex, with a round and creamy palate”. It is a blend of whiskies all aged for a minimum of 12 years from 29 distilleries across Scotland.

The whisky is recommended serve neat or in Highball cocktails.

Ben Bracken Speyside Single Malt Whisky

Price: £17.49 (US$23)

Discount supermarket chain Lidl scored a Gold medal for its Ben Bracken Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky in the Single Malt: Speyside – Standard flight.

Launched in May 2017, the expression is one of three single malts from Lidl, which also includes Islay and Highland bottlings.

Each variant in the no-age-statement trio has been bottled at 40% ABV.

Dewar’s 18 Years Old

Price: £75 (US$98)

The Gold­-winning Dewar’s 18-year-old whisky was deemed to be “rounded and balanced” with notes of “light mahogany and orchard fruit”.

Produced by John Dewar & Sons, the whisky was blended from vintage old and rare Highland, Speyside and Lowland single malts, and grain whiskies.

In addition to the 18-year-old, the Dewar’s range features a 12-year-old, 15-year-old and a White Label bottling.

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

Price: £30 (US$39)

The “easy to drink” Old Pulteney 12 Year Old was praised for its “chocolatey, almost caffeine element” in the Highlands & Islands – Aged up to 12 Years round.

The Gold-winning bottling was matured in air-dried, hand-selected ex-Bourbon casks.

The Old Pulteney range consists of a 15-year-old, an 18-year-old, a 25-year-old and the smoky Huddart, along with a number of travel retail-exclusive whiskies.

Spey from Speyside Distillery – Trutina Cask Strength

Price: £60 (US$76)

Spey from Speyside Distillery – Trutina Cask Strength was bestowed with a Master medal in the Speyside – Cask Strength round. It impressed with its “sweet notes of fennel” and “rich dark chocolate”.

The expression is a special cask strength edition of Speyside distillery’s Spey Trutina.

Trutina, which is Latin for ‘balance’, has been matured in Bourbon casks and bottled at 59.1% ABV.

Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

Glenfiddich Scotch Brand Champion

Price: £26 (US$34)

Judges highlighted flavours of “papaya, mango and apricot” in Gold medallist Glendfiddich 12 Year Old, which was described as “tropical and creamy”.

Produced by Scottish spirits firm William Grant & Sons, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old was matured in American oak and European oak Sherry casks for at least 12 years.

Elements of Islay Peat Full Proof

Price: £38.95 (US$51)

In the blended malts contingent, focusing on no-age-statement expressions, judges bestowed a Gold medal on the “sweet and intense” Elements of Islay Peat Full Proof.

The first ongoing release in the Elements of Islay Range, Peat is blended from liquid produced at a “handful” of Islay’s distilleries.

According to the brand, the malts were married together to take on distinct characters from each distillery and focus on Islay’s “most famous element” – peat.

1770 Glasgow Single Malt Whisky – 2019 Release

Price: £49 (US$64)

Glasgow Distillery Company’s 1770 single malt whisky secured a Gold medal in a flight of no-age-statement Lowland single malts.

The expression is thought to be the first single malt created at an independent Glasgow distillery for more than 100 years.

The 2019 edition was matured in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks and finished in virgin oak casks. The 46% ABV whisky is part of the distillery’s Signature Collection and will soon be joined by the Triple Distilled whisky.

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