Lowland Scotch is a well-renowned single malt whiskey distilled in Scotland’s Lowland distillery. The region is home to many distilleries that manufacture gentle and floral scotch. Together, these distilleries are called Lowland Ladies. In this region, triple distillation is done, which generates more gentle and delicate whiskeys. The Lowlands are masters of this technique and blend.
The Lowlands distill more scotch than any other region of Scotland. They have molded into professional malt mixers, and traditionally all Lowland scotch whiskey is produced as light and grassy malt.
Today, we will explore some of the best Scotches the Lowlands have to offer. Interestingly, Lowland has the fewest number of distilleries in Scotland, as compared to other areas. There are only six active distilleries in Lowland as of now. These six are Bladnoch, Ailsa Bay, Daftmill, Auchentoshan, Annandale, and Glenkinchie.
How to Choose the Perfect WhiskeyHow to Choose the Perfect WhiskeyBest Lowland Scotches
Here, we list the 12 best scotch whiskey from the Lowlands, which you can get off the shelf at most liquor outlets.
Glenkinchie 12 Year Old
This is a Lowland’s delicate and balanced whiskey that comes with notes of sweetness. Glenkinchie is one of the best Lowland single malt scotches, a well-known Lemon Malt. The scotch is released by Diageo’s flagship in their Classic melt series. The most readily available scotch is Glenkinchie, which originated from Glenkinchie distillery in East Lothian.
You will find a delicate, floral, and sweet aroma straight from the bottle. The scent instantly gives you a feeling of apple pies and drop sweets. Although there is little or no nose prickle of the booze, it is 43% ABV. There is also a grassy smell with some species like cardamom and ginger.
Initially, Glenkinchie 12 years gives you a feeling of apple pudding flavor, and at the same time, it gives you a palate of lemon drizzle cake with notes of oaks. All such flavor is somehow delicate and gives you a great experience of single malt.
The spirit leaves you with an oaky spice and lemon palate that itself gives a sweet note.
The average price of Glenkinchie 12-year-old Lowland scotch is $39.95, which further depends on the region you are buying from.
Auchentoshan Single Malt whiskey
Auchentoshan is the last active distillery of Lowland, founded by Irish refugees in 1825 on the other side of Glasgow. Like other Lowland whiskeys, Auchentoshan best Lowland single malt scotch is distilled three times, whereas all other Scottish scotches go through distillation twice. The benefit of triple distillation is that it softens flavor and body until the spirit is bottled. The whiskey is famous as classic single malt Lowland scotch.
The Auchentoshan whiskey comes with a toffee popcorn aroma, sweet spice of oakiness, and orange peel. The fresh orange scent brightens the fragrance with the smell of classic grassiness. The nose also offers tropical fruits and dried almonds.
With effortless drinking, the Auchenstoshan scotch offers a rounded and balanced experience. The soft and silky texture with coconut and toffee notes fill the palate. It also has sweet notes with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg on the palate. There are no hard edges that make it comfortable and easy to drink.
It is a spicy oak with lemon zestiness and cinnamon bark single malt. All single malt lovers like it on the rocks or love sipping it neat.
The average price of Auchentoshan 12 years old whiskey is $39.95.
Bladnoch Vinaya Scotch
Bladnoch Vinaya is a new range of the best Lowland scotch malt whiskeys of Lowland distillery of Bladnoch. The name of the whiskey is derived from a Sanskrit word that means grateful and respect. The distillery has seen a revamp in terms of production and equipment, known as Queen of Lowland.
The Bladnoch Vinaya is matured in ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry casks married together by the master distiller. The Vinaya is produced keeping in mind the teachings of Lowland’s distilleries. The Bladnoch Vinaya is bottled with 46.7% ABV, with non-filtered and natural color. It is made with the finest local ingredients.
The nose of Bladnoch Vinaya is sweet and delicate with a lighter side. It comes with an aroma of brown sugar and butterscotch with hints of honey from the glass. There is also a hint of almond; further, it comes with cinnamon, dried grass, and malted cereal hints.
On the palate, this best Lowland single malt whiskey offers lightness and elegance. The sweetness is loaded with brown sugar and a juicy taste with honey and butterscotch notes.
The further leads to notes of toffee and milk chocolate.
The final taste has a hazelnut taste with a pinch of orange oil. It is best on the rocks, though cocktail lovers will add Bladnoch Vinaya to enhance the taste of cocktails.
The average price of Bladnoch Vinaya is $49.95, which is quite expensive compared to other single malt Lowland scotch.
Ailsa Bay Sweet Smoke
Ailsa Bay sweet smoke comes from Girvan Distillery, a famous distillery from grain whiskey. The distillery is located in Lowlands and was built in 1963 by William’s grandson Charles Gordon. It is the second single malt released by the distillery and has more sweetness than the first release of Ailsa Bay. The sweetness of Ailsa Bay sweet smoke has been increased to 119 SPPPM. The whiskey is matured in the Hudson baby bourbon barrels for 6 to 9 months. After the first fill aging process, it is refilled in American Oak and Virgin oak for several years.
The Ailsa Bay Sweet Smoke comes with an aroma of woody smoke with a hint of the bonfire and damp heather. The scent is followed by oaky sweetness and vanilla with orange peel.
The single malt has a balanced palate to offer with rich oak vanilla notes. It also provides a smoky, fruity, and creamy flavor due to the different maturation process that also gives deeper toasty oaks.
This scotch is not very strong; I would say it is medium strong. However, it does tend to soften up when you sip it quickly. It leaves a flavor of black pepper and burnt bacon and a hint of nectarine syrup, well complemented with a light and sweet taste of orange. You can also get a bit of grassy malt, vanilla sugar, and a dash of wood smoke.
The average price of Ailsa Bay Sweet Smoke is $49.95.
Kingsbarns Balcomie Single Malt
Kingsbarns Balcomie is released by Kingsbarns distillery, which released its first core range of single malt whiskey in 2019. It is made up of locally grown fife barley. It is specially matured in American oaks that were previously held by oloroso sherry. The Kingsbarns Balcomie is one of the top-selling single malts of Lowland distillery. The casks used for maturing are chosen for their oak flavor and sherry-rich sweetness to compliment the spirit. It is a perfect balance of spirit and wood.
Due to exclusive sherry buts, it creates the aroma of dark chocolate, cinnamon, red berries, raspberries, and fruit cake on the nose, along with hints of sultana that offers a fantastic scent.
The palate of Kingsbarns Balcomie offers excellent notes of orange peel, with pineapple cake inside and outside and baking spices.
It gives a finish of dried apricot with hints of roasted hazelnut.
The average price of Kingsbarns Balcomie Single Malt Lowland scotch is $44.95.
Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt
The Auchentoshan single malt whiskey is among the best Lowland single malt scotches. It’s unique taste comes from the fact that this whiskey is matured in casks of three different types. The production process starts in American Bourbon casks, carries on in Spanish sherry casks, and finally, it is matured in Pedro Sherry Casks, giving a rich and complex flavor of sherry and toffee. It is old-fashioned and very fine in its regard. The extra layer of fruit and sweetness offers its rich taste and fruitiness.
It has a fantastic aroma of blackcurrant, brown sugar, and cinnamon. There are also raisin notes that give a wonderful scent of whiskey due to their three kinds of wood and casks. You will also get some notes of plums and oranges.
It has fruit and syrup on the palate with hazelnut, cinnamon, and orange hints. The complexity is added due to its butterscotch notes. The intense and sweet taste comes from plums and raisins.
The Auchentoshan Three Wood single malt has a fruity sweet taste with oakiness.
The average price of Auchentoshan Three Wood single malt scotch is $48.75.
Kingsbarn Spirit Drink
Finishing off our list is one of the most affordable Lowland single malt scotches, the first release from Kingsbarn produced by Wemyy’s family. The whiskey has already shown great potential in its first few months of release.
It has quite a floral aroma with a fruity scent. The orange peel and cardamom notes offer a fantastic aroma.
The Kingsbarn Spirit Drink offers a floral and fruity taste on the palate, especially when added with water.
The finish is all about its golden barley notes; it is best neat and on the rocks.
The average price of the Kingsbarn Spirit drink is $16.95.
Scotches from the Highlands may have more mainstream notoriety, but a full scotch experience would be incomplete without appreciating some of the excellent Scotches from the Lowlands. As the Scotches made in the Lowlands are quite broad in aromas and tastes given the size of the region and its different distilleries, we hope our list provides a decent introduction to the varieties available for you to start exploring all that the Lowlands have the offer.