Scotch whiskey varies in price tremendously. You may assume that fine liquors like Scotch are largely in the premium price range of liquors. The great news is that Scotch can be very affordable as well!
Let us have a look at some of the best scotch whiskeys under $40. Options include single malts and blended whiskeys. The ten Scotches in our list are ranked in terms of our preference of their taste, as well as value.
#1. Dewar’s 12 years
Dewar’s 12 years blended scotch is one of the most famous scotches easily available online and at every shop. It is a blend of single malt and single grain whiskey, and all its grains come from Aberfeldy. The Aberfeldy is a distillery run by John Dewar’s son.
The whiskey is aged for 12 years before it is blended. After its blending process, the juice is kept in a tank for six months before it is poured into a bottle.
The Dewar’s 12 years comes in dark gold or light brownish color with faint reddish tints. You will see copper highlights when light reflects the whiskey.
It has quick legs with caramel color. Regarding its nose, it smells incredible. The smell is like caramel and chocolate milkshake and is a wonderfully sweet scent.
The blend is relatively smooth and consists of caramel and charred oak. The finished taste is a smokey and savory butter. The scotch quickly evolves into a vanilla, orange, or milk chocolate taste.
The average price of Dewar’s scotch is $32 and varies by place.
Dewar’s 12 Years is best on the rocks. It is a great blended scotch, and when water is added, it gives a fantastic hint of fruit and blooming taste.
#2. The Famous Grouse Ruby Cask
The Ruby Cask is the second version of the Famous Grouse scotch series, and it is poured in port seasonal oak barrels. A rich and well-balanced scotch is finished in ruby port casks with a layer of fruit cake and spices to give classic smoothness to the scotch.
The Ruby Cask is a classic blend that is married and finished in Port Casks. The Casks give silkiness to the scotch and offer notes of red fruits.
The hot copper color with smooth texture makes it the same as single malt scotch. The apple and juicy plum aroma of Ruby cask are light and unique.
Like other Famous Grouse scotch, Ruby Cask’s flavor is blended and balanced with spiced grains, toasted grains, and ripe red fruits. The gentle spices palette offers everything that you could want in a Scotch.
The Famous Grouse Ruby Cask scotch is an affordable scotch with its average price being $29, but again the price depends on the area you live.
The Famous Grouse Ruby Cask is a smooth textured, gentle taste scotch whiskey that comes in an affordable range.
#3. Glenmorangie – The Original
The Glenmorangie Scotch stands out on the bar with the bottle of this scotch being taller and more slender compared to any other scotch bottle.
It has been one of the best-selling scotches in Scotland since 1983, and it holds 6% of the single malt market. It has a unique flavor that gives another definition to the genre.
The distillation of Glenmorangie is started with choosing barley grown; then, these grains are malted with water springs that run in the nearby hills.
Once fermentation is done, the alcoholic mixture is poured into taller pot stills in Scotland. Glenmorangie has a unique arrangement of barrels.
First, for maturing, charred oak barrels are used. Next, the barrels are filled with grain spirit for a few years and extract American bourbon, and after the process, the barrels are filled with Glenmorangie scotch to start its aging process.
The palate of Glenmorangie is sweet and grainy with a burst of red pepper, peaches, and mushroom. The clean and balanced palate.
The light weightier palate of Glenmorangie has honey and malt and subtle spices. To the nose, it smells soft, refreshing, and gentle. With honey and a touch of coffee, it is truly alluring.
The Glenmorangie costs between $30 to $35. The price varies from region to region.
The charming sweetness of Glenmorangie with its delicious fruit taste leaves a great impression on the tongue.
#4. The Glenlivet 12 Years
The Glenlivet 12 Years is a single malt scotch and a great entry point into the broader world of scotch whiskey. The whiskey has everything that you would expect in a single malt.
It is a smooth, classic, and sophisticated single malt. European and American casks are used for this scotch. It is one of the most famous malts in the world.
The Glenlivet’s style is all about maturing the blend in traditional oaks before it spends time in American Oak Casks that imparts vanilla taste and offers distinctive smoothness to the scotch.
The juice is aged for 12 years in European and American oak before it is blended or bottled. As a result, you will get a real taste of tropical fruits like pineapple and apricot.
Also, you will feel a slight hint of citrus fruit. It offers a grassy and floral smell with subtle notes of hazelnut and almonds when it hits the nose.
Well balanced and fruit palate with pineapple notes. The Glenlivet 12 years gives a soft feel of orange and lemon juice with some toffee or vanilla richness. It is a delicate single malt with a refreshing and balanced character.
Glenlivet 12 year’s average cost is $36, which is quite affordable in terms of single malt whiskey.
The sweet and fruity taste of Glenlivet 12 years makes it wonderful to have on the rocks.
#5. Johnnie Walker Black
Johnnie Walker Black is one of the premium scotch whiskeys globally with a multi-dimensional taste that makes it versatile.
It is a true icon that is recognized as the benchmark of single malt and deluxe blends. The Johnnie Walker Black is also whiskey critic Jim Murray’s favorite blend.
The Johnnie Walker Black is a perfect blend of 40 Diego whiskeys aged for more than 12 years from different corners of Scotland. It has a smooth and distinctive character with a soft and robust combination.
It is an excellent scotch for newcomers to the world of smoky and peaty whiskeys. It offers charred oak, toffee candy, and an over-ripened grape nose. In addition, you can enjoy the luxurious scent of dark tropical fruits with a pinch of sweet vanilla.
The subtle palate offered by Johnnie Walker Black comes with a hint of cedarwood with mild earthy malt and citrus fruit. The malts carry a hint of powdered and dark spices. It has a spicy note on the top with creamy toffee lingering.
The average price of Johnnie Walker black is $35.
It is meant to be drunk on the rocks, and Johnnie Walker Black also works well on highballs.
#6. Chivas Regal 12 Years
Chivas Regal 12 Years is a world-famous blended scotch that comes at an affordable price. It was made in the 12th century by the Chivas Brothers.
The scotch traces its roots to the 1850s. First, the Chivas brothers were grocers; then, they started blending smooth and subtle whiskeys. It is a refined, blended whiskey with herbs, fruits, and honey.
Chivas Regal 12 years is a Highland whiskey distilled at the famed Strathisla Distillery. The scotch is well crafted to be mixed or sip with real complexity.
The scotch shines in every aspect. It is brownish yellow in color and smells like caramel, overripe dark fruit, and vanilla as an initial nose.
Once you open it, you get mild notes of honey and sweetness. The blend is aged for 12 years before it is poured into the bottle. As a result, it has a muddy balance and smooth texture.
It offers a great blend of nuts, oak, and fruits for tasting notes and palate. Then, with a bit of spice mixed up with dark honey, citrus, and dark fruit, it offers sweet malt. Furthermore, it has vanilla, wood, and a touch of cocoa.
The average price of Chivas Regal 12 years is $35, which varies from coast to coast. It is a value for money scotch whiskey.
Chivas Regal is an easier sipping scotch. Otherwise, it is best had on the rocks.
#7. Monkey Shoulder
Monkey Shoulder is a blended malt whiskey, a perfect combination of three Speyside whiskeys from William Grant. The monkey shoulder brand was introduced in 2005 as a premium scotch whiskey.
It was produced from three famous distilleries: Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie. The bottle of monkey shoulder is quite pretty and standard in design, with a metallic emblem of three monkeys affixed to the bottle.
This malt whiskey is a blend of three whiskeys which are blended in 27 barrel batches. It is a silky smooth and fruity whiskey with a taste of history.
The rich, fruity character of Monkey Shoulder scotch whiskey is well balanced and offers a smooth texture. The whiskey is rested for six months after blending to develop extra mellowness before it is bottled.
There is nothing as great as creamy vanilla, with hints of orange, malts, and spices. This Scotch also brings some additional cream soda, juicy fruit, and grassy tones that complete the palette.
The monkey shoulder has spicy oak and a pinch of peppermint on the tail, which enhances the taste. It smells fantastic; the sweet tropical fruit, orchard, cocoa, and malt give an amazing nose feeling. Caramel and a bit of spice give rich notes.
The average price of Monkey Shoulder scotch whiskey is $36, which is quite reasonable.
If you are looking for a solid cocktail mixer, then you will want to try the Monkey Shoulder. It also serves best on the rocks.
The most popular whiskey of the mid-century is Ballantines, and it appeals to the latest generation of drinkers. The Ballantine’s is 100% distilled in Scotland and matured in no less than three years. It is a smooth and modern blend that has a fantastic subtle flavor.
Jim Murray’s no age statement blend is blended from more than 50 single malts and four single grain whiskeys. The finest Ballantines is a classic blend that is well balanced.
The Ballantines Finest Blended Scotch comes with a taste that satisfies modern drinkers. Everything that goes in the bottle is blended for more than three years.
It has light gold color with a fabulous glint on water. The scotch is sweet and subtle, with a hint of spice and peat when it is about the nose. It is an entry-level and well-decorated scotch.
The Ballantine Finest blended scotch whiskey offers musty peat on the palate with a sweet and lightened flavor of vanilla. There is a warm and even finish on the palate of Ballantines.
If you are a regular drinker and love scotch, you would definitely want an affordable option to go to regularly. So here it is: Ballantine’s is the most affordable option in our selection with an average price of $18.
Ballantines Finest Blended scotch whiskey is a popular and famous scotch, and it is great when added with water. It also offers excellent flavor and texture on the rocks.
In this article, we reviewed our selection of the best Scotch whiskeys under $40. With such affordable, yet famous and delicious choices, there is ample proof that fine Scotch whiskeys can be had on a budget and for regular drinking. We hope our list will guide you towards some great Scotches to try the next time you go whiskey shopping.