Single Malt Scotch whiskeys are unique from blended scotches because they are made from 100% malted barley and are distilled at only one distillery. There are hundreds of distillers that produce single malt scotch. It is aged for a minimum of three years in wooden casks.
If single malts are your thing and you are looking to enhance your whiskey collection, you may find something worth trying in our list of the smoothest single malt scotches.
#1. Auchentoshan 12-Years Old
The Auchentoshan 12 Years Old is a signature drink of the distillery and is made from 100% malted barley. The spirit is distilled three times before being diluted and put in barrels, making it incredibly smooth. The malted barley is well presented, and it expresses nuttiness and fruity flavor quite generously. It is a 12 years old scotch and is priced reasonably at $45.
Nose: This single malt scotch whiskey gives the smell of crème Brulee with some fruity and citrus flavors. There is also a touch of some nuttiness and green leaf. It is quite pleasant and inviting.
Palate: The palate is relatively smooth and sweet with barley sugar, fruit, and vanilla notes. I liked the dense and nutty barley that comes in the middle.
Finish: The finish is quite lengthy with a dry and oak finish and some sweetness, cocoa powder, vanilla, and toffee flavor.
#2. Robert Burns Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
This single malt scotch is produced in the Arran distillery. It is bottled at 43% and has a malty and sweet taste along with some spices. The spices may be very prominent at the beginning, but the smoothness comes out shortly after. It is priced reasonably and is worth having a try.
Nose: It gives the smell of sweet and creamy notes of fruits, honey, and pecans.
Palate: When you first sip it, it gives a perfect blend of rich malt and vanilla notes, forming a smooth palate. It is overall light and sweet, along with some spice and oak.
Finish: It gives a clean and fresh finish and has a taste of hazelnuts and chocolate at the end.
#3. Aberlour 16-years Old
Age: 16 years
This single malt scotch by Aberlour tastes excellent and is quite unique. It is matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks for 16 years. It is made from 100% malted barley and gives a great balance. It has a solid sweetness with some hints of earthiness that balance the fruity flavors well. Overall it is very pleasing and inviting.
Nose: You will feel the aroma of butterscotch, toffee, raisins, and maple, followed by citrus and orange peels.
Palate: When you first sip it, you will find the blend of sherry with some coffee notes and sweetness followed by honey, cinnamon, hay, and some fruity flavors. You will get a taste of green grapes in the mid-palate.
Finish: The finish is quite spicy and nutty at first, with a touch of dry smoke. You will find some spiciness of cloves and cinnamon, which lasts quite long.
#4. Bruichladdich-The Classic Lady
Age: 6 years
Bruichladdich is mainly known for its smoky flavor profile. This single malt scotch is made from 100% Scottish barley and has a smell of warm and fruity profile along with a strong layer of pastry notes. It has a light gold appearance. Bruichladdich is priced reasonably and is great to sip neat. It tastes great when mixed with cocktails as well. Overall it has a great balance of flavors and gives a warm feeling.
Nose: The nose is lightly fruity with notes of plum, apples, and peach, along with honey and raisins. The smell is light with 50% ABV and has a nice balance of sweetness and airiness.
Palate: When you have the first sip, you will notice red apples and grapes with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar. It gives a nice balance and has a great taste.
Finish: The finish is medium long. It is slightly sweet with some bitterness of charcoal. You will find the mineral-rich malt with notes of toffee and honey. Overall the finish is warm and has fruity notes with charred oak at the end.
#5. The Glenlivet
Age: 12 years
The Glenlivet is a 12-year-old single malt scotch that is priced reasonably. It is one of the most popular malts and has a smooth balance. This whiskey is matured with American and European oak and is great for beginners as well. If you are looking for single malted scotch and don’t want to spend much, this is an excellent option for regular drinking.
Nose: It has a very light nose with notes of vanilla and malt and hints of orchard fruit, citrus, honey, and strawberry.
Palate: It is a very light flavor whiskey with the main notes of vanilla and malt followed by some grassy notes of light orchard fruits, honey, orange, and lemon. The vanilla and toffee flavors add some richness to the drink. Overall the single malt whiskey gives a nice balance and is quite refreshing.
Finish: The finish is quite long, smooth, and creamy. The wood, malt, and sweet notes remain for a long time and give a slightly dry finish.
#6. Aberfeldy 12-Years Old
This classic single malt whiskey is distilled in the highlands. The packaging is great with a black and rose gold color palette. It is made with 100% malted barley and is 100% proof. It is matured in ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, producing a rich flavor profile. The drink is quite pleasant and light.
Nose: The smell is fresh and fruity with notes of melon, green apple, and pear, along with vanilla, peaches, and oak.
Palate: It has a sweet and malty taste but keeps the mouth clean and fresh. The light spicy flavor gives a nice balance to the drink.
Finish: The finish is quite long with a fruity flavor with roasted almonds. The mouth feels dry with notes of vanilla, oranges, and honey.
#7. Benromach 15-Years-Old
Age: 15 years
The Benromach 15 years old single malt whiskey is matured with ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks with a high proportion of sherry casks. It has a good balance of spice and sweetness. The smoky charred oak is well balanced and in harmony with other notes. It is bottled with 43% ABD with no added colors. Having it with water will help to reveal its flavors and fruity notes.
Nose: It gives aromas of toffee, orange peels, honey, black pepper, and smoke notes.
Palate: When you first sip it, you will find the palate creamy and sweet with ripe apple and charred oak notes. The palate is rich, thick, and rounded. You will find chocolate flavor notes along with a hint of charcoal.
Finish: The finish is medium to long, with notes of chocolate, dried fruit, and soft smoke. It fades away slowly, leaving the taste of menthol, cocoa, and mint. The finish is dry and timid and has a nice balance.
#8. Glen Grant 10 Years Old
Distillery: Glen Grant, Rothes, and Speyside
Age: 10 years
The Glen Grant is a famous distillery in Scotland. Their 10 Years Old whiskey is one of the best quality single malt whiskeys at a great price. It has a very light pine color. It has a great balance of ripe orchard fruits. It matures in Bourbon Casks. It is a perfect drink for those who like sweet flavors, and also great to have during warmer weather.
Nose: It gives the smell of sweet apples, ripe pears, and sugar with a touch of grapefruits and olives. If you have it with water, you will notice the floral and vanilla notes.
Palate: It is very light and firm on the palate, with notes of orange, lemon, and sweet apple. It has a slightly creamy texture. Overall the taste is soft and fruity with a honey note.
Finish: The finish is short and intense with fruity flavors. You will notice the notes of lemon and shortbread. It gives a soft, almond finish at the end.
Here we have listed some of the best and smoothest single malt Scotches. Most of these whiskeys have great flavor profiles generated from their time spent in ex-bourbon and sherry casks. If one or some of these malt scotches caught your eye, give them a try and we are confident you will find something up your alley.