Unveiling the Gems: Best Whiskeys Under 100 for Every Palate

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Best Whiskeys Under 100

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Discover a curated selection of remarkable whiskey brands under £100, each offering a unique flavour profile and craftsmanship. From robust bourbons to peated Scotches and triple-distilled Irish whiskeys, explore a world of diverse tastes. Prices are accurate as of March 2024.

Understanding Whiskey Basics

Before diving into the featured whiskey brands, let’s explore the whiskey world:

  • Whiskey Types Unveiled
    • Bourbon: Often featuring sweet notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak
    • Scotch: Known for smoky, peaty, and complex profiles
    • Rye Whiskey: is characterised by spicy, bold, and dry flavours
    • Irish Whiskey: Typically smooth, fruity, and triple-distilled
    • Tennessee Whiskey: Charcoal-mellowed, resulting in a sweet, smooth taste
    • Canadian Whisky: Lighter in flavour, often blended with a high percentage of corn
    • Wheat Whiskey: Soft, subtle, and easy-drinking due to the use of wheat as the primary grain
  • Ageing Magic: Whiskey ageing in barrels mellows, gains character, and evolves, developing nuanced flavours over time.

Flavour Profiles: Whiskey offers a sensory experience with notes ranging from vanilla and caramel to fruit, spice, and smoke.

Brief Summary of Each Whiskey Reviewed:

Whiskey Comparison Table

WhiskeyOriginTypeAgeProofPrice RangeKey Tasting Notes
Elijah Craig Small BatchKentuckyBourbonNAS*94£42-£70Warm brown sugar, toasted oak, vanilla
Four Roses BourbonKentuckyBourbonNAS*80£30-£40Crisp fruit, floral essences, gentle spice
Lot No. 40 Rye WhiskyCanadaRyeNAS*86£30-£40Bold rye spice, vanilla, toffee
Aberlour 12ScotlandSpeyside12 Years80£35-£45Orchard fruit, nutty sherry, honey
Aberfeldy 12ScotlandHighland12 Years80£30-£40Heather honey, creamy vanilla, gentle smoke
Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask StrengthScotlandIslay10 YearsVaries£45-£55Medicinal peat, sea spray, smoky sweetness
Kilbeggan Single MaltIrelandIrishNAS*80£55-£65Toasted malt, fresh orchard fruit, honey
Nikka Coffey Grain WhiskyJapanGrainNAS*90£50-£60Sweet corn, vanilla, delicate spice
Toki Suntory WhiskyJapanBlendedNAS*86£35-£45Green apple, honey, ginger, white pepper
*NAS = No Age Statement

The following whiskeys were selected based on a blind tasting conducted by a panel of experienced whiskey connoisseurs, considering factors such as flavour profile, complexity, and overall drinking experience.

1. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey

Crafted at Heaven Hill Distillery, which was founded in 1935, this small-batch bourbon offers a well-balanced flavour profile featuring warm brown sugar, toasted oak, and vanilla notes, making it an approachable choice for both newcomers and seasoned bourbon drinkers.

2. Four Roses Bourbon

Established in 1888, Four Roses Distillery is known for its unique recipe combining 10 distinct bourbon formulas. Their signature Four Roses Bourbon offers a mellow, yet flavorful experience with notes of crisp fruit, floral essences, and gentle spice.

3. Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Lot No. 40 is a Canadian rye whisky that pays homage to the historic Lot No. 40 plot where early Canadian whisky farmers perfected their craft. This whisky showcases the bold character of rye, with pronounced spice notes complemented by vanilla and toffee sweetness.

4. Aberlour 12 Speyside Single Malt

Best Whiskeys Under £100

Aberlour Distillery, founded in 1879, is known for its use of double cask maturation. Aberlour 12 is aged in both traditional oak and sherry casks, resulting in a harmonious balance of orchard fruit, nutty sherry notes, and honey sweetness.

5. Aberfeldy 12 Highland Single Malt

Aberfeldy Distillery, established in 1896, is known for its use of longer fermentation times and slower distillation, which contribute to the whisky’s honeyed character. Aberfeldy 12 offers a delightful combination of heather honey, creamy vanilla, and gentle smoke.

6. Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength

Laphroaig Distillery, founded in 1815, is renowned for producing some of the most intensely peated whiskies in the world. Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength is a bold, unfiltered Islay whisky that showcases medicinal peat, sea spray, and an underlying smoky sweetness. Learn more about how to drink Laphroaig and how it’s made.

7. Kilbeggan Single Malt

Kilbeggan Distillery, established in 1757, is one of the oldest continually licensed distilleries in Ireland. Kilbeggan Single Malt is a triple-distilled Irish whiskey that offers a smooth, easy-drinking experience with notes of toasted malt, fresh orchard fruit, and honey sweetness.

8. Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Nikka Whisky, founded in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, is known for its innovative use of Coffey stills in producing grain whisky. Nikka Coffey Grain is a unique Japanese whisky that showcases sweet corn notes, vanilla smoothness, and delicate spice. Explore more about the history and top brands of Japanese whisky.

9. Toki Suntory Whisky

Suntory, one of the pioneers of Japanese whisky, introduced Toki as a blend that represents the modern era of Japanese whisky-making. Toki offers a light, refreshing taste with notes of green apple, honey, ginger, and white pepper, making it a versatile choice for crafting highballs.

Elevate Your Whiskey Experience

  • Whiskey Tasting 101: Swirl, sniff, sip, and experiment with glass shapes and temperatures to fully appreciate the nuances of each whiskey. Learn more about mixing whiskey with water to enhance your tasting experience.
  • Crafting Whiskey Cocktails: Elevate your soirées with simple yet sophisticated whiskey cocktails like the classic Old Fashioned or zesty Whiskey Sour. Discover the best whiskeys for making a Whiskey Sour.
  • Storing Whiskey Like a Pro: Store your whiskey away from direct sunlight, upright, and away from temperature extremes to preserve its quality. Find out if you can keep whisky in the freezer.

Conclusion

Explore the diverse world of whiskey with these remarkable brands under £100. While taste preferences may vary, each of these whiskeys offers a unique flavour profile and craftsmanship that contribute to an enjoyable drinking experience. Whether you’re a whiskey enthusiast or just beginning your journey, these affordable options provide an excellent starting point for discovering your preferred style. Remember, the best whiskey is the one you enjoy most. Cheers!

About the author

3 responses to “Unveiling the Gems: Best Whiskeys Under 100 for Every Palate”

  1. […] You may also like: Unveiling the Gems: Best Whiskeys Under 100 for Every Palate […]

  2. […] and styles found in this beloved spirit. From my visits to renowned distilleries to countless whiskey tastings, I’ve honed my palate to identify the nuances that set each dram […]

  3. […] Toki and Tenjaku offer excellent value in the under £50 Japanese whisky category. While Toki’s complexity shines due to the multiple distilleries involved, Tenjaku impresses […]

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