Around The World in Ten Single Malts

Travel around the world with these single malt whiskeys, each under $100. Passport not required.
Nov 13, 2018
  • 10
    10 Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt
    85
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    Fruity & Sweet
    It was inevitable that shortages of mature stock would lead to new releases sans the age statement, like this one from Nikka Whisky Distilling Company in Japan. Miyagikyo Single Malt was launched Stateside in September 2016 along with Yoichi Single Malt, made at Nikka's other distillery. Miyagikyo Distillery is located in the Miyagi Prefecture, northeast of Honshu, where the fresh waters of the Nikkawa and Hirose rivers meet. Mostly unpeated barley is used at the distillery, though this single malt contains a portion of slightly peated malt. Casks of sherry, new American oak, ex-bourbon oak, and others were utilized for maturation. It's bottled at 45% ABV.
  • 9
    9 Brenne French Single Malt Whisky
    85
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    Floral & Fruity
    Brenne is a single malt whisky produced with copper alembic stills as opposed to copper pot stills. It ages first in new Limousin oak barrels, used typically to age brandy, before finishing in ex-Cognac casks. They are bottled in batches and never blend the barrels together. Each bottle is numbered with the barrel number from whence it came. Bottle variation will occur, but on average the whisky is 7 years old.
  • 8
    8 Penderyn Madeira
    85
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    Fruity & Vanilla
    While there is a history of distilling in Wales, there had been over a hundred year old lag until September 2000 when the first distillate at Penderyn was produced. This whisky is a single malt that, due to the unusual shape of their copper pot still, only is distilled once to an usually high 92%. The whisky is aged in ex bourbon and finished in a Madeira wine cask.
  • 7
    7 Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky
    86
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    Fruity & Vanilla
    The young distillery, Kavalan, released their first bottling in December 2008, but they have already made quite an impression winning awards and accolades. Distilled at the King Car Distillery in Taiwan, Kavalan is the name of the earliest tribe that inhabited Yilan, where King Car resides. The Classic bottling here is aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks but mostly of the refill variety.
  • 6
    6 Knappogue Castle 16 Year Sherry Cask Finished
    87
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    Fruity & Sweet
    This bottling is a triple-distilled Irish Single Malt which is aged in two types of barrels. First, it spends at least 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels before spending its final months in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. Limited production, so keep your eyes peeled at finer retailers and bars.
  • 5
    5 Cotswolds Single Malt
    87
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    Sweet
    Not only is this the first single malt from the Cotswolds Distillery, it is the first one from the Cotswolds area in south central England. It is made from 100% floor-malted barley which also hails from the Cotswolds. The variety and farm it comes from is listed on the label. The whisky is distilled in a pair of pot-stills named Mary and Janis. It is aged just over three years in first-fill Kentucky ex-bourbon barrels and reconditioned American oak red wine barrels which have been shaved, toasted, and re-charred. No color added and un-chillfiltered. Bottled at 46% ABV.
  • 4
    4 Mackmyra 10 Year
    87
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    Vanilla & Fruity
    Released in 2017, this is the first age-statement release from Mackmyra for wide release. The single malt is matured 50 meters underground at Mackmyra’s Bodås mine warehouse in ex-bourbon and American oak ex-oloroso sherry casks. Over 20,000 bottles were produced with over half remaining in Sweden with the other bottles available in select export markets.
  • 3
    3 Paul John Classic Select Cask Single Malt
    88
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    Spicy & Full Bodied
    It’s a bold move to introduce a new whisky distillery, from a non-traditional whisky nation, with a cask strength offering. Paul John distillery though, is clearly aiming its marketing efforts at the high end – whisky aficionados who will appreciate the unique pleasures of high-power bottlings. Following in the footsteps of Amrut distillery, Paul John is relying more on word of mouth than advertising to get the message out. So far it’s working well and this relatively new distillery, from Goa, India, is making great strides among whisky cognoscenti. Classic Select Cask is unpeated and non-chillfiltered.
  • 2
    2 Ardbeg An Oa
    88
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    Rich & Full Bodied
    An Oa (pronounced an oh) is a peated Islay single malt comprised of whiskies that were aged in several types of casks of including Pedro Ximenez, virgin oak, and ex-bourbon. These whiskies were then married together in a large French oak vat in Ardbeg's Gathering Room. The whisky is named for the Mull of Oa located on the Oa peninsula. This is the most southwesterly point of Islay. This Ardbeg release marks the first permanent addition to their portfolio in close to ten years. Bottled at 46.6% ABV, this is non chill-filtered. Released September 2017.
  • 1
    1 Westland American Oak American Single Malt
    89
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    Vanilla & Sweet
    Westland American Oak American Single Malt is distilled in Seattle using 100% malted barley. The malted barley, 90% sourced from Washington State, is comprised of 5 different types: Munich malt, extra special malt, brown malt, pale chocolate malt, and Washington Select pale malt. Additionally, a strain of Belgian brewer's yeast is used. This matured a minimum of 36 months in Cooper's Select new American oak, Cooper's Reserve new American oak, and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels.