Ideal Scotch Whiskies For Summer

Just because the temperatures are rising doesn’t mean you have to forgo Scotch whiskies. Here are our picks to serve, with or without ice all summer long.
Jun 21, 2018
  • 10
    10 The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve
    83
    Fruity & Sweet
    In 1824, farmer George Smith was one of the first to obtain a distiller’s license. Neighbors hiding illicit stills from the law resented Smith's new freedom. They reacted by threatening to burn down Smith’s distillery – with him in it. Smith retaliated by openly carrying two pistols. The neighbors cowered and he got busy creating the iconic Glenlivet whisky. This new expression is a tribute to Smith and the techniques he used to produce whisky. Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, distills his spirits using the same lantern shaped stills designed by Smith. Whiskies aged in traditional oak casks and first-fill American oak casks are blended based on flavor for this NAS whisky.
  • 9
    9 Glen Moray 12 Year
    85
    Sweet & Fruity
    Situated in Elgin ("the capital of Speyside"), the Glen Moray distillery began life as a brewery but was turned into a whisky distillery in 1897. They claim to have forty more days of summer in Elgin than anywhere else in Scotland, making it "the sunniest distillery in Speyside." The distillery style is the very definition of a Speyside malt: sweet, fruity, without much in the way of peat or smoke.
  • 8
    8 The Deveron 12 Year
    85
    Fruity
    This was another whisky released this year (2015) by John Dewar & Sons as part of their ‘Last Great Malts of Scotland’ campaign. This is a Highland whisky produced at the MacDuff distillery on the eastern shore of the Deveron River. Before now most of their whisky went into Dewar's White Label.
  • 7
    7 Monkey Shoulder
    86
    Fruity & Sweet
    The name Monkey Shoulder originates from an injury that the maltmen (those that hand turn the grain in a malthouse) would get as it would leave one arm hanging. This blended malt whisky is comprised of three single malt distilleries: Kininvie, Glenfiddich, and The Balvenie. The trio gets acquainted in a tun for three to six months before being bottled on site.
  • 6
    6 The Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve
    87
    Fruity & Vanilla
    The Glenrothes typically uses both ex-bourbon, refill whisky, and ex-sherry casks for maturation of their whiskies. This bottling is their exception to the rule. Formally known as Alba Reserve, as of the end of 2015, this bottling has been re-branded as Bourbon Cask Reserve. Incidentally, it is still Certified Kosher as was their Alba Reserve bottling.
  • 5
    5 Auchentoshan American Oak
    87
    Fruity & Vanilla
    Hitting the market in May 2014, Auchentoshan American Oak, a triple distilled single malt, is aged in 1st fill American oak ex-bourbon barrels. As such, this would be an excellent stepping stone for bourbon drinkers who would like to give scotch a try. This will be a permanent bottling to the brand's line-up and will replace Auchentoshan Classic as the entry level whisky in their portfolio.
  • 4
    4 Glen Grant 12 Year
    87
    Rich
    Glen Grant 12 debuted in a handful of U.S. markets in June 2016, with a nationwide release slated for 2017. The release was made partially in honor of the 55 years that master distiller Dennis Malcolm has spent in the industry. It's also said to show off the unique-to-Speyside Glen Grant process, with water-cooling purifiers used on both of the distillation runs, allowing only the lightest vapors through. An 18 year-old is being rolled out as well, along with revamped labeling and logos for the entire portfolio.
  • 3
    3 Loch Lomond Single Grain
    88
    Fruity & Sweet
    Loch Lomond Distilling Company is known for producing a variety of styles both blended and single malt. This single grain expression is one of the first from its fall 2016 US portfolio launch. Distilled in a Coffey still, this one is made exclusively from malted barley and aged in ex-bourbon casks. So it's like a single malt, but different.
  • 2
    2 Glen Garioch Founder's Reserve
    90
    Tart & Fruity
    Launched in 2010, The Founders Reserve is a good example of the character of the whisky produced at Glen Garioch [glen gee-ree]. Their whiskies are not chill filtered and are bottled at 48% abv or higher. As this is their entry level whisky, there is no age statement attached.
  • 1
    1 Highland Park 12 Year Viking Honour
    91
    Sweet & Fruity
    In 2017, Highland Park created new packaging and added names to their standard age statement products. Their 12 Year gets the added moniker of Viking Honour. The new labels and bottles will be rolled out over the remainder of 2017. While the bottles and packaging are getting a makeovers, the whiskies will retain their current flavor profiles. Highland Park is renowned for the peat they use and for their exclusive use of ex-sherry casks. The climate on the Orkney Islands is quite windy and sea swept creating a dismal environment for trees. As such, the Orcadian peat bogs have more heather, grass, and plants than those on Islay. Highland Park 12, first released in 1979, uses about 20% 1st-fill sherry casks.