Single Malt Scotch For Bourbon Lovers

Have a bourbon drinker on your gift list looking to explore the single malt Scotch category? These selections will allow them to dip into the sea of Scotch on the retail shelves without straying too far from the bourbon tastes they love.
Jun 11, 2019
  • 10
    10 Tullibardine Sovereign
    84
    Vanilla & Rich
    Tullibardine was founded in 1949 but closed its doors in 1995. It reopened in 2003, and in 2011 was bought by French wine producer Maison Michel Picard. The small distillery ages this whisky in first-fill bourbon barrels. It's the entry level expression of the distillery's recently re-launched line.
  • 9
    9 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.
  • 8
    8 Glen Garioch Virgin Oak
    87
    Spicy & Vanilla
    Virgin wood is referring to the never been used American white oak barrels utilized to age this single malt. Bourbon is aged this way, but traditionally, Scotch is aged in used bourbon barrels. Bottled at 96 proof, this Highland malt is an example of trying new flavor profiles and techniques in what is sometimes thought of as a staunch and traditional category.
  • 7
    7 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.
  • 6
    6 Glenfiddich 14 Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve
    90
    Rich & Vanilla
    This is a new addition to the brand's permanent line. Officially known as the 14 Year Old Bourbon Barrel Reserve, it's aged for a full 14 years in typical ex-bourbon casks used in the Scotch industry. It's then transferred to be finished in new heavily-charred American oak barrels from Louisville's prominent Kelvin Cooperage, with the intention of imparting more of those deep bourbon qualities into a single malt.
  • 5
    5 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.
  • 4
    4 The Singleton of Glendullan 15 Year
    86
    Sweet
    Glendullan is one of three Scottish distilleries under The Singleton family. The distillery was founded in Dufftown, of the Speyside region, back in 1897. This single malt expression was matured for 15 years in mostly American oak barrels previously used for bourbon. It is bottled at 40% ABV.
  • 3
    3 The Balvenie Single Barrel 12 Year
    89
    Fruity & Sweet
    This Speyside Scotch from Dufftown is known for growing their own barley for malting, a tradition all but lost in the Highlands now. This release is aged in first fill ex-Bourbon casks, that have been selected specifically for their sweetness and vanilla aromas. "Each bottling forms a limited edition of no more than 300 hand-numbered bottles drawn from a single cask, making each bottle unique and unrepeatable."
  • 2
    2 BenRiach 20 Year
    92
    Fruity & Vanilla
    This isn't a peated whisky nor is it finished in a fancy wine cask to add a bit of flair. You might say that this Speyside style is a bit stripped down, naked for all to see. Well, if you've got the goods, why not show off? The 20 year old BenRiach is aged only in used American barrels and is bottled at an invigorating 46% abv.
  • 1
    1 Benromach Organic
    95
    Full Bodied & Rich
    One of the inherent beauties of independence is freedom. Benromach, one of the very few remaining single malt Scotch houses that’s free from the shackles of global conglomerates, reminds us of its independence every so often when it comes out with some kind of radical release—something so time- and resource-intensive. Something, for example, like an organic release. Benromach Organic, the first Soil Association-certified organic single malt, is made using organic Scottish barley and aged in virgin American oak. It’s non-chill-filtered and bottled at 43%.