Single Malt Scotch Picks for Springtime

Springtime is the perfect opportunity to explore scotch single malts with flavors that evoke the season. Orchard fruits, floral notes, and herbal flavors can all be found if you know where to look. Here are a few examples to get you started.
Mar 26, 2019
  • 11
    11 Glenkinchie 12 Year
    83
    Floral & Fruity
    Located less than 20 miles southeast of Edinburgh, Glenkinchie is one of three remaining distilleries in the area called the Lowlands. They only have two stills at the distillery, but they are fat and large producing over 1 million liters per year. The size and shape of the still lends the spirit to be light in nature as it comes off the still.
  • 10
    10 Arran The Robert Burns Single Malt
    83
    Sweet & Fruity
    This single malt whisky is named for Scotland's favorite son, poet and lyricist, Robert Burns. The types of casks used are ex-bourbon which account for about 70% of the production with the remainder comprised of ex-sherry casks. Keep your eyes open for a blended whisky also from Arran honoring Robert Burns.
  • 9
    9 anCnoc 12 Year
    85
    Fruity & Sweet
    Produced at the Knockdhu Distillery, this whisky is actually named after nearby Knock Hill, which the locals call anCnoc, (Gaelic for Black Hill). Another reason for the name might have been to make sure there is no confusion with another distillery called Knockando. Got it? Good. This Highland whisky is aged in both previously used American and Spanish oak barrels.
  • 8
    8 The Glenlivet 12 Year
    85
    Vanilla & Fruity
    When The Glenlivet was first established (legally, that is) in 1824, they produced only 200 liters per week. That sum has grown to a whopping 10.5 million liters annually. It is safe to say that you've at least seen the bottle behind most bars you've been to around the world, if not consumed it. This flagship bottling ages for 12 years in European and American oak barrels. Please note: the brand updated its bottle in 2019 and added the name Double Oak to its label. The single malt remains the same classic whisky as before.
  • 7
    7 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.
  • 6
    6 Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year
    85
    Fruity & Vanilla
    Glenmorangie, founded in 1843, is home to the tallest stills in Scotland. Aged 10 years in American oak barrels, The Original serves as the flagship for the distillery. The casks used for the single malt are only ever used twice. The Original also serves as the base for their Extra Matured whiskies that spend 2 more years in a variety of wine barrels such as Sauternes and Port.
  • 5
    5 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.
  • 4
    4 Clynelish 14 Year
    89
    Fruity & Sweet
    An oft overlooked gem in the Diageo "Classic Malt Whiskies" collection, this Highland malt is produced on the northeast coast of Scotland in the town of Brora. Brora is also the name of a now closed distillery, which, incidentally, was formally the location of the original Clynelish Distillery. This is a peated whisky, but far less so than the Brora bottlings.
  • 3
    3 Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley
    89
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay produce whiskies that are counter to what so many Scotch drinkers have come to expect from Islay single malts. This, the Classic Laddie, is a 100% unpeated, Scottish barley single malt, matured in American oak casks in warehouses on the shores of the Loch Indaal in the Islay region. This natural whisky is triple distilled and non-chill filtered, before being proofed down with Islay spring water before and is bottled at 100 proof. The flavors speak for the land, but not in the language of peat.
  • 2
    2 Aultmore 12 Year
    90
    Vanilla
    This 12 year single malt Scotch whisky from Aultmore emphasizes the pristine water from the Auchinderran burn and unique malts of Speyside. Aultmore is owned by Dewar's, a Bacardi subsidiary and usually produces whisky for blends. They've released a range of single malts that includes this 12 year old, along with a 21 year old (available as a Travel Retail Exclusive) and 25 year old expression. This non-chill-filtered whiskey is bottled at 46% abv.
  • 1
    1 Dalwhinnie 15 Year
    91
    Sweet & Rich
    Located in the Highlands where it is quite remote and windy, the Dalwhinnie Distillery is a distillery that doesn't quite get the press it deserves. It is a whisky that displays classic Highland malt qualities of honey and heather. This is one of the original six distilleries in Diageo's Classic Malts range and they release very few distillery bottlings.