Top Rated Affordable Scotches

We all know Scotch can be expensive, but there are plenty of amazing whiskies out there that won't break the bank. These are some of our favorites!
Jul 26, 2016
  • 10
    The Isle of Skye is a blended Scotch whisky brand from Ian Macleod Distillers, one of Scotland's independent, family-owned distillers, blenders, and bottlers. In fact, it was Ian Macleod who created Isle of Skye whisky on the island in 1933. IMD creates the blend using malt whisky from Skye as well as malt & grain whiskies from the mainland of Scotland. This 12 Year bottling is one of six whiskies in the brand's core portfolio which as of June 2023 has been made available in the US. The Isle of Skye packaging has received an update to its packaging with each bottle featuring the islands famous Cuillin Ridge hills. (SRP $27.99)
  • 9
    Tart & Fruity
    Launched in the midst of Prohibition, this blend was created to provide a lighter whisky, both in color and in taste, to better suit wine drinkers, which it did to great success. Cutty Sark is named after the world's fastest ship at the time, a tea clipper, itself named after a young witch character in a poem written by celebrated poet and Scotsman, Robert Burns.
  • 8
    Oily & Rich
    Although blended whiskies are a great place to start if you are just building your relationship with Scotch, Buchanan’s specifically is a perfect entry-level scotch because of the absence of abrasive peat smoke, the rich cocoa undertones and the complexity of welcoming flavors. In 1884 Canadian born James Buchanan first created Buchanan’s to fill a niche for an affordable entry level blended Scotch and it has since become a worldwide-recognized brand with strong acclaim in South American countries like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela also enjoying great popularity in Mexico.
  • 7
    Fruity & Sweet
    Buchanan Blended whiskies are a great place to start if you are just building your relationship with Scotch. Canadian born James Buchanan first created Buchanan’s to fill a niche for an affordable entry level Scotches and they have since become known for their strong acclaim in South America with some its largest markets in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.
  • 6
    Sweet & Fruity
    This unusually named whisky is derived from the wine & spirits merchants that created the blend in the West End of London, Mr. Hankey & Mr. Bannister. They were some of the first to take Scotch whisky out of Scotland and blend it elsewhere which they did over two hundred years ago. It is a blended whisky comprised of Lowland grain whiskies and Highland & Speyside Malt whiskies.
  • 5
    Rich & Fruity
    Ben Nevis is a lesser-known distillery on the Scottish Westcoast. The washbacks are wooden, and brewer's yeast is used. Distillation is slow and steady. A testament to the old-school way Ben Nevis has always operated. The Ben Nevis 10 Year has been around since 1996, and since then has slowly made a name for itself, but can still be considered a hidden gem.
  • 4
    The Snow Grouse was originally launched in 2008 as a retail-travel exclusive, though it has expanded its market (note: this is not yet available in the US). It is a blended grain whisky and apparently designed to be enjoyed straight from the freezer.
  • 3
    Fruity & Vanilla
    A blended Scotch whisky made with 50% malt and 50% grain which is quite high for blends. As with all Compass Box whiskies, there is no color added nor is it chillfiltered. Composition is as follows: 50% grain whisky from Cameronbridge matured in first-fill American standard barrel, 5% Glen Elgin single malt aged in refill hogshead, 23% Teaninich single malt aged in first-fill American standard barrel, 22% Linkwood single malt aged in first-fill American standard barrel. Update: As of June 2018, once case depletions occur, there will be no more Asyla for the foreseeable future until the malts used in its creation reach its desired maturity. If mature stocks are acquired, Asyla may return in a limited capacity until the stocks on hand mature.
  • 2
    Spicy & Smoky
    The first expression in Johnnie Walker's Travel-Retail-exclusive Explorers' Club Collection, The Spice Road was released in Duty Free stores late in 2012. This adventure-themes bottling is meant to evoke images of traveling the Silk Road and wandering the spice bazaars of Asia. It's a blended Scotch bearing no age-statement
  • 1
    Fruity & Tart
    J&B began as most Scotch whisky blends did — through wine & spirits merchants. J&B stand for the names "Justerini", an Italian who had followed his heart to London and subsequently became a wine & liquor merchant, and "Brooks" who purchased the business a few generations later. The blend as we know it today came about in the 1930s, just after the end of Prohibition.