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Best Speyside Scotch Whisky

Best Speyside Whisky

We have rounded up nine of the best Speyside Scotch whisky’s available. With over 50 distilleries in the Speyside Region of Scotland, it’s difficult to know which ones to choose.

As a whisky drinker, you may be familiar with some of the well-known brands. However, some lesser-known distilleries have excellent whiskies to offer as well. We’ve included a selection of both.

We’ve made it easy for you to decide on the perfect whisky for you or to give to a loved one or friend.

Best Selection of Speyside Scotch Whiskys (Our Review)

The Glenlivet 18-Year Single Malt

The Glenlivet 18-Year Single Malt remains a firm favorite for its highly balanced classic taste. If you want to impress a Scotch lover or treat yourself, this is your first choice.

This premium Speyside Scotch is medium-bodied with a smooth, creamy finish. It’s best savored neat.

If your budget won’t allow for it, the Glenlivet 15-Year or the popular Founder’s Reserve 12-Year are worthy alternatives.

Pros

  • Best 18-Year Speyside Scotch
  • Multi-award winner

Cons

  • Lacks the distinctive smokiness that some Scotch drinkers prefer
  • Pricey

Tamdhu 15-Year-Old Single Malt

We’ve chosen this single malt as the finest 15-Year-Old option. It has an intense depth, richer palate, and longer-lasting finish.

The Tamdhu 15-Year is matured in oloroso sherry oak barrels. This provides a warm spicy flavor complemented by dark fruit notes.

The Tamdhu selection offers some real gems from the Speyside Region. If the 15-Year is a bit pricey for you, you won’t be disappointed by their 12-Year Single Malt.

Pros

  • Best 15-Year Speyside Scotch
  • Multi-award winner

Cons

  • More expensive than most options on our list

The Macallan 12-Year-Old Sherry Oak Single Malt

The Macallan 12-Year-Old Sherry Oak Single Malt is the best expression in its age group. It’s more mature for its class with a fuller-bodied yet smooth taste and darker hue.

With its intense palate of malt, dried fruit, wood, and spice, the Macallan 12-Year-Old will surprise you every time.

Pros

  • Best 12-Year Speyside Scotch
  • Non-chill filtered for enhanced flavor and texture

Cons

  • Pricey for a younger whiskey

BenRiach The Smoky Ten Single Malt

BenRiach makes this Scotch with a combination of new oak, bourbon, and rum barrels. This creates notes of ripened fruit, honey glaze, toasted spice, pear, and smoked wood.

This unique BenRiach expression is the youngest on our list and reasonably priced. Don’t let that distract you from everything it has to offer.

BenRiach produces every whisky it makes with a distinctive character. The Smoky Ten brings together youthful fruitiness with peat-smoked barley for a richer finish.

Pros

  • Best 10-Year Speyside Scotch
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • A few people felt the smokiness was not strong enough

The Ardmore Legacy Scotch Whisky

The Ardmore Legacy is a favorite among those who enjoy a fuller-bodied whisky. This Ardmore whisky is not a single malt. It uses a mix of peat-smoked and unsmoked malt.

The resultant smokiness is distinctive but not overpowering. It’s beautifully complemented by spicy notes. The tasteful packaging makes it an attractive gift for a friend or colleague.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Enjoyable even for more experienced Scotch drinkers

Cons

  • Not recommended for those who prefer a sweeter taste

The GlenAllachie 25-Year-Old Single Malt

The GlenAllachie 25-Year-Old is a masterpiece. Everything good about GlenAllachie’s younger whisky is amplified in the 25-Year.

This GlenAllachie Single Malt matures in American oak, Pedro Ximénez, and Oloroso barrels. This achieves incredible smoothness and perfectly rounded fruitiness with deep wood notes.

Pros

  • Premium craft whisky for the fussier Scotch drinker
  • Non-chill filtered for enhanced flavor and texture

Cons

  • Expensive

The Glenrothes 18-Year-Old Single Malt

The Glenrothes 18-Year-Old Single Malt is the perfect after-dinner dram. This mature whisky is an engaging sensory experience in itself.

It is very satisfying for Scotch lovers. Extra slow distillation and sherry barrels for a higher-quality whisky

The Glenrothes 18-Year is more expensive but well worth the investment. It has beautiful sherry notes. This makes it a great dessert-like choice for your collection. If the price is outside your budget, try the Glenrothes Maker’s Cut instead.

Pros

  • Extra slow distillation for a higher-quality whisky
  • Impressive gift for discerning whisky drinkers

Cons

  • A few people felt it was not smooth enough for their taste

Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The Glenfiddich 12-Year Whisky’s popularity is due to its reliable quality and affordability. It’s appreciated the world over as a great mixer.

This whisky is creamier and smoother than other options in its price range. The drawback of this whisky is that just about everybody has tried it already. If you’re after something more special, consider a more mature Glenfiddich Single Malt.

Where do you stand on the Glenfiddich vs The Glenlivet debate? Have your say here.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Reliable all-rounder

Cons

  • Not the ideal choice for seasoned Scotch drinkers

SPEY Trutina Single Cask Scotch Whisky

SPEY’s Trutina is the 2021 World Whiskies Best Taste Winner in the Single Cask category. It’s matured in bourbon casks, giving it a fruity yet silky taste. The aromas are superb and the taste is luxurious.

This highly refined Scotch is in keeping with the recent trend towards lighter whisky’s. This means it’s perfect for the discerning palate and also a favorite among ladies. For a more robust whisky from SPEY, consider the Tenne.

Pros

  • Best Speyside single cask Scotch
  • Ideal summer whisky

Cons

  • Not a strong, robust whisky

Speyside Scotch Whiskys FAQs

What are Speyside whiskys?

Speyside whiskys are from the Highland region near the River Spey. The area has the highest concentration of whisky-makers in Scotland. They all get their quality mineral water from this river, its springs or streams.

What makes Speyside whiskys special?

The whisky from this area is sometimes called ‘liquid sunshine’. Generally, it has gentler tones favored by delicate palates and it is quite smooth.

Most Speyside whiskys display fragrant green fruit, vanilla, and honey flavors. Many Scotch makers in Speyside use peat-smoked barley. They also mature their whisky in barrels previously used for other spirits. This adds richness to the final product.

This creates a winning combination of fruitiness and intensity. It’s gained Speyside a reputation worldwide as one of the best Scotch-making regions.

What are the most popular Speyside whisky makers?

The best-selling Speyside whisky maker is The Glenlivet. It is also the number one single malt worldwide. The second best-selling Speyside whisky is Glenfiddich. It’s the second-best single malt in the world as well. The third most popular is Macallan.

What do you think?

Written by Rory Parry

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