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10 Smoothest Single Malt Scotch Whiskies: Full Guide (2023)

Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Single malt Scotch is often regarded as being an essence of the distillery.

It should be crafted from grain to bottle inside a single distillery to be labeled as a single malt whisky. 

There is a wide selection of single malt Scotch, so to save you from hassle, we tasted the smoothest single malt Scotch whiskies that deserve a slot on your bar shelf. Scroll down. 

Top 10 Smoothest Single Malt Scotch To Sip 

10. Glenfiddich 12

Bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Average Price: Roughly $52.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Glenfiddich 12 is one of the world’s best-selling single malt Scotch whisky because of its affordable price and signature smoothness. 

The golden whisky features distinctive fruity and fresh-tasting notes with a hint of pear.

Due to its aging, it features malt, butterscotch, cream, and oak flavors. Also, it has a smooth and mellow finish. 

9. Auchentoshan 12

Auchentoshan 12 Year Scotch Whisky Bottle

Average Price: Roughly $50.30 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Auchentoshan is a lowland single malt whisky with a tempting aroma of caramelized toffee, toasted almonds, and a signature smooth Auchentoshan taste. 

Auchentoshan is aged for 12 years in oak barrels to develop the color and palate profile of the Scotch whisky [1]. 

On the nose, we like the distinctive aroma of creme brulee and bursting citrus with the signature nuttiness of the whisky.

It is smooth with sweet notes and hints of lime and tangerine on the tongue. 

8. The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

close up shot of The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve bottle

Average Price: Roughly $44.99 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve is a single-malt Scotch whisky from a single distillery [2].

The whisky boasts the classic flavor of The Glenlivet and its creamy and smooth texture. 

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve is a tribute to George Smith, and while it does not bear an age statement, they select whisky from a variety of traditional aged oak casks. 

7. Aberlour 16 Yr

BOTTLE OF ABERLOUR 16 DOUBLE CASK

Average Price: Roughly $114.99 

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Aberlour 16 is a double-cask single malt Scotch whisky with a complex and deep flavor profile. The expression is full of fruity notes enriched with spicy sweetness. 

Aberlour 16 features a beautiful golden amber hue with rich scented floral, spicy nuttiness, and sweet raisin aroma.

It boasts full and smooth-tasting notes with gentle oak and a spicy finish. 

6. Springbank 10

Bottle of Springbank 10 on a wooden table

Average Price: Roughly $78.94 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Springbank 10 is a ten-year-old single malt Scotch whisky with complex yet balanced sweetness and peat.

The single malt is matured in a combination of sherry (40%) and bourbon cask (60%). 

On the first sip, you will be greeted with fresh orchard fruit, honey, and orange zest combined with vanilla and malt notes. 

We like the equal measures of robustness, oily mouthfeel, and plenty of spice of the Scotch whisky.

The Springbank 10 has a drying peat, sweet salted caramel, and toffee finish. 

5. Glenallachie 12

CLOSE UP SHOT OF GLENALLACHIE 12

Average Price: Roughly $71.49

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Glenallachie 12 is made from the best casks selected under the supervision of Master Distiller Billy Walker. 

“The key is to capture the sweet point; the length should be in a certain style of cask…You need to understand how the whisky interacts and behaves with certain kinds of wood,”

– Billy Walker, Master Distiller. 

Glenallachie 12-year-old is a non-chill filtered whisky, so you can expect a better mouthfeel with layers of mocha, cinnamon, honey, and butterscotch. 

4. Highland Park 18-Year-Old

Bottle of Highland Park 18 Viking Pride and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $159.99

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Highland Park 18-Year-Old is a superb single malt whisky that is well-lauded for its smoothness and great flavor profile. 

The Highland Park 18-year-old boasts aromatic peat smoke, dark chocolate, cherries, toffee, marzipan, and heather honey. 

The Highland Park 18-year-old has a long and luxurious finish that you can enjoy neat and on the rocks.

In addition, it pairs well with meaty fish, cold meats, and citrus fruit puddings. 

3. Glenmorangie 10

Glenmorangie 10 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $44.47 (Official Website)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Glenmorangie 10 is a double distilled single malt Scotch whisky matured for ten years in first and second-fill ex-bourbon casks for deeper and more flavorful tasting notes. 

It is one of the smoothest single-malt Scotch whiskies that offers affordability and versatility.

It is perfect for serving neat or with ice and blends easily in various mixers for cocktails. 

2. Glenlivet 12

Bottle of Glenlivet 12 and a glass

Average Price: Roughly $54.87 (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Glenlivet 12 is an old single malt Scotch whisky first aged in a traditional oak barrel before spending time in American oak barrels for distinctive smoothness and great flavor profile. 

The single malt Scotch whisky has a delicate, versatile but complex profile, so you can enjoy it on the rocks, as a cocktail, or sip it neat. 

We like the smooth, balanced fruitiness, rich pineapple notes, and long, creamy finish. 

1. Balvenie 12 Doublewood

Balvenie 12 Doublewood  Bottle on a wooden board

Average Price: Roughly $74.99

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Balvenie 12 Doublewood has been gracing the single malt whisky community since 1993, and it has spent 12 years in traditional whisky casks, ex-bourbon barrels, Spanish oak, and ex-oloroso casks. 

The whisky has a distinctive character, and each stage of whisky production lends different qualities to the award-winning single malt whisky. 

The single malt whisky will greet you with layered vanilla, honey, sweet fruit, and sherry notes.

It combines cinnamon spices, nutty sweetness, a sherry flavor profile, and a long finish. 

FAQs 

What’s the smoothest single malt scotch for beginners?

Glenlivet 12 is the smoothest single malt scotch for beginners.

Aside from its good price point, the whisky’s balanced yet elegant flavor profile makes it a great entry-level whisky. 

Is single malt Scotch smoother than bourbon?

Yes, single malt Scotch is smoother than bourbon. While bourbon lends a sweeter flavor profile, the smoothness of single malt Scotch is superior. 

Single malt Scotch features a distinctive smoothness and rich flavor profile, making it more enjoyable, smoother, and easier to drink. 

Final Say 

Single malt Scotch whisky is highly appreciated by many because it comes from a single distillery. 

After careful deliberation and blind tasting, Balvenie 12 Double wood is the smoothest single malt Scotch.

It is fairly priced and has rich and amazing tasting notes and an inviting aroma. 

References:

  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/effect-of-aging-on-liquor-759921 
  2. https://www.seriouseats.com/what-is-single-malt-scotch-what-is-blended-whisky 

Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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