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What’s the Best Whiskey in the World? Top 18 Expert Picks for 2024

What’s the Best Whiskey in the World

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Many whiskey brands claim they are the home of the best whiskey in the world.
Sure thing, there is the best whiskey for everyone.

But really, what is the best whiskey in the world?

We’ve gathered some of the world’s best whiskey bottles that are unmissable and worth trying. Will your favorite bottle make it to the list? Keep reading to find out.

Top 18 Whiskeys in the World (2024 Edition)

1. Glenmorangie Signet

Glenmorangie Signet on table with box, what is the best whiskey in the world

Average Price: Roughly $279.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 46%

Why We Like It:

Inspired by espresso, the Glenmorangie Signet is distilled from malt, including malted chocolate barley.

It is a delicious no-age statement dram that was double-distilled through Glenmorangie’s copper pot stills.

It has a strong Aruba espresso aroma, candied orange peel, and aromas of baking spices. It tastes sweet with hints of orange peels.

It also has an explosive flavor of bitter mocha. We like that it is a smooth, complex whiskey [1] with a unique flavor profile that changes from palate to finish.

But what’s the best-selling whiskey in the US?

2. Balvenie 12-Year Doublewood

Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood on desk

Average Price: Roughly $54.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Launched in 1993 and remaining iconic until now, Balvenie DoubleWood is aged in two kinds of oak casks. It’s what gives the whisky a distinctive character.

First, it is aged in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels for 12 years and then transferred to ex-Oloroso sherry casks for nine months more.

It’s sweet with spice, peat smoke hints, and vanilla notes on the palate.

We can also taste well-integrated flavors of dried fruits, cinnamon, and a delicate proportion of sherry. It has a long and warm finish.

3. Bowmore 12 Year Old

Bowmore 12 Year Old on desk

Average Price: Roughly $62.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

The Bowmore 12-year-old is a warm amber single malt scotch whisky, a welcome return to the Bowmore’s 1960s and 1970s classics.

Subtle lemon, honey, and peat will greet the nose first. Then, you’ll taste vanilla, oily sweetness, heather honey, and dark peat on the mouth.

The honey and lemon complement well with Bowmore’s trademark peaty smokiness, creating the perfect balance.

This whisky has a long and mellow taste with subtle peat and sea spray for the finish.

4. Buchanans 12-Year Scotch

Buchanan‘s 12 Year with box on desk

Average Price: Roughly $49.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Originally called Buchanan’s Finest Liqueur, this 80-proof whisky has orange, chocolate, and honey-tasting notes. It is known for being a smooth whisky.

In the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Buchanan won the Best Blended Scotch for up to 15 Years [2].

This whisky is a top-notch sipper that is perfect for any occasion. We enjoyed it best on the rocks, but it can also be mixed with soda.

Read: Buchanan Two Souls Scotch Whisky Review

5. Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year

Glenfiddich 14 Year with box on table

Average Price: Roughly $51.49 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Aged in ex-bourbon casks for 14 years and finished in new, charred oak barrels, this single malt whisky has a complex flavor profile.

We can taste dark fruit, toffee, and cinnamon to spice things up. It has a subtle Mexican vanilla taste in the finish.

If your idea of a perfect whiskey is fruity, the Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year might be the one whiskey for you.

Read: Glenfiddich vs Glenlivet

6. Glenlivet 12 Year

Glenlivet 12 Year on desk with whiskey cocktail

Average Price: Roughly $99.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

The Glenlivet 12-year-old is a Scotch Speyside whisky distilled by the Glenlivet Distillery.

Glenlivet was one of the premier distilleries that produced whisky underground when the British government began taxing Scottish distilleries.

This single malt whisky has a fruity essence and flavor brought upon by the mineral-rich water from Josie’s Well.

The brand also partnered with researchers to protect the whisky production of Scotland distilleries.

Water scarcity may become a significant issue in Scotland in the future, and we have shown that nature-based solutions offer a cost-effective, environmentally beneficial approach to water resource management for this economically vital sector”

-Dr. Josie Geris, Head Researcher

This first-class malt has candied nuts, pineapple, and subtle toffee notes on the palate. It has a creamy and smooth finish with hints of vanilla beneath it.

7. Ardbeg Uigeadail 

Ardbeg Uigeadail on desk

Average Price: Roughly $79.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 54.2%

Why We Like It:

Pronounced “Oog-a-dal,” this Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky is voted the favorite Adberg by the 120,000+ strong Ardbeg Committee.

The aromas of wheat bread, walnut oil infused with fresh ocean spice, pine needles, cedar, and smoky notes of campfire roasted marshmallows would remind you of Christmas.

The smoky notes increase intensity as we inhale deeper, reminiscent of a Christmas pudding. It has a perfect balance of spiciness, sweetness, and smokey flavor on the palate.

It also has an initial sweet taste on the lips and transitions to a smoky-spicy explosion of flavors mid-palate.

8. Highland Park 12 Year Old

Highland Park on desk with box

Average Price: Roughly $46.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

The Highland Park 12 years uses the unique spring waters of Orkney island that sets it apart from other whiskies.

It is aged for 12 years in European and American sherry oak casks, making a complex flavor profile. 

It has fresh, clean, and subtle floral aromas. It has tasting notes of oranges, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon spice.

It also has hints of green tea with jasmine and granary toast. You can try it with wasabi peas on the side and soft cheeses like French Brie.

9. Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Johnnie Walker Blue Label on table with apples

Average Price: Roughly $185.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

Made from Scotland’s rarest and most expensive whiskies, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label is an outstanding whisky of style and taste.

It’s the brand’s most prestigious blended whisky. It’s also a popular whiskey choice for novices and experts.

The casks with elusive quality and character are hand-selected and set aside to create the signature flavor of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

On the palate, it’s rich and velvety. There are honey, hazelnut, dried fruits, and sherry-tasting notes.

We can taste a little bit of sweetness with hints of pepper and oranges. The finish is smooth and lingering.

Read: Johnnie Walker High Rye Scotch Guide

10. Knappogue Castle 16 Year Old

Knappogue Castle 16 Year Old on desk with cocktail

Average Price: Roughly $94.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40%

Why We Like It:

If you are searching for the best Irish whiskey for summertime, Knappogue Castle 16-Year-Old might be your best choice.

It is initially aged for 14 years in bourbon barrels before transferring to Oloroso sherry oak casks to complete 16 years. It is triple distilled

Vanilla and dark chocolate greets the nose with slightly sweet sherry maltiness and a touch of dried fruit on the palate. Also, there is lingering sweetness at the finish.

We like that this Irish whiskey has a nice balance of flavor profiles.

It’s also reasonably priced. It’s good to drink neat or over ice, but it’s also perfect for mixing with cocktails.

If you’re looking for the best Irish whiskey [4] to tick all the boxes, it might be the best choice for you.

11. Macallan 12-Year Double Cask

Macallan on table with a glass of whiskey

Average Price: Roughly $67.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

The Macallan 12-Year-Old Double Cask is 100% sherry-seasoned. It is created from a mash bill of 100% malted barley and aged for 12 years.

We like that the elements are individually distinguishable but also contribute to the whole. It has malt, honey, brown sugar, nuts, and orange peel aromas.

It has tasting notes of malt, brown sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon. Also, it has a medium finish with a fruity and vanilla taste.

Read: Macallan 12 vs Dalmore 12

12. Monkey Shoulder

Monkey Shoulder on desk with old fashioned cocktail

Average Price: Roughly $29.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

The Monkey Shoulder is made with single malts from three famous Speyside distilleries, which gives it a distinctive fruity and complex flavor profile.

It’s one of the best whisky brands which won a Gold award at “The Scotch Whisky Masters” in the Speyside No Age Statement in 2014.

On the palate, it’s very malty with a suggestion of dried apricot notes. It has tasting notes of vanilla, marmalade, cloves, and Manuka honey.

It has a medium-length finish with rich spiciness and toasted oak notes.

It’s best enjoyed neat, but it is superbly designed as a mixing spirit. It can be a base spirit for delicious whisky ginger or a lazy Old Fashioned.

13. Oban Distillers Edition Single Malt

Oban on table with box

Average Price: Roughly $149.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

The Oban Single Malt Scotch whisky originated from a small distillery in the Scottish Highlands.

It was brought to the second maturation in Montilla Fino sherry casks, which gives the spirit luxurious and distinctive flavors. 

It’s fruity and pungent on the note. On the mouth, it tastes like soft malt and salt and transitions into caramel and delicate fruit notes.

There’s just a hint of peat that creeps up on the mid-palate. It has a medium-length finish with hints of toffee and a little dark chocolate.

Also, it has a malt-biscuit effect at the end.

14. The Singleton Of Dufftown 54-Year-Old

The Singleton Of Dufftown 54-Year-Old on desk with glass

Average Price: Roughly $43,299.99 (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 44.1%

Why We Like It:

The Singleton Of Dufftown 54-Year-Old is the oldest single malt release from The Singleton of Dufftown and Diageo.

It was only available in exceptionally limited quantities when it was released. It is a rich deep amber and has a light body. It’s sweet with hints of fruit and spice on the palate.

This 54-year-old whisky was aged in a precious oak butt cask that was slowly hand-filled on October 31, 1966, and sealed in time.

Finally, it was transferred to a Pedro-Ximenez Sherry-seasoned cask for its exquisite final maturation. 

15. Yamazaki 12 Year Old

Yamazaki on table with a glass of Japanese whiskey

Average Price: Roughly $210.99 (Caskers)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

This Japanese whisky is Suntory’s flagship single malt whisky. Released in 1984 and was one of the first Japanese single malts to break into the British market.

It bagged the Gold Award at the World Whiskies Awards” in 2017.

This whisky has a mash bill of 100% malted barley and is cask-aged in The Yamazaki Distillery for 12 years before bottling it.

It has a citrus, little rum, and fruit notes. It has a medium-length and zesty finish. This whisky also has a good body with the aromas of tropical fruit and roots. 

Read: Recommended Whiskey Ice Ball Makers

16. Redbreast 27

Redbreast 27 Bottle and a Box

Average Price: $599.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 54.6%

Why We Like It:

Redbreast 27 is one of the oldest permanent releases from the brand.

The Irish whiskey is exclusively triple distilled and matured in the finest sherry, bourbon, and ruby casks for at least 27 years.

Redbreast has a succulent medley of mango, exotic fruits, ripe red berries, and pineapple. We like the vanilla sweetness and richness of toasted oak and walnuts.

It has a vibrant texture with cherry menthol, cinnamon, and vanilla. We like it best neat, but you can enjoy it on the rocks.

17. Lagavulin 16

Lagavulin 16 Bottle with Box and a Glass

Average Price: $74.99 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 43%

Why We Like It:

Lagavulin 16 is one of the best Islay whiskies you should not miss. It has remarkably balanced flavors of sherry oak, salty sea, and smokiness.

It is a powerful and elegant Single Malt whisky with a thick and heavy mouthfeel. We enjoyed it with ice, but it mixes great in cocktails because of its lingering spicy finish.

18. Widow Jane, Aged 10 Years

Widow Jane, Aged 10 Years Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: $68.49 (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 45.5%

Why We Like It:

Widow Jane 10-Year-Old is a signature bourbon from the brand and it is one of the rarest and richest bourbons in circulation.

The bourbon whiskey has a nice complexity and intensity of vanilla, cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon. We appreciate more of the cherry and maple notes with ice.

In addition, we noticed some of the spices and charred oak palate and finish. Widow Jane is aged to perfection and drinks like a 20-year bourbon whiskey.

What We Considered

What We Considered


The best way to choose the world’s best whiskey is by considering its flavor and comparing it to other whiskeys of different price points.

You can find out which one has the best flavor for your taste buds and offers a better value for its price tag. 

Some of our personal choices for quality and reasonably priced whiskeys are Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbon, Forty Creek Canadian whisky, Larceny Small Batch bourbon, and Nelson’s First 108 Tennessee whiskey.

Read: Our Favorite Macallan Whiskies


whiskey in a glass

A whiskey’s flavor profile is determined by its malt, grain, and yeast content. The taste of the whiskey also depends on how it is distilled and aged in oak barrels [5].

The color of the whiskey also affects its flavor profile and its price.

You should consider what flavors you like most to choose the best whiskey for your taste buds.

If you like your drink spicy, you can order a rye whiskey from the head bartender. It doesn’t have to win the World Whiskies Awards. As long as you like it, it’s the best.

Unique Qualities

As there are wide varieties of whiskeys and different distilling methods, each has a character that makes them stand out from the rest.

For whiskey lovers, drinking the spirit is far beyond just the flavor. They should be able to be fully satisfied and make them crave another sip of the delicious spirit.

There are many spirits with unique qualities to choose from in the whiskey world.

Some want Kentucky bourbon, some want rye whiskey, and others prefer Japanese whiskeys.

Some of the world’s best and most popular whiskies in the market are Jim Beam, Macallan Sherry Oak 12 years, Four Roses Single Barrel, and Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which country makes the best whiskey?

Many avid drinkers believe that Scotland makes the best whiskies in the world. It’s also the biggest producer.

However, Scotland is not the only country that makes the best whiskies. Japan, the USA, and Ireland also have long traditions of whiskey-making.

What’s the best affordable whiskey to drink straight?

Buchanan’s 12-Year Scotch is the best affordable whisky to drink straight.

It is the best whisky to drink straight because it has complex offerings that make you want to take one more sip.

It has flavors of chocolate and orange with hints of smoke.

What is the difference between whisky and whiskey?

Whiskey is generally spelled in the United States and Ireland while whisky is used in Scotland, Japan, and Canada (6).

Aside from its geographic distinction, it is used to dictate the production and ingredients of the produced spirit.

Which is the most popular whiskey in the world?

Jack Daniel’s Tenessee Whiskey is the world’s most popular whiskey.

In addition, this whiskey holds the title of being one of the best-selling whiskeys.

Which is the world’s best whiskey?

Determining the world’s best whiskey is subjective and varies based on personal taste, but iconic brands such as Macallan, Yamazaki, and Glenfiddich often receive acclaim for their exceptional craftsmanship and distinct flavor profiles.

What is the most expensive whiskey?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, “The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection 1926” holds the record for the most expensive whiskey sold at auction, fetching several million dollars for a single bottle; however, prices may have changed since then.

Which brand is best for whisky?

Choosing the best whisky brand depends on individual preferences, but renowned names like Glenlivet, Lagavulin, and Hibiki are often praised for their consistent quality and diverse expressions, appealing to a broad spectrum of whisky enthusiasts.

What is considered to be the best whiskey?

The title of the best whiskey is subjective and can vary widely; however, whiskies such as Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, Glenfiddich 18 Year Old, and Hibiki 21 Year Old often receive accolades for their complexity, balance, and overall craftsmanship.

Which is the king of whiskey?

There isn’t a universally recognized “king of whiskey,” as this title is subjective and depends on personal preferences; however, Scotch whiskies, particularly single malts, are often regarded as the epitome of the whisky world by many enthusiasts.

Which is the smoothest whiskey?

Identifying the smoothest whiskey is subjective, but options like Jameson Irish Whiskey, Glenmorangie 10 Year Old, and Crown Royal are frequently praised for their smooth and approachable profiles, making them suitable for both seasoned drinkers and beginners.

Which is the most expensive alcohol in the world?

“Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac” holds the title for the most expensive alcohol globally, priced at several million dollars; however, it’s essential to note that prices may have changed, and new releases may have entered the market.

Why is expensive whiskey better?

The perception of expensive whiskey being better is subjective and varies among individuals. While high prices can be attributed to factors like rare ingredients, lengthy aging processes, and exceptional craftsmanship, personal taste ultimately determines whether an expensive whiskey is considered better.

How to properly drink whiskey?

Properly enjoying whiskey involves savoring its flavors and aromas. Connoisseurs often recommend tasting it neat first to appreciate its true character, followed by adding a few drops of water to open up the flavors. Alternatively, whiskey can be enjoyed on the rocks or in classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a Whiskey Sour, allowing for a versatile and enjoyable drinking experience.

So, What is the Best Whiskey In The World?

Choosing the best whiskey is a very subjective topic, and there are many factors to consider. Balvenie, Bowmore, and Buchanan are great bottles to try.

But if you are willing to spend a little extra for yourself, the best whiskey to try is the Glenmorangie Signet.

It has more layers of flavor and depth that will make you want another glass.


  1. Whiskey distilled liquor
  2. San Francisco World Spirits Competition announces 2020 Winners!
  3. What Is Irish Whiskey?
  4. Here’s What Happens When You Age Whisky
  5. Whisky or whiskey: What’s the difference?
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