Scotch refers to the single malt liquors produced by Scottish distilleries. If you want to find the best Scotch to add to your collection, it is important to know a few things about the production process of this liquor and about the different distilleries that make Scotch.

Eight Best Scotch Of 2019

Choosing a quality Scotch can be challenging due to the many options available. It is also important to understand how the distillation and maturation processes used by different distilleries are going to fimpact the flavor profile of a bottle of Scotch so you can pick a liquor you will enjoy drinking. Here are a few product recommendations.

How We Chose Our Ratings

We considered a few factors to select quality Scotches:

Scotch and whiskey are alcoholic beverages made from barley, rye, wheat, and other fermented grains. Scotch is the name used to refer to whiskeys produced in Scotland with malted barley and left to mature for at least three years.

The production process is similar for all whiskeys. The grain is soaked in water, drained, and left to germinate so that sugar can appear.

Scottish distilleries traditionally use peat smoke to dry the grains and stop the germination process. This is one of the steps that help create the taste that is typical of Scotch.

Peat is a material that mixes acidic soil and partially decomposed vegetation. The use of peat smoke in the Scotch manufacturing process makes the taste unique to a geographical region.

The grains are then turned into flour and hot water is added before the mixture is left to steep. Yeast is introduced to ferment this mixture and cause alcohol to appear.

The liquor is then distilled twice to increase its alcohol content and left to mature. The choice of barrel or cask is important since the liquor will absorb compounds from the wood and develop a specific flavor profile and color. Oak casks are often used to mature Scotch.

You will encounter more diversity in whiskeys since they are made all over the world and production process can differ from one distillery to another. Scottish distilleries work to create a unique flavor for their products but the process used is similar from one distillery to another.

Even though most Scottish distilleries make single malt Scotches, you can find blended liquors made in Scotland. This can create a more complex flavor profile and help balance the strong smoky taste of Scotch.

Different Distilleries And Flavors

Because Scotch is exclusively made in Scotland, it is fairly easy to keep track of the different distilleries that make Scotch and to compare their products. Even though the distilleries use similar techniques and equipment to make Scotch, each distillery has developed a unique flavor profile over the years.

Each region is associated with specific trends when it comes to developing flavor profiles. It is easier to find a Scotch that matches your tastes once you have tasted the products of a few different distilleries.

The Lowland region is where you will find distilleries such as Bladnoch, Glenkinchie, or Auchentoshan. The Scotch made in these distilleries typically has a mild and delicate flavor.

Islay is home to distilleries such as Ardbeg and Laphroaig. These distilleries are known for the strong peat smoke taste of their liquor.

The Highland region has a lot more diversity due to its size. You will find distilleries that made spicy Scotch in the North while the Southern distilleries typically make Scotch with a sweet flavor profile.

Speyside has the highest concentration of distilleries in Scotland. You will find a lot of variety in this small region, but Speyside distilleries are usually a good choice if you are looking for a sweet flavor with a dry finish.

You should attend a Scotch or whiskey tasting event so you can try different products and determine which flavors you like best. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Laphroaig Scotch is your best choice if you like strong smoky notes.
  • Try Scotches from Lagavulin, Dalwhinnie, or Ardbeg for a balance between smoky notes and sweetness.
  • If you love citrus and other fruity flavors, we recommend Scotch from Balvenie or Glenkinchie.
  • Glenmorangie stands out thanks to its Scotch with grassy flavors

These tips will help you find the best Scotch for your taste. It is best to get started with a liquor that doesn’t have a strong flavor profile and to stay away from pronounced peat smoke notes until you gain more experience with drinking Scotch and learn to appreciate these distinctive notes.

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