Introduction: Why You Should Expand Your Scotch Whiskey Horizons
Scotch whiskey is a beloved spirit with a rich history and diverse range of flavors. From the smoky and peaty whiskies of Islay to the smooth and fruity expressions of Speyside, there is something for every whiskey lover to enjoy. While many people are familiar with the big names in the industry, such as Glenfiddich and Macallan, there are also a number of underrated brands that deserve recognition. Exploring these underrated brands can lead to new and exciting taste experiences, as well as support smaller, independent distilleries. In this blog post, we will highlight some of the best underrated Scotch whiskey brands to try.
The Definition of an Underrated Scotch Whiskey Brand
Underrated brands are those that are not as well-known or popular as some of the bigger names in the industry. These brands may not have the same marketing budgets or distribution networks as their larger competitors, but that doesn’t mean their whiskies are any less deserving of attention. In fact, underrated brands often offer unique and high-quality products that are worth seeking out. These brands may not have the same level of recognition, but they can still provide exceptional whiskey experiences.
The Benefits of Trying Underrated Brands
Trying underrated brands can expand your palate and introduce you to new flavors and styles of whiskey. While it’s easy to stick with what you know and love, branching out and trying something different can be a rewarding experience. Underrated brands often have their own distinct character and flavor profiles, which can offer a refreshing change from the more well-known brands.
In addition to expanding your palate, trying underrated brands can also support smaller, independent distilleries. These distilleries may not have the same resources as the larger players in the industry, but they are often producing whiskies of exceptional quality. By seeking out and purchasing their products, you can help these distilleries gain recognition and support their continued success.
Furthermore, underrated brands may offer better value for money than some of the more expensive, well-known brands. While there are certainly expensive whiskies that are worth the price tag, there are also many underrated brands that offer exceptional quality at a more affordable price. By exploring these brands, you can find hidden gems that provide great value for money.
Glen Scotia: A Distillery Rich in History and Flavor
Glen Scotia is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, but it has a long and fascinating history. Located in Campbeltown, a region known for its distinctive whiskies, Glen Scotia has been producing whiskey since 1832. Despite its small size, the distillery has managed to produce whiskies that are known for their rich, complex flavors and unique character.
Some of Glen Scotia’s standout products include the Double Cask and Victoriana expressions. The Double Cask is matured in a combination of first-fill bourbon barrels and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, resulting in a whiskey with notes of vanilla, caramel, and dried fruits. The Victoriana, on the other hand, is a heavily peated expression that offers a smoky and briny flavor profile, with hints of spice and oak.
Old Pulteney: A Coastal Gem with Unique Tasting Notes
Old Pulteney is located in the coastal town of Wick, and their whiskies are influenced by the sea air and rugged landscape. The distillery has a long history, dating back to 1826, and their whiskies are known for their briny, salty notes and hints of citrus and honey. These unique tasting notes are a result of the distillery’s proximity to the sea and the use of traditional copper pot stills.
Some of Old Pulteney’s standout products include the 12 Year Old and Navigator expressions. The 12 Year Old is a classic Highland whiskey with a smooth and balanced flavor profile. It offers notes of honey, vanilla, and citrus, with a touch of sea salt on the finish. The Navigator, on the other hand, is a limited edition expression that is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. It offers a more complex flavor profile, with notes of toffee, spice, and dried fruits.
Deanston: A Sustainable Distillery with a Focus on Quality
Deanston is a distillery that prides itself on its sustainable practices and commitment to quality. Located in the Highlands, the distillery is powered by hydroelectricity, making it one of the most environmentally friendly distilleries in Scotland. Deanston also uses only local ingredients and traditional methods to produce their whiskies, resulting in products that are full of character and flavor.
Some of Deanston’s standout products include the 12 Year Old and Virgin Oak expressions. The 12 Year Old is a smooth and creamy whiskey with notes of honey, vanilla, and citrus. It has a slightly spicy finish, with hints of oak and caramel. The Virgin Oak, on the other hand, is a more robust and intense expression. It is matured in new American oak barrels, which gives it a rich and spicy flavor profile, with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and dark chocolate.
BenRiach: A Distillery with a Range of Unique and Experimental Whiskies
BenRiach is a distillery that is known for its experimental approach to whiskey-making. Located in the Speyside region, the distillery offers a range of unique and unusual expressions, including peated and triple-distilled whiskies. BenRiach is also one of the few distilleries in Scotland that still malts its own barley on-site, allowing them to have full control over the production process.
Some of BenRiach’s standout products include the Curiositas and 10 Year Old expressions. The Curiositas is a peated expression that offers a smoky and earthy flavor profile, with notes of peat smoke, citrus, and spice. The 10 Year Old, on the other hand, is a classic Speyside whiskey with a fruity and floral character. It offers notes of apple, pear, and honey, with a touch of oak on the finish.
Glencadam: A Small Distillery with Big Flavors
Glencadam is a small distillery that produces whiskies with big, bold flavors. Located in the eastern Highlands, the distillery has been producing whiskey since 1825. Glencadam whiskies are known for their fruity, spicy notes and smooth finish, making them a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts.
Some of Glencadam’s standout products include the 10 Year Old and 15 Year Old expressions. The 10 Year Old is a light and delicate whiskey with notes of citrus, vanilla, and honey. It has a smooth and creamy texture, with a touch of spice on the finish. The 15 Year Old, on the other hand, is a more complex and robust expression. It offers notes of dried fruits, chocolate, and oak, with a long and satisfying finish.
Inchmurrin: A Distillery That Blends Tradition and Innovation
Inchmurrin is a distillery that combines traditional whiskey-making techniques with innovative approaches. Located in the Loch Lomond region, the distillery produces a range of whiskies that are known for their complex, layered flavors and unique character. Inchmurrin whiskies are made using a combination of pot stills and column stills, allowing for a greater range of flavors and styles.
Some of Inchmurrin’s standout products include the 12 Year Old and Madeira Wood Finish expressions. The 12 Year Old is a smooth and fruity whiskey with notes of tropical fruits, vanilla, and honey. It has a rich and creamy texture, with a touch of spice on the finish. The Madeira Wood Finish, on the other hand, is a limited edition expression that is finished in Madeira wine casks. It offers a more complex flavor profile, with notes of dried fruits, nuts, and spice.
Conclusion: Exploring Underrated Brands is a Journey Worth Taking.
In conclusion, exploring underrated Scotch whiskey brands can lead to new and exciting taste experiences. These brands may not have the same level of recognition as the bigger names in the industry, but they often offer unique and high-quality products that are worth seeking out. Glen Scotia, Old Pulteney, Deanston, BenRiach, Glencadam, and Inchmurrin are just a few of the many underrated brands worth trying. By expanding your Scotch whiskey horizons, you can discover hidden gems and support smaller, independent distilleries. So why not embark on a journey of exploration and discover the world of underrated Scotch whiskey brands?
If you’re a whiskey enthusiast looking to enhance your sipping experience, you won’t want to miss this article on how to choose the perfect glass for your scotch. Whether you prefer a Glencairn, a tulip-shaped glass, or a tumbler, this guide from Whisky Online will help you make an informed decision. Discover the impact that glassware can have on the aroma and flavor of your favorite scotch whiskey. So grab your preferred glass and dive into the world of sipping in style. Read more